Medical Research Projects

Giving Back With Impact

 

It’s no secret that Science Care donors have made an enormous impact on the future of medicine. Whether it’s helping to train surgeons on new procedures, helping medical research scientists develop new treatments and cures, helping to train future doctors, or helping medical device companies develop new equipment and products used in medical procedures. On average, each Science Care donor is able to contribute to up to 6 different medical research or training projects. In total, donors have contributed to hundreds of thousands of medical research and training projects.

EACH DONOR CONTRIBUTES TO 6 RESEARCH PROJECTS*

Below are just a few of the ways that Science Care donors have recently contributed to advancements in medicine:

Acne

Adolescents with acne are 2.3 times more likely to have anxiety, twice as likely to suffer depression, and 50% more likely to attempt suicide than their peers without acne.  This study is a unique laser technology that is testing the process for selective photothermolysis, a precise microsurgery technique, of sebaceous glands.

Anesthesiology

Teaching surgeons to administer local anesthetic blocks. These blocks provide a reversible regional loss of sensation and are used in outpatient procedures. It is essential to train surgeons on proper administration for positive patient outcomes.

Blood Research

The development and validation of medical devices which are better able to detect blood clots and stenosis in the extremities for earlier detection/treatment/prevention of more severe diseases.

Bone Fractures

A medical research study evaluating surgical techniques related to the placement of bone fixation implants. These studies increase surgeon knowledge, leading to better outcomes for patients with fracture to bones requiring surgical intervention with the placement of implant devices to enable the natural healing process.

Brain Injury or Disease (Dementia)

Creation of a new model to properly model the effects of traumatic brain injury.

Development of testing for earlier detection of Alzheimer’s disease through a blood test.

Support of general research to improve patient outcomes including the understanding and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

Research conducted with Cerebrospinal Fluid which promises to help diagnose Alzheimer’s Disease early, approximately 5-10 years before the disease presents itself. Information gained from this research will hopefully lead to improved treatments and preventative measures that can be put in place long before the disease takes hold.

Research and development of neurostimulation implant therapies for migraines. The goal is to significantly reduce or completely dissolve the experience of pain and replace it with a tingling sensation, thus improving the patient’s quality of life dramatically.

Breast Cancer

An instructional course on latest developments in Breast Reconstruction. This allows for testing the newest techniques in reconstruction to develop ways to shorten the recovery time, while discovering new and less invasive procedures for future utilization.

New types of breast biopsy instruments for image-guided breast biopsy procedures. The research assesses the performance of these tools to qualify and improve current instrumentation design. The goal is to improve diagnoses and treatments for those suffering from ailments of the breast region such as cancer.

Hands on surgical training for physicians performing lumpectomies and mastectomies.

Development of new techniques to examine tumor margins to reduce the spread of cancer after a lumpectomy procedure.

Cancer (General Research)

Research and development and RNA profiling of internal organ tissue to develop therapeutic antibodies in an attempt to find a cure for cancer patients.

Testing and development of medical devices specific to the treatment of prostate disease.  More than 200,000 cases of prostate disease are reported per year. The knowledge obtained through these tests advances the scientific understanding of how to effectively diagnose and treat prostate disease.

Training surgeons on minimally invasive gynecological surgical techniques to aid in pelvic surgeries and the treatment of cervical cancers. The goal is to keep the incisions as small as possible, reduce the number of complications, ensure the patients are in the least amount of pain, and to provide the fastest recovery time possible.

Cardiac Disease and Stroke

A surgical device company involved in the testing and design of novel medical devices. Research and training include the evaluation of minimally invasive medical devices for the treatment of cardiac diseases and the safe instruction of physicians in their use. This research could improve therapies and treatments for cardiac patients. This type of testing and training is a necessary step to improve the skills for practicing surgeons improve recovery for patients.

A minimally invasive surgery center involved in research and development of anastomotic devices for cardiac surgery. One of the most important parts of a Coronary Artery Bypass Graft operation is the suturing of bypass conduits onto the coronary arteries distal to the area of blockage. Typically these bypass grafts are hand sutured onto the heart. This facility is using knowledge of wire technology to develop an Anastomotic device that will not only decrease the time needed to complete the anastomosis but may result in a better quality anastomosis that has reproducible results.

Saphenous and Femoral Veins were used in the evaluation of a drug used to treat vein graft procedure. This research will help inform appropriate use of the drug for patients with arterial disease and are in need of arterial bypass grafts.

Medical research and device evaluation regarding minimally invasive aortic stents and grafts. The goal is to develop new technology for the treatment of chronic total occlusions in coronary arteries leading to safer, more effective technologies that improve patient outcomes.

Surgical education to perform atherectomy. This is a minimally invasive technique to treat peripheral artery disease (PAD) by removing atherosclerosis (plaque) from blood vessels.

Improved treatment options for cardiac patients requiring coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, including minimally invasive recovery of the greater saphenous vein.

Pacemaker research and improvements to better treat cardiac arrhythmias, including a leadless implant.

Use of heart specimens to develop 3-D computer modeling/mapping aimed at better prevention, treatment and understanding of numerous cardiac diseases.

Comparison between the binding effects of certain drugs on healthy and diseased arteries to develop new treatments for peripheral artery disease (PAD).

