2013 I&E SUMMER VIDEOS

Kristopher Alvarez

Research Project Title: Proprietary Medical Catheter Product Development
Advisor(s): Professor Vikki Hazelwood
Department(s): Chemistry, Chemical Biology & Biomedical Engineering
I continued the development of a former senior design project, the multi-lumen thoracic catheter (MLTC). A thoracic catheter drains excess fluid or air from the space between the lungs and the chest wall. Catheter complications include extreme pain, blood clotting and infection to the wound. In cardiothoracic surgery, the catheter is sutured shut, leaving no way to alleviate these issues. However, the MLTC will allow the needed access into the wound. As lead on this project, I organized team meetings, reviewed patents, completed extensive market research and became an expert on lungs. We have contacted companies who have told us the MLTC can be manufactured. The next step is to complete testing on a lung model using flow-modeling software. Then, we can change various dimensions of the MLTC to find the optimal lengths and positions for the inter-wall lumen.

Kevin Barresi

Research Project Title: System and Framework for Multi-Dimensionally Visualizing and Interacting with Large Data Sets
Advisor(s): Professor Mukund Iyengar
Department(s): Electrical & Computer Engineering
This project was founded by a team of two students and focuses on developing a method for visualizing large sets of data in an intuitive way. Lubble was formed from our research. This new browser differentiates itself from other browsers, including Chrome and Firefox, by allowing users to view hundreds of web pages simultaneously. To accomplish this, a blank screen is filled with bubbles, each being a graphical representation of a webpage. The bubbles are automatically placed in a manner that shows connections between websites. Users have full control and can scroll, zoom and drag bubbles. When clicked, bubbles expand to show the webpage they represent. As a result of the effort, the product has been developed to a high level of operation, and one provisional patent has been filed through the Stevens OIE. More patents, publications and source code copyrights are in the pipeline.

Kamal Bhakta

Research Project Title: Smartphone Privacy Leakage
Advisor(s): Professor Yingying Chen
Department(s): Electrical & Computer Engineering
Smartphone market applications leak sensitive consumer information to third-party vendors, such as advertising and payment services. Misbehaving applications can potentially leak smartphone information, including unique phone identifier, phone number, SIM card serial number and GPS location, as well as camera, microphone and accelerometer data. A release of these data presents an immediate danger to users. Due to the slower computational nature of smartphones, secure protocols cannot be executed as efficiently as with personal computers, which have higher encryption standards. This past summer, I carried out several dozen applications tests using a Google Nexus One with a modified Android platform. The real-time data leaked from the device through popular market applications were incrementally cataloged for further analysis. Continually testing applications can provide a software engineering framework for developing more secure protocols using a simulated environment based on these preliminary tests.

Matthew Bombard

Research Project Title: Signal Generation in Forex Markets from News Sentiment Data
Advisor(s): Professor Eleni Gousgounis
Department(s): Howe School of Technology Management
More than four trillion dollars are traded every day in the foreign exchange markets, and the slightest edge can lead to massive profits. One of the leading forces in today’s markets is news and social media. Our research—using sentiment data exclusively available to Thomson Reuters—aims to create a model that can predict movement in a currency’s price. Our state-of-the-art “wisdom of the crowds” approach relies on 52 separate mood indicators ranging from “fear” and “joy” to “economic uncertainty” and “anger at a government.” Using both carry trade and traditional trading strategies with our unique approach, we can develop a portfolio of currencies that carries little risk and exceptional returns.

William Calhoun

Research Project Title: Generating a Trading Signal Based on News and Social Media Sentiment for the Foreign Exchange Market
Advisor(s): Professor Eleni Gousgounis
Department(s): Howe School of Technology Management
Our project explores the value of sentiment as a risk factor in the foreign exchange market. Our goal is to identify new pricing determinants in the foreign exchange market and possibly develop a trading algorithm based on overall sentiment. Currently, we are evaluating the performance of a wide variety of sentiment metrics, ranging from “fear” to “uncertainty.” The sentiment indices, provided by Thomson Reuters, are based on news and social media. We are using complex machine-learning algorithms to implement a wide array of advanced analysis techniques. Ultimately, this research will break new ground in the largest traded market in the world. We will be able to accurately and mathematically describe how mood affects prices.

