ECE Assistant Professor Umer Hassan received an award from National Science Foundation (NSF) for the project “A Medical Device Enabled by Portable Fluorescence Microscopy and Microfluidics for Monitoring Surgical Inflammation Biomarkers”. This is a three-year, single PI project with a total budget of $420,000.
Personalized immune response monitoring of patients to infections is critical not only for early diagnosis but also for determining effective therapy, thereby having a significant impact in patient’s health outcomes. Surgical site infection (SSI) is a common condition faced by patients post-surgical procedures. Early visual indications of SSI include inflammation and puss at the site of the wound, pain, fever, and discomfort. This is followed by a microbial culture which takes multiple days to get the results, leaving huge diagnostic gaps in the treatment pathway. Post-operative frequent quantification of clinically approved biomarkers on high-risk patients could provide an early indication of an SSI, however, their testing requires centralized lab facility, trained professionals and longer wait times to get the results. In this proposal, investigators envision a biomedical platform for inflammatory proteins quantification using only a drop of whole blood. The proposed innovation is based on integration of photonics, microfluidics, smartphone enabled optical sensing, and 3-D multi-layer microfluidic architectures on a single biochip with automated whole blood processing to provide clinical test results from patient samples. Sensors will be equipped with real-time measurement capability and machine learning models to train the sensors data and provide test results. Sensors will be benchmarked with patient samples collected from Robert Wood Johnson Medical Hospital. This transformative research will also open new educational initiatives to train the next generation of engineers and scientists.
More details on the project can be found at the NSF page https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=2315376&HistoricalAwards=false.
Congratulations to Umer!