Medical leeching can be traced back to the beginning of civilization. Ancient Egyptians, Indians, and Greek physicians used leeching as a treatment for a variety of diseases. In the past few decades, comprehensive studies have investigated the therapeutic applications of leech products and especially leech saliva. Recent studies completed by our lab have determined a therapeutic potential of a leech saliva extract component (BPS-001), with demonstrated strong anticancer properties.
A critical challenge today in neuro-surgery is the determination of tumor boundaries intraoperatively. There are means of doing this using high-resolution MRI machines, however, these can be prohibitively costly. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) offers a promising, cheaper, label-free alternative. However, the basic models used for clinical, real-time OCT limit its usefulness and depth of focus. This work will develop a type of image reconstruction that includes digital focusing and anisotropic properties.
Over 14 million Canadians live with overweight or obesity. Patients want conversations with their primary care team about weight and create personalized plans to improve their health. Primary care clinicians want to have these conversations too, but dont know how. This project partners with an interdisciplinary primary care team (ESPCN) and the Canadian Obesity Network (CON) to create an intervention for personalized obesity assessment and care planning, and study how it supports patients in their everyday lives.
Interstitial cystitis is an inflammatory disease of the urinary bladder and is recognized as a serious medical condition associated with a profoundly negative impact on patients quality of life. Currently, there are no widely acknowledged causes of this disorder and no effective treatments available. Panag is a Halifax based drug company which focuses on development of novel therapeutic treatments which can be used to alleviate both pain and inflammation associated with IC. The goal of our research is to provide IC patients with symptom and pain relief, as well as to improve outcome.
AF is an irregular heart rhythm resulting from abnormal electrical impulses and is the most common cardiac arrhythmia encountered in clinical practice. Ablation therapy has been used to eliminate areas responsible for maintaining the arrhythmia using radiofrequency energy. Targeting the culprit regions usually require accurate estimation of activation times in IEGM recordings. The conventional time domain methods fail to present a precise activation detection method and depend on parameters set by an operator.
Currently available diagnostic imaging tools, such as chest radiography and computed tomography, are inadequate for assessing the lungs of preterm neonates. There is considerable interest in using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to monitor lung development in neonates longitudinally, since it is a non-invasive and non-ionizing imaging modality. MRI can potentially detect complications at an early stage and improve outcomes by monitoring the effectiveness of therapy, however, images typically suffer from poor signal and organ motion.
Infertility is a health issue that affects over half a million Canadian of childbearing age. Half of these cases are related to male reproductive dysfunctions. While semen analysis provides information about some causes of male infertility, about thirty percent of these cases remains unexplained. In this context, the main goal of our project is to assess the potential of target molecules, which are secreted from the internal organs of the male reproductive system into the seminal plasma, as biomarkers for the non-invasive diagnosis of infertility.
Blood transfusion is required for surgery, for the treatment of traumatic accidents and for patients with disorders that require lifelong transfusion therapy. However, when patients receive mismatched blood transfusion, their immune system will attack and destroy red blood cells with surface sugars and proteins that differ from their own. This results in massive immune responses in patients, causing shock and even death.
Obesity and diabetes are leading nutrition-related disorders among pets in North America and have significant impacts on animal morbidity and mortality. The glycemic index, a measure of post-prandial blood glucose response, has been shown in humans to significantly impact glucose control, insulin sensitivity, weight management, and chronic disease risk. In pets, the effects of carbohydrates on health is an area of debate, though there is currently a lack of data to back up claims.
Medicago, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, has the potential to rapidly develop a vaccine in response to a newly sequenced influenza strain, allowing for large-scale vaccination of the population very early during a pandemic. The company would like to know how many doses of vaccine is required and what distribution strategies should be used to maximize population-wide benefits of vaccination in the event of an influenza pandemic.