Senior biomedical engineering students designed a device that can reliability track the progression of the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy in patients in a simple and effective method. Peripheral neuropathy is a slow progressing, nerve degenerating disease that an estimated 20 million Americans suffer from. Modern approaches of diagnosing peripheral neuropathy incorporate subjective techniques that are neither quantitative nor consistent.
The scope of their project included creating a system to quantify the sensation of these variables in an attempt to reduce inaccuracy in the overall diagnosis. Their tests included a standardized and automated thermal discrimination test and a quantifiable force test using variable air flow. From this they reduced ambiguity in the progression of the disease and what form of treatment to use. These analyses will enable physicians to better determine the severity of the patient’s neuropathy, which in turn would allow for optimal patient treatment.
Team members: Ashley Brown, engineer; Brandan Fajardo, engineer; Michael Robertson, engineer; Christa Staudy, associate project manager; Kevin Zimmerman, project manager
Faculty advisor: Dr. Jeffrey LaMack