Michelle Castroagudin

Research Project Title: Characterize the Nuclear Pore Complexes in Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome Fibroblasts
Advisor(s): Professor Joseph Glavy
Department(s): Chemistry, Chemical Biology & Biomedical Engineering
Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) is a rare and fatal genetic disorder in humans, characterized by premature aging. These cells lack active growth caused by telomere shortening and genomic instability. The Glavy Lab studies HGPS in fibroblast cells and found an association between nuclear pore complex proteins (Nups) and DNA damage complexes involved in DNA damage repair. For my research, I monitored the Nup expression levels and localization throughout the cell cycle to determine which Nups are involved in moderating this progression. After the cells are isolated at different points of the cell cycle, we observed the changes within the nuclear pore complex and the effect on the neighboring proteins. As we learned more about the premature aging diseases, we gained valuable insights into our own aging process. These findings can be eventually translated into clinical applications to help victims suffering from this disease.

Julian Chaves

Research Project Title: Augmented Reality: Stevens; Artfelt: Designing An Interactive Museum Experience; Development of Strategy and Role-Playing Games For Education
Advisor(s): Professor Brian Moriarty
Department(s): Visual Arts & Technology
“Augmented Reality: Stevens“ involves the development of a mobile application for Android phones. The app provides a virtual tour of the Stevens campus using image recognition and geotagging features. Art assets are polished using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to create a product that is visually appealing. “Artfelt: Designing an Interactive Museum Experience” is a project that involves designing attractions for an educational and historically accurate Greek exhibit. Adobe’s Photoshop, Illustrator, Autodesk Maya and Maxon Cinema 4D are utilized in various ways to create the aesthetic properties of these exhibits. For the “Development of Strategy and Role-Playing Games for Education” project, our team developed one level of an educational calculus video game for Microsoft Kinect™. I developed original artwork for the game including 3D models and user interface elements. All 3D assets were created in Maya and Cinema 4D while 2D materials were created in Photoshop and Illustrator.

John Cheatham

Research Project Title: Network Programming in the NEBULA Architecture
Advisor(s): Professor Antonio Nicolosi
Department(s): Computer Science
This summer, I worked on NEBULA, a new Internet architecture that would make cloud computing safer and more reliable. In the modern Internet, users often have no way of knowing whether their data are being spied upon by malicious third parties. NEBULA would solve this problem by allowing users to communicate exclusively over designated safe paths. My research is focused on creating and connecting these safe paths. Everyone would benefit from having a safer Internet: everyday users could rest assured that their passwords and credit card numbers are secure, while companies and governments could use cloud computing to enhance productivity without worrying about company or state secrets being stolen by hackers. Information security is more important now than ever before, and NEBULA will be a big step towards making the Internet more secure.

Eric Cherin

Research Project Title: Interactive Simulation Platform for Cognitive Radio Networks
Advisor(s): Professor Yu-Dong Yao
Department(s): Electrical & Computer Engineering
Contained in the electromagnetic spectrum, the radio spectrum is a medium that allows radios to communicate with the outside world. Cognitive radios intelligently adapt to the wide range of frequencies in the radio spectrum to transmit and receive data. Cognitive radio networks are used to make the most of the radio spectrum by efficiently allocating space for cognitive radios. Researchers are investigating algorithms that will boost the efficiency and reliability of the cognitive radio network. The ALOHA Protocol is a networking algorithm that controls when the cognitive radios can send data. My research involved creating an interactive simulation platform to test the ALOHA Protocol algorithm. I used Java to display a representation of a cognitive radio network and its efficiency graphs. As wireless technology increases rapidly, the finite radio spectrum will only grow denser and cognitive radio networks will replace the wireless technology we use today.

Mary Ann Collins

Research Project Title: Laser Coagulation for Surgical Hemostasis with Neurosurgical Robots
Advisor(s): Professor Art Ritter
Department(s): Chemistry, Chemical Biology & Biomedical Engineering
Clot formation is critical to minimize blood loss and prevent the entry of microorganisms into the body. Microorganisms can lead to infection, a common complication after surgery. Although the clotting mechanism is well known, the reproduction of this process is challenging. However, new methods have been discovered with the development of photocoagulation (laser-induced coagulation). Lasers stimulate natural clotting by emitting light that activates proteins involved in coagulation. This method relies on the body’s own systems to naturally seal a wound, resulting in less tissue damage. The main objective of this research focuses on designing a laser that will emit only a certain wavelength of light to activate the specific coagulation protein, prothrombin. By combining research on blood coagulation mechanisms and the pathways involved, this technology will be implemented in the neurosurgical robot at Stevens to be utilized in surgery.

