Космический эксперимент «Мотокард» Report from the ISS RS made by cosmonauts Tyurin Mikhail Vladislavovich and Ryazansky Sergei Nikolaevich about "Motokard" space medical experiment

(Tyurin M.V.) Currently we are preparing for space medical experiment that is called "Motokard." The aim of the experiment is to study of locomotions, in other words, to study the effect of a long spaceflight on the coordinated activity of the musculoskeletal system, which in normal life people do not even notice but implement through motions and other mechanical actions in the environment. (In human physiology locomotion is a kind of motor activity associated with active movement in space. Locomotion results are motor actions. Locomotion refers to the instinctive movements, - Ed.) The principal investigator of this experiment is the Institute of Biomedical Problems, Russian Academy of Sciences, and test subjects are cosmonauts onboard the ISS RS. Let us have a look on how the sensors are being installed which record a muscle curve (recording of muscle work). Now we are able to get familiar with the flight crew procedures which show what needs to be done, and what shall be done.
(Ryazansky S.N.) He puts insoles in the sneakers, which are support sensors. Although the "road" has support sensors (trainer "treadmill" - Ed.), using the insoles we will show a full picture of support reactions in a foot when walking and running.
(Tyurin M.V.) The essence of the experimental research is to develop the most efficient methods of correction of motor defects arising in long-duration spaceflight conditions affected by weightlessness, and methods preventing these defects. In order to understand how to compensate for motor defects, it is necessary to understand the mechanism of their formation. For this purpose, now we will install the sensors and record a myogram. As you can see, the experiment preparation also includes instrument recording and data processing. Now we are looking at the electromyogram processing results on the computer screen. An electromyogram is a diagnostic method based on the analysis of biopotential occurring in the actively-driven muscles. The electrical potential is detected by the surface sensors, digitized and transmitted for algorithmic recording, and further it can be transmitted for processing with various types of analysis, including archiving on a disk. By changing a muscle biopotential one can determine when the muscle works, performs one or another form of a target function. And if we have a chance to record a biopotential in different muscles and compare them as appropriate, we can judge on how muscles work is coordinated. Medical support computer RSE-Med aids us to do this.
The complexity of this research is that one person has to perform all functions instantaneously: functions of the principal investigator of the research, laboratory technician, cosmonaut, technologist, and a person developing and writing the methodology, and data handler too. This greatly complicates the work, because for a complete analysis one needs to clear a little his head and intellectual resources in order to remember what is in which bag, etc. We have to do everything ourselves: tighten the screws and think at the same time.
The hardware is prepared, and now we begin to perform an exercise tolerance test. Using the treadmill control panel the test subject selects an appropriate mode of the treadmill operation. The experiment is conducted both in a passive and active mode of the treadmill operation. In a passive mode it is pushed by feet, and in an active mode the electric actuators are running. The treadmill is moving and test subject is running on the treadmill. A slow, medium and fast running, and warm-up and medium walking are used as a load. The experiment is first performed in the active mode, and then in the passive mode of the treadmill. During the test a muscle EMG is recorded, the EMG of the thigh and calf muscles is recorded. In addition, the treadmill support reaction and load parameters are recorded in the program, namely a speed of movement, speed of the test subject acting on the tread band with his insoles, retraction value and all other parameters defining a degree of physical load of the test subject. The test subject and hardware data is collected. Complex "Diasled" is used to record the entire set of parameters during walking.
To investigate the activity and contractibility of the lower limb muscles the second complex "Myography" is used. The "Myography" operation is controlled by the software installed in medical support computer RSE-Med.
And the third complex covers all devices that are used to record the load parameters: speed, time elapsed since the beginning of the load, heart rate, and all parameters which define the treadmill operation. If you put together all these parameters, we will obtain a comprehensive picture of the experiment. While we are theorizing, the load mode has been changed, and the test subject proceeded to the running mode. Now we'll see how this happens, especially we are interested in legs. To a certain degree, this evokes Georgian short films with a story about a donkey. Frankly speaking, it is very difficult to run in weightlessness, and therefore, a myogram turns out to be not quite the same as on Earth.
