Document Type

Conference Poster


Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) Annual Meeting


Biomedical Engineering Society


Phoenix, AZ

Publication Date



As longer space missions become more desirable to public and private institutions, the physiological impact on astronauts must be considered. One of the primary concerns for those spending time in low gravity and high radiation environments is muscle atrophy. A major cause of muscular atrophy is oxidative stress which is amplified by increased levels of ionizing radiation during spaceflight. Additionally, high levels of radiation can damage DNA, increasing the risk of cancer. Utah State University’s Space Environment Test Facility was used to irradiate C2C12 myoblasts and human vascular endothelial cells with a dosage mimicking that on the International Space Station and a 3-year deep space mission. Cell changes due to increased levels of radiation were characterized with fluorescent imaging for H2AX, a marker of double stranded DNA damage, and Trypan blue viability staining.