Matthew Corrado

Research Project Title: Coupled Resonating Optical Waveguide (CROW) Gyroscope Fabrication
Advisor(s): Professor Christopher Search
Department(s): Physics & Engineering Physics
CROW gyroscopes are a recent breakthrough in optical-based technology. These nanoscale rings (rings hundreds of thousands of times smaller than the periods on this page) allow light from a laser to jump through rings extremely close together. The light goes through each ring in both directions. When the light in each direction meets, each beam interferes. As the system rotates and the light travels through, the interference will measurably change, and the acceleration and direction can be determined. Such a calculation leads to a sensor much more sensitive than current gyroscopes in phones, planes, and other technology. My project is to fabricate CROWs at Brookhaven National Laboratory Center for Functional Nanomaterials. These CROWs are important to the future of optical gyroscopes. The fact that these CROWS have no moving parts while being more sensitive than any other product is both unique and optimal for future technology.

Christopher Coyle

Research Project Title: AcceleroMetrix
Advisor(s): Professor Vikki Hazelwood
Department(s): Chemistry, Chemical Biology & Biomedical Engineering
This summer, I worked on the AcceleroMetrix project. This project is devoted to developing a medical device called the AcceleroClip, which measures Train of Four (T.O.F.) ratio. The goal of this research project is to continue the development of the AcceleroClip until it reaches the stage of testing on patients. When the summer project began, the device was functional; however, with its present construction it requires a computer connection. The device also currently has exposed wires and an exposed microcontroller. These early-stage limitations prevent the device from being tested on patients because of its inability for easy sterilization and a lack of mobility. The immediate goal of the project is to create a portable handheld device that Dr. Atlas, the advising physician, can use for tests on patients. The project has a strong progression towards its goal of creating a functional product by the end of the summer.

Paul Dubuke

Research Project Title: Mapping Hurricane Sandy
Advisor(s): Professor Alan Blumberg & Professor Philip Orton
Department(s): Civil, Environmental & Ocean Engineering
Hurricane Sandy had devastating effects on many cities along the East Coast of the United States. One of the many cities that felt its effects was Hoboken. The goal of my project was to document how the storm surge resulting from Hurricane Sandy flooded Hoboken. I have accomplished this goal by assisting a colleague in putting together an animation that roughly displays what happened during Hurricane Sandy. This model maps where, when and how the water entered Hoboken. A timeline is also being produced to coincide with the animation to display pictures and videos gathered from Hoboken residents. This display will help the public better understand hurricanes and prepare for future storms. Furthermore, engineers might be able to use this model to prevent this catastrophe from reoccurring.

Fred Florio

Research Project Title: Quantifying Sources Of Noise in Coupled Resonator Optical Waveguide (CROW) Gyroscopes
Advisor(s): Professor Christopher Search
Department(s): Physics & Engineering Physics
Gyroscopes are key components in most modern-day technologies, with applications ranging from missile guidance to the tilt sensor in smart-phones. Currently, gyroscopes fall into one of two categories: highly sensitive and bulky (eg: those used in aircrafts) or small but lacking in precision(eg: mechanisms used in gaming controllers). CROW gyroscopes, on the other hand, should offer high precision on a micron scale. Until now, all claims boasting the CROW gyroscope’s ability to achieve inertial grade sensitivity assumed no errors or variance in the fabrication process. My research focuses on the characterization and quantification of different sources of error that occur about during the fabrication process, as well as modeling the effects of fabrication variances on the overall system sensitivity and functionality. With this error analysis, we will be able to determine the limits of the device’s sensitivity and the fabrication parameters needed to achieve various sensitivities.

