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(SD2021-225) Wireless Contact Force Sensing and Localization

Our sense of touch is critical for understanding and interacting with the world around us. While interacting with the physical world, force-sensitive mechanoreceptors in the skin respond to various vibrations, motions, pressures, and stretching of the skin to provide us with critical information on the location and magnitude of the stimuli. Thus, if we want the next generation of tactile sensors to emulate how our skin reacts to stimuli, we need to both sense the magnitude and location of contact forces acting on the sensing surface.Contact force is a natural way for humans to interact with the physical world around us. However, most of our interactions with the digital world are largely based on a simple binary sense of touch (contact or no contact). Similarly, when interacting with robots to perform complex tasks, such as surgery, we need to acquire the rich force information and contact location, to aid in the task.

Medical/Surgical Instrument-Bending Device

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a device that allows needles to be reliably and easily bent to a range of specified and reproducible angles. The device also enables protection of the needle tip and the maintenance of needle sterility during bending.

Fetal Oximetry Measurement via Maternal Transabdominal Spectroscopy

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a non-invasive, near-infrared, spectroscopy technique that measures fetal oxygen saturation via the maternal abdomen.

DNN-Assisted Sensor for ECG Monitoring

Inventors at UCI have developed a method of monitoring ECG signals from wearable devices while using artificial intelligence to only select the signals that are relevant to disease for further evaluation.

Flexthrough: A Recirculation Mechanism In Point Of Care CD Microfluidic Using Elastic Membrane

Researchers from the University of California, Irvine have developed a new method and device to efficiently mix and analyze liquid samples on CD-based point of care devices.

FlexThrough: a recirculation mechanism in point of care CD microfluidic using elastic membrane

Researchers from the University of California, Irvine have developed a new method and device to efficiently mix and analyze liquid samples on CD-based point of care devices.

Percutaneous Heart Valve Delivery System Enabling Implanted Prosthetic Valve Fracture

UCI researchers developed a percutaneous heart valve delivery system to deliver and implant a prosthetic valve. This system incorporates the means to fracture a previously implanted prosthetic valve in situ without interfering with the transcatheter valve to be implanted.

(SD2018-098) Platinum Nanorod Electrode Arrays For Highly Sensitive And Initiative Brain-Machine Interfaces

The enhanced electrochemical activity of nanostructured materials is readily exploited in energy devices, but their utility in scalable and human-compatible implantable neural interfaces can significantly advance the performance of clinical and research electrodes. Traditional biologically inert noble metals such as Pt, Ir or IrPt – are preferential material choices for manufacturing nerve electrodes/ biomedical devices in clinical-relevant applications because of their biocompatibility and stability against corrosion, and because of their superior electrochemical properties compared to other material combinations. But despite these superior properties, the electrochemical interface impedance is not sufficiently low to enable recording minute potential fluctuations with low noise baseline or to efficiently inject charges across the interface without building large voltages across the interface and therefore consuming larger powers per pulse.  As a result, large electrodes are needed to compensate for this large impedance, but large electrodes compromise spatial resolution and specificity for recording and/or stimulation and limit the density and overall number of contacts. To increase the surface area and decrease the electrochemical impedance, nano-structures are often incorporated onto electrode surfaces to enhance their electrochemical properties. Prior work has successfully incorporated nano-structured Pt into electrodes, using electrochemical methods (electro-plating) , but these electrodes suffered from poor structural integrity and physical strength due to incorporation of electrochemical surfactants at the interface between nano-structured Pt and the underlying electrode. Furthermore, common approaches for the fabrication of nano-structured Pt are generally not monolithic and face additional challenges for translation to clinical practice whereas some are also problematic due to the residual of toxic ligand additives remaining after Pt alloy electro-deposition.  

