Leveraging micro-sensors for minimally invasive neuromodulation device

More than 1/3 of people will be affected by a neurological condition in their lifetime. Seeking effective treatments for various brain ailments is paramount to a healthy and prosperous society. Both the quality of life and the economic impact of brain disorders is staggering, costing our healthcare systems billions of dollars annually. Unfortunately, most patients impacted by brain-related ailments can only be managed either pharmacologically or surgically; both approaches however fail to resolve the underlying neurological problems, which is likely to exacerbate as our population ages.

Application of advance signal and image processing to develop objective diagnostic and monitoring technologies as well as predicting the response to treatment for Alzheimer’s disease

An ongoing study in Winnipeg is investigating the possibility of using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation to help treat the cognitive and memory declines in Alzheimer’s disease. The objective of this project is to analyze in detail the current results of this study. We will look for connections between MRI scans of the participants and their response to the treatment. We will also look at anxiety and resting motor threshold (a measure of how sensitive they are to our treatment device), to see how they change the effectiveness of treatment.

Application of Brain 23Na “Big Data” for Future Disease Classification

Sodium is a chemical ion which is essential for a healthy brain. The body naturally regulates its concentration inside and outside of cells through normal metabolism. Disruptions in this intricate balance can be caused by various neurological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, concussion, or Alzheimer’s disease. In order to provide personalized medical care, a “big-data” approach is required whereby an individual’s brain can be compared to a standardized template or atlas – unfortunately, a sodium atlas, representing normal sodium concentrations, is not currently available.

Improving 23Na – Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopic Imaging through RF Coil Development

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines use radiowaves and large magnets to safely produce pictures from the insides of the body. The radiowaves are emitted and detected by special antennas that surround the body. Most MRI scanning involves measuring of water in the body. But other atoms, like sodium, can also be seen too. This work described here involves designing new antennas to safely see sodium inside the body. More specifically these antennas will be designed based on novel geometric fractal shapes, which are regularly seen with cell phones.

Platform development to assay immune cell chemotaxis in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an important global health problem afflicting 384 million people and causing 3 million deaths worldwide each year. Currently, there are no effective therapies for COPD patients. In this proposal, we are developing a novel technology that will both monitor the severity of disease in COPD patients, and allow researchers to better study potential targets and pathways for the design of new COPD drugs. Immune cells, such as neutrophils and macrophages, play important roles in the lungs of COPD patients.

Machine learning methods for automatic diagnosis, severity assessment, prognosis, and disease understanding of COPD

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a progressive, debilitating, chronic respiratory disease that affects 600 million people worldwide and is responsible for 3 million deaths worldwide each year. Given the recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and the availability of large datasets from both the public and private sectors, our project applies AI to analyze large-scale medical datasets and develops tools capable of performing accurate diagnosis, severity assessment, and prognosis of COPD.

Transactive Electric Distribution System

Electric power distribution systems physically connect the newer active transactive energy (TE) elements such as energy storage, demand response, electric vehicles, and renewables to customer loads and electric supply from the transmission system. The proposal outlines a Transactive Electric Distribution System (TEDS) framework which enables the creation of a robust distribution system market in Canada and elsewhere.

Applying Machine Learning to Human Motion & Musculoskeletal Health: Predicting ACL Injury & Recovery from Monocular Video

Active people, and young athletes in particular, are at high risk of tearing the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) with 200,000/year occurring in the United States. However, current effective methods to assess functional test performance are onerous, lengthy (~1hr), complex and costly. Curv Labs is a Canadian start-up that leverages computer vision and artificial intelligence to help assess, identify, and manage musculoskeletal performance and problems, and does so, using only simple video, such as that taken from a mobile device.

Machine Learning for Digital Pathology

Histopathology is the study and examination of tissue slides under magnification and is the definitive diagnosis for many diseases including cancer. With the advent of whole-slide scanners and image management software systems, computational pathology tools can be created to measure disease in an efficient and objective manner. This is in contrast to the labourious and subjective manual analysis approaches. In Canada, breast cancer is the 2nd cause of cancer death.

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