BME Seminar Series: Julie Mansfield, Elias Pavlatos, and Xinwei Cheng
Julie Mansfield Abstract:
"Child car safety seat evaluation and usability"
Child restraint systems (CRS, or child car safety seats) are effective at preventing deaths and reducing injuries for children in motor vehicle crashes. Federal testing standards currently require CRS to pass a crash test in the frontal impact condition only. Crash tests are completed on a regulatory test bench which is not an adequate representative of modern vehicle seats. The goal of the current series of research is to quantify CRS performance in crash conditions excluded from federal safety standards, such as rear impacts and using vehicle seats of various sizes and cushion stiffness. Ongoing work investigates critical errors parents make while installing CRS in vehicles, and how these errors might be prevented with a novel automated feedback system.
Elias Pavlatos Abstract:
"Measurement of Optic Nerve Head Deformation Using Ultrasound Speckle Tracking"
Glaucoma is a disease of the eye associated with damage to the optic nerve and is a leading cause of irreversible blindness. A primary risk factor for glaucoma is elevation of the pressure within the eye, called the intraocular pressure (IOP). The optic nerve head (ONH) is the location where the retinal axons exit the eye and form the optic nerve. It is thought that changes in IOP mechanically stress and deform the tissues within the ONH leading to retinal axon death and vision loss. Measurement of ONH deformation during increases in IOP may help to explain how IOP contributes to glaucoma risk. My research has focused on determining the mechanical response of the ONH and the neighboring tissues to increases in IOP. Our lab has developed a high-frequency ultrasound speckle tracking technique that allows us to measure both 2D and 3D deformation of ocular tissues in an ex vivo setting. Using this approach, complex displacements and strains can be quantified and visualized during controlled changes in IOP. Characterizing the deformation of the posterior eye can provide insight into the mechanical environment experienced by retinal axons during changes in IOP and has the potential to improve our understanding of glaucomatous optic nerve damage.
Xinwei Cheng Abstract:
"Lipid Nanoparticles Loaded with an Antisense Oligonucleotide Gapmer Against Bcl-2 for Treatment of Lung Cancer"
Bcl-2 is an anti-apoptotic gene that is frequently overexpressed in human cancers. It contributes to the drug resistance which makes conventional chemotherapy less effective. G3139 is an antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) against Bcl-2 that has shown superior gene-level regulation on the cell level. However, limited efficacy was observed in clinical trials. Here, we reported the synthesis of a new antisense oligonucleotide containing additional chemical modifications and its delivery using nanoparticles. The objective of this study is to improve the serum stability and cellular permeability of ASO, and to reduce the its potential immunogenicity.