Biomedical Devices

Arterial Coupler
Several different surgeries require the end-to-end anastomosis of blood vasculature. On larger blood vessels this can be accomplished by hand-suturing the two ends together. However, as the blood vessels shrink in size hand-suturing becomes more difficult. Current techniques involve intraoperative microscopes and ultra-thin needles. These techniques require specialized training and present serious potential complications. Our goal is to develop a mechanical device that would simplify the anastomosis of arteries 1 to 5mm in diameter and provide an alternative to hand-suturing. Several device design iterations have already been documented, and we are currently optimizing the design for effectiveness and ease of use.
Eye Drug Delivery
description forthcoming . . .
Mechanical Leech
The Mechanical Leech (open image here) is a medical replacement for biological leeches, providing the necessary venous congestion relief that is needed for leech therapy.  Live leeches are currently used during post-surgical skin graft procedures to remove pooling blood at the surgical sites. Leech therapy is the practice of introducing leeches onto reattached tissue post-surgery to relieve venous congestion in the region.  The primary function of the leech is to prevent the pooling of blood and reduce pressure in areas where arterial blood flow is adequate to supply blood but the venous blood flow is insufficient to remove it. This gives the body time to form new veins to handle the return blood flow. The leeching process accomplished naturally through the feeding process of leeches that create a small incision, secrete an anticoagulant, and remove the excess fluid. In addition to eliminating a patient’s repulsion of biological leeches, the Mechanical Leech will provide more consistent, controllable performance over its parasitic counterpart, making it more desirable to doctors and surgeons to use during therapy.
Microfluidic Semen Preparation

Through this NSF-funded project, we work to create a device capable of performing the semen prep procedure required for intrauterine insemination (IUI). The technology is required to remove WBCs from the sample, and wash the cells from the seminal plasma. The project is done in collaboration with the Andrology Clinic at the University of Utah and with the Salt Lake-based startup company NanoNC.


Nerve Regeneration

Sperm Isolation from mTESE Samples
We are currently working to create a device capable of isolating sperm cells from microTESE samples. MicroTESE samples are testicular biopsy samples taken when no sperm are found in the ejaculate. The samples contain millions of cells, very few of which are the desired sperm cells. The current clinical practice of manually searching for the sperm cells could be greatly accelerated with a microfluidic hardware system capable of isolating the sperm cells from other contaminating cells and debris. The project is done in collaboration with the Andrology Clinic at the University of Utah and with the Salt Lake-based startup company NanoNC.