Medical Devices


Device technology for the life sciences and medicine is typically coordinated through the BEI as a university designated interface for life sciences related commercial business development. Medical imaging (esp. Neuroimaging, breast cancer and diagnostic MRI), untethered healthcare, biomaterials (biofilms, bacterial adhesion, and biomechanics) and sensors comprise major areas of inventive activity. Many departments, most prominently the Departments of Bioengineering, Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering, are active innovators in this area.

Background Technology

Mendelson - Wearable pulse oximeter system - This invention enables the practical measurement and monitoring of a critical physiological parameter, blood oxygenation level (SPO2), via the integrated design features of reduced power consumption (preserving battery life), advanced signal processing, and wireless connectivity with the additional optional feature of geolocation.

Pending Patents

McGimpsey/Lambert , PCT/US2006/014079, Multi-transduction mechanism based microfluidic analyte sensors - Microfluidic sensors direct biological samples of a few nanoliters through miniature channels in an automated instrument and array out parallel reactions and assays more rapidly and with far smaller quantities of often-precious catalysts than other types of sensors, in essence, a laboratory-on-a-chip. The sensor samples whole blood, plasma and other physiological fluids and provide accurate measurements on the levels of electrolytes, blood gases, blood urea, nitrogen, pH and glucose, i.e. "small" molecules vs. "large" molecules such as proteins. A future version of the sensor could be wirelessly enabled or integrated into an implantable format.

The invention has advantages relative to current point-of-care medical lab testing instrument technology, especially with respect to speed of response and calibration. Highly analyte-specific detection molecules are attached to the sensor surface. The conventional approach is to place the binding detection molecules in a bulk membrane which takes time, wet-up time, for the analyte to penetrate before a measurement can be made. The sensor also uses an innovative dual method of detection, called ratiometric detection, which is self-calibrating, more accurate than single detection instruments, and doesn't require initial calibration time for each and every measurement. Thus, the sensor offers speed and accuracy not currently found in current handheld instruments.

Clancy/McNeill/Michalson , U.S. Pat. App. No. 11/262,493; U.S. Pat. Pub. No. 20060173364, Multi-channel electrophysiologic signal data acquisition system on an integrated circuit - Complete generic multiple-channel electrophysiologic data acquisition system ("front end") in the form of a mixed signal integrated circuit providing programmable analog signal conditioning with an embedded analog to digital converter economical and efficient solution for many channel physiological data acquisition systems, e.g. in large array diagnostics and in increasingly diverse patient monitoring environments.

Billiar , U.S. Pat. App. No. 11/107,302; U.S. Pat. Pub. No. 20060030791, Device and method for quantifying edema - This jointly developed invention (UMMC) describes a user-independent, electro-mechanical sensing device to objectively measure swelling in extremities replacing the current subjective digital manipulation by the clinician.

Tang , U.S. Pat. App. No. 11/296,943; U.S. Pat. Pub. No. 20060149522, Image-based computational mechanical analysis and indexing for cardiovascular diseases - Predictive medical software analysis tool for characterization of arterial blockage.

Tang/Huang/Yang/Hatsukami/Zheng/Woodward, U.S. patent pending, Quantifying vessel material properties using MRI under pressurized condition and in vivo MRI-based 3D FSI models for blood flow in human atherosclerotic plaques - Mechanical image analysis adds a new dimension to the investigation, early diagnosis, and optimal treatment of cardiovascular diseases related to atherosclerotic plaques. A novel method to determine material mechanical properties for human arteries using MR images obtained under in vitro pressurized conditions has been developed.  Effects of material properties on flow and wall stress/strain behaviors are included using a healthy artery segment and a human carotid bifurcation re-constructed from in vivo MR images.  This technology also has the potential to be used to determine vessel material properties non-invasively as in vivo MR images become more widely available.   

