Wednesday, October 27, 2010

DOD Awards Grant

The Department of Defense awarded a $5 million grant to the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and to the University of Cincinnati to develop a “lab-on-a-chip” device to use to monitor patients suffering from severe brain injury.

In order to manage severe brain trauma, cutting-edge tools need to monitor patients during the critical first few hours and days after an injury. The Feinstein Institute neurosurgeons at the North Shore-LIJ Health System are collaborating with engineers and neurosurgical colleagues at the University to design a device to provide continuous monitoring of key biochemical and physiological parameters.

Tools to measure intracranial pressure have been available for over 25 years, but there are also many other changes going on inside the brain that are difficult to monitor. The device under development is a “lab-on-a-chip” designed to measure other parameters in addition to intracranial pressure such as brain temperature, brain tissue oxygen levels, glucose, and potentially other biochemical markers.

DOD is interested in the device for wounded soldiers in the theater. “When soldiers are injured, there is a great need for this kind of monitoring and it is critically important during transport,” said Raj K. Narayan, M.D, Chairman of Neurosurgery at North Shore University Hospital and LIJ Medical Center.

Dr. Narayan started work on the device during his tenure as Chair of Neurosurgery at the University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine, and the Mayfield Clinic. He recently recruited Chunyan Li, PhD from the University of Cincinnati’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering to help oversee the project. The grant funding will enable the team to complete the engineering on the device and then test it in laboratory models.