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Rice students work on weighty problem for doctors
Date:5/9/2012

are suspended from a horizontal beam that bears the weight. The students and Razavi served as test subjects for the prototype by lying on their backs with a weighted slab of silicone, which mimics human tissue, on their chests.

"It was a simple, nothing-can-go-wrong test," Ochoa said. "We had the subjects lie down on a table, and we put 40 pounds of weight on their stomachs to see how their vitals changed. We expected their CO2 levels to drop we had a pulse oximeter on them but we didn't find a statistically significant change. But we did find their heart rates increasing quite a bit to compensate."

"I got the full 40-pound treatment," said Razavi, who also had the cups attached to his real skin. "The suction was a concern; they left it on for, I think, a good hour." The doctor said he took "a good dose" of aspirin the day before to mimic the condition of patients likely to be on blood thinners and whose skin would be extra sensitive as a result. "At the end, my skin was a little red, but there was no bruising," he said, either after the test or the next morning.

A provisional patent has been filed for R-Aides' invention, which may be developed by Saranas, a medical device company founded by Razavi and recent Rice alumnus Alex Arevalos. The students said their prototype cost less than $200 to make. The most expensive components were the custom-printed plastic connectors fabricated on the OEDK's 3-D printer. Injection molding those parts would cut the cost even further, they said.

"The device will be very cheap, and the amount of training required to use it will be nominal," Razavi said. "And the approval process, the regulatory pathway, is likely to be quite straightforward. I've run this by a regulatory specialist, and we believe strongly that it's going to be an FDA Class 1, which is basically more paperwork than anything else."

Razavi is encouraging the team to show the device at the American Heart Association Scien
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Contact: David Ruth
david@rice.edu
713-348-6327
Rice University
Source:Eurekalert  

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