Christian Grapel

Research Project Title: Urban Coastal Flooding Research
Advisor(s): Professor Alan Blumberg & Professor Philip Orton
Department(s): Civil, Environmental & Ocean Engineering
Hurricane Sandy was a wake-up call for the coastal population about the dangers of high storm surges and the damaging effects of waves. There are a few ways that the community can fare better through a similar storm: understand, model and prevent. The main goal was to understand and quantify storm-driven waves. For this project, a complete comprehension of waves and their damaging effects was needed before any further inquiries could be made. The correlation between water depth and wave height was analyzed using both estimating equations and programs to compute and visualize data. By adjusting the initial conditions within one of the programs, a simple experiment was conducted to see the effect of sea-level rise on wave crest elevation and inland wave propagation. The research continues through other projects which explore different aspects of damaging waves.

Kyle Hillegass

Research Project Title: 3D Imaging of Bacteria and Cell Surface Morphologies
Advisor(s): Professor Matthew Libera
Department(s): Chemical Engineering & Material Science
Bacterial infections, like Staphylococcus infection, are a serious issue for the general population. These infections can be caused by a simple cut infiltrated by bacteria. These bacteria can form a biofilm, which is a thousand times more resistant to antibiotics than bacteria in the planktonic state. Biomedical devices, such as hip implants, have surfaces that are designed to enhance the attachment of desirable tissue cells, but these surfaces are unable to inhibit bacterial biofilm growth. My project goal was to determine how the unique construction of Staphylococcus aureus biofilms change as biomaterial sur faces are varied. I used traditional biological specimen preparation techniques combined with a state-of-the-art microscope system to collect a set of serial 2D images. Using advanced visualization software, these images were rendered into a 3D image. The results can provide important insights into biomaterial surface design to prevent bacterial colonization and minimize infection.

Brian Hu

Research Project Title: 3D Imaging Of Neural Cells on Nanofiber Surfaces
Advisor(s): Professor Xiaojun Yu
Department(s): Chemistry, Chemical Biology & Biomedical Engineering
Autografts, tissues transplanted from one part of the body to another, are currently the gold standard for treating nerve injuries. Their use; however, has complications such as increased chance of infection, creation of a second wound site and limitations on autograft length. Thus, engineers are trying to create nerve guidance conduits (NGC) that will aid in the regrowth and repair of nerve tissue rather than replacing it. The NGCs are fabricated with electrospun nanofibers, which guide the nerve tissue as it regenerates. This project focuses on reconstructing a 3D model of polycaprolactone NGCs with different-sized nanofibers seeded with neural cells (such as dorsal root ganglion and Schwann cells) to determine the effects of the nanofibers on cell morphology. This work will hopefully aid in the development of more effective NGCs that can replace autografts as treatment options for nerve injury.

David Inga

Research Project Title: Stevens Financial Database Services (SFDS)
Advisor(s): Professor Steve Yang
Department(s): School of Systems & Enterprises
All publicly traded companies are required to submit quarterly and annual reports so investors can make informed financial decisions. When an individual wants to invest based on more than one report, investing becomes difficult because it requires tedious, repetitive reading of financial statements and calculating values individually. To make this process easier and less time-consuming, the SEC has mandated that companies must submit accurate reports in a standard format, called Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) by fall 2013. Given the proper tools in handling the data, accountants and investors will be able to analyze the financial history for a company. For this project, I am creating applications in the Python language to retrieve the data, and create an interactive website. Additionally, I will develop a SMS service to provide instant access of financial updates on phones.

Matthew Julian

Research Project Title: Two-Dimensional Graphene and Molybdenum Disulphide Semiconducting Devices
Advisor(s): Professor Eui-Hyeok Yang
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering
Two-dimensional semiconducting devices are becoming a larger part of today’s electronics research and development. As our cell phones and other devices get smaller, 2D semiconducting materials become more appealing for replacing silicon in such products. Atomically thin and flexible, with extremely high charge mobility, 2D materials like graphene and molybdenum disulphide are more efficient options for future electronic devices. These materials and their special properties have paved the way for ideas such as flexible tablet computers and smartphones. My group and I conducted research into various nanometer-scale devices based on these 2D materials, such as photodetectors and transistors. My primary job within the group is to use the scanning electron microscope and focused ion beam system located in the multiscale imaging laboratory to pattern, mill and deposit metals onto these 2D materials for further device fabrication and testing.

