Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

The use of Resistive Vibration Exercise (RVE) to mitigate hypoxic inactivity induced cartilage degeneration: implications for Covid-19 patients

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
5.10.00  Social sciences  Sport   

Code Science Field
3.03  Medical and Health Sciences  Health sciences 
Hypoxic Bed Rest, Human Centrifugation, Artificial Gravity, Cartilage, Biomarkers, Individual Variation, Health, Space
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Data for the last 5 years (citations for the last 10 years) on May 29, 2024; A3 for period 2018-2022
Data for ARIS tenders ( 04.04.2019 – Programme tender, archive )
Database Linked records Citations Pure citations Average pure citations
WoS  322  5,940  4,920  15.28 
Scopus  343  6,883  5,813  16.95 
Researchers (9)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  32523  PhD Urša Ciuha  Public health (occupational safety)  Researcher  2021 - 2024  97 
2.  21500  PhD Matej Drobnič  Neurobiology  Researcher  2021 - 2024  255 
3.  54689  Jason Thomas Fisher  Neurobiology  Junior researcher  2021 - 2024  12 
4.  33333  PhD Adam Charles McDonnell  Neurobiology  Head  2021 - 2024  141 
5.  14676  PhD Igor Mekjavić  Cardiovascular system  Researcher  2021 - 2024  1,275 
6.  52053  PhD Tinkara Mlinar  Cardiovascular system  Junior researcher  2021 - 2022  25 
7.  52496  Joshua Royal  Public health (occupational safety)  Researcher  2021 
8.  56052  Riccardo Sorrentino  Neurobiology  Researcher  2022 - 2024 
9.  03264  Bogomir Vrhovec  Systems and cybernetics  Technical associate  2021 - 2024  60 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0106  Jožef Stefan Institute  Ljubljana  5051606000  91,035 
2.  0312  University Medical Centre Ljubljana  Ljubljana  5057272000  77,806 
Musculoskeletal deterioration is a serious consequence of spaceflight and more than a hindrance when it comes to astronaut health and mission success. Some level of atrophy during flight may be acceptable or even inevitable, however should be limited as duration increases. This deterioration manifests as a “shower stopper” when considering space agencies plans to travel to The Moon and to Mars, where mission duration will exceed anything currently undertake. The current proposed countermeasures utilised to counteract such atrophy are novel and little evidence is available regarding their efficacy on muscle and bone atrophy and none available regarding cartilage or the musculoskeletal joint interface. The current ageing and infirm population on earth exhibits many parallels to the physiological responses experienced by astronauts in space. This is particularly relevant to inactive ageing, catabolic hospitalisation and long-term disease modality. The emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic this last year has highlighted the excessive deterioration of patients and the long recovery they may face following hospitalisation. To address these topics, we propose a research programme to investigate and define the early process of cartilage, ligament and tendon turnover induced by head down tilt bed rest. Further, we will follow the tissue recovery through 6-months rehabilitation to establish a complete timeline from induction through to regeneration, mimicking catabolic events suffered through aging. To do this, cartilage will be assessed via MRI and serum biomarkers in bed rest studies (PlanHab Planica) with 2 groups of 12 participants prior to, during and following 60-day head down tilt bed rest with artificial gravity and resistive vibration exercise, along with samples recorded in the recovery stages. The ligament and tendon structures will also be assessed along the same timeline. The shoulder will serve as a non-gravity dependant control for the hip, knee and ankle joints. The results of the proposed study will inform ESA of the efficacy of the suggested AG protocol combined exercise countermeasure to mitigate musculoskeletal disintegration. The success of this project will be guaranteed by the experience of the highly qualified team members who have conducted multiple bed rest studies in normoxia and hypoxia. The IJS team will be joined by the Chair of the Orthopaedic unit in the University Medical Centre, Ljubljana with extensive experience in joint arthroplasty and cartilage degeneration along with previous collaboration on bed rest studies. The history of collaboration with these team members ensures an open dialogue with regard to solving logistical issues and crucially an ability to compromise to ensure the success of the experiment.
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