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Noninvasive Amino Acid Sensing for Early Detection of Diabetic State

Primary Investigators:
Christina Marasco
Brief Description of Project:
Until recently, the concept of tracking blood chemistry noninvasively was limited to science fiction. While minimally-invasive glucose monitors that sample a finger stick of blood are prevalent, at least in higher-resource settings, and noninvasive glucose monitoring is becoming more mainstream, there exists a massive opportunity to improve human health through the development of noninvasive sensors for assessing biomarkers within body fluids. Specific free amino acids have been shown to be in a state of imbalance in type II diabetes and prediabetes, and thus, may serve as a potential biomarker of this disease state. To assess this marker, we are developing a transformational diagnostic technology that could put an end to diabetes before it starts. The technology you could contribute to creating is a low-cost, non-invasive portable sensor system for use at the point-of-patient that will detect progression towards a diabetic state at an earlier point than existing clinical tests. This earlier awareness of a shift towards diabetes has the possibility of reducing the onset, development, and severity of diabetes and diabetes-related complications, especially in those who might otherwise not be tested through traditional methods.

Desired Qualifications: 
Electronics, circuits, or instrumentation skills
basic understanding of chemistry and physics
signal processing skills will be useful eventually 

Nature of Supervision:
The student will work under the guidance of the PI and lab manager.
A Brief Research Plan (period is for 10 weeks):
The student will dive in and learn to create optical sensing systems, have the opportunity to assess and modify the current device design, prototype, test, and validate the sensor system, as well as create a test setup in which to conduct the validation experiments.
Number of Open Slots: 1
Contact Information:
Name: Christina Marasco
Department: Biomedical Engineering