Advanced Materials and Technologies for Medical Imaging Detectors and Techniques

The proposed Mitacs program will provide internships for six graduate (thesis-based MSc and PhD) students, and two Post-Doctoral Fellows (PDFs) in a competitive R&D environment at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute (TBRHRI) – Canada’s newest health research institute. Interns will be involved in research projects which aim to develop and commercialize the next generation of customized detectors to improve medical imaging applications, which are chosen on the basis of the demands of the healthcare system and commercial opportunities developed in the TBRHRI.

Implementation of a chip-based MDTMA platform for evaluating prostate cancer treatment response and mode of action. - Year two

Prostate cancer is the disease of the old, effecting 1 in 7 Canadians with a death burden of 1 in 28. The management of the disease becomes extremely difficult with the development of the nonresponsive and aggressive form of the cancer. Thus, the clinicians are rendered helpless and hence there is an urgent need for the development of new targeted therapies. Response to chemotherapy drugs varies for every individual, leading to adverse effects in many. Hence every individual responds to chemotherapy drugs differentially, matching the right dose for individual patient is a big challenge.

Evaluation of Signal Mass as a new marker of brain tissue loss in multiple sclerosis

The degree of brain cell injury and death may be associated with disability and problems with memory and thinking skills in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). This is most frequently measured by using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) images to calculate shrinkage of brain volume. In fact, MS patients suffer more rapid shrinkage of brain volume compared to healthy people. However, brain volume can also fluctuate due to reasons other than brain cell death, such as water coming in and out of the brain.

Expression of muscarinic receptors in neurogenic detrusor overactive (NDO) bladders of spinal cord transected (SCT) rats after preventive treatment with anticholinergic me

Following the study of spinal cord transected (SCT) rat models being treated by fesoterodine fumarate (antimuscarinic drug) to prevent neurogenic detrusor overactivity, bladders of all 30 animals were conserved. It was observed that an early fesoterodine fumarate administration at the time of transection modulates bladder overactivity. However, the exact mechanism of action is not known and should be investigated further focusing on detrusor muscarinic receptor modifications in order to support clinical trials with humans.

“I CAN PLAY!” (Initiating Community Sport Access through Physical Literacy and Active Play)

Canadian children are currently not meeting the daily amount of physical activity recommended to reduce their risk for negative health outcomes. The RA Centre in Ottawa, Ontario has the resources to offer various sport opportunities to children and recognizes the need to develop programs that are developmentally appropriate and accessible for children with lower physical skill and confidence levels.

Treating advanced retinal degeneration – rebuilding multiple co-dependent retinal layers with stem cells

Despite dozens of clinical trials (and countless animal trials) to regenerate the retina with stem cells, none have solved the challenge successfully. This is because the retina has many layers, and all layers are necessary in order to restore vision in patients with advanced retinal degeneration – ~1M patients in Canada and >50M worldwide. Here, we developed a strategy that stratifies a suspension mixture of subretinal graft (including stem-cell-derived RPE and photoreceptors) into correct orientation and layering resulting in replacement of the lost retinal layers.

Investigating the effectiveness of mental health services offered through the Zebra Centre: Assessing what works for children who have been abused

This project will serve as the first formal program evaluation for the Zebra Centre, which has been serving victims of abuse in Edmonton and the surrounding area for 15 years. Program evaluation would open up opportunities for the Zebra Centre to learn about their strengths and areas of need in regards to their ability to support families who have undergone childhood trauma.

Evaluating Dementia Inclusivity in Retirement Communities

Retirement Communities (RCs) are an attractive bridge between aging-in-place/staying at home and going to full care/LTC by allowing older adults to remain independent while still receiving minimal assistance, as well as access to activities and socialization opportunities. With the mean age of residents being 85 years old, these communities offer unique insight into the future of Canada’s aging population.

Evaluation of probiotic bacterial strains for enhanced microbial biotransformation of polyphenol-rich potato extract

The proposed project searches to understand the effect of probiotic bacterial strains belonging to the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium genera on the degradation and bioavailability of phenolic compounds present in potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L.) after in vitro digestion. The more easily absorbed metabolites are associated with protective effects against cancer and diabetes mellitus type II. Additionally, the combination of probiotics with phenolic-rich potato extract may have beneficial effects on the human colonic bacterial composition.

Robust Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Short T2 Tissues

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an imaging modality which can visualize the internal structure of the human body and is free of radiation. In this project, we would like to write a multi-functional and robust MRI software package using ultrashort echo time (UTE) technique to realize the imaging of the tissues, such as tendons, ligaments, and cortical bone, which are difficult to view through conventional MRI techniques.

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