Medical Instrumentation Research Overview
Today's medical instruments are considerably more complicated and diverse, primarily because they incorporate electronic systems for sensing, transducing, manipulating, storing and displaying data or information. Medical diagnostic today more and more relies on detailed and accurate measurements of a vast number of physiologic parameters for diagnosing illnesses and prescribe complicated procedures for treating these. While medical instruments acquire and process information and data for monitoring patients and diagnosing illnesses, medical devices use electrical, mechanical, chemical or radiation energy for achieving a desired therapeutic purpose, maintaining physiologic functions or assisting a patient's healing process.
Development of novel clinical diagnostic, therapeutic and prosthetic devices based on advances in physiology research, materials, electronics and computational capabilities. Ongoing work includes use of vibromyography for diagnosis of osteoporosis, neural networks applied to heart auscultation, rapid sequencing of the human genome, self assembled materials, surface coatings to enhance tissue ingrowth and ultrasonic measurements of bone quality. The research topics include: Ultrasound - Diagnostic, Treatment, Biosensors
Faculty Research Interests
Health Sciences Tower 15-090
Summary : Despite major progress, cardiovascular diseases remain the leading cause of death in the western world. One of the major culprits in cardiovascular disease and in devices designed to treat or restore impaired cardiovascular function is the non-physiological flow pattern that enhances the hemostatic response mainly through platelet activation. Platelets have long been regarded as the preeminent cell involved in physiologic hemostasis and pathologic thrombosis. An innovative technique for measuring flow induced platelet activation has been developed, and its utility demonstrated in experiments conducted in recirculation devices (models of arterial stenosis, Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD), and mechanical heart valves). The mechanisms by which the non-physiologic flow patterns induce platelet activation and generate free emboli, that enhance the risk of cardioembolic stroke, was demonstrated in vivo with mechanical heart valves implanted in a sheep model. The results of this research will aid in elucidating physical forces that regulate cellular function in flowing blood, and may be applied to improve the design of blood recirculating devices and to develop more potent drugs for treating cardiovascular diseases.
Life Science Building - Room 002
Summary : The broad goal of this laboratory is to develop advanced optical instrumentation to detect and characterize physiological processes in living biological systems such as brain and heart. More specifically, cutting-edge optical spectroscopy and imaging techniques are developed that permit simultaneous detection of cerebral blood flow, blood volume and tissue oxygenation, as well as intracellular calcium in vivo. We are interested in studying drug-induced abnormalities of the brain function. Cocaine is chosen as one of the preliminary drugs for our research applications because it affects cerebral hemodynamcs, metabolism, and neuronal activities in the brain. The mechanisms that underlie cocaine's neurotoxic effects are not fully understood, partially due to the technical limitations of current neuroimaging techniques to differentiate cerebrovascular from neuronal effects at sufficiently high temporal and spatial resolutions. To solve this problem, we have developed a multimodal imaging platform that combines multi-wavelength laser speckle imaging, optical coherence tomography, and calcium fluorescence imaging to enable simultaneous detection of cortical hemodynamics, cerebral metabolism, and neuronal activities of animal brain in vivo, as well as its integration with microprobes for imaging neuronal function in deep brain regions in vivo. Promising results of in vivo animal brain functional studies demonstrate the potential of this novel multimodality approach to compliment other neuroimaging modalities (e.g., PET, fMRI) for investigating brain functional changes such as those induced by drugs of abuse.
Health Sciences Tower
Summary : Jerome Liang focuses his attention on the development of quantitative SPECT systems, 3D virtual endoscopy, and computer aided diagnosis. This work includes creating a quantitative SPECT imaging modality as a cost-effective means for patient diagnosis as well as developing a high resolution PET as a functional research imaging modality. Liang is also striving to create a virtual colonoscopy as a cost-effective procedure for colon screening and to construct an automatic method for brain-tissue segmentation for diagnosis of disorders. In addition, he plans to build various models, in terms of physics, mathematics, and statistics, to simulate the practical problems above and then to validate the models by experiments. Liang has published his findings in journals such as Magnetic Resonance Medicine.
