Effect of space conditions on neuronal plasticity and connectivity

Research output: ThesisDoctoral thesis

Institutes & Expert groups

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Looking for opportunities to explore new frontiers and developing new technologies have always been in the nature of mankind. In 1957, the first rocket in space opened a new era for space traveling towards other planets. Concomitantly, a wide range of concerns related to human health risks that could occur during spaceflight was raised. Up to now, a large number of experiments has been performed to determine the biological effects of space conditions on human health, in order to develop appropriate countermeasures. However, extensive investigations still need to be performed before considering long-term spaceflight towards other planets such as Mars. In this thesis, we studied concomitant microgravity and radiation exposures as models for space conditions and developed various methods to analyse their specific and combined effects on in vitro neuronal network models. In vitro primary neuronal network cultures were established and exposed to simulated space conditions to investigate neuronal network remodelling (plasticity and connectivity) as well as genomic damage/repair dynamics. This work was performed to address questions on neuronal network disorders occurring during spaceflights and, in the future, to develop strategies against these effects.


Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • UGent - Universiteit Gent
Place of PublicationGhent, Belgium
  • UGent - Universiteit Gent
Print ISBNs978-90-5989-624-6
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2013


  • Mature neurons, neuronal network remodelling, neuronal network analysis, apoptosis, DNA damage/repair dynamics, space conditions, microgravity, ionizing radiation.

ID: 342757