2021 Senior Projects Conference

Biomedical Engineering

Room 224 Session: Join us on Zoom.

1:00 p.m.

Penguin Paramedic

Team Members: Vincent Sedminik, Sandra Shahriar, LaVaie Simpson, Sadie Villarrubia

Advisor: Dr. Bryant Hollins

Refrigeration is an easy task to accomplish in a hospital or pharmacy setting; however, not all clinical applications take place in a stationary establishment. Administration of medications in an ambulance saves time and lives. Unfortunately, keeping these medications at the appropriate temperatures of 2-8°C in an ambulance poses many challenges, including temperature stability, availability of space, power consumption, heat output, and securability. Penguin Paramedic is a medical refrigeration device that maintains cool medication temperatures in an ambulance for patients receiving pre-hospital care in order to increase the stability of temperature-sensitive medications. The device achieves this outcome by utilizing thermoelectric coolers controlled by a negative feedback loop. These small coolers provide the necessary temperature range for medication storage without expelling large quantities of heat while also minimizing power consumption. Introducing the Penguin Paramedic into ambulances would expand storage capabilities in pre-hospital settings, save time in emergency rooms, and prevent medication waste.

1:30 p.m.


Team Members: Kayla Babin, Taylor Burreson, Aaron Morgan

Sponsor: Wavegate Corporation

Advisor: Dr. Bryant Hollins

Within a growing market in neuromodulation-based SCS pain therapies, lead migration is a common issue in chronic back pain treatment. Our device focuses on addressing this issue with anchoring methods and aids to improve spinal cord stimulation (SCS) anchoring procedures. The device is designed to have a simple and intuitive deployment while maintaining a secure lead position over long-term applications. During SCS surgeries, leads are stabilized to the fascia through anchoring techniques which vary between physicians. Lead migration can be traced back to improper anchoring techniques and has resulted in treatment failure and revision surgery. Our goal is to minimize current errors in manual anchoring methods for physicians to reduce surgical time, cost, and lead migration. By addressing these three major factors, a device has been created that will optimize SCS anchoring procedures. This device will offer a semi-automated method of securing the percutaneous leads to the fascia, increasing the technique’s availability to medical personnel.

2:00 p.m.

Bike Buddy

Team Name: The Bready Bunch

Team Members: Brooks Courtney, Terrance Lymon, Bethany Perez

Advisor: Dr. Bryant Hollins

Each year in the United States, 1,500 children are born with an upper limb difference and 32,500 individuals have major amputations. The loss or malformation of an upper limb can greatly impact one’s ability to participate in everyday and common activities. This may motivate one to use an adaptable device and/or prosthetic as it will allow individuals to better participate in these activities. Our client, a ten-year-old female whose upper limb difference was caused by Amniotic Band Syndrome, has no phalanges with partial palm formation and maintains full wrist flexion/extension. The client can perform most tasks without assistance and only requires occasional adaptations to participate in certain activities. Her inability to properly grip objects with her left hand presents difficulties—especially, in the form of bike riding. So, an adaptive device was designed to give the client more control for steering and balance while riding her bike. It is an attachment to the bike that can be removed and reattached to any standard bike handle, can securely attach to the limb, allows the client to maintain 75% of her wrist flexion, and costs ≤$75 in raw materials to manufacture.

2:30 p.m.


Team Members: Tommy Nguyen, Garrett Rushing, Thomas Williams

Advisor: Dr. Steven Jones

One in four mechanical heart valve recipients experiences disturbances in their sleep patterns, with 31% of those individuals experiencing subclinical insomnia, and 17% experiencing moderate to severe insomnia. The disturbance, caused by the “ticking” noise of the valve closing, greatly impedes on a patient’s quality of life. Our team has addressed the decrease in the quality of life of mechanical heart valve recipients by reducing the closure noise of a mechanical heart valve. To be considered a functioning heart valve, each design had to exhibit several measurable factors taken from ISO 5840 standards before their noise magnitude could be compared. If the valve was considered functionally sound, the valve’s closure noise level was compared to the control valve’s noise level to determine whether the design significantly altered the sound magnitude.

3:00 p.m.