Bioengineering Building - Room G09
Summary : Research in our lab focuses on the embedded systems and high performance computing technologies in biomedical applications. Research projects have covered a vast range from the wearable wireless infant monitor for the prevention of sudden infant death syndrome to ultrasound scanning imaging device for the assessment of bone properties. We adopted the latest technologies in embedded system design and established own platforms for the medical device prototyping to facilitate the transition of intellectual properties from bench side to bed side. We are capable of building miniaturized medical devices using microcontroller based design and integrating large sophisticated devices using off shelf components. We specialize in FPGA technology for our HPC research project because it offers the flexibility of hardware configuration that also benefits the data acquisition and control aspects in the projects.
Computer Sciences - 261
Summary : Klaus Mueller's areas of interest are medical, scientific and information visualization, visual analytics, medical imaging, computer graphics, virtual and augmented reality, and high-performance computing. He has pioneered the use of programmable commodity graphics hardware boards (GPUs) for the acceleration of a wide variety of computer tomographic (CT) reconstruction algorithms and medical physics phenomena. Applications include diagnostic imaging, radiotherapy, electron microscopy, ultrasound tomography for breast mammography, and others. In the visual analytics area he works on devising new high-dimensional data visualization frameworks and combining them with statistical pattern recognition and machine learning to create intuitive interactive analytical reasoning environments for medical professionals. He is also working towards a comprehensive visual data mining environment for neuroscientists, called BrainMiner, to enable a more targeted and experiential derivation of brain functional models from large collections of knowledge and data.
Bioengineering Building - Room G17
Summary : 2D and 3D cross-sectional optical imaging of biological tissue at close to cellular resolution (e.g., 10um) and at depths of 1-3mm can have significant impacts on noninvasive or minimally invasive clinical diagnosis of tissue abnormalities, e.g., tumorigenesis. Laser scanning endoscopes, based on optical coherence tomography (OCT), have been developed and tested on a wide variety of tissues both ex vivo and in vivo. Encouraging results based on animal and human studies show that LSE can provide morphological details correlated well with excisional histology, suggesting its potential for optical biopsy or optically guided biopsy to reduced negative biopsies in clinical practice. Current research of Dr. Pan's lab is focused on early-stage epithelial cancer detection, diagnosis of cartilage injury and healing, and assessment of engineering tissue growth. In addition, Dr. Pan's lab studies skin dehydration, geriatric incontinence and laser/biochemical attack to the eye using OCT and light microscopy.
Health Sciences Tower
Professor and Chair
Summary : The Center for Understanding Biology using Imaging Technology (CUBIT), under the guidance of Dr. Ramin Parsey and Christine Delorenzo, uses state-of-the-art imaging modalities to investigate psychiatric and neurological disorders. The goal of the lab is to develop, refine and apply brain-imaging techniques including positron emission tomography/magnetic resonance imaging (PET/MRI) to understand the biological causes of neuropsychiatric disorders and to improve their diagnosis and treatment. Several areas of focus of the lab include: 1) identifying biomarkers for diagnosis and predictors of treatment; 2) developing methods and modeling for neuroimaging; 3) understanding the serotonin system, specifically serotonin 1A and serotonin transporter systems, in major depression, bipolar disorder other mood disorders, and suicide; and 4) developing novel radio tracers. Using PET/MRI, we can better understand the neurotransmission deficits in psychiatric and neurological disorders that may aid diagnosis, identification of biomarkers and treatment targets to facilitate treatment development and ultimately to assist in treatment selection for precision medicine. Dr. Parsey has already established links with scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory and with other departments at Stony Brook and aims to work collaboratively.
Bioengineering Building - Room 215
Summary : Early diagnostic of osteoporosis allows for accurate prediction of fracture risk and effective options for early treatment of the bone disease. A new ultrasound technology, based on focused transmission and reception of the acoustic signal, has been developed by Dr. Qin and his team which represents the early stages of development of a unique diagnostic tool for the measure of both bone quantity (density) and quality (strength). These data show a strong correlation between non-invasive ultrasonic prediction and micro-CT determined bone mineral density (r>0.9), and significant correlation between ultrasound and bone stiffness (r>0.8). Considering the ease of use, the non-invasive, non-radiation based signal, and the accuracy of the device, this work opens an entirely new avenue for the early diagnosis of metabolic bone diseases.
