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Ground-based facilities for simulation of microgravity: organism-specific recommendations for their use, and recommended terminology


Herranz, R; Anken, R; Boonstra, J; Braun, M; Christianen, P C M; de Geest, M; Hauslage, J; Hilbig, R; Hill, R J A; Lebert, M; Medina, F J; Vagt, N; Ullrich, O; van Loon, J W A; Hemmersbach, R (2013). Ground-based facilities for simulation of microgravity: organism-specific recommendations for their use, and recommended terminology. Astrobiology, 13(1):1-17.

Abstract

Research in microgravity is indispensable to disclose the impact of gravity on biological processes and organisms. However, research in the near-Earth orbit is severely constrained by the limited number of flight opportunities. Ground-based simulators of microgravity are valuable tools for preparing spaceflight experiments, but they also facilitate stand-alone studies and thus provide additional and cost-efficient platforms for gravitational research. The various microgravity simulators that are frequently used by gravitational biologists are based on different physical principles. This comparative study gives an overview of the most frequently used microgravity simulators and demonstrates their individual capacities and limitations. The range of applicability of the various ground-based microgravity simulators for biological specimens was carefully evaluated by using organisms that have been studied extensively under the conditions of real microgravity in space. In addition, current heterogeneous terminology is discussed critically, and recommendations are given for appropriate selection of adequate simulators and consistent use of nomenclature.

Abstract

Research in microgravity is indispensable to disclose the impact of gravity on biological processes and organisms. However, research in the near-Earth orbit is severely constrained by the limited number of flight opportunities. Ground-based simulators of microgravity are valuable tools for preparing spaceflight experiments, but they also facilitate stand-alone studies and thus provide additional and cost-efficient platforms for gravitational research. The various microgravity simulators that are frequently used by gravitational biologists are based on different physical principles. This comparative study gives an overview of the most frequently used microgravity simulators and demonstrates their individual capacities and limitations. The range of applicability of the various ground-based microgravity simulators for biological specimens was carefully evaluated by using organisms that have been studied extensively under the conditions of real microgravity in space. In addition, current heterogeneous terminology is discussed critically, and recommendations are given for appropriate selection of adequate simulators and consistent use of nomenclature.

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70 citations in Web of Science®
78 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Anatomy
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:03 Mar 2014 09:49
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:44
Publisher:Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Publishers
ISSN:1531-1074
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1089/ast.2012.0876
PubMed ID:23252378

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