Modeling of dynamic seat and backrest adjustments for manual wheelchairs

During an average day, a wheelchair user will be required to undertake a variety of different tasks. However, wheelchairs are usually designed in a fixed configuration and cannot adapt to different situations. Models such as PDG Mobility’s “Elevation” wheelchair address this issue by allowing users to adjust their position while still seated. We aim to research the effects of these seat configuration changes on wheelchair stability and maneuverability.

RF Resonant Chemical Sensor System for Biomarker Detection and Biomedical Applications

Sober Steering is developing a wearable alcohol sensor system that communicates with a vehicle to prevent drunk driving. The FitBit-style wearable device will communicate wirelessly with a Sober Steering module located behind the dash of the vehicle to provide interlock functionality and instant alerts. The wearable alcohol sensor system will be monitored and controlled by a smart phone app (ideally controlled by parents or fleet vehicle dispatch). The proposed project aims to further develop sensors capable of providing alcohol sensing functionality for the wearable device.

Inhibition of the fungal-specific histone deacetylase Hst3: a novel broad spectrum strategy to fight fungal pathogens

A number of fungal pathogens cause life-threatening infections in patients whose immune system is crippled. Among others, these include patients treated with cancer chemotherapy and patients who receive organ or blood cell transportation. Pre-term infants, elderly patients and patients in intensive care units are also at risk of developing life-threatening infections. Moreover, fungi cause very painful medical conditions such as vaginal infections. We discovered a fungal-specific enzyme that is essential for viability of the most common fungal pathogen, known as Candida albicans.

High-frequency ultrasound and optical coherent tomography – application for imaging, diagnosis, and measurements on samples of soft and hard tissues

The goal of the study is to research, test and compare imaging, diagnostic, and quantitative assessment capabilities of the high-frequency ultrasound (HFU) technology and the optical coherent tomography (OCT) for dental applications. A set of samples (possibly hard and soft tissues) will be specifically prepared by the research team from the host university and then imaged, and analyzed in order to determine anatomical features and possible diseases conditions. A newly developed scanning acoustic microscope as well as a prototype of a dental ultrasonic system will be used in this study.

Evaluating the impact of the BC Dairy Association Food Explorers program on willingness to try new foods in children

Eating a variety of foods from the four food groups is part of a healthy diet and is important for supporting the growth and development of children. Avoidance of new foods (neophobia) and familiar foods (pickiness) are common in children and limit food quantity and quality. The BC Dairy Association developed the Food Explorers program that introduces new and familiar foods to children in kindergarten and grade 1 classrooms. The goal is to increase the willingness to try new foods and ultimately positively impact diet. The program is widely delivered in BC but has not been evaluated.

Enhanced and Conformation Specific G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) Expression for Autoimmune Diagnostics

G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are proteins present on the surface of a cell that are the targets of >30% prescription drugs. These GPCRs are involved in various diseases ranging from hypertension, airway diseases to taste disorders. Detection of antibodies for GPCRs in various disease states is a challenging task. The main goal of this project is to develop novel methods and improve existing methods to overexpress a couple of GPCRs for potential use in diagnostic assays. The industry partner, Acudex Inc.

Evaluation of Pre-Participation Screening and Cardiovascular Risk Assessment in Masters Athletes in British Columbia

Regular physical activity has well known health benefits. Paradoxically, exercise can increase the risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD) in those with underlying disease. Sports-related SCDs account for approximately 90% of all SCDs. Pre-participation screening can detect underlying disease and decrease sports-related SCD. Optimal screening methods have not been universally agreed and Canadian Masters athletes are not currently required to have a cardiovascular screen before participation in sport.

Evaluation Capacity Network: Aligning Evaluative Thinking and Practice among Early Childhood Stakeholders

This project aims to provide much needed evidence to service providers and program managers working in the field of early childhood development (ECD). Early childhood programs are required to provide evidence of tangible outcomes to validate the impacts of their programs. Organizations, though, do not always have the knowledge, resources, or capacity to support such processes and the intent of gathering such evidence is interpreted differently depending on the individual sector.

Constructing data-adaptive dictionaries for robust sparse feature selection in classification of noisy electro-dermal activity data

Hypersensitivity to sensory stimuli causes overstimulation, inducing overwhelming emotional distress in individuals with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Reveal is a wearable device designed by Awake Labs that monitors anxiety levels in ASD children and interfaces with parents and caregivers. It predicts behavioural “meltdowns” by tracking and classifying key physiological markers of anxiety using machine learning technology. However, the features between which this model is trained to differentiate were developed ad hoc, and built from data that was collected from adults without ASD.

Methods for constrained scheduling optimization

This project involves researching and integrating constraints into existing route and schedule optimization software. The partner organization (Western Heritage) has developed software that calculates the shortest route and optimal daily schedule for home care workers visiting patients in their homes. These schedules must consider constraints for each worker and patient, such as: smoker, pet in the house, lifting requirements, gender requirements, etc. as well as constraints for multiple starting points for each worker.