2016 PROJECTS

PMMA Device for Droplet-based Complete Blood Count

PI: Kelvin Gregory, Civil & Environmental Engineering, kelvin@cmu.edu
Website: http://faculty.ce.cmu.edu/gregory/

Executive Summary: Blood chemistry analysis is time and labor intensive and delays patient care. The project aims to develop an inexpensive, rapid, low volume complete blood count test. The PI developed a device to separate particles based on size using a tilted acoustic wave field in a microfluidic channel in a PMMA prism. With the PMMA prism device he demonstrated the separation of particles by size and the feasibility of separating red and white blood cells. Theory predicts that this technology can be expanded to separate cells or particles based on compressibility, density, or shape as well as size, so we will develop the PMMA prism device to rapidly separate whole blood. Sensors can be used to count separated cells as they flow past specific locations in this continuous flow device to provide a complete blood count. The project proposes to develop this technology for use with a low blood volume to enable a pointof-care CBC, and provide timely access to the diagnostic information. As a secondary goal, the same research into cell separation in this device will enable the development of a rapid blood typing test to reduce the need for O-negative blood in emergency patients with undetermined blood type.


A Novel Approach to Improve the Delivery and Reduce the Toxic Side Effects of Anticancer Nanodrugs by Treatment with Intralipid

PI: Chien Ho, Ph.D., Department of Biological Sciences, chienho@andrew.cmu.edu
Website: http://www.cmu.edu/bio/faculty/ho.html

Executive Summary: Nanotechnology-based drug delivery systems can specifically target tumors, providing new therapeutic approaches to cancer. A major challenge for translating nanodrugs to clinical applications is their rapid clearance by the reticuloendothelial system (RES), thus reducing their efficacy and increasing their toxic side effects. In preliminary studies, Dr. Ho and his team have found that, in rats, treatment with Intralipid, an FDA approved nutritional supplement, can reduce RES uptake ~50% and increase blood half-life ~3-fold of nanoparticles. The purpose of this project is to optimize the conditions for the use of Intralipid to improve the delivery and reduce the side effects of anticancer nanodrugs. Intralipid has been used for over 40 years as a safe source of parenteral nutrition for patients, so would readily translate to clinical use. The outcome of this study has the potential to decrease the toxic side effects of anticancer drugs, and therefore to reduce human suffering. Also, increasing efficacy could lead to reduction of the dosage of these expensive drugs: the average cost per dose is US$4,000-6,000. Thus, Dr. Ho’s work for the use of Intralipid with nanodrugs can also lead to reduction of healthcare costs. These findings are an example that an “old drug” can have new applications.


Raspberry-Derived Therapeutic for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

PI: Kathryn Whitehead, Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering, kawhite@cmu.edu
Website: http://whitehead.cheme.cmu.edu/

Executive Summary: The goal of this research is use bioactive raspberry extract, which is uniquely able to reduce GI permeability, to develop an inexpensive IBD therapeutic that lacks the side effects of conventional drugs. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic, debilitating autoimmune disease of the gastrointestinal tract with no cure. Together, the two main variants of IBD (Crohn’s™s disease and ulcerative colitis) affect 1.6 million Americans, with 70,000 new cases reported each year. Therapeutic options are limited, and the most effective of these (e.g. anti-TNF alpha antibodies) are prone to side effects and loss of efficacy. There is an urgent need for new therapies that efficiently disrupt the IBD inflammatory cycle, facilitating swifter healing and longer periods of remission. In particular, a major opportunity exists to create a therapy that reduces the permeability of the intestine, which will reduce bacterial transport and inflammation. Through this work, we will determine the optimal mode of raspberry extract delivery to the colon of mice and use it to improve disease outcomes in acute and chronic mouse models of DSS-induced colitis.


Search-Assisted Early Melanoma Detection Library

PI: Mahadev Satyanarayanan, Computer Science, satya@cs.cmu.edu
Website: https://www.cs.cmu.edu/~satya/

Executive Summary: Early detection is a crucial aspect of improved melanoma survival. There is an unmet need for improved detection of early stage melanoma lesions by PCPs. The goal of this project is to create a cheap, easy to use software tool called DermShare that will assist PCPs in more accurately detecting melanoma. DermShare will be easily integrated into the regular patient care workflow of a PCP, simplifying its regular use in clinical practice. To make DermShare as low cost and widely distributable as possible, the team will strongly leverage open-source technologies. DermShare is already effective as a search tool for skin lesions.


