MEDES - Clinical Facility

Full description

The Clinical research facility has access to all biomedical equipment normally available in a high standard hospital (NMR, CT scan, biological analysis, SPECT, PET,…). It is equipped to process and store biological samples. Its equipment also include devices used to test and monitor specific physiological functions such as those studied for space research (LBNP, tilt table, plasma volume, 3DpQCT, DEXA, VO2max, Short Arm Human Centrifuge).

In order to valorize the Space derived models in daily clinical operations, the Clinical research facility developed a close co-operation with several clinical research groups, in particular with the “Centre d’Investigations Clinique” of the Toulouse hospital and INSERM. Models derived from space research and bed rest studies benefit for clinical applications:

  • Orthostatic intolerance
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Bone loss
  • Balance disorders
  • Adipose tissue regulation

The layout of the Clinical research facility is given in the next figure.

MEDES Clinical research facility (CRF) total surface is 1000m2. It includes 3 areas:

  1. Office area (blue part, from 22 to 30) and the main entrance (E) ;
  2. Multipurpose laboratory zone (dotted area: L1-L3, is a 120 m2 or 1,300 square feet) with entrance fitted for large size objects (2,50 x 2,50 m or 8.20 to 8.20 feet).
  3. The experimental zone with controlled environment (hatched area) :
    • Rooms 1- 6, high quality chambers.
    • Rooms 7-8, bone assessment rooms,
    • Rooms 9, 10, 12, biological laboratory,
    • Rooms 11, 13, 14, 15, 16 logistics zone,
    • Rooms 17-20, modular rooms standing for 4 chambers, 4 laboratories or one larger laboratory,
    • Room 21 is a specific laboratory where orthostatic tests (tilt and lower body negative pressure tests) can be performed.

The environment of the experimental zone is strictly controlled:

  • Air conditioning in each room or laboratory with individual set control (20-25°C ±0.5°C; 40-55% humidity),
  • Acoustic isolation (-60dB/outside),
  • Modular lighting (from 0 to 500 lux, with the possibility of artificial day/night rhythms),
  • 24h video monitoring during bed rest studies,
  • Access to the facility is controlled

Mode of operation

All biomedical experiments performed in the Clinical Research Facility will have to comply with French regulations on biomedical research. The Space Clinic has obtained the necessary certificates from the Health Ministry and the approval for biomedical research on healthy volunteers:

  • Physiological and physio-pathological studies for space research (Authorization number:14027S)
  • Drug trials, biomedical hardware testing and validation, nutrition (Authorization number:14027MHC)

The main steps in the implementation of experiments are the followings:

  • Preparation of the protocol, submission to the Ethics Committee, approval by the Health authorities, contractual implementation,
  • Preparation of the facility and of the experimental devices, planning,
  • Selection of the subjects,
  • Experimentation
  • Data analysis and reports.

On the average, from 6 months to 1 year should be planned between the experiment proposal and its implementation. MEDES could provide support as required, for the implementation of the experiments, in compliance with all regulations on biomedical research.


MEDES – Institut de Médecine et de Physiologie Spatiales
Clinique Spatiale
CHU de Rangueil –BP 74404 – F-31405 TOULOUSE Cedex 4 – France

Last update: 23 January 2012

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