Media Materials for Bone Densitometer launch| 09.10.14
GREENVILLE, Ind. (June 4, 2014) – Techshot Inc. has developed the first X-ray system for the International Space Station (ISS). Known as the Bone Densitometer, the device is expected to launch to the station aboard a commercial SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft in summer 2014, where it will be used by astronauts to study bone loss in mice.
“NASA is our oldest customer,” said Techshot Executive Vice President and COO John Vellinger. “For more than 25 years, the agency has counted on us to develop tools it uses to conduct research in space. Nothing like the Bone Densitometer has ever flown before, and we deeply appreciate the trust that’s been placed in us.”
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration awarded Techshot a contract in fall 2012 to design and build the Bone Densitometer as part of an effort to increase research aboard the station that uses rodents. Many of the conditions of spaceflight that adversely affect astronauts, such as the loss of bone density, can be studied effectively using mice flown in space. As a result, researchers also hope to develop medical technology that will combat bone density loss on Earth, helping millions of seniors who suffer from osteoporosis.
Approximately the size of a consumer microwave oven, the device employs a technology called Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA). Scientists can determine the density of a bone by how well two X-ray beams with different energy levels are absorbed by it. It also can determine soft-tissue density, lean/fat ratio and total animal mass (i.e., weighing mice in space). Techshot’s DEXA scanner is based on a commercially-available product commonly used by research laboratories on Earth.
Astronauts can lose between one and two percent of their total bone mass for every consecutive month spent living in space. Crew members who might spend six to nine months traveling to Mars, for example, are at a higher risk of experiencing a life-threatening or mission-compromising fracture once they land and surface operations begin.
“Along with muscle atrophy and radiation exposure, bone loss is one of the tall poles in the tent effecting crew health on long duration missions,” said Techshot Chief Scientist Eugene Boland, Ph.D. “It’s one of the key problems we must solve before we can confidently plan for the exploration of other planets by humans.”
Based on bone scans taken pre and post-flight, NASA-funded researchers have developed exercise regimens and pharmaceutical countermeasures that are having a positive impact on astronaut bone loss during typical six-month stays aboard the station. But because no scans of people or animals have been completed during a mission, what’s less understood is when the application of a given countermeasure would be most effective. The Techshot Bone Densitometer is expected to be an essential tool in providing that missing information.
The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), a non-profit organization, also provided funding for the device’s development in 2012 – awarding Techshot a contract to begin design work prior to the start of the NASA contract. In 2005 Congress designated the U.S. research facilities aboard the station a National Laboratory. In 2011 CASIS was selected by NASA to manage and broker research in the ISS-National Laboratory, intent on developing research projects capable of improving life on Earth.
Because the effects of long-term spaceflight can mimic the effects of aging, CASIS expects pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to increase their participation in space-based research with rodents following the launch of the Bone Densitometer.
“The Bone Densitometer developed by Techshot represents a huge win for potential users of the ISS,” said CASIS Chief Operating Officer Duane Ratliff. “Through rodent research, the potential exists to better understand items of critical importance to us on the ground, including muscle wasting, osteoporosis and other disease models. This piece of hardware will be critical to the research needed to develop potential breakthroughs capable of improving life on Earth.”
“It’s gratifying to know that research using our device could one day lead to treatments that help a grandmother confidently stride to her mailbox and perhaps her astronaut granddaughter take one small step onto the surface of another world,” added Vellinger.
Founded in 1988, Techshot is a technology development company. It serves the aerospace, defense, medical device and consumer products industries. Besides NASA, its customers include the U.S. Department of Defense, Prosolia, and Procter & Gamble.
B-roll video: http://youtu.be/8lR_jztRWKA
Click on the photo above for video of the first test of the Techshot High Pressure Specimen Chamber (HPSC) with a deep sea submersible at Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory in Honolulu. The HPSC is designed to retrieve animals from as deep as 2,000 meters (6,280 feet) under the sea and safely bring them to the surface, while maintaining conditions that sustain life and maximize research laboratory data gathering.
Techshot Chief Scientist Dr. Eugene Boland's remarkable work in wound healing with stem cells and extracellular matrices is discussed in the September 14 issue of New Scientist magazine. Click to read the article.
Tim Stamp has been hired by Techshot Inc. to serve as a product assurance engineer.
A native of Detroit, Stamp served in the U.S. Army Reserves and was deployed to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He earned an associate's degree in applied science from Ivy Tech Community College and a bachelor's degree in technical management from Western Kentucky University. Prior to joining Techshot, he served as a technician with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Louisville, Ky.