Benco/McGimpsey , U.S. Pat. App. No. 10/776,063; U.S. Pat. Pub. No. 20040161854, Device and method for the determination of Lithium ion concentration* - There are important therapeutic benefits of lithium in the treatment of neuro-psychological disorders. This innovative sensor provides a convenient, accurate in vivo measurement for dosage optimization and monitoring.

McGimpsey/Wanichacheva, U.S. patent pending, Novel ionophores and fluoroionophores for selective detection of lithium and ammonium ions - Lithium salts such as Li2CO3 have been effectively used as medicines for manic-depressive and hyperthyroidism patients, and monitoring is required to control the Li  level in the body.  Ammonium ions are used as markers for blood urea nitrogen (BUN) compounds in the analysis of whole blood. Several macrocyclic molecules have been synthesized as ionophores and fluoroionophores for selective detection of lithium and ammonium ions.  Through an innovative attachment technique these detection molecules are deposited as functional groups in self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) on multiple surfaces useful in medical device designs within various signal transduction schemes, e.g. electrochemical.

Pedersen/Duckworth, U.S. patent pending, Reconfigurable wireless ultrasound diagnostic system - A full range of ultrasound imaging capabilities is provided for flexible, practical in the field use through the integration of available lightweight technical components into a vest with wireless interconnection.

Clancy, U.S. patent pending, Method and Apparatus for Enhancing Spatial Selectivity of Electrophysiological Array Recordings Spatial filtering of electrophysiological array sensors, e.g. in electromyography, enables more reliable medical test data input for diagnostic procedures that can be part of critical or urgent care.  The present invention involves novel algorithms and interpolative schemes that provide significant improvement over current spatial filtering schemes.


Ludwig , U.S. Pat. No. 7,084,630 , Multi-modal RF coil for magnetic resonance imaging* - An advanced breast coil design provides unprecedented full coverage, high sensitivity, access, and improved comfort for MRI breast procedures.

Benco/McGimpsey, U.S. Pat. No. 6,746,595, Ammonium ionophore, an ammonium ion-selective sensor, and a method for detecting ammonium ions in a fluid sample* - This invention describes an ionophore that selectively binds ammonium over potassium. It utilizes relatively inexpensive materials and senses analyte in biological fluid samples, e.g. in an ion selective electrode (ISE) sensor design.

Benco/McGimpsey , U.S. Pat. No. 6,660,526, Potassium fluoroionophore* - Potassium detection via fluorescence in biological fluid samples offers the design advantage for sensors of substantially reduced size compared to absorbance type sensing with good signal to noise performance.  It is also highly selective for potassium.

Mendelson , U.S. Pat. No. 6,084,661 , Optical method and apparatus for measuring carbon monoxide in non-hemolyzed blood - A point-of-care, reagentless, optical sensing device to measure CO in blood samples provides a lower cost, more rapid CO determination than traditional laboratory analysis.

Kun/Peura , U.S. Pat. No. 5,807,272, Impedance spectroscopy system for ischemia monitoring and detection* - This invention provides a minimally invasive, inexpensive method of determining the absolute level of ischemia, i.e. blood perfusion in tissue typically involved in a surgical procedure, especially under conditions in which the tissue's initial condition is not well characterized.

Kraus , U.S. Pat. No. 5,746,741 , External fixator system* - An improved mechanical design for external skeletal fixation includes flexibility to make adjustments in number and placement of clamps and pins during and after the procedure without disassembly, ability to reuse clamping parts after adjustments, and ability to accommodate a range of securing pin diameters.

Hoffman , U.S. Pat. No. 5,449,374 , Tissue spreading forceps - A simplified tissue closing procedure involving spreading tissue and implementing a suture or other closing method by a single surgeon is enabled by this invention.

Peura/Mendelson/Harjunmaa >, U.S. Pat. No. 5,112,124, Method and apparatus for measuring concentration of absorbing substances* - This invention provides a non-invasive measurement of radiation absorbing analytes in absorbing or turbid media, for example, in vivo glucose measurement at low concentrations.

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