Sean Kelty

Research Project Title: Stevens Light and Life Lab Climate Observatory
Advisor(s): Professor Knut Stamnes
Department(s): Physics & Engineering Physics
The release of man-made trace gases and the burning of fossil fuels poses potential threats to our environment, such as ozone depletion and increased exposure to harmful ultraviolet radiation, as well as a warmer climate. Using complex algorithms based on raw UV light data collected from Norwegian Institute for Air Research UV devices, we can determine atmospheric elements such as UV index, cloud transmission factor, ozone column amount and dose rate. Looking at these data over long periods of time will help us better understand the effects of global warming and aerosols on our environment. I am optimizing the algorithms to analyze the raw data daily, creating plots of the analyzed data (UV index, ozone column, etc.) and creating a website so the data can be easily accessible.

Xin Li

Research Project Title: Smartphone Mobile App Interface for Stevens Financial Data Services
Advisor(s): Professor Steve Yang
Department(s): School of Systems & Enterprises
Most companies post their quarterly and annual reports on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) website as an eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) file. However, the XBRL file is very complicated to understand for the average viewer without prior analysis. The goal of this project was to develop a novel data service for storing, visualizing and analyzing company financial disclosures filed to the SEC. This can be accomplished by making Stevens a portal to deliver key financial and competitor comparison analysis results to common investors and listed companies. More conveniently, my research group developed an app for smartphones. Armed with the latest financial market news, investors can save time, analyze the market and make informed investment choices.

Michelle Little

Research Project Title: Augmented Reality: Stevens; Artfelt: Designing An Interactive Museum Experience; Development of Strategy and Role-Playing Games For Education
Advisor(s): Professor Brian Moriarty
Department(s): Visual Arts & Technology
Our research team focused its efforts on three independent projects over the summer, and my role was that of a project manager. I was required to develop and execute a plan for the summer that followed agile project management strategies. I implemented various project management tools for all projects and I served as the main source of contact to any outside sources involved in project development. Additionally, I researched and applied for funding and expo opportunities for the projects. The first project was to develop one level of an educational calculus video game for the Microsoft Kinect™, including original artwork, audio and storyline elements. The second project was to work with the Museum of Thessaloniki to develop an interactive exhibit that included four virtual sub-exhibits that pertained to ancient Greek history. The third project was to develop a mobile application that provides a virtual tour of Stevens using image recognition and geotagging.

Matthew Michael

Research Project Title: Reaction Mechanism for the Copper-Based Fluorescent Probes of Nitric Oxide
Advisor(s): Professor Yong Zhang
Department(s): Chemistry, Chemical Biology & Biomedical Engineering
Nitric oxide (NO) is a crucial cellular-signaling molecule that our body generates. It signals our arteries to relax and expand (vasodilation); immune cells to kill bacteria and cancer cells; neurons to communicate with each other; and other cells to interact. Although NO is vital for maintaining life, its overproduction can lead to accumulation of harmful molecules in our cells that can cause debilitating diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, cardiovascular disease and various cancers. Therefore research into the molecular mechanisms of NO production, trafficking and function within our cells can lead to potential treatments for these diseases. Currently, NO fluorescent probes (molecules that emit light upon reaction with NO) are being utilized to provide real-time imaging of NO production and accumulation in living cells. Since the mechanism of these probes with NO has not been fully understood, my research is focused on providing this key information via computational chemistry and simulation.

Matthew Milideo

Research Project Title: Stereo Vision for Driver Assistance and Autonomous Navigation
Advisor(s): Professor Philippos Mordohai
Department(s): Computer Science
Stereoscopic computer vision is a process whereby 3D information is extracted from multiple digital images. A computer can then use this information to determine the computer’s location relative to the objects in the images. The algorithms that extract this information work by trying to match pixels between two images. This is a very difficult task, because certain geometric patterns can cause pixels to be matched inaccurately, which can lead to inaccurate 3D data. Because of this, autonomous navigation using such data is error-prone and in need of improvement. One potential way to increase the accuracy of current algorithms is to combine them. My research involves studying algorithms to figure out how they handle different types of images. This work will hopefully lead to a new algorithm with higher accuracy. Such an algorithm could help create self-driving cars and decrease the frequency of car accidents.