Founded in 1988, Techshot is a technology development company. It serves the consumer products, medical device, aerospace, and defense industries. Its customers include NASA, the U.S. Department of Defense, FAST Biomedical, NicView, Procter & Gamble, and Prosalia.
This week, Techshot completed and shipped its first prototype High Pressure Specimen Chamber (HPSC) for ocean research. The device is designed to retrieve animals from as deep as 2,000 meters (6,280 feet) under the sea and safely bring them to the surface, while maintaining conditions that sustain life and maximize research laboratory data gathering.
The physiology of deep sea fish and invertebrates is poorly known due to the difficult challenges of bringing up live specimens from high-pressure environments. Animals that thrive far below the surface cannot survive in the relatively low-pressures available in typical research laboratory enclosures.
This first prototype is being delivered to the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory in Honolulu for evaluation. Established by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Hawaii, its mission is to study deep water marine processes in the Pacific Ocean.
Following an exhaustive national search, Techshot has hired Eugene Boland, Ph.D., as chief scientist, replacing the retiring Paul Todd, Ph.D., who has been named chief scientist emeritus for the technology development company.
"We've looked for years for someone with Gene's credentials," said Techshot President and CEO Mark Deuser. "Our broad spectrum of customers will be well served by his unique combination of academic and professional qualifications."
Boland earned a bachelor of science degree in biomedical engineering from Marquette University in 1994 and a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2004.
For nearly 20 years, his work has focused on the development of engineering solutions for cardiovascular diseases as well as chronic wounds. His materials expertise extends from bioinert metals and ceramics to bioactive and bioresorbable electrospun polymers and proteins.
Prior to joining Techshot, Boland held senior engineering positions with companies such as St. Jude Medical Inc., Cordis (a Johnson & Johnson Co.) and Cryolife. More recently he served as principal scientist at Tissue Genesis Inc. and chief of regenerative medicine at the University of Louisville's Cardiovascular Innovation Institute.
Combining his past expertise in materials with his current research utilizing adipose-derived microvascular and adult stem cells (ADSCs), Boland has developed an epicardial heart patch for micro-coronary artery vascular grafts, as well as initiated clinical trials to advance the therapeutic use of ADSCs for peripheral and coronary vascular diseases.
He has also co-developed ADSC-specific digestion solutions for clinical and research applications, as well as developed applications and delivery systems for ADSCs in regenerative medicine and wound healing. He has published 15 articles in peer-reviewed journals and written five book chapters and holds two U.S. patents.
Techshot hires electrical engineer | 5.14.13
Techshot has hired Nathan Armentrout to serve as an electrical engineer. Armentrout expects to be working nearly exclusively on a project called MVP (Multi-specimen Variable-gravity Platform) which will be used in space to study the effects of gravity on a wide variety of sample types.
Armentrout earned his master's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Louisville (UofL) and is expected to complete the requirements for a bachelor of science degree in computer engineering & computer science this summer. During his time at UofL Armentrout participated in their rocket team serving as its electronics captain.
Armentrout is also an active member of LVL1 Makerspace (LVL1.org), an organization which promotes engineering education and entrepreneurship in the Louisville area.
Techshot Inc. has hired Frank Stewart, former captain of the nuclear-powered submarine USS Louisville, to serve as the company's director of business development for the defense industry.
A native of Plattsburgh, N.Y., Stewart retired from the United States Navy in 1998 following a 27 year career. Besides helming three submarines, he also served at the Pentagon under the deputy chief of naval operations for submarine warfare, where he worked extensively with defense contractors.
"I have an appreciation for what it is that can best position Techshot with our military customers," said Stewart. "I know how to make their job easier."
"Frank is an accomplished leader, and I'm delighted that he's joined us," said Techshot President and CEO Mark Deuser. "With his help, we can be more effective at earning contracts to develop new technologies for tomorrow's warfighter."
For more than 40 years, Stewart has served discriminating customers wearing uniforms of all stripes, including pin stripes. Before joining Techshot, Stewart was the general manager of wood bat production at the Hillerich and Bradsby Company's Louisville Slugger division, where he was responsible for the production of bats used by players on every Major League Baseball team.
Techshot has hired Angela Kress as a corporate administrative assistant. She will be assisting with human resources and business development tasks. She previously served in a similar role at Vitronic Machine Vision. Kress earned a master's degree in social work from the University of Louisville.
