This List will be updated as we have more participants with ideas

Medical Image Visualization Software

Contact: Shang-Jui Tsai <stsai25@jhmi.edu>

The main aim of our project is to build a medical image visualization software which extracts information from merely 3 views of X-ray films and reconstruct into 3D virtual CT-like image stacks, based on the original films' image features, a priori anatomical and clinical knowledge. Primary targeted market for this product is West and South Africa, where advanced medical imaging resources and radiologists are a scarce resource, while X-ray machines are already widely equipped. 

Self-testing kit for bipolar disorder

CONTACT: Tanu Sharma <sharma.tanu444@gmail.com>

Bipolar disorder is a debilitating mental illness that affects over 5 millions adults every year in the United States. During episodes of mania and depression, patients experience cognitive and emotional difficulties. Currently, lithium is the gold standard treatment. While it presents many benefits, it has a narrow therapeutic range – too low of a dose is ineffective, while too high of a dose causes pronounced toxic effects, including additional cognitive impairments. The therapeutic range varies from person to person depending on natural body chemistry, age, diet, and daily activities. Currently, patients taking lithium are unable to monitor their lithium levels on a frequent and regular basis, therefore, determining their therapeutic range can take several months. As a result, patients may continue to experience their symptoms before the correct dosage is established. To solve this problem, we propose a portable self-testing kit to measure serum lithium concentrations. This kit will be paired with a cognitive assessment smartphone app to provide an accessible and quantitative approach to managing bipolar symptoms.

Novel Silent Heart Attack Detector 

Contact: Durga Sahithi Garikapat <dgarika1@jhu.edu>

Contrary to popular portrayal, heart attacks or myocardial infarctions (MI) are not always accompanied by a crippling pain directly over the heart or the immediate knowledge that an attack has occurred.  According to a recent study conducted in Iceland of nearly 1000 individuals with a median age of 76, roughly 27% of the group had MI’s, but only 37% were recognized by traditional means leaving the remaining 63% falling into the category of silent heart attacks [Schelbert]. The reality is that most heart attacks are missed until the damage caused to the heart is permanent. Thus, there is a need to monitor people that are in danger of heart attacks to make sure they can get the proper attention they require, even if the attack goes unnoticed. To this effect, we propose a wearable heart attack detector that monitors three parameters in a specific sequence to determine if a heart attack is occurring. The device is attached to a strap around the waist that is designed to create little to no interference with everyday activities when worn.  We are confident that this device can be used to provide help to people at risk who would otherwise not know to seek it.

Hemodialysis Access Assessment Using Electronic Stethoscope Waveform Analysis

Contact: Devika Singh <dsingh26@jhu.edu>

The prevalence of End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) is increasing worldwide.  Of the approximately 400,000 Americans on dialysis, 90% are on hemodialysis, the majority of who have surgically created arteriovenous fistulas or arteriovenous grafts (AVF/Gs) as access.   Stenosis and thrombosis of AVF/Gs occurs in up to 30% of individuals, with over half suffering multiple episodes.  The result is significant expense, depletion of healthcare resources, and psychological trauma to patients and families. Early and reliable detection of AVF/G stenosis is critical to the care of hemodialysis patients.  Currently utilized modalities, including angiography and duplex ultrasound are expensive, require specialized personnel, and are not always available when needed.  Physical exam including auscultation is simple, but accuracy is experience dependent, and is inherently subjective. This project proposes the use of electronic stethoscope waveform analysis to monitor AVF/Gs for stenosis.   With modern smartphone technology, digitizing AVF/G bruits is greatly simplified. Since the graphical representation of sound can be reliably obtained, data can be easily collected; potentially, a patient or his family could collect data at home and forward the information.  Waveform analysis will allow stand-alone determination of AVF/G function, but can also be utilized to make objective comparisons of waveforms over time.  By developing a data base of digitized AVF/G bruits, the goal is to eventually develop an algorithm which recognizes patterns and interprets the likelihood and degree of stenosis, using technology similar to the popular song recognition App “Shazam”.  The main endpoint is to accurately correlate digitized acoustical data obtained with electronic stethoscopes to radiographic images of AVF/G stenosis, and to subsequently use data to predict degrees and patterns of stenosis. A second endpoint is to compare patient obtained data versus dialysis center and office obtained data.  This will allow assessment of the utility of home monitoring. Finally, an image correlated acoustic waveform database will be created and used to develop an analysis algorithm, both of which will ultimately be monetized. 

