Listeria monocytogenes is a common food-borne pathogen that is the causative agent of listeriosis, a severe and potentially fatal condition. Current methods for detection of L. monocytogenes in food samples require multiple days due to lengthy amplification steps to aid in microbe detection. Due to the recent emergence of nanoparticle technology, however, new options are emerging for removing and concentrating microbes from complex samples and providing extremely sensitive detection.
It is estimated that 23,200 women in Canada will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010 and that the disease claims the lives of about 100 Canadian women per week. The use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for the detection and diagnosis of breast cancer offers many advantages over conventional X-ray mammography, including increased sensitivity and the absence of ionizing radiation. MRI is achieved through the manipulation, and subsequent detection, of the magnetic properties of the hydrogen atoms in our bodies.
In the spinal cord injured population, inactivity is wide-spread, and most causes of death in those with spinal cord injury can be improved by increasing physical activity. Current electric wheel-chairs exacerbate inactivity in this population by performing all the work required for transportation. The new openPAW device uses bio and environmental feedback (ie. current arm strength, weight, slope) from the wheelchair to alter how much power is mechanically provided to the wheels on each arm crank.
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in North American men. Brachytherapy, applied in about 55,000 cases annually in North America, entails the permanent implantation of radioactive sources into the prostate, under real-time ultrasound image guidance. Brachytherapy systems require careful calibration to ensure the correct spatial relationship between the implant needles and the ultrasound image.
Microwave tomography (MWT) is a relatively new imaging modality that uses electromagnetic radiation to illuminate an object. Using the scattered field by the object of interest, MWT reconstructs the image of the object. We have been doing research on this topic for a few years and we have successfully developed several computational-imaging algorithms and experimental tomography systems at our imaging lab of the University of Manitoba. In order to increase the accuracy of measurements and calibration procedure, we want to increase the number of probing sites in the system.
The purpose of the project is to perform a biomechanical evaluation of the bags, and lifting techniques that are preformed by paramedics on a daily basis. The intern will spend 1.5 months in Eastern Ontario, with approximately 2 weeks in the area surrounding Kingston interacting with and observing lifting techniques and conditions under which paramedics lift bags while on the job. These observations will direct a moked-up-in-lab investigation into the peak compressive, shear and cumulative forces played on the body while lifting medical bags.