Nav: Home

Light beam replaces blood test during heart surgery

February 27, 2017

A University of Central Florida professor has invented a way to use light to continuously monitor a surgical patient's blood, for the first time providing a real-time status during life-and-death operations.

The technology developed by UCF scientist Aristide Dogariu uses an optical fiber to beam light through a patient's blood and interpret the signals that bounce back. Researchers believe that in some situations it could replace the need for doctors to wait while blood is drawn from a patient and tested.

"I absolutely see the technique having potential in the intensive care setting, where it can be part of saving the lives of critically ill patients with all kinds of other disorders," said Dr. William DeCampli, who is chief of pediatric cardiac surgery at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children a professor at the UCF College of Medicine.

DeCampli helped develop the technology and test it during surgery on infants.

During surgery, physicians are wary of the patient's blood coagulating, or clotting, too quickly. A clot can lead to life-threatening conditions such as stroke or pulmonary embolism. Coagulation is of particular concern during cardiovascular surgery, when a clot can shut down the heart-lung machine used to circulate the patient's blood.

Doctors administer blood-thinning medication to prevent coagulation. But every 20-30 minutes, blood must be withdrawn and taken to a lab for a test that can take up to 10 minutes. That's a slow process with gaps of time without up-to-date information, especially in operations that can last four hours or more.

Dogariu, a Pegasus Professor in UCF's College of Optics & Photonics, developed a machine with an optical fiber that can tap directly into the tubes of the heart-lung machine. The optical fiber beams light at the blood passing through the tube and detects the light as it bounces back.

As reported in a paper published recently in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering, the machine constantly interprets the light's back-scatter to determine how rapidly red blood cells are vibrating. Slow vibration is a sign blood is coagulating and a blood-thinner may be needed.

The technology can alert doctors at the first sign of clotting, and provide nonstop information throughout a long procedure.

"It provides continuous feedback for the surgeon to make a decision on medication," Dogariu said. "That is what's new. Continuous, real-time monitoring is not available today. That is what our machine does, and in surgeries that can last for hours, this information can be critical."

Over the past year, DeCampli tested the technology during cardiac surgeries on 10 infants at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, which consistently ranks among the best centers in the nation for pediatric cardiac surgery and is the leading center in Orlando.

The successful tests were the end result of a relationship facilitated by UCF, DeCampli said. DeCampli, who has also been a professor of surgery at the UCF College of Medicine since its inception 10 years ago, noted that the university encourages interdisciplinary collaboration among its faculty as a way to spark innovative breakthroughs. That's how he came to work with Dogariu, who has spent years researching the application of light-detection technology in industrial uses like the manufacture of semiconductors and paints.

"These things come about because of collaboration between a top-ranked engineering university and a top-ranked children's hospital all in one city," DeCampli said. "I think it's the perfect way to make advances in medicine that are at the engineering frontiers."

Their recently published paper is based on a small, proof-of-concept study. A larger study is in the works.
-end-


University of Central Florida

Related Infants Articles:

Premature infants at greater risk of SIDS
Premature infants still have a greater risk compared to full-term babies of dying of SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths despite recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics that hospital NICU's provide more safe infant sleep education to parents before they go home.
Detecting autism in infants before symptoms emerge
According to the results of a new study, a brain scan can detect functional changes in babies as young as six months of age that predicts later diagnosis with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Rotavirus vaccination in infants and young children
Rotaviruses (RV) are the commonest cause of diarrhea in infants and young children worldwide.
A mother's voice may help stabilize preterm infants
A recent review of published research indicates that hearing their mother's voice can benefit the health of preterm infants.
Healthy weight gain in infants
With nearly 10 percent of infants considered 'high weight for length,' University of Delaware researcher Jillian Trabulsi wants to help babies achieve a healthy weight starting with their first months of life.
Mothers and infants connect through song
Research from UM Frost School of Music provides insight into the importance of song for infants and mothers.
Infants use prefrontal cortex in learning
A group of 8-month-olds has provided evidence that, contrary to conventional wisdom, the prefrontal cortex contributes to learning during infancy.
Very premature infants: Towards better care
Born too soon, very premature infants are particularly vulnerable and need appropriate care.
Maternal vaccination again influenza associated with protection for infants
How long does the protection from a mother's immunization against influenza during pregnancy last for infants after they are born?
Infants much less likely to get the flu if moms are vaccinated while pregnant
Babies whose moms were vaccinated against the flu while pregnant had a 70 percent reduction in confirmed flu cases compared with infants whose moms weren't immunized, study finds.

Related Infants Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Anthropomorphic
Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#532 A Class Conversation
This week we take a look at the sociology of class. What factors create and impact class? How do we try and study it? How does class play out differently in different countries like the US and the UK? How does it impact the political system? We talk with Daniel Laurison, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Swarthmore College and coauthor of the book "The Class Ceiling: Why it Pays to be Privileged", about class and its impacts on people and our systems.