Cochlear and Vestibular Neural Prostheses
As estimated by the World Health Organization, over 5% of the world’s population (360 million individuals: 32 million children) experience disabling hearing loss. Unattended hearing loss results in feelings of isolation, loneliness, and extreme frustration. Not only does hearing loss severely impair communication, it often leads to delays in spoken language abilities in children. A host of strategies, with varying degrees of success, can be used to reduce the detrimental effects of hearing disability: these range from screening, protection, captioning, sign language, to assistive devices such as hearing aids and cochlear implants (CI). CI devices function by coding sound waves as electrical pulses. In turn, these pulses determine the amount of electrical charge applied to neurons in the inner ear (cochlea) thereby conveying a lost or diminished sensation of sound. Approximately 324,000 CI have been implanted worldwide enabling some individuals to perceive speech very well. However, outcomes are highly variable and unpredictable. Everyday situations, such as understanding speech in noisy settings, and appreciating music, present users with significant challenges.
Biosensors and bioMEMS
Bio-MEMS is typically more focused on mechanical parts and microfabrication technologies made suitable for biological applications. On the other hand, lab-on-a-chip is concerned with miniaturization and integration of laboratory processes and experiments into single (often microfluidic) chips. In this definition, lab-on-a-chip devices do not strictly have biological applications, although most do or are amenable to be adapted for biological purposes. Similarly, micro total analysis systems may not have biological applications in mind, and are usually dedicated to chemical analysis. (snippet from this Wikipedia page)
Cardiac Gating with Computed Tomography
To more accurately trigger cardiac computed tomography angiography (CTA) than electrocardiography (ECG) alone, a sub-system is proposed as an intermediate step toward fusing ECG with seismocardiography (SCG). Accurate prediction of quiescent phases is crucial to prospectively gating CTA, which is susceptible to cardiac motion and, thus, can affect the diagnostic quality of images. The key innovation of this sub-system is that it identifies the SCG waveform corresponding to heart sounds and determines their phases within the cardiac cycles. Furthermore, this relationship is modeled as a linear function with respect to heart rate. For this paper, B-mode echocardiography is used as the gold standard for identifying the quiescent phases. We analyzed synchronous ECG, SCG, and echocardiography data acquired from healthy and cardiac anomalies based patients.