April 28, 2008

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LEWISBURG, Pa. — Biomedical engineering students at Bucknell University will present senior design projects in a public exposition on Tuesday, April 29, from noon to 2:30 p.m. in Room 117 of the Dana Engineering Building.

The students will be joined by mentors from the Geisinger Medical Center at the expo, said Dan Cavanagh, associate professor of biomedical and chemical engineering and chair of the biomedical engineering department.

"The two institutions have worked hard together to bring these projects to these exciting end points," Cavanagh said. "While the functioning device prototypes demonstrate the great efforts of the students, the input from the external mentors was critical to the identification of the relevant medical challenges and the development of the novel solutions."

Senior design projects and the mentoring Geisinger departments include:

Design Improvement of Catheterization Lab Radiation Shielding
Interventional Cardiology, Geisinger Medical Center
Due to its minimally invasive nature, interventional cardiology is often the best approach for diagnostic procedures. To determine the health of arteries and the heart, contrast dye is injected into a blood vessel and x-ray imaging is used to monitor blood flow in real-time. This type of procedure can be very harmful to catheterization (cath) lab personnel who are exposed daily to diffracted x-radiation without proper protection. In conjunction with the Geisinger Interventional Cardiology department, the design team has developed an improvement for cath lab radiation shielding to mitigate risks to lab personnel.

Overhead Phototherapy Lights for Jaundice Treatment in an Isolette
Neonatal Intensive Care, Geisinger Medical Center
Jaundice is caused by excess bilirubin in the bloodstream that cannot be cleared by an infant's underdeveloped liver, and affects up to 25 percent of infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Infants who require the most careful attention are placed in isolettes to reduce environmental light and noise while maintaining a constant environment; however, the common jaundice treatment of phototherapy loses effectiveness when used on infants in isolettes. Working with the Geisinger NICU, the design team has developed a new phototherapy device specifically for use in an isolette, increasing the effectiveness for the most at-risk patients.

A New Device for Increased Drug Reconstitution Efficiency
Specialty Pharmacy, Geisinger Medical Center
The specialty pharmacy industry relies heavily on several devices for reconstituting drugs from a powdered form to a liquid form for intravenous injection. However, the accumulation of waste drug during this process is a persistent problem, both increasing costs and affecting the dosage for drug delivery. Working with Geisinger's specialty pharmacy division, the design team has developed a new device for increased effectiveness in the drug reconstitution process. With less wasted drug, pharmaceutical costs can be lowered and drug concentrations will become more consistent for patient care.

Urology: A Force-Sensitive Apparatus for Ultrasound-Guided Needle Placement Procedures
Urology Department, Geisinger Medical Center
The development and use of image-guided technology has improved subcutaneous needle placement accuracy; however, inexperienced physicians are less accurate and less sensitive when aligning a needle using real-time ultrasound imaging. In cooperation with Geisinger's Urology Department, this team has developed an accurate and force-sensitive apparatus for determining position and sensing applied forces at a certain displacement within soft tissue. The apparatus is applicable for both training and researching purposes.

Saliva-Collecting Pacifier for DNA/RNA Collection from Infants
Weis Center for Research, Geisinger Medical Center
Point of Care (POC) diagnostics refers to simple tests that can be easily performed at local clinics or at home to diagnose medical problems. POC technology in the field of genetic testing is at an initial stage of development. The current procedure for neonatal genetic testing uses heel-pricks to draw blood, an invasive collection technique. In conjunction with the Weis Center for Research at the Geisinger Medical Center, the design team has developed a novel saliva-collecting pacifier, which offers a non-invasive way to collect nucleic acids from infants.

In a related event that same day, Bucknell biomedical engineering juniors will present the results of their computational modeling studies focused on modeling physiologically relevant fluid flows from 1 to 2 p.m. in the Dana Lobby. These projects represent semester-long efforts by the students to apply finite element modeling skills in investigating relevant medical fluid flows including flows past aneurysms, through heart valves and in external devices.

Bucknell's first biomedical engineering class, which integrates physiology and biology with the traditional engineering disciplines, graduated last year. Bucknell's academic program focuses on biotransport, which includes drug delivery, blood flow, and medical devices while also providing students with intense hands-on exposure to areas such as bioinstrumentation and the life sciences.

Contact: Division of Communications

Posted April 28, 2008