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Artif Organs. 1999 May;23(5):428-31.

MYOSTIM-FES to prevent muscle atrophy in microgravity and bed rest: preliminary report.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering and Physics, University of Vienna Medical School, Austria.


Long-term flights in microgravity cause atrophy and morphological changes of skeletal muscles. Training with mechanical devices is insufficient regarding the required time to exercise and space for devices. The objective of this project is to develop a passive training method based on functional electrostimulation (FES) to preserve muscle mass and fiber composition with minimal impairment to the cosmonaut. For a pilot experiment on the MIR space station, a suitable 8 channel FES device was developed. It consists of electrode trousers that carry surface electrodes and cables, 2 interconnected 4 channel stimulators, and a laptop personal computer (PC) for stimulator programming and processing compliance data. An automatic extensive training of 4 muscle groups of the lower extremities is performed for 6 h/day, with 1 s on and 2 s off tetanic contractions at 20-30% of maximum tetanic muscle force. The synchronous activation of antagonists of the thigh and lower leg prevents uncoordinated movements.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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