Bioengineering Building - Room 217A
Distinguished Professor & Chair
Summary : Encouraging results show that the application of extremely low level strains to animals and humans will increase bone formation, and thus may represent the much sought after "anabolic" stimulus in bone. More than 15 years of research into non-invasive, non-pharmacological intervention to control osteoporosis, was referenced in Dr. Rubin's paper published in the journal Nature (August 9, 2001; 412:603-604). Dr. Rubin's studies suggest that gentle vibrations on a regular basis will help strengthen the bones in osteoporosis sufferers and increase bone formation. In his study, adult female sheep treated with gentle vibration to their hind legs for 20 minutes daily showed almost 35% more bone density. Clinical trials have been completed on post-menopausal women, children with cerebral palsy, and young women with osteoporosis, all with encouraging results. In expanding the research platform into other physiologic systems, current work demonstrates that these low-level signals influence mesenchymal stem cell differentiation, such that their path to adipocytes is suppressed, and markedly reduces adipose tissue.
Health Sciences Tower 4-141
Summary : Medical imaging techniques have undergone substantial growth in recent years, in both the research and clinical arenas. The standard anatomical imaging modalities of computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have been complemented by quantitative functional approaches like positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). Our lab develops new instrumentation and processing techniques not only to enhance the functional capabilities of PET, but also to combine it with synergistic modalities such as MRI to provide unprecedented, multidimensional information for cancer diagnosis, brain research, and many other applications. We have developed a miniaturized brain scanner for rodents (RatCAP) which avoids the potentially confounding effects of general anesthesia in rat brain studies, and even allows for the simultaneous study of behavior along with neurochemistry by PET. We have also developed new approaches for very high spatial resolution in PET, including a solid-state imager using cadmium zinc telluride (CZT) which achieves sub-mm resolution, and a monolithic scintillator detector with depth-encoding capability via a novel maximum likelihood positioning algorithm. And we have developed multiple imaging systems for simultaneous imaging with PET and high-field MRI, including a rodent brain scanner, a whole-body rodent system, and a prototype clinical breast imager. The research encompasses the development of new detector materials and concepts, low-noise microelectronic signal processing, high-throughput data acquisition methods, Monte Carlo simulation, and new data processing techniques to optimize the extraction of quantitative information from the PET data.
Bioengineering Building - Room 109
Summary : Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United Sates, and coronary artery disease is the most common type of cardiovascular disease. Shear stress induced by blood flow plays an important role in the initiation and development of atherosclerosis, the major reason for coronary artery disease. Circulating platelets and vascular endothelial cells are very sensitive to their mechanical environment; any change can affect their functions and interactions significantly. My major research interest is to investigate how altered blood flow and stress distribution affect platelet and endothelial cell behavior and lead to cardiovascular disease initiation. Computational fluid dynamics modeling, along with in vitro and ex vivo experiments, are carried out to study platelet and endothelial cell responses under physiologically relevant dynamic conditions. Biomarkers associated with platelet and endothelial cell activation are of special interest to us. We also work on numerical models to describe platelet coagulation kinetics and platelet adhesion to injured blood vessel wall under dynamic flow conditions.
Health Sciences Tower 4-120
Summary : Wei Zhao's main research interest is in the development of novel detector concept and new clinical applications for early detection of cancer. Her current research projects include (1) the characterization and optimization of a high-resolution flat-panel detector for digital mammography (imaging of the breast) through prototype development, image analysis, and computer modeling; (2) the development of detector technology and imaging system for three-dimensional imaging of the breast, which is aimed at achieving better detection of abnormality than existing two dimensional projection images; and (3) feasibility investigation of a large area flat-panel detector with amplification at each pixel for very low dose x-ray imaging applications.