MIT Department: Mechanical Engineering
I am a rising senior studying mechanical engineering with a minor in electrical engineering at Vanderbilt University in Nashville Tennessee. I’ve been fortunate to be a part of a fun research-oriented community of student innovators and researchers called Sybbure. This group has allowed me to explore fields of research that I find interesting. Since 2019 I’ve worked at the Medical Engineering and Discovery Laboratory in the Vanderbilt University Medical Center where I’ve worked with concentric tube surgical robots. Outside the lab I am involved in science journalism through an online newspaper that I founded called the Vanderbilt Vanguard and spend my time learning about music and how to play new instruments.
Investigation of Delivery Methods for Long-Term GI Wireless Electroceuticals
Adrian Florea1, Kewang Nan2, Giovanni Traverso2
1Department of Mechanical Engineering, Vanderbilt University
2Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Obesity is a major affliction, affecting over 710 million people worldwide, that leads to many chronic diseases and is a major health concern. Current surgical and non-surgical treatments for obesity often have unreliable or little success. Implantable technologies, like electroceuticals show great promise on this front. Electroceuticals utilize electrical stimulation to target hormonal and neurological pathways that control food consumption. These devices are implanted into the stomach surgically and have little capability for delivering patient specific therapy. The Traverso lab works to deliver gastrointestinal (GI) therapies to the stomach using ingestible devices, one project focuses on delivering a wirelessly charging antenna (WAC) that is designed to generate sufficient power for electroceuticals. Integral to the success of this project is the design of the materials that deploy and anchor a WAC to the stomach walls. Here I explored four groups of materials and characterized their physical properties until a suitable material for this application was identified. Through iterative optimization and benchtop experimentation, I developed a reliable shape memory polymer prototype that included a small magnet for external control. This prototype was evaluated qualitatively in a swine in-vivo model where an external magnet controlled the location that the prototype was deployed.