While the test subject is running on the treadmill, let us give us the following explanation just for information. Complex "Diasled" uses in its operation a principle of software processing of electrical signals from functional measuring insoles sensors during the cosmonaut motion on the tread followed by recording of experimental data to a memory card. Complex "Diasled" receives and records the following information on the support reaction parameters during walking and running:
- Pressures from measuring functional insoles sensors;
- Sensor scanning rate of the functional measuring insoles (at least 100 samples per second for each sensor);
- Automatic determination of connection of functional measuring insoles, automatic identification of a standard size of connected measuring insoles, automatic monitoring of a transmission factor of the measuring channel during operation.
During the complex operation dynamic characteristics of the operator motion are converted into electrical signals by means of piezoelectric transducers of the measuring functional which are sent to the integrated conversion unit circuit. The electrical signals sent to the integrated circuit input of the conversion unit are filtered, digitized and recorded on external electronic media, namely a memory card being part of the "Diasled kit using software and hardware. The conversion unit is located in a holster and secured on the test subject belt by a belt-holster. The functional measuring insoles are placed in the operator shoes, the insole cables are fixed along the operator's feet using belt-type clips (two fixing points along the foot below the knee and on the hip). The ground hardware and software of the complex makes it possible to decode and further process the experimental data and detail information on the support reaction parameters of the operator when he performs exercises on the treadmill.
Complex "Myograph" collects and records electric myosignals from the human limb, back and neck muscles in a space flight on the Russian Segment of the International Space Station (ISS RS). Within the space experiment "Motokard" is used to record EMG of the leg and hip muscles. In the preparation mode the complex operates jointly with medical support computer RSE-MED. The information is exchanged via USB using the USB adapter-converter. In the standalone mode in a process of implementing the training program by the test subject the electric myosignals are recorded into the internal memory. The maximum recording time of electric myosignals into the internal memory is 1 hour 50 min. The operation life of the sensors is more than three years.
In the data rewriting mode, the complex operates jointly with the medical support computer. After each examination data from the internal memory is copied to a memory card. Data is transmitted via USB.
Now the myogram recording unit is actually being set, unfortunately, it was delivered onboard the station not quite in a good form. Therefore, using the intellectual, technological, tentative and other resources the cosmonauts have to make modifications in this way, because a "plug-plug" connector was found in the kit. Have it your own way, it was mated like that.
The hardware has been secured, and we have to proceed to activities on the second experimental part.
The second part of the experiment. Relevant data on the treadmill operation is entered, and one can work on data collection. Myogram recording sensors should be verified.
Only Russian crewmembers of the ISS take part in the experiment. The experiment is performed during the time allocated for the payloads. On the day of the experiment exercises on the treadmill are not planned. The experiment session shall be always performed at the same time of the day, not earlier than three days after EVA (Egress into space from the ISS - Ed.), and not earlier than two hours after a meal.
(Ryazansky S.N.) Rather hard.
(Tyurin M.V.) The next session of our experiment has just completed, we would like to ask about the test subject impression. What are your comments on the existing and expected results?
(Ryazansky S.N.) The results will be known on the ground. Most important it that we followed the procedure, well, this is how it came about, of course, it's not easy.
(Tyurin M.V.) And your predictions?
(Ryazansky S.N.) We have to analyze. It is clear that more muscles are involved during a passive running, the load is much higher, but how biomechanics is changing, this will be demonstrated by the support sensors.
(Tyurin M.V.) A universal impression?
(Ryazansky S.N.) We did it. Not easy.
(Tyurin M.V.) Are you satisfied?
(Ryazansky S.N.) Yes.
(Tyurin M.V.) I ask you as a scientist.
(Ryazansky S.N.) I do not know.
(Tyurin M.V.) We are very thankful for a good demonstration of informative, knowledge-intensive, efficient and promising work.

Космический эксперимент «Моток...
Космический эксперимент «Мотокард»






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