To test their new concept, the team created a mechanical model simulating the chest wall and lungs. Clear viscous liquids, approximating human blood, were contained within the model and a dyed liquid was delivered into the system using the SIFES catheter. With this in vitro model, the team demonstrated successful dissipation of a theoretical anesthetic to the wound site, proving the concept and preparing the device for in vivo trials.
"Our design overcomes all of the current catheter problems," reports Sara. Their redesigned thoracic catheter uses proprietary modifications to the catheter tube to effectively drain fluid from the chest while also delivering saline, anesthetic, anticoagulant, and other liquids and drugs to body. The team's solution is an integrated system that fully replaces existing catheter tubes, rather than supplying an accessory. This makes the SIFES product cheaper and adaptable to future developments.
As participants in the ISPE Student Poster Competition, SIFES were judged for the quality and merit of research, as well as ability to convey their project through a poster and five minute presentation.
By the time the team got to the competition, the students felt very confident in their ability to effectively describe their research. "We've been giving presentations on our project all year long," says Gerald. "We've come a long way in our ability to communicate."
"I think our win really demonstrates the effect of the emphasis on 'soft skills' that we get in Biomedical Engineering at Stevens," says Zachary, the team's five minute presentation representative at the competition. "We are trained to focus on the bottom line and give a description that is both thorough and accessible for the layman."
Although these seniors are going on to separate careers in industry and academia after graduation, the team holds on to their vision f
|Contact: Christine del Rosario|
Stevens Institute of Technology