Bone Densitometer (Bone Densitometer) - 11.23.16

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

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 - March 2016; March 2016 - September 2016

Expeditions Assigned

Previous Missions
Information Pending


  • Onboard
  • ^ back to top

    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.

    ^ back to top


    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

    ^ back to top

    Decadal Survey Recommendations

    Information Pending

    ^ back to top
    Results/More Information

    Information Pending

    Results Publications

    ^ back to top

    Ground Based Results Publications

    ^ back to top

    ISS Patents

    ^ back to top

    Related Publications

    ^ back to top

    Related Websites

    ^ back to top


    Bone Densitometer Flight Unit with monitor. Image courtesy of Techshot.

    + View Larger Image

    Bone Densitometer Flight Unit. Image courtesy of Techshot.

    + View Larger Image

    NASA Image:  iss043e286992 - Photographic documentation of the Bone Densitometer Validation experiment in support of the Rodent Research-2 (CASIS) experiment.

    + View Larger Image