NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 04 B1.04-7717
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Bioscience and Engineering
PROPOSAL TITLE: Understanding and Mitigating Adverse Health Effects in Space Using A System Physiology Software

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
CFD Research Corp
215 Wynn Dr.
Huntsville, AL 35805-1926

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
S. Krishnamoorthy
215 Wynn Dr.
Huntsville, AL 35805-1926

NASA's vision for Space Exploration aims for human interplanetary missions that have significant challenges on crew health and safety including fluid shifts, and post-flight orthostatic intolerance. A predictive software tool that advances the understanding of underlying biofluid dynamics is critical to affordably analyzing and designing protective systems and countermeasures. CFDRC proposes to develop such software that will enable new insights and techniques to significantly increase the knowledge base through simulations and dramatically increase the leverage of limited in-flight cardiovascular investigations. In Phase I, we seek to develop an innovative network-based System Physiology Software tool, leveraging an ongoing NASA funded lab-on-a-chip system design effort. In the proof-of-concept study, a physiologically relevant component network representing elements of the human circulatory system will be assembled in a user-friendly GUI environment. This network, interfaced with high-fidelity multiphysics software (CFD-ACE+) will be solved for detailed analysis of local hemodynamic stresses on vascular endothelial cell structure, and compute microgravity effects on fluid shift. In Phase II, component models will be refined with detailed representation for arterial, venous and lymphatic effects, along with incorporation of metabolite transport and baroreflex models. Interface to systems biology models (cellular regulatory networks) will also be developed. CFDRC is the technology leader in multiscale biological simulations and very well placed to successfully undertake this challenging task of delivering System Physiology Software to NASA.

The proposed software will allow NASA decision makers to implement knowledge-based (as opposed to ad-hoc or empirical) practices and deploy preventive/protective measures against adverse health effects due to space environment on system physiology. The software will provide detailed understand of several problems including fluid shift, post-flight orthostatic intolerance, muscle atrophy, hematology, etc. Interfacing the software with high-fidelity or systems biology software will enable (Digital Astronaut) studies to understand gravity-mediated tissue stresses, effect of mechanical stresses on various cellular processes, which lead to a better understating of the impact of low-gravity conditions on human health.

Computational modeling of hemodynamics in cardiovascular systems is a useful means for predictive medicine, which may be implemented in a form of Computation-Aided Diagnosis (CAD) and/or Computation-Aided Surgery (CAS). Home, clinical and pharmaco diagnostic systems (combined multi-billion dollar market) are increasingly being used to assist in the diagnosis, disease management and drug discovery. A software platform that can interpret the raw sensor data in order to accurately assess the patient's current health status will be of significant benefit to public health. In addition, the software will also provide a multiscale simulation environment for the design and optimization of several biomedical devices.