The Biomask is an advanced therapeutic system for real-time autonomous monitoring and treatment of facial burns for accelerated and higher quality wound healing. This system allows post-surgery wound management by providing capabilities to apply negative pressure wound therapy, deliver therapeutics, and hold skin grafts in place while continuously monitoring the healing process. Researchers at UTARI are collaborating with surgeons at the Institute of Surgical Research at the U.S. Army Dental and Trauma Research Detachment and the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University.
Current research is focused on devices, components, and systems that are applied on animal wounds to understand the critical parameters that affect the wound healing process. Based on findings, optimizations and improvements of the system will be carried out in order to realize a fully functional Biomask.
The Biodome is a biomechanical interface that protects and controls the 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. Research is carried out in collaboration with the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.
Currently, two prototypes of miniature Biodome devices are being applied for animal wound models. These devices contain several ports that allow for compounds to be delivered to the site of the wound from a reservoir while also allowing sampling of the wound environment in a non-invasive manner. The next generation of Biodome devices will provide active feedback through embedded sensors (such as pH, oxygen tension, redox state, osmolarity, and growth factor/cytokine concentration) to investigate which factors best aid in constructive remodeling of various tissue types.
The Bioglove is a wearable, compact, and affordable biomechanical device that is designed to improve the postoperative treatment procedures of wounds on hands and fingers sustained from combat situations such as severe burns, blasts, crushing, etc. The research aims to address two major medical requirements:
- negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) for the injured hand immediately after reconstructive or restorative surgery, and
- post‐operative rehabilitation for proper restoration of the hand.
In order to meet the above medical requirements, this project will develop:
- a microfluidic wound‐interface that will be deployed at the initial stage of post‐operative recovery for delivering therapeutics, extracting exudates, securing skin grafts in place, preventing infections after free flap/free tissue transfer, and supporting tendon repair.
- a compact mechanical interface with embedded robotic intelligence that will provide a range of customizable continuous passive motions automatically at regular intervals as prescribed for rehabilitation after restorative surgery.
Biodigit is a bioreactor that aims to dramatically improve the tools available for treating acute extremity wounds. The device will serve as an interface device for in-vivo control of tissue regeneration and will be capable of fitting over an amputated or wounded digit and delivering and extracting fluids to aid recovery. It is designed to be non-invasive, fitting over the residual digit. UTARI is working on the Biodigit project in collaboration with orthopedic surgeons at Harborview Medical Center at the University of Washington.
Bioreactor for Muscle Regeneration
UTARI is developing a modular in-vivo bioreactor which is implanted in an animal and utilizes the body’s own vasculature to support the controlled growth of complex tissues. The customizable and modular design of the bioreactor allows integration of diverse matrices, mechanical stimuli, sensors and cells to enable the bioengineering of complex vascularized tissues for functional muscle growth. The project is a collaborative effort with surgeons at the Feinberg School of Medicine of Northwestern University.