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2014 Student Research Grant Recipients

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Ryan T. Farraro

University of California

Irvine, CA

Supporting ASLMS Member

Bernard Choi, Ph.D.

“Handheld Laser Speckle Imaging System for Neonatal Care”

The longer a neonate stays in a hospital, the greater their risk of developing an infection; therefore, to address the urgent treatment of neonatal diseases, there is a need for more early diagnostic devices for neonates. Laser speckle imaging is an ideal solution to this problem as it allows for real-time, non-invasive assessment of abnormal microvascular flow— a vital parameter that has been linked to several neonatal diseases. While laser speckle imaging has been used in a clinical setting, it has not been used as a point-of-care device. The goal of this proposed research is to assess whether or not a handheld laser speckle imaging device can be used in a clinical setting to take blood flow measurements of neonates. In order to accomplish this, the device must be characterized to understand the limitations of a handheld device. Characterization will be performed in three stages: 1) understanding the effect of movement on the speckle contrast images, 2) quantitatively measuring sensitivity to flow, and 3) performing a preliminary study within the hospital. Once the device has been characterized, a future study can be undertaken using the device to study neonatal disease states.

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Isaac Pence

Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN

Supporting ASLMS Member

E. Duco Jansen, Ph.D.

“In Vivo Raman Spectroscopic Characterization of Active Inflammatory Bowel Disease”

The development of Raman spectroscopy as a real-time, optical diagnostic tool for integration with conventional video endoscopy to differentiate inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) classes will be researched. Initial research for this project included establishing spectral biomarkers in ex vivo colon biopsy samples to differentiate ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease from normal controls. Furthermore, we have developed an optimized, endoscope-compatible Raman fiber probe design to enable in vivo data collection. The proposed research project, to characterize the in vivo disease and normal signals of the colon for IBD, will guide ongoing research and diagnosis of this poorly understood disease. If successful in establishing Raman spectral discrimination of IBD, this technology can be used for real-time in vivo diagnosis and follow-up of chronic IBD patients, providing biochemical information as a diagnostic “gold standard” and improve upon the current inexact clinical, endoscopic, and histological evaluations. The proposed research will be performed concurrently with additional in vivo human measurement studies to compare the relative influence of disease presentation in location activity and other patient variables to establish the accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity of the Raman spectroscopic approach to predicting IBD class.

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Caitlin Regan

University of California

Irvine, CA

Supporting ASLMS Member

Bernard Choi, Ph.D.

 

“Laser Speckle Imaging to Determine Tooth Viability”
The proposed research project is to design, build, and test a handheld LSI device for measuring pulsatile flow in the tooth to determine viability. All research will be carried out at Beckman Laser Institute at the University of California in Irvine. Initial device design and building, as well as all data processing will be carried out in the lab of Dr. Bernard Choi, who specializes in LSI. Testing the device in human subjects will be performed under the direction of Dr. Petra Wilder-Smith, who already has IRB approval for this study, along with endodontist Dr. Jan O’Dell.

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Jack Tang
University of California

Riverside, CA

Supporting ASLMS Member

Bahman Anvari, Ph.D.

“Optimization of Fabrication Methods for Maximizing the Fluorescence Emission of Optical Nano-Vectors Derived from Erythrocytes”
Completion of the proposed research will yield fabrication procedures for constructing near-infrared erythrocyte-mimicking transducers (NETs) with optimized emission intensity and fluorescence quantum yield. We plan to inject fluorescence-optimized NETs into mice to assess the efficacy of vascular imaging over extended circulation times in collaboration with Dr. J. Stuart Nelson’s group at the Beckman Laser Institute. We will also functionalize the surface of NETs using PEG-linkers and antibodies. This should add specific cell-targeting capabilities to the nanovectors. Continued researc


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