Diffusion Gradient Formation with a Novel Chemotaxis Device for Potential Research with Metastatic Cancer Treatment

Jessica Le, Michael Taylor, Lauren Tigani
Advisor: Dr. Otto Wilson, Dr. Christopher Raub

 

To combat the devastating effects of metastasis, this research focused on developing a chemotaxis device that can be used to visualize the movement of cancer cells in an effort to advance the treatment of metastatic cancer. Previous chemotaxis devices do not offer a method for obtaining real-time qualitative differences in the methods of cell migration exhibited. Specifically, no devices offer a method for evaluating both individual and multicellular-migratory pathways - a novel feature of this device. Previous proof of concept testing has shown the device capable of developing the gradient necessary for further research with cancer cells. Additionally, by introducing varying time points and independent distances into diffusion and convection-diffusion equations, a family of graphs was created to understand the device’s diffusion behavior. Due to the aforementioned success of the device, future research with cancer cells is expected to offer data regarding cell migration pathways as well as cancer treatment strategies.

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Icarus Bone Saw Attachment: Enabling Surgical Bone Saws to Distinguish Between Bone and Soft Tissues

Claire Sturek, Mario Echevarria, Christian Obuchowski
Advisor: Dr. Otto Wilson, Dr. Christopher Raub

 

Patients born with congenital heart defects often require multiple reconstructive surgeries. In secondary reconstructions, surgeons must navigate around calcified scar tissues and breastbone-tissue adhesions. This increases the duration of surgeries, the risk of hemorrhage, and the incidence of surgical bypass. The present study aims to create an attachment that enables current bone saws to distinguish between tissues and minimize unintentional damage. The device first measures optical intensities of reflected red (670 nm) and green (530 nm) light with photodiodes. The photodiodes create a voltage ratio which is used as a threshold. Arduino integrates this information and activates a spring-motor mechanism that stops the motion of the saw when the threshold is surpassed. Feasibility testing was performed on deer and cattle carcasses. Ergonomics were optimized by minimizing size and removing need for power chords. Further performance testing in animal studies at Children’s National Hospital was planned but cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Wristband Camera for Tracking Thumb Movement

Khaled Almutairi, Fahad Alhuthaifi, Khue Phan, Van Lam
Advisor: Dr. Peter Lum

 

The carpometacarpal (CMC) joint controls flexion, extension, abduction, adduction and rotation of thumb. As cell phone use is increasing, there are numerous reports that highlight thumb related problems such as thumb arthritis and inflammation of the CMC joint. Our device is a small camera that is put in a case and mounted on a tennis wristband which can record the movement of the CMC Joint for at least thirty minutes per day without affecting daily life activities. We will perform an experiment using 2 healthy individuals to compare thumb use during a period of studying activities under two conditions. In one condition, the individuals will have access to their cell phones and use them normally. In the control condition, their cell phones will not be available. We will perform a statistical test to compare the number of thumb movements between the two conditions in order to determine how cell phone use contributes to repetitive based thumb injuries.

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Golf Assistive Device for Hand Transplants

Caroline O’Connor, Kaelin Martin, Ayda Rajab
Advisor: Dr. Gregory Behrmann, Dr. Peter Lum, Dr. Barbra Springer, and Nicole Larsen

 

Our group was tasked to design a golf assistive device that allows the user to be able to play golf with minimal to no functionality of their arms and hands. The device is comfortable, detachable and prevents wobble during swing.  Our goal is to create a novel prototype that allows the user to play golf, to gain more control while playing, and also to make the device non-obtrusive.  The prototype is comprised of a thermoplastic polyurethane tube, with standard golf grip pattern moldings, and two extra-large golf gloves.  The grip and the gloves have Neodymium 52 magnets that attach both components together when device is in use.  A rock test was conducted to test magnetic strength, and the stress rate calculated showed that all the device components will stay attached during a golf swing. Our prototype is significant and innovative because it is lightweight and not bulky, and establishes independence.

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Force and Depth Sensibility for an Automated CPR Device for Pediatric Patients

Alexander Mulyk, Reem Danish, Shouq Aldosari, Malak Alharbi
Advisor: Dr. Christopher Raub

 

During a coronary bypass surgery a portion of the circulatory system is bypassed by rerouting the blood into a heart-lung machine to oxygenate and circulate the blood. Currently there are no commercial CPR machines for children which monitor the depth of compression and the force applied to the patient. The goal of this project is to develop systems that have the ability to measure the force and depth of compressions generated by a pre-existing automated CPR device developed at Children’s National Hospital. The design consists of the Intel Real Sense Depth Camera D435 to accurately measure the depth of compressions for a wide range of patients. The second component of the design is an Arduino 3D printed strain gauge force sensor (up to 20 kg). Both systems are designed to output all of their recorded measurements into a graphical display. Each of the devices will be integrated into their current gantry and are designed to work smoothly with their existing system.

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Quantitative Microscope to Detect Nanostructural Alignment using Polarized Microscopy

Alejandro Ros, Adam Connway
Advisor: Dr. Christopher Raub

 

The purpose of our design project was to design microscope parts in order to create improved quantitative nanostructural maps of birefringent tissue under a polarized-light microscope. Optical properties related to birefringence, diattenuation and retardance can help researchers map quantitative nanostructural components of tissue samples under a microscope. The polarization characteristics of a sample are characterized by its Mueller matrix. The Mueller matrix is a 4x4 matrix that transforms incident Stokes vectors into existing Stokes vectors with each element seen as a coupling between corresponding vector elements. By calculating the Mueller matrices of each sample we will be able to collect polarization properties that portray structural information about the sample. The polarization properties will be measured using two quarter wave plates, two depolarizing lenses, and a green filter to direct the incident light at certain angles in order to calibrate the polarization components. This system will allow researchers will be able to determine the polarization properties of tissue samples in order to gather nanostructural information.

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Wearable Magnetoresistive Sensor Device to Monitor Contractility of Infant’s Heart Post Heart Surgery

Daniel Ennis, Sabrina Scott, Yousef Sindi
Advisor: Dr. Christopher Raub and Dr. Can Yerebakan

 

A majority of infants suffering with congenital heart defects (CHDs) will require open heart surgery. Our efforts focus on developing a device that would accurately monitor heart contractility at home during the recovery period. We aim to accomplish this through the use of a small magneto resistive sensor and a ring magnet. The sensor will be worn on the chest of the patient, and the small ring magnet is sutured to a heart chamber (the aorta). The contractility of the infant’s heart is monitored through the detection of changes in magnetic field strength between the sensor and the magnet when the magnet. Advanced 3D printing software and materials will provide us with the chance to collect new, more realistic data that can grant insight into how this idea may become a reality that can save hundreds of lives. Benchtop tests with an artificial heart and pumps to collect critical data for accurately monitoring device performance will be conducted in the future.

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