Antibacterial Perfluorocarbon Ventilation To Increase Ventilator Free Days and Reduce Hospitalization Following Lower Respiratory Infection

PI: Keith E. Cook, PhD, Biomedical Engineering, keicook@andrew.cmu
Website: http://www.bme.cmu.edu/people/faculty1.html#Cook

Executive Summary: Improved treatments are needed for patients with lower respiratory bacterial infections and impaired respiratory function requiring mechanical ventilation. In this situation, mechanical ventilation hampers infection treatment while the infection hampers respiratory function. To overcome this, we propose using antibacterial perfluorocarbon ventilation (APV), in which the means of enhancing gas exchange is also antibacterial. During APV, the lungs are first filled with a perfluorocarbon (PFC) emulsion containing emulsified antibiotics. The PFC emulsion washes infected mucus from the lungs, enhances gas exchange, and delivers antibiotics directly to the infection. The bulk of the PFC evaporates within hours. The patient then receives nebulized PFC. This continues to enhance gas exchange while hastening extubation and transition to bilevel positive airway pressure ventilation (BiPAP). During BiPAP, we will continue to deliver nebulized PFC or PFC emulsion when antibiotic delivery is required. This technique should reduce the ICU stay, overall hospitalization, and medical costs. Our preliminary studies demonstrate that PFC emulsions provide respiratory support, mobilize respiratory mucus during a bacterial infection, and are bactericidal. We now propose to perform a clinically relevant 4-day treatment in a rabbit Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection model to examine the ability of the emulsion to treat the infection and enhance gas exchange.


Wearable Pulse Oximetry & Motion Sensing with 3D Printed Soft Electronics

PI: Carmel Majidi, Mechanical Engineering, cmajidi@andrew.cmu.edu
Adam Feinberg, Biomedical Engineering, feinberg@andrew.cmu.edu
Website: Majidi: https://www.cmu.edu/me/people/majidi.html
Feinberg: https://www.cmu.edu/engineering/materials/people/faculty/bios/feinberg.html

Executive Summary: Diabetics are at high risk for circulatory disorders that can interfere with wound healing and lead to cardiovascular diseases and neuropathies.Early detection and prevention can be dramatically improved with the aid of continuous, real-time monitoring of vitals like pulse rate and oxygenation.However, existing portable technologies for pulse oximetry are bulky and cannot be comfortably worn during sleep and daily activities. To enable 24/7 monitoring, the team will introduce a soft, lightweight pulse oximetric sensor that is custom-fitted to the foot and integrated into a compression sock with sensors for monitoring leg motion and a Bluetooth module for wireless connectivity.The sensing elements will be produced with a novel 3-D printer developed by the Regenerative Biomaterials & Therapeutics Group (PI: Feinberg) and incorporate stretchable circuit architectures pioneered by the Soft Machines Lab (PI: Majidi). Microfluidic wires or conductive fabrics will be used to connect the sensing nodes to a rigid body-mounted module that contains a microcontroller, wireless transceiver, antenna and battery.


Programmable Device for Optimal Non-Invasive Subcutaneous 2-D and 3-D Imaging

PI: Srinivas Narasimhan, Robotics Institute, srinivas@andrew.cmu.edu
Artur Dubrawski, Robotics Institute, awd@cs.cmu.edu
Website: Narasimhan: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~srinivas/
Dubrawski: http://www.autonlab.org/autonweb/10223.html

Executive Summary: Existing commercial systems for subcutaneous imaging produce poor quality images, limiting their value in medical diagnosis and patient care.In this project, a prototype of a high quality non-invasive optical imaging device is being built to capture subcutaneous structures.Researchers are utilizing adaptive optics that dynamically modulate illumination and sensing to produce images and 3-D volumes with high contrast.Algorithms have been developed that optimize the lighting and imaging dynamically for every subject based on the individual’s anatomy (tissue thickness and properties, micro-vascular structure, etc.)


Intelligent Delivery of In-Home Hospice and Palliative Healthcare

PI: Zachary B. Rubinstein, Robotics Institute, zbr@cs.cmu.edu
Stephen F. Smith, Robotics Institute, sfs@cs.cmu.edu
Website: Rubinstein: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~zbr/
Smith: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~sfs/

Executive Summary: IDSHealthcare is working to provide real-time decision-support and scheduling for the efficient delivery of in-home hospice and palliative healthcare. The system is being designed to leverage dynamic scheduling technology together with two-way communication between the healthcare providers and the patients to provide efficient, cost-effective allocation of resources to patients and empower them throughout their case process. The project team is working to implement IDSHealthcare and integrate it into the communication and user-interface infrastructure of Celtic Healthcare, and will demonstrate the system’s feasibility and benefits by conducting a pilot at Celtic Healthcare to assist in the scheduling and management of care delivery for actual patients in Southwestern Pennsylvania.


Combining External and Implantable Sensors with Machine Learning to Detect Changes in the Health Status in Patients with Systolic Heart Failure

PI: Asim Smailagic, ICES, asim@cs.cmu.edu
Website: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~./asim/

Executive Summary: Congestive heart failure is a leading cause of mortality, morbidity and hospitalization in the United States. The project team is developing and pilot testing instrumentation and data analysis software that alerts clinicians to patient decline well before the point that hospitalization is called for. The system will use external and implantable sensors to sample patient health parameters much more frequently than is possible during episodic patient-clinician encounters, and will apply modern analytics with predictive power to the resulting data streams. Clinician-facing data management and visualization interfaces will be well matched to clinical work-flow and thought processes.








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