Scaling 3D Microtissue Production Using a Microwell System

Tissue engineering works to replace damaged tissue and organs, and has applications in treating diseases such as diabetes. To improve the performance of tissue engineering treatment and research, our lab has produced the microwell system which creates microtissues in the form of cellular balls. The microwell system has been used used internationally under the brand name AggreWell™, supplied by STEMCELL Technologies and allows researchers to produce enough microtissues to treat diseases in animal models, such as mice.

Development of deep learning pipeline for automatic segmentation and classification of cardiac magnetic resonance images

Heart disease is the main reason of death worldwide. One way to understand better and detect heart diseases without need for biopsy via surgery is by using medical imaging such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Cardiac magnetic resonance is a specific kind of MRI which allows great visualization of inner parts of the heart and can be used for measuring the size of the heart and its chambers, which can be very useful for understanding blood flow and other potential markers of disease.

Development of Functional Nanoparticles for Targeted Biomaterial Cell Delivery

Genetic engineering has proven to be a useful approach for gene therapy and transformation of value-added agricultural plants. However, the current available technologies suffer from several limitations. These include relative low delivery efficiency with difficult-to-deliver cells or complex constructs and limit freedom-to-operate. Considering advances have been made in the applications of nanotechnology to life science and plant biology, particularly in the realm of gene editing technology, improving delivery efficiency is urgently needed.

Application of bacteriophage encapsulation in biodegradable polymers for the prevention of prosthetic joint infections

In 2014-2015, there were over 100,000 hip and knee replacement operations in Canada. Among these, more than 8,500 of these procedures had to be repeated. The main cause of failure was due to bacterial infections at the surface of the implants. Furthermore, this problem is likely to get worse over time due to antibiotic resistance phenomena in bacteria. We propose the development of a surface modification of the implants using bacteriophages, a class of viruses that only targets bacteria.

Improvement of fluorescent bead detection and classification algorithms for CD4 cell counting in portable flow cytometers

This research project focuses on the development of software for a device that can diagnose HIV and monitor its severity by taking a small sample of the patient’s blood. The software will count the number of immune cells present in the sample by taking images of the patient’s blood as it flows through the device. It will then report the cell count to the medical professional who will be able to make a diagnosis.
This project will ease the process of HIV diagnostics, and make HIV testing more accessible in general.

Portable Medical Grade EEG Headset Functional Improvement

Epilepsy affects an estimated 50 million people worldwide. These people can experience unexpected seizures that make it dangerous for them to engage in everyday activities like driving and walking. A portable wireless neuro-monitoring headset prototype that is worn on the head has been developed by Avertus Inc. to address this issue. The headset is designed to read brain waves, and, through a wireless connection to a cell phone, warn the wearer when the device identifies brain activity that is characteristic with an oncoming seizure.

TBIFinder : A new approach to identify and properly assess mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) is a common and devastating condition that severely affects millions of people around the world. Following an mTBI, also known as concussion, a medical professional performs standard neurological tests, however, these tests are very subjective, based on patient-reporting, and provide little to no insight on the severity of an mTBI. The company TBIFinder therefore revolutionizes brain injury treatment by providing a fully objective service that uses a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine to assess mTBIs.

Controlled release of analgesics for opioid-free post-operative pain control

Amacathera Inc. has developed a novel, injectable, hydrogel platform technology that extends the release of drugs over time in the body. The company’s lead program is targeted at pain relief following surgery. They have combined their hydrogel with an anesthetic in order to provide pain relief for up to 72 hours. This eliminates the need for the prescription of opioids, as well as reduces patient healthcare costs to the hospital.

Study of biomechanics during equine rehabilitation: development of harness system and rehabilitation protocol

The aim of the internship program is to develop a rehabilitation harness for horses and study its use together with a computerized lift system designed for rehabilitation of injured horses. Measurements used to direct harness design and rehabilitation protocols include movement analysis of the horses, physiological measurements and analysis of behaviour. The lift system was developed by the partner organization RMD Engineering, Inc. RMD has a material interest in the success of the rehabilitation harness proposed in this project.

A Vision-based system for intelligent monitoring of gait poses in dementia

Impairments of gait and balance often progress through the course of dementia, and are associated with increased risk of falls. Regular assessment of gait and balance could therefore be informative in tracking changes in functional status, and identifying individuals at a high risk of falling to allow for preventative measures. We have developed a technology, called AMBIENT, which enables the frequent, accurate, unobtrusive, and cost-effective measurement of gait and balance parameters.