Pulsatile Overall-Vest: A Device to Counteract Microgravity Threat to Astronauts’ Health
Amir Hashem Shahidi Bonjar

Astronauts in space experience many changes in their bodies. If astronauts spend extended periods in space in a zero-gravity (more precisely, microgravity) environment, their bone calcium is decreased and their heart muscles and blood vessels become weaker and atrophic. Pulsatile overall-vest (POV) is a new proposed device which is hoped to minimize some of these maladies. This technology can be applied to astronauts’ health-care aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The hypothesis I proposed herein is that POV may be regarded as an adjuvant treatment for microgravity threat to performance of astronauts’ heart, muscles and circulation of body fluids. POV is expected to induce stronger heartbeats; induce better circulation of intercellular fluid, blood plasma and the interstitial fluid between blood vessels and surrounding tissue; reduce face puff up and minimize cosmonauts’ "space sniffles". POV is an overall jacket or vest which covers the whole body except eyes, nose, mouth, neck, fingers, anal area and genitalia. Properties proposed for POV include: elasticity, thinness, double layer made of rubber or silicon rubber; for better endurance, the inner layer is in contact with skin and equipped with inflatable vesicles; for inflation- deflation, a net of air tubes connect the air vesicles to an external air pump. While in action, in each programmed inflation-deflation cycle, air vesicles push against the astronaut’s body surface and then relax. Time and duration for using POV would be set by astronauts’ physicians. POV implication would have beneficial consequences as: 1) Making the heart muscle to pump stronger; so helps to prevent it from weakening; 2) helping better circulation of body fluids; 3) preventing face puff up and "space sniffles"; 4) through its massage therapeutic effect, it slows down weakening of muscles in prolonged period of weightlessness in microgravity environment. POV is an adjuvant device and is not to replace astronauts’ daily exercises on treadmill or similar devices. Cosmonauts will use POV along with their daily-scheduled exercises or as recommended by their physicians.

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