Bone Densitometer (Bone Densitometer) - 01.14.15

Summary | Overview | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
Densitometry measures the mass per unit volume (density) of minerals in bone.  Quantitative measures of bone loss in mice , during orbital space flight, are necessary for the development of countermeasures for human crew members, as well as for bone-loss syndromes on Earth, by commercial entities. Planned studies, both academic and commercial, require on-orbit analytical methods including bone densitometry. 
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by John C. Vellinger, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Facility Details

OpNom: Bone Densitometer Locker

Facility Manager(s)

  • John C. Vellinger, Techshot, Greenville, IN, United States

  • Facility Representative(s)
  • Kenneth Barton, Techshot, Greenville, IN, United States

  • Developer(s)
    Techshot, Incorporated, Greenville, IN, United States

    Sponsoring Space Agency
    National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

    Sponsoring Organization
    National Laboratory (NL)

    ISS Expedition Duration
    March 2014 - Ongoing

    Expeditions Assigned

    Previous ISS Missions
    Information Pending


  • Onboard
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    Facility Description

    Facility Overview
    The Bone Densitometer (BD) payload is being developed to provide a bone density scanning capability on ISS for utilization by NASA and the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS). The BD payload measures bone density using Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA). The BD payload is being developed from a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) piece of hardware called a PIXImusII and is being designed to fit into an Expedite the Processing of Experiments to the Space Station (EXPRESS) Rack locker. Its modular design allows for on-orbit replacement of critical systems.  The PIXImusII, along with an attached laptop computer, is a fully integrated densitometer designed for the estimation of Bone Mineral Density (BMD) in units of g/cm2, and body composition using DEXA. The BD payload is scheduled to fly on SpaceX for delivery to ISS.

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    Facility Operations

    • Insert Exam Box into MSG

    • Place mouse (anesthetized/euthanized) in exam box

    • Transfer exam box to bone densitometer hardware

    • Image the specimen

    • Downlink image

    • Transfer exam box back to MSG and remove animal

    • Repeat the procedure until all mice are scanned

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    Results/More Information

    Information Pending

    Results Publications

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    Ground Based Results Publications

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    ISS Patents

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    Related Publications

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    Related Websites

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    image Bone Densitometer Flight Unit with monitor. CREDIT: Techshot.
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    image Bone Densitometer Flight Unit. CREDIT: Techshot.
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