Intra-arterial therapeutic dissolution of plaques in coronary and peripheral arterial diseases

Atherosclerosis is a disease characterized by chronic inflammation and LDL deposition in the lumen of the arteries. This process can result in stenosis or thrombosis. More than 33% of Canadian deaths in 2011 were due to cardiovascular events (major chronic diseases surveillance online). Canadians lose an average of 4.5 years of life expectancy due to CVD.

Orthosis modelling and fabrication

Orthoses are planar insoles for countering the constant and permanent deformations caused by muscular or nerve weaknesses. The orthosis fabrication process at VRAM currently involves five labor-intensive stages: the assessment of the gait, the determination of the corrective measures, the evaluation of the orthosis dimensions, the creation of hand-carved molds for forming the orthosis, and the forming and shaping of the orthosis using cork-based materials and resins.

The Dual Effect of Normobaric Hypoxia on Heart Rate Variability and Substrate Partitioning During Exercise and Recovery

The research proposal is designed to examine the relationship between metabolism and the autonomic nervous system during exercise and recovery. This randomized, controlled crossover design experiment will consist of three sessions. The first session is a familiarization session. The second and third sessions will be the same, except the exercise portion will be done in either hypoxia or normoxia. For the second and third sessions, participants will first complete a basal metabolic rate, and then the participant will cycle (intervals) for an hour.

Acoustic Feature Extraction and Sparse Representation of Neck Fluid Volume (NFV) in Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is common in 10% of adults and is associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Furthermore, there is a 3-fold increase in OSA prevalence in fluid retaining patients such as those with heart failure. Evolving evidence suggests that fluid accumulation in the neck could narrow the upper airway (UA), increase its collapsibility, and contribute to OSA worsening.

IMPACT (IMproved Pulmonary repair with Advanced Cell Therapy) for Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

When people become critically ill, such as during severe infection, their lungs often fail – this is termed "Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome" (ARDS). ARDS is common, and often fatal. There is no drug therapy for ARDS and new therapies are urgently required. Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) from bone marrow offer significant hope for ARDS, and early research findings are promising.

Water-Safe UV Curable Antimicrobials Nanoscale coatings for Plastics

The treatment of Hospital acquired infections from pathogenic bacteria continues to be a serious and significant burden on health care resources both nationally and globally. Currently, about 1 in 10 persons will acquire an HAI as result of a medical procedure which can result in an additional hospital stay, treatment and in some severe cases, death. To counter HAI’s, we propose the use of a new UV-curable antimicrobial coatings which will protect common touch surfaces (hospital beds, plastic items) from pathogenic bacteria.

Bacterial cellulose production using a novel microbe and its wound healing products

Bacterial cellulose (BC) is a natural polymer produced by certain bacteria in the form of nanofiber. Being a natural nanobiomaterial, it has been investigated for a broad range of applications ranging from headphone diaphragm to wound dressing and medical implant. The biochemical process for BC production using the well-established bacterium, Gluconacetobacter xylinus, is limited by the kinetics and oxygen availability resulting in a modest yield and long production time. In this project, we will investigate a recently discovered facultative bacterium for BC production.

Economic Assessment of a Predictive Technology for the Early Detection of Oral Cancer

Health economic evaluation provides information about the value for money of new healthcare technologies, and is increasingly used to guide the allocation of scarce resources based on maximizing health gain. The molecular diagnostics company, PDI, has developed a technology to improve the identification of patients at high risk for oral cancers for early intervention, and distinguish abnormal cell growth that will not become malignant, compared to the current gold standard alone.

DLVR Drug Delivery Characterization

Highly targeted therapies can be devised to treat a variety of cancers, specifically acting on the mutated genes causing tumor growth. One challenge with such techniques is delivering the therapy to the interior of the cancer cell, when enzymes in the blood can actively break down the therapeutic molecules or when delivery to healthy cells can cause toxicity. Nanoparticle carrier molecules can solve this problem by containing the payload and delivering it directly to the cancer cell.

Investigation of a novel Spatially-Sensitive Transmission Detector for real-time verification of radiation beams during Radiation Therapy

Unprecedented advances have been made in Radiation Therapy during the past two decades. High precision treatment plan is generated using sophisticated optimization methods, and treatment is delivered with complex intensity modulation techniques. Due to the complexity, the burden of Quality Assurance (QA) for modern radiotherapy has also increased dramatically.