Deep Learning Techniques For In Vivo Elasticity Imaging

Imaging the material property distribution of solids has a broad range of applications in materials science, biomechanical engineering, and clinical diagnosis. For example, as various diseases progress, the elasticity of human cells, tissues, and organs can change significantly. If these changes in elasticity can be measured accurately over time, early detection and diagnosis of different disease states can be achieved. Elasticity imaging is an emerging method to qualitatively image the elasticity distribution of an inhomogeneous body. A long-standing goal of this imaging is to provide alternative methods of clinical palpation (e.g. manual breast examination) for reliable tumor diagnosis. The displacement distribution of a body under externally applied forces (or displacements) can be acquired by a variety of imaging techniques such as ultrasound, magnetic resonance, and digital image correlation. A strain distribution, determined by the gradient of a displacement distribution, can be computed (or approximated) from measured displacements. If the strain and stress distributions of a body are both known, the elasticity distribution can be computed using the constitutive elasticity equations. However, there is currently no technique that can measure the stress distribution of a body in vivo. Therefore, in elastography, the stress distribution of a body is commonly assumed to be uniform and a measured strain distribution can be interpreted as a relative elasticity distribution. This approach has the advantage of being easy to implement. The uniform stress assumption in this approach, however, is inaccurate for an inhomogeneous body. The stress field of a body can be distorted significantly near a hole, inclusion, or wherever the elasticity varies. Though strain-based elastography has been deployed on many commercial ultrasound diagnostic-imaging devices, the elasticity distribution predicted based on this method is prone to inaccuracies.To address these inaccuracies, researchers at UC Berkeley have developed a de novo imaging method to learn the elasticity of solids from measured strains. Our approach involves using deep neural networks supervised by the theory of elasticity and does not require labeled data for the training process. Results show that the Berkeley method can learn the hidden elasticity of solids accurately and is robust when it comes to noisy and missing measurements.

Photoacoustic Spectroscopy Detection Of HFA, NO, And C02 From Exhaled Breath

UCI researchers introduced a medical device which simultaneously detects hydrofluoroalkane (HFA), carbon dioxide (CO2), and nitrogen monoxide (NO) in exhaled breath for monitoring and improving treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Particle-Sorting Device for Isolation, and Enrichment of Particles at Ultra-Low Concentrations

The ability to detect and sort particles by type is important to many fields, such as medical diagnostics, environmental monitoring, and food safety.UCI researchers have developed a platform to sort and isolate particles from a turbid medium with minimal pre-processing. The platform is very desirable for applications in which enrichment of particles or biological substances at low concentrations is necessary.

Mapping Ciliary Activity Using Phase Resolved Spectrally Encoded Interferometric Microscopy

Researchers at UCI have developed an imaging technique that can monitor and measure small mobile structures called cilia in our airways and in the oviduct. This invention will serve as a stepping stone for study of respiratory diseases, oviduct ciliary colonoscopy and future clinical translations.

Compositions and Methods of Isothermal Nucleic Acid Detection

An improved method for isothermal nucleic acid detection based on a loop mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) technique that can be broadly applied for nucleic acid diagnostics.LAMP is an isothermal amplification method that amplifies DNA or RNA. This iteration of LAMP allows for the integration of any short DNA sequence, including tags, restriction enzyme sites, or promoters, into an isothermally amplified amplicon. The technique presented by the inventors allows for the insertion of sequence tags up to 35 nt into the flanking regions of the LAMP amplicon using the forward and backward inner primers (FIP and BIP), and loop primers. The inventors have demonstrated insertion of sequence fragments into the 5’ and middle regions of the FIP and BIP primers, and the 5’ region of the loop primers. In some embodiments, the sequence tag comprises a T7 RNA polymerase promoter, which is then incorporated into the LAMP amplicon (termed RT-LAMP/T7). With the addition of T7 polymerase, the amplicon can be in vitro transcribed, leading to additional amplification of the target molecule into an RNA substrate. This improves the efficiency of the amplification reaction and enables substrate conversion into different nucleic acid types.In other embodiments, the amplified RNA sequence can be detected by CRISPR enzymes, such as RNA-targeting Cas13 systems. 

