Monthly Archives: January 2017

Dr. Daniel Latt

Project Title: Active-Assist Elbow Flexion Orthosis

Team 16051 Members:
Adriana Barreda, biomedical engineering
Carissa Grijalva, biomedical engineering
Justin Hsieh, agriculture and biosystems engineering
Blakeley Koziol, biomedical engineering
Tim Shimon, biomedical engineering
Gore logoMichael Sveiven, biomedical engineering and electrical and computer engineering (team lead)

Sponsors: UA College of Medicine and Department of Biomedical Engineering, with additional support from Gore

Flexion Device to Aid Healing

Dr. Daniel LattThis is the third year Dr. Daniel Latt, UA associate professor of orthopedic surgery and assistant professor of biomedical engineering, has sponsored an Engineering Design project. He has nothing but praise for the 2017 team doing its part to fill the “great need” for development of biomedical products.

The students are creating a system that aids elbow surgery patients in healing and regaining normal range of motion.

“They’re doing a fantastic job and drawing on so many different aspects of engineering design,” said the orthopedic surgeon, who hopes one day he and his colleagues will be able to prescribe the flexion device.

The system will include a comfortable, compact elbow brace for post-surgical immobilization; a motor assist mechanism that kicks in to help patients with muscle-strengthening physical therapy exercises; wireless technology for real-time feedback; and a fun, user-friendly mobile app that sends exercise reminders, advises patients on how workouts are going, and provides information to the treatment team.

With the preliminary design review behind them, team members are on to the comprehensive design review and exploring options – developing not just a Plan A or even Plans A and B, but Plans A, B, C, D and E to ensure a successful project.

The team expects to complete a prototype of their system by the end of April, for display and judging at Engineering Design Day 2017 on May 1.

Team 16010 members include, from left to right, Kevin Brinkman, Sandra Araiza Cruz, Fermin Prieto.

Project Title: Nasogastric Tube Placement Verification System

Xeridiem logoTeam 16010 Members:
Kevin Brinkman, biomedical engineering
Sandra Araiza Cruz, biomedical engineering
Dalton Hughes, electrical and computer engineering (team lead)
Fermin Prieto, biomedical engineering
Alex Thompson, electrical and computer engineering

Sponsor: Xeridiem

Life-Threatening Problem

Every year, an estimated 5,000 Americans die from complications caused by misplacement of nasogastric and orogastric tubes, which deliver nutrition and medication into the stomachs of patients who are unable to chew or swallow.

Health care providers and caregivers commonly place tubes blindly then verify placement by drawing fluid out of the stomach, injecting air into the stomach and listening with a stethoscope, or, in hospital settings, using X-rays. Lung injuries and other serious complications can arise when a tube is misplaced or migrates out of the stomach.

Big Shoes to Fill in 2017

Team 16010 is continuing the work of last year’s Xeridiem-sponsored team, which developed a system that gives instant feedback on feeding tube placement.

The 2016 team won two first-prize awards at the University of Arizona’s Engineering Design Day and presented the device at the annual Capstone Design Conference in Columbus, Ohio. Team leader Summer Garland is now employed by Xeridiem.

Team 16010 members, from left to right, Kevin Brinkman, Sandra Araiza Cruz, Fermin PrietoSimple, Effective Solution

Team 16010 is using the stomach’s specific acid pH ranges – between 1.5 and 3.5 – to make the device’s sensor more sensitive and eliminate the possibility of false positive results, such as those triggered by saliva.

“You’d think it would have been done a long time ago,” said Kevin Brinkman, working alongside other students over the winter break to improve the device.

The goal, said teammate Fermin Prieto, is to make tube placement and verification so easy that “caregivers can do it at home.”