A.A.R.M. Brace

Team Members: Wilton Barlow, Taznama Islam, Tyler McLane, Sean Tilmon

Advisor: Dr. Bryant Hollins

Ankle injuries are one of the most common injuries around the world. The standard procedure for treating ankle injuries is to allow full incremental weight-bearing and mobility with rest. The current devices on the market either utilize specific materials to reduce the forces on the ankle for adequate weight-bearing practice with full immobilization of the ankle, like an Aircast or allow for free range of motion of the ankle, like the Bionic Stirrup Ankle Brace. Orthopedic boots and stiff ankle casts do not allow for ankle movement, and other devices like braces do not provide any ROM limitations. There are no mainstream devices that allow for a comfortable transition from full immobilization to free motion. The A.A.R.M. Brace, the Adjustable Ankle Range of Motion Brace, will allow consumers to transition gradually from complete ankle immobilization to free range of motion in order to encourage accelerated healing. This gradual transition will be accomplished utilizing physical pins that will be adjusted by a physician or physical therapist as they feel the patient is able to withstand settings comfortably. These pins can limit dorsiflexion and plantar flexion at separate degrees of freedom.

3:30 p.m.

PITCH Overhead-Motion Monitoring System

Team Name: PITCH

Team Members: Abdulah Alzayer, Leandra Aponte, Emily Boylan, Kaitlyn Coughlin

Advisor: Dr. Bryant Hollins

Athletes participating in overhead-motion sports, such as baseball, are at high risk for injury to the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL). Persistent instability of the UCL often subjects athletes to extreme pain or soreness along the inner elbow, typically during and immediately after performing an overhead motion. Acute UCL tears are isolated events often associated with abrupt and severe medial elbow pain where an athlete may report a sudden sensation of “giving away” in the elbow. We are developing a device to objectively monitor the risk factors of UCL injuries. Our device contains three IMU sensors located on the shoulder, elbow, and wrist to collect data to be transferred via Bluetooth communication for processing. The acceleration and orientation data can then be used to calculate common risk factors: velocity, arm slot, elbow flexion, shoulder rotation, and pitch count, which is representative of overuse and fatigue. With our wearable overhead-motion monitoring system presenting this information to the athlete, coaches, or trainers, we hope to benefit users by monitoring their training and providing accurate biomechanical analysis in order to reduce UCL injury risk.

4:00 p.m.

Heal & Seal

Team Members: Caroline Harvey, Elizabeth Kibodeaux, Nicole Wright

Sponsor: Dr. Mary Caldorera-Moore

Advisor: Dr. Bryant Hollins

The Heal & Seal system is designed to sustain wound healing in diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) patients under ambulatory conditions. Patients with DFUs face two major problems: First, patients fail to seek medical attention when foot ulcers begin to form; instead, they self-treat with over-the-counter products such as bandages and gauze that are not made for proactive wound healing. Second, once patients seek a physician, they are told to offload the wound; however, they often stand or walk on the wound regardless, which can destroy the proactive dressing applied by the physician. Therefore, Heal & Seal was created as a proactive treatment in healing DFUs while also providing a protective seal and durable reinforcement against the external environment. The system consists of two parts: A primary chitosan-genipin (CG50) hydrogel and a secondary protective barrier. The CG50 hydrogel was tested for absorbance, pH regulation, and shear elastic durability to ensure it was capable of promoting wound healing. The secondary protective barrier was tested for absorbance, pH regulation, shear elastic durability, and compressive strength to verify that it could withstand ambulatory conditions and maintain healing. Finally, the complete system was tested under compression to validate the secondary barrier’s ability to protect the primary hydrogel.

4:30 p.m.

Hydraulic Environmentally Responsive Ankle

Team Name: H.E.R.A.

Team Members: Blythe Babin, Katie McKenzie, Heath Schooley

Advisor: Dr. Bryant Hollins

Over half of trans-tibial amputees experience lower back pain caused by prosthetics being unable to alter in length as a normal lower leg would. Common trans-tibial prosthetics can help absorb the shock of walking, but they fail to compress as a natural ankle does. The prosthetic’s inability to compress leads to limb length discrepancies that consequently create an uneven gait when the patient is walking. H.E.R.A. is a Hydraulic Environmentally Responsive Ankle that will compress, move, and feel similar to a normal ankle when the patient is in motion. The current hydraulic ankle prosthetic on the market costs patients over $3000 and fails to create gait symmetry similar to normal walking. It is not always covered by insurance, and it is too heavy for patients to have normal walking patterns. H.E.R.A is a lightweight, strong prosthetic that can compress like a normal ankle and allow for a patient’s gait to be comparable to normal walking.