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The infrastructure

The MEDES Space Clinic opened in June 1996.

Covering an area of 1500 m², the Space Clinic is located on the site of the Rangueil hospital in Toulouse. The experimental structure can accommodate up to 14 volunteers at the same time, and offers all the biomedical equipment needed to guarantee the quality of research carried out there and the safety and welfare of the volunteers participating in the different studies.
The Space Clinic has received approval to conduct biomedical experiments on healthy volunteers from the French Ministry of Health and the French National Agency for Medicines and Health Products Safety (ANSM, formerly AFSSAPS).


The Space Clinic: a modular, controlled environment

Click on the images to enlarge them


In the MEDES Space Clinic, there are 4 main areas:

  1. An office area (white part, from 22 to 30) and the main entrance (E
  2. A multiprupose laboratory zone (dotted area: L1-L3, is 120 m 2 ) with entrance fitted for large objects (2.50m x 2.50 m)
  3. The experimental zone with highly controlled environmental conditions (red hatched area) such as: temperature (rooms controlled and monitored within 20-25 ±0.5 °C); light (natural or artificial lighting, light intensity between 0 and 500 Lux); acoustics (isolation from outside, -60 dB): rooms 1-6 are high quality chambers; rooms 7-8 are psychomotor test laboratories; rooms 9-14 & 15-16 are the logistic zone including nursery and biochemical laboratories; modular rooms 19-20 standing for 2 chambers, 2 laboratories or one bigger laboratory; room 21 is a specific laboratory where orthostatic tests (tilt test, stand test and lower body negative pressure test) or coriolis stress tests (on rotating chair ) can be performed.
  4. The basement (image on the right) houses the short-arm centrifuge, XtremeCT scanner, some offices and an experimental area that can be adapted according to the specific needs of the experiments.
  • Note that four offices on the ground floor and three in the basement are reserved for the CIC

Space Clinic configuration allows to suit several imperatives as required by the different protocols (modular zones can be equipped as rooms, laboratories or training areas).


A large pool of equipment

The clinic is well equipped to conduct a wide variety of studies: Dexa scanner, XtremeCT scanner, driving simulator, tilt table, flywheel, short-arm centrifuge, polysomnography equipment, etc.

Furthermore, the scientific teams have access to the biomedical facilities of a fully-equipped hospital (PET, SPECT, MRI, CT-scan, laboratory tests, etc.), not to mention scientific expertise and collaboration with MEDES’s various partners (CNES engineers, Toulouse hospital specialists, university scientists).

The Space Clinic provides an opportunity for a large number of scientists to work together to collect precise physiological and medical data while implementing multi-investigator protocols. And the controlled environment and secure access to the facility guarantee the confidentiality of studies and biomedical data.


Space Clinic gives the possibility to a large population of scientists to perform together accurate physiological and medical data collection during the realisation of multi-investigator protocols. Finally, the controlled environment and access to the facility allow to provide confidentiality of studies and biomedical data.


Multiple references

MEDES has conducted numerous clinical studies on such subjects as the physiological effects of physical inactivity (the effects of immobilisation during long-haul passenger flights, the effects of mechanical stress on bone turnover), the effects of medication on vigilance (while driving), sleep, pharmacokinetics, testing new medical devices (e.g. an instrument for measuring bone quality).

To find out more about some of the studies conducted at the Clinic, click here.



The MEDES-CIC partnership

Since January 2012, the Space Clinic has hosted a "Rangueil Unit" from the CIC at the Toulouse University HospitalUnité Rangueil du CIC. This strengthened partnership with the Toulouse University Hospital, along with the various studies conducted outside the space field, ensure that the skills and resources from this field are also exploited and shared for clinical research.