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Engineering student and professor may have found a way to prevent
Contributor to The Shorthorn
It started when
the carbon dioxide tanks were delivered late to the lab.
The Shorthorn: Robert Rodriguez
electrical engineering graduate student, is developing a device that may
help prevent SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome.
when Hung Cao, electrical engineering graduate student, decided to test
carbon dioxide sensors by exhaling on them instead of using the
In June 2006, he and colleagues from the university’s
Automation and Robotics Research Institute were researching medical
applications for the gas sensors they were using. Cao discovered the
carbon dioxide sensors could detect exhaled air from about 19 inches
Jung-Chih Chiao, electrical engineering associate professor,
heads their research and discussed with Cao using the sensors to prevent
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, but they hadn’t figured out the practical
details, Chiao said.
When Cao’s son, Sean, was born in July, he had
an idea while watching nurses tend to the babies in the hospital
“Other monitoring devices are invasive,” he said. “We
wanted to do something that wouldn’t have to be attached to the
Cao mounted carbon dioxide sensors on the sides of the crib
instead. The sensors monitor the baby’s breathing, and if the baby stops
exhaling the normal amount of carbon dioxide, the sensor triggers an
Experts recommend that babies be placed on their backs when
sleeping to prevent SIDS. However, Cao and his colleagues realized that
the crib sensors wouldn’t be effective if the baby lays on its
While watching his son stare at a mobile hanging over his
crib, Cao realized they could put the sensor in a crib
Chiao and Cao will be testing the device with the School of
Nursing in the university’s Smart Hospital, a simulated hospital
environment. Chiao said they want to do further testing to make sure the
device performs accurately.
Officials at the Smart Hospital could
not be reached by press time.
Chiao said that when testing is done
in the simulated environment, they will begin testing at UT Southwestern
Medical Center in Dallas. He expects all of the testing to take about five
Cao and Chiao, who have patented the device, will meet with
a company next week about commercially producing it, but they aren’t
focused on making a profit.
“If we can save one baby, it will be
worth it,” Chiao said.
Astronaut!: 11 a.m., 7
p.m., Planetarium, Chemistry and Physics Building. The latest immersive
full-dome planetarium show. Experience a rocket launch from inside an
astronaut’s body and explore inner and outer space. Admission is $5 for
adults; $4 for seniors and children; $3 for faculty, staff and alumni; and
$2 for students. For information, contact Tammara Webber at 817-272-1185
, or go to thier website
Archaeology — Major Digs: noon, 311 UTA Blvd. Material written by Dr.
James Fleming, director of the Biblical Resource Center in Jerusalem, will
be used for the study and supplemented with material from Biblical
Archeology Magazine. Free admission and food. Bring a Bible and pen.
Hosted by the Wesley Foundation. For information, contact Kent Seuser at
817-274-6282 or firstname.lastname@example.org
. Also June 21