Natural biomaterials such as cotton, wool and bamboo are common biofibres due to their accessibility and high performance characteristics in textiles. However, their strictly defined composition is severely limiting, as the materials cannot be adapted for alternative uses. Thus, producing biomaterials at an industrial scale has been an active area of research, where the goal is to create materials found in nature at a high throughput.
The intern will participate in NEUROCOVID19, a project studying how the COVID-19 virus can potentially infect and damage the brain. The intern will develop methods for analyzing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain and of the lung, as acquired from people who are no longer infected, and people who were never infected. The intern will also develop new MRI methods for enhanced imaging of brain areas that are damaged by COVID-19 infection.
Spinal fixation, the process by which a broken spine is mended, or a deformed spine corrected, can involve the placement of tens of pedicle screws during lengthy surgical operations. With an ageing population the overall demand for these procedures is increasing. Surgeon fatigue is an issue in these procedures and has demonstrated decreased performance. Our focus will be on the researching and developing an automatic surgical system for the purposes of spine screw insertion.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a debilitating musculoskeletal disease affecting approximately 1/3 of Canadians over the age of 25. Knee braces are often prescribed for OA patients to restore joint function and reduce pain in an attempt to avoid or delay knee replacement surgery. Most braces are designed to offload one side of the knee, however, more than 95% of knee OA patients have OA that affects more than one compartment of their joint. Spring Loaded Technology has designed the Levitation™ “Tri-Compartment Unloader” knee brace to reduce forces in all three compartments of the knee.
Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are biological anchors for growth factors (GF) and other chemical substances. The binding of these substances to GAGs can be modified in times of need. For example during wound healing the increased number of GAGs in the injured areas enables a very localized increase in growth factors and chemokines necessary for wound healing. It appears that the orchestration of initial inflammation, tissue repair and scar formation in would healing is a result of a well-directed feedback between the tissues and the circulating GF.
CanDry is currently in R&D stage developing a dehydrator for drying organic and in-organic materials. A prototype is built for testing purposes which will help to design a good quality product. For modifying the design of prototype, we need to simulate the electromagnetic behaviour of the system and run multiple tests to compare the simulation design with the practical outcome.
This project will seek to use novel radar technology in addition to computer vision to remotely detect vital signs (Heart Rate, Respiratory Rate, Movement and Temperature) of multiple patients. This will help lead to decreased morbidity of patients in areas such as waiting rooms, hospital or police seclusion rooms and other unique environments such as refugee camps, safe injection sites or pandemic screening facilities.
Epilepsy, characterized by recurrent seizures, affects 1% of the population. More than 30% of patients are drug-resistant, a significant burden to their lives. New innovative ways to treat the disorder are needed. Cannabidiol (CBD), a nonpsychoactive compound derived from the cannabis plant, has been shown to be a promising new treatment for epilepsy. In collaboration with Avicanna, we will test the antiepileptic effects of CBD and other cannabinoids alone and in combination with common anticonvulsant drugs on both mouse and human brain tissue.
Video endoscopy is the main diagnostic and screening method for cancer screening in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Currently, the endoscopic video is not sufficiently documented, which makes reviewing of these videos difficult. The research team will partner with the company to develop an audio/video recording technology to combine physician voice annotation of the video during the endoscopy procedure. This project will produce more detailed documented endoscopic video and allow more accurate comparison of videos recorded at different time to monitor disease progress.
Hospitals, diagnostic laboratories and medical research organizations have witnessed an upsurge in the generation of biohazardous medical waste during the COVID-19 pandemic. This waste is potentially detrimental to the environment and public health and needs to be adequately decontaminated and disposed. Incineration is the most routinely employed technique to treat biohazardous waste but the method generates a sizable quantity of greenhouse gas emissions and toxic by-products.