Marc Mitchell

Research Project Title: Scope of Spinal Range of Motion Project
Advisor(s): Professor Antonio Valdevit
Department(s): Chemistry, Chemical Biology & Biomedical Engineering
To satisfy the demands of healthcare today, medical procedures must be medically and economically cost-efficient. The monitoring of patient progress during post-operative and non-surgical therapies is significant and should be an effective process. Current methods to evaluate spinal conditions during both the pre- and post-treatment period include a physical examination and radiographic studies with and without range of motion (ROM) evaluation. My research focuses on the use of radiographic images for the determination of ROM. Multiple images are required of the patient’s spine, and the radiographic exposure is significant. Furthermore, no data are obtained pertaining to the spine’s left and right rotation by traditional imaging, nor are data available to account for coupled motion displayed by the spine. Through my research, I developed a device that will determine the traditional ROM parameters in subjects and provide new data for clinical evaluation of dynamic ROM while keeping radiographic exposure at a minimum.

Albert Painter

Research Project Title: 3D-Printed Supercapacitor as Power Booster for Smartphones
Advisor(s): Professor Woo Lee
Department(s): Chemical Engineering & Material Science
Supercapacitors are electrical energy storage devices that bridge the gap between batteries and capacitors. Though batteries are energy-dense (they hold a large amount of energy), they are not power-dense (they cannot discharge energy quickly). Capacitors suffer the opposite difficulty: they are power-dense but not energy-dense. Usually, supercapacitors are made with flat electrodes of activated carbon, an inexpensive and easy-to-manufacture carbon material. However, it is known that 3D finger-like designs should produce better electrical properties. The aim of my project is to create 3D- printed finger-like supercapacitor electrodes using activated carbon. This project will show the viability of 3D printing supercapacitors as well as demonstrate the improvement in electrical properties due to the 3D design. Supercapacitor research could impact a wide variety of areas. Cell phones, cameras, pacemakers and even automobiles may benefit from supercapacitors.

Sharon Rooker

Research Project Title: Micromanipulation and Assembly
Advisor(s): Professor David Cappelleri
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering
A micromanipulator allows users to move microscopic particles with great precision. This robotic instrument enables. These robotic instruments are utilized for biological and non-biological purposes. Some applications of micromanipulators include intracytoplasmic sperm injection, mid-ear surgery, the study of microparticle properties and manufacturing at the microscale. The micromanipulator under development here at Stevens consists of four probes that cage, and re-position a particle. The probes can be controlled by a joystick or by inputting position coordinates into a computer program. Over the summer, simple mechanical prototypes of a device to control each probe were designed and tested. The interest is to apply flexible manufacturing techniques to micro-, meso- and nano-scale manipulation tasks.

Charles Salerno

Research Project Title: Microscope Slide Sample Applier
Advisor(s): Professor Matthew Libera
Department(s): Chemical Engineering & Materials Science
The goal of my project was to automate the process of patterning samples onto a microscope slide. Originally, a spring-loaded needle was used to manually deposit samples. However, my project allows a researcher to control the needle via a computer. The main components of my machine are a Fergelli L12P linear actuator that pushes the needle, and a Fergelli Linear Actuator Control Board that connects the actuator to a computer. When dealing with patterns that are microns in size, having a machine apply samples to a slide is preferable to using the human hand because a machine can perform repetitions with much greater ease and therefore keep pattern samples uniform.

Connor Sellar

Research Project Title: Thermal Analysis and Observation of Bacterial Culture Growth
Advisor(s): Professor Rainer Martini
Department(s): Physics & Engineering Physics
Bacterial growth tests occur every day in a wide range of fields and circumstances. Hospitals constantly use cultures of bacteria to test for diseases. Biological laboratories use bacteria in genetic tests to attempt to cure anything from cancer to the common cold. The problem facing hospitals, bio-labs and clinics is that these tests can take one to two days to obtain any result simply because of the bacteria‘s growth rates. In hospitals, the time it takes for these tests could mean the difference between life and death for some patients. My research is aimed at developing a faster and more quantitative method to detect bacterial growth by measuring the amount of heat released during the process. Using this method of bacterial detection, we hope to decrease the required time for these tests from one to two days down to one to two hours.

