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Biomedical Technologies

Current Biomedical Technology Research

 

REHAB Glove:

Restoring hand function is vital to improve basic activities of daily living after hand trauma or neurological impairment. Motion therapies are widely used in post-surgical and post-stroke rehabilitation. These therapies reduce joint stiffness, restore range-of-motion and improve strength. The Rehab Glove is a portable, feedback controlled, and programmable hand rehabilitation unit built as a pneumatically actuated soft-robotic system which will assist with finger flexion/extension and implement prescribed therapeutic schemes.

Collaborators: Dr. Rita Patterson, Dr. Nicoleta Bugnarui and Dr. Timothy Niacaris (MD) at UNTHSC.

Funding Agency: Texas Medical Research Consortium, NSF

Automated Seat Cushion for Pressure Ulcer Prevention using Real-time Mapping, Offloading, and Redistribution of Interface Pressure

Pressure Ulcers are a serious and life-long complication for patients with impaired mobility and/or sensation. External pressure and shear induced ischemia and tissue deformation are postulated to be the primary contributing factors of pressure ulcer formation. A fully automated seat cushion with real-time pressure mapping coupled with selective pressure offloading and dynamic redistribution is being developed to reduce the magnitude and duration of applied external forces on tissues for pressure ulcer prevention.

Collaborators: Dr. Rory Cooper at the University of Pittsburgh

Funding Agency: DOD

Smart Sensing and Dynamic Fitting for Enhanced Comfort and Performance of Prosthetics

 One major challenge prosthetic users face is to deal with residual limb volume fluctuation. No matter how well the socket fits initially, the socket fit may change due to this fluctuation in residual limb volume, leading to poor function and discomfort. This project will be focused on enhancing the long-term socket performance/fit of prosthetics through smart sensing, adaptive interface, and shear-based dynamic fitting strategy.

Collaborators: Dr. Haiying Huang in the UTA Mechanical Engineering Department and Dr. Fan Gao at the UTSW Medical Center

Funding Agency: DOD

REHEAL Glove

Current methods used in treating hand trauma fall short of restoring functional and aesthetic characteristics after severe injury due to the lack of a protective, permissive, and well-controlled environment required to heal tissues without significant scar formation. The REHEAL Glove is an advanced hand wound care system that enables delivery of localized treatments including therapeutic drug delivery and Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT).

Collaborators: Dr. Christopher Allan, MD at the University of Washington in Seattle

Funding Agency: DOD, Coulter Foundation

Biodome

The Biodome is a biomechanical interface that protects and controls a wound environment by sensing environmental factors and quickly modulating physical and chemical factors to maintain healthy regeneration. The Biodome functions by controlling the wound environment at the nano-scale, leading to control of individual tissue types, while functioning on a macro-scale using a novel fluid media developed to induce dormant human regenerative pathways.

Collaborators: McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburg.

Funding Agency: DOD

In-vivo functional muscle regeneration utilizing an implantable modular bioreactor

This project explores the possibility of regenerating functional muscles in vivo by utilizing the body’s vascular network combined with a miniature bioreactor containing decellularized scaffolds, engineered extracellular matrix (ECM), and stem cells.  A bioreactor is being designed for housing a tissue engineered construct and implanted into animal models. The designed housing will be capable of holding a tissue construct on the surface of subcutaneous tissues as well as allow the tissue construct to freely move when a mechanical stimulus is applied. The objective of the work is to regenerate a functional muscle in vivo by utilizing the body’s vascular network to support tissue growth.

Collaborators: Dr. Robert Galiano at Northwestern University.

Funding Agency: DOD

Neural Interface Electrodes for Nerve Signal Recording and Stimulation

Electrical nerve stimulation holds the promise of treating many diseases and conditions through precise control of organ system functions. Unfortunately, existing peripheral electrode arrays are designed for larger nerves, penetrate the nerve causing damage, or have limited electrical channels. UTARI has developed a flexible electrode array specifically designed to interface with very small peripheral nerves. The device is designed to address the needs of the emerging research focus on bioelectronic therapies by expanding the range of peripheral nerve targets to include very small (<500µm) nerves. The electrode array is designed for surgical ease-of-use with microscopic nerves without causing compression or strain on that leads to tissue degeneration.  This research aims to investigate the use of the new the neural interface electrode in stimulating nerves and recording their responses for various treatment and prosthetic applications.

Collaborators: Dr. Young tae Kim in the UTA Bioengineering Department

Funding Agency: NIH