Bone Healing: Spaceflight and Beyond – NASA & Indiana University


While “X-Ray Technician” doesn’t sound like the most exciting job, it is still extremely crucial to the success of our experiment. Our procedure involves removing a segment of bone, placing a scaffold into the defect site and stabilizing the scaffold with a metal rod. As an X-ray technician, my job is essentially to confirm the placement of the metal pin as well as the success of the surgery itself; essentially I am trying to identify any surgical errors so they can be corrected. The actual taking of X-rays is very simple. Each mouse is placed on a QuickRay sensor (see image) and positioned in such a way that its operated leg is facing upwards. This allows for a clear image. The X-ray is then taken using an Xray2GO Wireless Portable X-Ray (see image) and presented on a computer screen. Afterwards, the image is altered for clarity and contrast using Apteryx XVLite by Denterprise International. The X-ray is examined for proper alignment of the defect through the femur.
We want to give our warmest thanks to Denterprise International (located in Ormond Beach, Florida) for donating the X-ray sensor and the software used to view the X-rays of the mouse bones (~$10,000 value).  They were wonderfully enthusiastic about our NASA mission, as they are located about 40 miles north of Cape Canaveral, where our mission will launch in 2016. If you would like to learn more about Denterprise International please visit their website at http://denterpriseintl.com/. For those in the Chicago area or dental field, they will be exhibiting their technology at the Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Meeting Feb 25-27, 2016 in booths 4508/4509, and would welcome visitors. We are working on a joint video interview with Denterprise International regarding the spaceflight bone research which will be available for viewing at their booth.
At this point, many of you are wondering what you can do to help. In kind, donations are a great way to support our cause and get involved. Things such as equipment and software are crucial and would be much appreciated. Even things such as frequent flyer miles and condo exchanges would greatly help as we must prepare travel arrangements for our entire team (including 4 medical students, 4 undergraduate students, 3 postdoctoral fellows, and 1 orthopedic surgery resident). So please consider a gift to support a once in a lifetime educational opportunity for these very deserving students to be a part of NASA bone healing history. Please contact our gift officer Mrs. Georgia Sinclair Strickland at 317-278-2122 or [email protected] with any gift-related questions. You can also donate directly on our website at http://orthopaedics.medicine.iu.edu/bonehealingspace/giving/




Please consider making a gift to support this important research of the Kacena Laboratory.
Research is problem solving for the future.  As a medical professional and research scientist, I was thrilled to be asked to head this ground-breaking research project in partnership with NASA and the Dept. of Defense.
Through our research in the weightlessness of space, we anticipate translating new discoveries in bone regeneration for bone-loss (osteoporosis), fracture healing and other bone disorders. Our research may provide promising answers to the specific problem of bone loss during spaceflight as well as new therapies for healing severely injured bones.         Visit Dr. Kacena’s homepage.
Research in space is very expensive, and while we have most of the funds in place we still need your support to make this project a reality.
Melissa Kacena, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
Indiana University School of Medicine
Your contribution is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Online donations can be made by selecting the “Give Now” button above or through checks made payable to: IU Foundation – School of Medicine (and include in the memo line the following note: “For Spaceflight and Beyond Research Fund.” If the gift is in honor or in memory of someone, please enclose a note to that effect with your check. Please support this important project by mailing check to:  
IU Foundation
P.O. Box 7072
Indianapolis, IN  46207-7072
Please direct any questions about giving to: Georgia Sinclair-Strickland, Development Officer for the IU School of Medicine, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, 317-278-2122.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.