Charles Jacob Shotmeyer

Research Project Title: HydrogelBased Coatings for Controlled Release of Vancomycin
Advisor(s): Professor Xiaojun Yu
Department(s): Chemistry, Chemical Biology & Biomedical Engineering
About two percent of all orthopedic surgery procedures involve post-operative infections that can nullify the surgery. We are developing a hydrogel that could possibly coat implanted devices and slowly release antibiotics. This would diminish the chances of infection, and, at the same time, would diminish the negative repercussions to the liver and spleen that come along with the current method of injecting high doses of antibiotics to the implantation site. The hydrogel would slowly release the antibiotic over a seven-day period to minimize the chances of infection. I am culturing bacteria on the hydrogel to see how biofilms form on the hydrogels. I started researching the bacteria in the Netherlands and continued my research here at Stevens.

Vidhi Sonani

Research Project Title: Graphical CONOPS for Delivery of Healthcare
Advisor(s): Professor Robert Cloutier
Department(s): School of Systems & Enterprises
Systems engineering researchers at Stevens have been investigating the use of game development platforms and applying game-development ideas to the concept engineering of new products and services. During this project, I have designed graphical concepts of operations (CONOPS)—models for a hospital to walk through new operational concepts and processes without having to rearrange an existing facility (saving time and money). I researched use cases (medical care scenarios such as newborn delivery) and modeled them in 3D via an immersive game platform. A game-like approach can be intuitively appealing, involving and engaging for all stakeholders (patients, administration, medical staff, etc.) in the visualization of how to incorporate new products or services into an existing environment. It is hoped that this visualization process will enable all stakeholders to model new medical processes and procedures in a rich, reactive environment, leading to reform for the entire healthcare system.

Thomas Tate

Research Project Title: Bone Fusion Stimulation via an Electromechanical Device
Advisor(s): Professor Robert Chang
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering
More than two-thirds of the United States senior population suffers from chronic knee pain. In many cases, medical professionals recommend partial or total knee replacement surgery. If approved, such procedures involve the removal of the damaged knee joint and replacement with a prosthetic that enables mobility and lessens pain. For the operation to be deemed successful, the patient must have a significant decrease in pain without sacrificing functionality. For this to occur, the artificial knee joint must be biologically attached (“glued”) to the bones that it comes in contact with. The biological fixation process (bone fusion) can be expedited significantly if the bone cells are electrically stimulated. Current battery technology requires additional surgeries, which increases the risk for infection and knee failure. My research involves replacing this battery technology with a device that creates electric charge from compression and vibration, thus eliminating these risks.

Abigail Vaskain

Research Project Title: Alleviating Voting Inadequacies Through Data Visualization and Operations Research
Advisor(s): Professor Jose Ramirez-Marquez
Department(s): School of Systems & Enterprises
This project incorporated elements of visualization and statistical analysis to define deficiencies of the United States voting system. Voting is imperative to any functioning democracy; however, 10 percent to 20 percent of potential voters are left out. Focusing on improving accessibility of such systems, this exploratory research conducted a study on geographical location of facilities within voting districts and compared the number of facilities available to registered voters assigned to a specific location. From this information, assumptions can be made regarding service time, waiting time and accessibility. These data are displayed via a heat map of the United States, where deficient regions are noted. A prescriptive study was completed by utilizing a mathematical optimization model to find the configuration of facilities in a given voting district that provides optimal accessibility to the voting population.

Min Yang

Research Project Title: Optimizing The Current Telehealth Program At The VNAHG
Advisor(s): Professor Donald Lombardi
Department(s): Howe School of Technology Management
Nearly 20 percent of Medicare patients are subjected to hospital readmission within 30 days of discharge. This results in a cost of $17.4 billion per year, which burdens American taxpayers. Currently, hospitals are penalized for readmissions. Thus, a reduction in hospital readmissions has become a necessity for healthcare organizations. The Visiting Nurses Association Health Group (VNAHG) provides medical services to more than 120,000 individuals. Due to the costly nature of staffing nurses and paying for transportation, technology is employed to cut costs while improving patient outcomes. Telehealth, or the wireless transmission of health-related data, has shown to be effective in other healthcare settings. It is difficult to apply existing telehealth platforms to homecare health groups because they differ from traditional healthcare models. My current research focuses on the selection of a platform in concert with the VNAHG’s practices with the goal of saving millions of dollars for the VNAHG and health-care system.