Texas MRC Research Projects

 

We propose to develop a fully automated blood infusion pump equipped with peripherals for monitoring the critical signs and parameters for the fetal blood transfusion operation. The proposed system is called the Computerized Infusion and Monitoring System for Fetal Blood Transfusion, or Computerized Fetal Transfusion System (CFTS) for short. It is to facilitate the blood transfusion operations with high precision and reliability under full control of the surgeon. Intrauterine fetal blood transfusion for Rh disease (Rhesus isoimmunisation) is a lifesaving operation which becomes necessary when Rh-sensitized mother’s immune system attacks and destroys fetal red blood cells endangering the life of the fetus during pregnancy. The fetal blood transfusion through the umbilical vein in the placenta is a delicate operation providing blood to fetus directly with fast positive results. Such operation may need to be repeated multiple times during a pregnancy.

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We propose to build and test an imaging instrument prototype that uses near‐infrared light to map changes in blood oxygenation on the surface of the brain after traumatic brain injury (TBI) has occurred. This instrument will address the immediate clinical need for a non‐invasive technology capable of alerting the attending clinical staff when a rising intracranial fluid pressure event has occurred after TBI. These events can occur rapidly and unexpectedly at anytime up to a few days post‐trauma. The rising pressure events result in the collapse of blood vessels supplying oxygen to the brain, which often leads to permanent brain damage or death. The current standard of care is a very invasive procedure that involves placing a pressure transducer through a catheter inside the brain, which is very traumatic and has been shown to result in increased morbidity. (more…)

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Mental health is one of the major health issues costing more than $57B annually. Depressive disorder is a major disease of psychiatric disorders. For those patients who failed current behavioral and pharmacological treatment, one option is the deep brain stimulation. The objective of this proposal is to develop an implantable wireless close-loop feedback system that enables the detection of neural signals in the targeted brain site(s) and use these neural signals to trigger electrical stimulation for depression management. Electrical stimulation of neural substrates will increase the set of neurotransmitters (serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine) that are determinants for mood. The final goal of the project is to design an implantable system that can be used for clinical treatment of depression. (more…)

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Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers; it accounts for nearly 40% of all cancer cases, and its incidence is increasing. Suspicious skin lesions are often biopsied, a procedure that is unpleasant for the patient and slow to yield diagnostic results. In addition, the rate of unnecessary biopsies is as high as 50% or higher, causing needless mental stress and health care burden. Thus, there is an urgent need to develop a fast, accurate, and noninvasive detection method to minimize unnecessary biopsies as well as to improve false negatives that are missed by dermatologists. The hypothesis for this study is that a portable, high spatial resolution, hyper-spectral imaging system (HSIS) can be implemented, validated and translated to clinics for fast and accurate detection of skin cancer, possibly as an electronic second opinion. (more…)

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One in three older adults fall each year causing serious, life threatening injuries, increasing caregiver burden, and health care costs. The majority of research focused on understanding what causes falls in older adults considers the impact of age-related visual, motor and cognitive impairments. Recent studies have shown that individuals with hearing loss may be at greater risk of falls than individuals without hearing loss. Importantly, hearing loss affects more than half of adults over the age of 65 and startlingly, of those who could benefit from a hearing aid (thus potentially reducing falls), 2/3 decline or fail to seek treatment. Overall, despite the acknowledged association between hearing loss and falls, very few systematic studies have adequately defined this relationship. (more…)

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Through the support of the TexasMRC Grant, the research team has made progress towards investigating a new method for Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) monitoring that uses CO2 sensors placed in a crib around an infant to non-invasively monitor the variation in exhaled air concentration from him/her.  The goal is to detect any abnormal or irregular patterns in the infant’s breathing by monitoring the outputs of the CO2 sensors.  The output data can be used to activate an alarm or logged for diagnosis. (more…)
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