Alan R. Hargens
Professor, Orthopaedic Surgery
Ph.D., UC San Diego
Dr Hargens' research focuses on compartment syndrome pathophysiology, microcirculatory nutrition, and gravity effects on the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems of humans and animals. His lab investigates back pack loads and their effects on children’s spines and shoulders. The lab has also developed exercise devices to maintain astronaut health and performance in microgravity. This research is translated to aid post-surgical treatment and rehabilitation of orthopaedic patients and to improve performance of athletes. In addition to his research on gravitational stress, Dr. Hargens measures tissue fluid and osmotic pressures, including those in giraffes to understand how they prevent dependent edema, those in skeletal muscle to diagnose compartment syndromes, and those in intervertebral discs to help understand low back pain. Upcoming space studies include a Space Shuttle experiment to investigate morphological, biochemical and biomechanical adaptations of discs in mice to short-term microgravity and similar studies on a long-duration Russian Bion satellite. Newly funded research includes investigations of risks to crew members’ spines and vision after 6 months on the International Space Station.
BMS Focus Areas:
1: Mateus J, Hargens AR. Photoplethysmography for non-invasive in vivo
measurement of bone hemodynamics. Physiol Meas. 2012 Jun;33(6):1027-42. Epub 2012
May 4. PubMed PMID: 22562998.
2: Macias BR, D'Lima DD, Cutuk A, Patil S, Steklov N, Neuschwander TB, Meuche S,
Colwell CW, Hargens AR. Leg intramuscular pressures and in vivo knee forces
during lower body positive and negative pressure treadmill exercise. J Appl
Physiol. 2012 Jul;113(1):31-8. Epub 2012 Apr 26. PubMed PMID: 22539171.
3: Wilson MH, Imray CH, Hargens AR. The headache of high altitude and
microgravity--similarities with clinical syndromes of cerebral venous
hypertension. High Alt Med Biol. 2011 Winter;12(4):379-86. Epub 2011 Nov 16.
PubMed PMID: 22087727.
4: Rosales-Velderrain A, Cardno M, Mateus J, Kumar R, Schlabs T, Hargens AR. Toe
blood pressure and leg muscle oxygenation with body posture. Aviat Space Environ
Med. 2011 May;82(5):531-4. PubMed PMID: 21614867.
5: Ruckstuhl H, Schlabs T, Rosales-Velderrain A, Hargens AR. Oxygen consumption
during walking and running under fractional weight bearing conditions. Aviat
Space Environ Med. 2010 Jun;81(6):550-4. PubMed PMID: 20540445.
6: Neuschwander TB, Cutrone J, Macias BR, Cutrone S, Murthy G, Chambers H,
Hargens AR. The effect of backpacks on the lumbar spine in children: a standing
magnetic resonance imaging study. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2010 Jan 1;35(1):83-8.
PubMed PMID: 20023607.