Texas MRC Research Projects

 

The breadth of treatments involving electrical stimulation of neural tissue is expanding.  However, major issues remain unresolved in terms of the selectivity and safety of neural electrodes, particularly as most clinical application demand chronic recording/stimulation.  We have demonstrated that peripheral nerves could be interfaced by enticing them to grow in close proximity to electrodes placed in a tridimensional open regenerative multielectrode interface, and that coating commercial electrodes with carbon nanotubes (CNTs) can dramatically enhance the electrical properties of the interface.

Principal Investigator:

Mario Romero-Ortega, Ph.D. UTA
Associate Professor-Bioengineering
mromero@uta.edu // (817) 272-5018 // Biography (more…)

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The purpose of this project is to develop and market a glass-based Neuro-Sensor as a high throughput drug discovery tool. This transparent device directs the growth of nerve cell projections (i.e., axons or dendrites) through mesa-scale microfluidic channels. Electrical impedance sensors through microelectrodes will be incorporated into the device to monitor and quantify the biological response of axon growth when neurons are exposed to a variety of chemicals.  The Neuro-Sensor here proposed has many dramatic advantages over traditional assays such as simple operation, rapid detection, long-term stability of chemically inert substrates, low cost, and high sensitivity. The product will not only be applicable to nerve regeneration research, but also to many micro-level cellular experimental applications including cell migration, wound healing and blood flow.

Principal Investigator:

Richard Billo, Ph.D., UTA
Professor-College of Engineering, Associate Dean of Engineering for Research-College of Engineering
richard.billo@uta.edu // (817) 272-2708 // Biography (more…)

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Approximately one in four epilepsy patients suffer with seizures that cannot be controlled through medication or surgery. In addition to the direct effects of these seizures, their seeming unpredictability causes further loss in quality of life and increased health risk for these patients. The transition from inter-ictal to ictal state is not an abrupt transition. Rather, the pre-ictal state (a timeframe just prior to seizure onset) can last minutes to hours. Further, a number of physiological changes may be observed during this period, although the types and intensities of those changes vary from patient to patient and from one type of seizure to another.

Our proposal is to monitor multiple extra-cranial physiological changes that are known to occur during the pre-ictal period of some seizures. Our twin goals will be to:

(a) Find a set of metrics per patient that provide a clear indication that a seizure is imminent in time to warn the patient/caregiver, and

(b) Use metrics that can be monitored in a non-stigmatizing way.

Achieving these goals will require the use of machine learning (classification) to build a personalized pre-ictal footprint for each patient, and selection of metrics that can be monitored in a non-stigmatizing way. We plan to use sensors mounted on a wristband to achieve this second goal.

Principal Investigator:

Mehrdad Nourani, Ph.D UTD
Associate Professor-Electrical Engineering
Mehrdad.Nourani@utdallas.edu // (972) 883-4391 // Biography (more…)

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Existing blood pressure measurement techniques requiring catheterization are not suitable for wearable applications and continuous monitoring. Cuff-based solutions, on the other hand, are uncomfortable and are only suitable for occasional monitoring. Monitoring blood pressure for individuals with hypertension, the elderly in home-care/assisted-living units, or people who are recovering at home following medical treatment requires a simple, inexpensive, non-invasive and comfortable device. The aim of this project is to develop a non-invasive wearable blood pressure monitoring device using pulse transit time (PTT).

Principal Investigator:

Roozbeh Jafari, Ph.D UTD
Electrical Engineering Department
rjafari@utdallas.edu // 972-883-6509 // Biography (more…)

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The aim of this project is to develop a novel therapeutic device for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), a disease that is currently extremely difficult to treat, the 5-year survival rate being 17%. We endeavor to markedly improve therapy by preparing a nano-vehicle with the benefit of enhanced tumor uptake and targeting.

Principal Investigator:

Anthony J. Di Pasqua, PhD UNTHSC
Assistant Professor – Pharmaceutical Science
Anthony.DiPasqua@unthsc.edu  // Biography (more…)

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Currently, there is no means to determine if chemotherapy drugs will be effective inside a cancer patient’s body before they are applied.  Also, given that most of the chemotherapy drugs are toxic, the therapy may not be effective to stop migration of cancer cells while patients suffer painfully from the toxicity of drugs.   Our microfluidic platform will be used as a rapid screening assay for anti-metastasis drugs using patient’s own serum in order to identify potential agents with inhibitory effects to stop cell migration in vitro. The molecular targets will be applied in the assay to find the optimal combination of drugs to not only stop the proliferation of cancer cells but also to inhibit the cells from migration. The outcome can determine the effectiveness of chemotherapeutic drugs for each individual patient, thereby leading to a better patient-specific chemotherapy.

Principal Investigator:

J.-C. Chiao, Ph.D., UTA
Professor-Electrical Engineering, Adj. Associate Professor-Internal Medicine
jcchiao@uta.edu  // 817-272-1337 // Biography (more…)

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