New Techshot Inc. employee Michael Dobrick has been hired to serve as a mechanical engineering technologist. Dobrick expects to be working on a bone densitometer that will be used on the International Space Station. Prior to Techshot, he worked as a product developer at Rev-A-Shelf.
Dobrick attends the Purdue College of Technology in New Albany where he is pursuing a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering technology. Following graduation, Dobrick expects to pursue his professional engineer's license.
Our customer NicView is improving people's lives everyday with their cameras placed in NICU's (Neonatal Intensive Care Units) across the U.S., where infants sometimes have to stay for days, weeks, or even months.
With a small NicView camera focused on their newborn, families can bond with their child 24 hours-a-day through a secure live video feed viewable over the internet (even on mobile devices).
Techshot developed a custom power supply for the video camera, improved data cabling and connections, and helped develop a component of the mounting bracket that safely suspends each camera over a crib.
For more information about NicView visit www.nicview.net.
NicView Chief Technology Officer Dominic Foster, left, inspects a prototype of an improved camera mounting arm with Techshot Project Manager Nathan Thomas.
Brad Luyster has been hired by Techshot Inc. to serve as an electrical/software engineer. Prior to joining the company, he worked in new product development for Honeywell International Inc.
At Techshot, Luyster will be working on a key research device destined for the International Space Station. He also is expected to help develop a system for extracting stem cells from adult fat tissue, under a contract with the U.S. Army.
Luyster earned his master's degree in engineering from the University of Louisville. He currently serves as president of LVL1 Makerspace (LVL1.org), an organization which promotes engineering education and entrepreneurship in the Louisville area.
Techshot has hired Chris Scherzer as a mechanical engineer. Prior to joining the company, he served as a research engineer in the Rapid Prototyping Center at the University of Louisville.
Scherzer will serve with a team of Techshot engineers developing a hand-held flow cytometer, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). He also will assist with the development of a device used to collect stem cells from adult fat tissue, under a contract with the U.S. Army.
Scherzer earned a master's degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Louisville and completed an internship at NASA's Glenn Research Center, where he conducted research on monolithic aerogels. He also is a former sergeant in the Army; serving five years as an armor crewman.
New Techshot Employee John Simpson | 3.28.13
New Techshot employee John Simpson from Owensboro, Ky. is utilizing his past and his education from the University of Louisville (UofL) to work on new projects for NASA. Simpson was following graduation from UofL with a master's degree in mechanical engineering. While attending UofL, Simpson was involved in different organizations and groups including a group called LVL1 or Louisville hackers (LVL1.org). This group included engineering students that could come to an open workshop and work together toward projects. This is also where Simpson found out about the job opening at Techshot.
Also, while attending UofL as a senior, Simpson worked on a rocket team called University Student Launch Initiative for a NASA competition. This team built a 50 pound rocket that won the team a Rookie of the Year award and 5th Place overall.
Since Simpson has been at Techshot, he has been working on a slew of projects for the International Space Station. One project called MVP (Multi-specimen Variable-gravity Platform) will be used to study the effects of gravity on a wide variety of sample types. Another project that he has been working on lately is a bone densitometer that will be used on mice to x-ray their bones and their density while on the space station. This project could lead to creating new medicine that can help with bone loss while in space and eventually for bone loss like osteoporosis on earth.
Techshot Inc. has hired a new intern fresh from Indiana University Southeast (IUS) in New Albany this week. Casey Bruce, who graduated last December with a bachelor of arts in speech communication, is going to take what she has learned to make more people aware of the exciting things happening at the company.
During her internship at Techshot, Bruce will be designing and maintaining websites and social media sites, writing and distributing press releases and other materials, conducting research, and assisting with media and government relations. As a student at IUS, Bruce had extensive experience with social media consulting and research.
For nearly 25 years, the successful marriage of engineering and science at Techshot has resulted in myriad first-of-their-kind products and technologies. From medical devices and consumer products, to military equipment and research tools for the International Space Station, the work of our hands-on staff is impacting the world from our headquarters in Greenville, Indiana.
Besides possessing excellent technical skills, our employees must enjoy working closely with other passionate professionals in dynamic small groups. We all do whatever it takes to help one another succeed. Working here is not a job. It's a way of life. It's an attitude. It's an opportunity to dream big, work hard and create things that will amaze your friends.
If being part of our team sounds good to you, and you have an exceptional background in engineering and/or product assurance, then you may be in luck. We have openings for an electrical, mechanical, software and product assurance engineer. Check out the following job descriptions and contact us if you think we just can't go on without you.