Preterm Birth in the United States : A Study of the Medical, Social, Economic, and Political Environment that Causes Early Births (STS research paper)

Breckenridge, Leigham Scott, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Lawrence, Michael, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Hayslett,, Marlit, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia

Technical Report:

Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machines are used to pump and oxygenate the blood of patients with deficient lungs and a high risk of fatality. The tubing circuitry of these systems is susceptible to thrombosis, one of the major causes of ECMO morbidity. This study describes the development and testing of a novel non-invasive thrombosis-detection sensor that can be attached to standard ECMO tubing. The device utilizes an infrared emitter-detector pair to measure the IR reflectivity of circulating blood in real time. Fibrin, the primary component of ECMO thrombi, is known to be reflective to IR light. By measuring IR reflectivity, this sensor intends to detect changes in the level of accumulated fibrin on the lumen of the tubing, thereby measuring thrombosis levels for enhanced medical decision making in clinical settings. Testing of the sensor with varying blood concentrations (mixed with PBS), indicate a moderate ability to detect IR differences. Further testing with thrombosis mimetics also indicated an ability to identify thrombi. However, testing of synthetic clots formed of fibrin, with no red blood cell or platelet integration, indicate insufficient sensitivity to detect clinically-relevant differences in fibrin accumulation. Further research with more accurate thrombosis mimetics, and sensor adjustment for increased sensitivity, are likely required for clinical applications.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
ECMO, Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, Thrombosis, Thrombosis detection, Sensor development

Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering
Technical Advisor: Michael Lawrence; STS Advisor: Marlit Hayslett.

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