Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) have received early stage funding to develop three new devices that have applications for pediatric medical markets, as part of a collaboration announced this past spring.
The collaboration pairs BGU's technical and engineering capabilities with the medical expertise of CCHMC physicians. Each project will receive up to $100,000 in the first round, with all funding contingent upon achieving project-specific developmental milestones.
"The collaboration between clinicians and engineers is one of the necessities for success in the development of medical devices, addressing the very specific unmet medical needs of pediatric patients," explains Prof. Joseph Kost, dean of BGU's Faculty of Engineering Sciences.
"After vetting nearly 80 unmet clinical needs, the BGU-CCHMC team identified three significant innovations after thorough market analyses and review by both internal and external stakeholders," says Doron Krakow, executive vice president, American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. "This collaboration will yield technology that could improve the medical care of children and potentially reduce healthcare system costs." The projects are being developed and led by a BGU engineer and a CCHMC clinician or surgeon. The initial three projects are:
Smart Sensing Catheter -- The smart sensing catheter will provide immediate and continuous assessment of the metabolic and physiological profile of critically ill infants and small children. The smart, micro-optic sensor combines nano-plasmonics with fiber optics that fit in a 1 x 1 mm area and can monitor and analyze at least 20 substances simultaneously.
"Once developed to the product level, the sensor can be used in other applications for water quality and environment pollutants monitoring," says Prof. Ibrahim Abdulhalim, head of the ElectroOptics Engineering Unit at BGU.
The catheter is being co-developed by Richard Azizkhan, M.D., surgeon-in-chief at Cincinnati Children's and the Lester W. Martin, chair of pediatric surgery. "Secondarily, this technology will reduce the need for repeated tests, thus reducing costs for the health system and society," Azizkhan noted.
Image Guided Needle Insertion Device -- This will combine sophisticated new imaging techniques with precise robotics to improve the accuracy of many medical procedures.
"Currently, a clinician has limited control over the path of a needle once inserted into the tissue and limited ability to know the precise trajectory required to achieve the desired needle position, often using trial and error even when guided by imaging modalities," says BGU Prof. Hugo Guterman of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.