IMPROVING ORTHOPEDIC PATIENT OUTCOMES AND SATISFACTION

CONTACT: JEREMY SMALLEY <JSMALLE3@JHMI.EDU>

There is significant potential to improve outcomes and patient satisfaction in orthopedic patients using mobile apps installed on patient's phones. Both objective and subjective data capture can improve followup and answer research questions. Potential market for the developed system includes research teams, device companies, and hospital systems. There is minimal technical risk based on the capabilities of current smartphone devices and operating systems.

SMART SCREWDRIVER - Team full

CONTACT: JHUBOOTCAMP@JHU.EDU; SUBJECT LINE: JOIN A TEAM

In orthopedics, or bone surgery, the traditional screwdriver has been the main instrument used for stabilizing people’s bones via screws and plates. Overtime, the stabilized bones repair themselves and screws and plates are removed. However, there are two main disadvantages from the traditional screwdriver that are detrimental to the patient. First, a physician can over torque and strip the screw, making the screw difficult to remove. Second, if even more torque is applied, physicians can break the bone, causing severe pain and create long-term health issues. Dr. Stephen Belkoff, an associate professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, has come up with a novel way to address these two problems through a new product: the smart screwdriver (SSD).

The SSD is similar to a traditional screwdriver but has several additional features: a microprocessor, memory, sensor, and USB. Altogether, these features allow the physician to operate at a sensitivity level beyond what’s typically possible for human hands and document the operational procedure. The SSD uses a sensor to measure torque (rotational force) and guide human hands to stop before the physician cause damage to the patient’s bones. Furthermore, SSD also documents the surgeries and can potentially reduce the hospital and the physician’s liability.

NOVEL BIOMARKERS FOR PREDICTING SUICIDE RISK

CONTACT: JHUBOOTCAMP@JHU.EDU;SUBJECT LINE: JOIN A TEAM

This invention provides DNA methylation-based biomarkers for predicting suicide risk. Almost 30,000 people die of suicide each year in the United States, and 1 million people die worldwide. In the teenage population, it is the second leading cause of death. Chemical, behavioral, and psychological risk factors are important in identifying these patients; however, many times they produce a false positive or a false negative diagnosis. It is thus important to develop biomarkers for suicidal behavior. This technology is an epigenetic predictive biomarker for suicide risk. Advantages of this technology include: Quick, safe and non-invasive blood test can detect the presence of suicide associated biomarkers and the biomarkers have been confirmed in multiple human sample types. Johns Hopkins Researchers have identified a genetic biomarker for suicide risk. Using genome-wide DNA methylation profiling in post mortem brains, an association of a methylated CpG located within a single nucleotide polymorphism with suicide status was identified and confirmed in an independent cohort of post mortem brain samples with bipolar disorder. An independent replication in peripheral blood DNA from individuals from the GenRED offspring cohort also exhibited significance at both DNA methylation and genotype model terms. An analysis of serum corticosterone in the human blood samples identified a significant negative correlation of genotype corrected DNA methylation status with stress hormone, suggesting that the DNA methylation at the target CpG may be a molecular marker of stress hormone exposure, which has previously been associated with suicide attempt.

 

CLINICAL TRIAL PLUG FOR EPIC

CONTACT: KATE SCHWARTZ <KSCHWA20.AT.JHMI.EDU>

Create EPIC pug for clinical trials patient screening. At times, it is difficult for physicians and staff to remember every protocol for clinical trials. Some patients could truly benefit from participating in the clinical trial. Epic does not offer plug in of some kind to help tailor search or alert doctor from suitable patient is presented at the hospitals. All clinical trial protocol have clear bullet points for inclusion and exclusion criteria. Why not embed that into epic to alert doctor, nurse or study coordinator for the study when such patient presents to the clinic.

