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Stevens thoracic catheter senior design team takes 1st place at regional ISPE competition
Date:5/23/2011

A Senior Design team at Stevens Institute of Technology is working to alleviate pain and other complications that often arise during thoracic surgeries. Five undergraduate Biomedical Engineering students have invented a novel thoracic catheter that overcomes issues of existing catheter design and introduces a potentially profitable new product for the marketplace.

On April 21, the efforts of the Stevens Innovative Fluid Extraction System (SIFES) Senior Design Team were recognized with first prize in the undergraduate division at the regional International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineers (ISPE) Student Poster Competition. This win advances the team to the international competition at the ISPE Annual Meeting in Dallas, Texas this November.

The SIFES team is Sara Budar, Zachary Carr, Lauren Griggs, Gerald Riccardello, and Stephanie Spelman. Their faculty advisors are Dr. Vikki Hazelwood and Dr. Arthur Ritter, and their clinical consultant is Dr. David Pearlstone, Chief of the Division of Breast Surgery at Hackensack University Medical Center.

Thoracic catheters are commonly used to drain fluid from the space between the lungs and chest wall after thoracic surgeriesoperations in the chest, such as for the heart, lungs, or breast cancer. These tubes remove pooling fluidtypically, bloodand then reinflate the lungs. Though their insertion is common practice, these catheters experience life-threatening complications, especially blood clotting that occludes passage in the catheter tube, which can be life-threatening. Additionally, thoracic catheters inserted through muscle and the pleural membrane must remain in contact with this open wound for days, inflicting substantial pain.

Other alternative catheters in development partially address these complications by using anticoagulant coatings on tube materials or by adding a mechanical method for clearing blood clots. However, these approaches cannot clear clots that originate near t
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Contact: Christine del Rosario
cdelrosa@stevens.edu
Stevens Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

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