A Wearable Freestanding Electrochemical Sensing System

Researchers in the UCLA Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering have developed a strategy for high-fidelity, wearable biomarker data acquisition and sensor integration with consumer electronics.

A Fully Integrated Stretchable Sensor Arrays for Wearable Sign Language Translation To Voice

UCLA researchers in the Department of Bioengineering have developed a novel machine learning assisted wearable sensor system for the direct translation of sign language into voice with high performance.

A Battery-Less Wirelessly Powered Frequency-Swept Spectroscopy Sensor

UCLA researchers in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering have developed a wirelessly powered frequency-swept spectroscopy sensor.

Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy Device for Antibiotic Susceptibility Testing (FLIM-AST)

Antibiotic resistant bacterial infection is a global public health threat leading to prolonged hospital stays, higher medical costs, and increased mortality rates. UCI researchers developed a device to rapidly determine antibiotic susceptibility of bacteria from patient samples to determine more effective antibiotic treatments.

A Wireless Textile Based Sensor System for Self-Powered Personalized Health Care

UCLA researchers in the Department of Bioengineering have developed a textile-based sensor system (TS system) for wireless, wearable biomonitoring.

Unobtrusive Fetal Heartrate Monitoring In The Daily Life

A novel wearable, unobtrusive flexible patch designed to facilitate continuous monitoring of fetal heart rate (fHR) and ECG by pregnant women in a home setting.

Composition and Methods of a Nuclease Chain Reaction for Nucleic Acid Detection

This invention leverages the nuclease activity of CRISPR proteins for the direct, sensitive detection of specific nucleic acid sequences. This all-in-one detection modality includes an internal Nuclease Chain Reaction (NCR), which possesses an amplifying, feed-forward loop to generate an exponential signal upon detection of a target nucleic acid.Cas13 or Cas12 enzymes can be programmed with a guide RNA that recognizes a desired target sequence, activating a non-specific RNase or DNase activity. This can be used to release a detectable label. On its own, this approach is inherently limited in sensitivity and current methods require an amplification of genetic material before CRISPR-base detection. 

Autonomous Comfort Systems Via An Infrared-Fused Vision-Driven Robotic Systems

Robotic comfort systems have been developed which use fans to deliver heated/cooling air to building occupants to provide greater levels of personal comfort.  However, current robotic systems rely on surveys asking individuals about their comfort state through a web interface or app.  This reliance on user feedback becomes impractical due to survey fatigue on the part of the user.  Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have developed a system which uses a visible light camera located on the nozzle of a robotic fan to detect human facial features (e.g., eyes, nose, and lips).  Images from a co-located thermal camera are then registered onto the visible light image and temperatures of different facial features are captured and used to infer the comfort state of the individual.  Accordingly, the fan/heater system blows air with a specific velocity and temperature toward the occupant via a closed-loop feedback control.  Since the system can track a person in an environment, it addresses issues with prior data collection systems that needed occupants to be positioned in a specific location.

Development of a Thermal Endoscope for ENT Clinical Diagnostics

There is a clinical need for improved visual inspection for ENT diagnosis and surgeries. Endoscopy is required to access locations of ENT conditions. However, the assessment and identification of ENT abnormalities and pathologies remain challenging due to the difficult-to- reach ENT locations and the complex nature of the related pathologies. An imaging technique that could provide additional information, high contrast, and quantitative data about the patient condition will be useful, especially to assist ENT clinicians in diagnosis and surgeries and to avoid the need to resort to more expensive imaging techniques (e.g., CT scans, ultrasound imaging,MRI).

Microfluidic Dispenser for Automated, High-Precision, Liquids Handling

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a robotic dispensing interface that uses a microfluidic-embedded container cap – often referred to as a microfluidic Cap-to-Dispense or μCD - to seamlessly integrate robotic operations into precision liquids handling.

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