Optoacoustic Intrapartum Fetal Brain Monitoring to Prevent Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy

Contact: Ernest Graham <egraham5@jhmi.edu>

We propose to develop an optoacoustic fetal brain monitor to evaluate the fetus during labor for signs of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), a major precursor for cerebral palsy.  The current standard of care for intrapartum monitoring is electronic fetal heart rate monitoring which attempts to identify hypoxic brain injury in the fetus by changes in heart rate variability and decelerations.  Electronic fetal heart rate monitoring is unable to identify the 1-2 babies/1000 deliveries that develop HIE with a false positive rate as high as 99.8% in some studies.  The imprecision of electronic fetal heart rate monitoring has played a large role in the increase in the cesarean rate from < 5% before its implementation in the early 1970s to >33% today.  We will design an optoacoustic probe that uses nanosecond pulses of near-infrared light to excite oxygenated hemoglobin, cytochrome aa3 and measure changes in ultrasound induced neuronal stimulation via the reflected sound waves resulting from optical absorption and thermoelastic expansion.  This device will be applied to the fetal head during labor once the cervix has begun to dilate and the membranes have ruptured.  This device would lead to more precision in the identification of the fetus at risk for brain injury due to hypoxia-ischemia during labor, decreasing the incidence of HIE and unnecessary cesarean deliveries performed for false positive nonreassuring fetal heart rate tracings.

Novel Anti-Malarial Compounds and Compositions

CONTACT: JHUBOOTCAMP@JHU.EDU; SUBJECT LINE: JOIN A TEAM

This technology provides new classes of anti-malarial compounds and a method to identify such compounds. Nearly half the worlds population is at risk of acquiring malaria, which is caused by the Plasmodium family of protozoan parasites. Common drugs used to treat malaria very effectively inhibit or kill Plasmodium by interfering with metabolic pathways or other critical intracellular processes, but are not highly specific and may cause potentially severe side effects. In addition, resistance to these drugs is becoming more common among Plasmodium species. The present technology focuses on preventing cell invasion by interfering with the protein machinery required for cell invasion. Advantages of this technology include: Several new classes of compounds and method for identifying additional anti-malarial compounds, likely highly effective, since protein machinery targeted is not only essential to infection but also to all stages of the parasite life cycle, method can identify highly specific interactions between compounds and target proteins, which may help reduce side effects, targeted protein is also critical to other cell functions, and is therefore less likely to undergo mutations conferring drug resistance Johns Hopkins researchers have discovered compounds and a method to identify such compounds that can inhibit Plasmodium cell invasion. Plasmodia parasites rely on a complex of proteins called the glideosome to invade target cells. One particular protein, Aldolase, functions by connecting actin filaments to Thrombospondin-Related Anonymous Protein (TRAP), which transduces the force required for the parasite to glide across and invade cells. The researchers developed a method to assess binding of different compounds to Aldolase or the Aldolase-TRAP complex, which may disrupt the cell invasion machinery, and identified candidate compounds for anti-malarial therapeutics based on this principle.

Amputee-Adaptable Athletic Clothing

Contact: Aaron Cary <acary4.at.jhu.edu>

An amputee-adaptable athletic clothing line that celebrates the spirit and drive of limb loss victims and recognizes the need to provide fashionable athletic wear for a healthy, fulfilling lifestyle. The initial product is a pair of compression pants velcro (or other binding material) lining at the leg opening that can open/close around the "nub" with little to no loose fabric. This way amputees can adjust to equipping and removing prosthetics. This mission is critical. There are almost 200,000 amputation procedures carried out per year in the United States. Of these, more than 50% of patients lose their limbs to vascular disease – including diabetes and peripheral arterial disease. Of persons with diabetes who have a lower extremity amputation, up to 55% will require amputation of the second leg within 2‐3 years if they don't maintain a healthy lifestyle. This product can provide the confidence and high-performance technology necessary to help these patients in the fight for their lives.

REDESIGNING THE LABORATORY - TEAM IS FULL

CONTACT: ENUSHA KARUNASENA <EKARUNA1.AT.JHMI.EDU>

Having managed multiple laboratory environments during my 20 years of biological research experience, I have been inspired to design products that would benefit laboratory environments to bring ease and ergonomics to this unique work setting. I have a series of lab product designs that would help increase the use of shared laboratory space and either modify the use of existing lab tools or create new tools that that would make life sciences laboratory easier, and thereby save money and time. Research and diagnostic laboratories including public and private facilities contribute to a multi-billion dollar industry yet these facilities are mostly under-attended and minimally re-imagined. My designs should help with the lab in the way that 'design' is now enriching our quality and ease of work in office environments and our homes , leading to less focus on getting things to work and more focus on generating and testing new ideas.