Training on new techniques and devices to perform arterial stenting aimed at combating peripheral artery disease (PAD).

Development of devices to better treat patients experiencing chronic heart failure (congestive heart failure or CHF).

Heart anatomy training for practicing cardiac surgeons.

Development of medical devices to treat patients with heavily calcified arteries.

Minimally invasive cardiac surgical techniques to reduce hospital stays, recovery times and pain.

The development of minimally invasive technology for the treatment of chronic total occlusions in coronary arteries (CTO). This is a complete blockage of a coronary artery resulting in decreased blood flow. As part of the research and development process, the performance of devices is evaluated using cardiac tissue. The research will improve the ability to design and develop safe and effective devices for the treatment of the disorder leading to improved outcomes for patients.

Research on the tensile strength and wall thickness of human hearts and lungs to develop devices to aid in the treatment of atrial fibrillation (A-fib). Recent research has shown that errant electrical signals can travel up the pulmonary veins into the heart causing irregular or erratic heart beats.

Cardiac tissue utilized for the study of mitral regurgitation. Mitral valve regurgitation is a condition in which the heart valve does not close properly allowing for the flow of blood backward in the heart. It makes the function of the heart inefficient, leading to patients becoming tired and out of breath. If not treated, it can ultimately lead to heart failure. Through these studies researchers hope to develop better treatments for patients.

Computer-aided Robotic Surgical Training

Hands on training led by orthopedic surgeons to test a new robot that will perform ACL reconstructions with multiple grafts.  The primary focus of this training is to be able to recommend to orthopedic surgeons the ideal ACL graft and conditioning protocol in an effort to improve the success rates of all ACL surgeries.

Training for both surgeons and support teams regarding computer enhanced, minimally invasive robotic surgical training. The goal of this type of procedure is to limit the surgical trauma to patient tissues, increase treatment precision and reduce down time.

Education of surgeons regarding the appropriate sequences and techniques for robotically guided surgery.

Training of surgical teams on minimally invasive medical robotics, instrumentation, and navigation to build technology capable of expanding robotics use to a very large range of medical procedures. This project was specifically targeted for bronchoscope procedures used to view and treat lung conditions.

Dentistry

A medical facility that is conducting surgical training for practicing dentists. Topics of instruction include new dental implant procedures. Techniques taught combine proper anatomic assessments and dento-alveolar surgery. Procedures will include flap surgery, implant drilling and placement into edentulous areas. This type of course is essential for dentists to expand their knowledge of new surgical techniques, which allows them to offer better dental treatment options for patients.

A medical facility that is conducting surgical training for practicing dentists. Techniques taught combine proper anatomic assessments and dento-alveolar surgery. Additional procedures will cover sinus evaluations, block bone graft harvesting, suturing, connective tissue graft harvesting, and placement. This type of course is essential for dentists to expand their knowledge of new surgical techniques, which allows them to offer better dental procedures in the future.

Diabetes and Kidney Disease

Hands on surgical training to perform renal artery stenting.

Surgeon training with regard to the performance of kidney transplantation.

Development and testing of pharmaceutical compounds to be used in the treatment of diabetes.

Disease Testing Procedures

Development of investigative or analytic procedures for the screening of infectious diseases. The focus of this work is to develop and prove the safety and efficacy of infectious disease screening tests. The goal is to develop tests that improve the safety and accuracy of infectious disease testing leading to better clinical diagnoses and reduced disease transmission.

ENT – Ear Nose & Throat

Hands on surgical practice regarding Chronic Rhinitis research and surgical prototypes. Allergic rhinitis is the most common cause of rhinitis. It is caused by environmental allergies and is characterized by an itchy or runny nose, sneezing, and nasal congestion.

Surgical education demonstrating the reconstruction and support of soft nasal tissue and cartilage. The goal of this education is to produce better surgical outcomes for those suffering from sleep apnea. Those suffering from this condition may be “started” awake up to 30 times per hour while sleeping, leading to sleepiness throughout the day due to poor sleep. It is hoped that with better surgical technique, these patients will have an improved quality of life.

Courses at teaching hospitals for the continuing medical education of practicing otolarynologists (ENT). Course objectives include advanced endoscopic sinus surgery, image guided endoscopic sinus surgery and advanced maxillary surgery. The goal is to enhance surgical skills of practicing physicians and surgeons improving patient outcomes.

Surgical education demonstrating the approach for the implantation of an auditory brainstem implant into the cochlear nucleus. The auditory brainstem implant is a device which restores the sensation of sound to patients who are otherwise totally deaf. Training includes neurologists and neurosurgeons regarding the placement of these electrodes. The purpose is to enable surgeons to perform this surgery in patients with neurofibromatosis type 2 following their acoustic tumor removal. The goal is to lead to improved treatments and outcomes for patients requiring this type of surgical approach.

EMT Training

An emergency response department involved in teaching life saving techniques to firefighters and paramedics. Topics of instruction include emergency airway restoration and emergency drug delivery techniques. The goal of this teaching is to provide first-responders with the necessary skills to save lives under emergency situations.

Hands on training for current Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) regarding anatomy and proper techniques for successful intubation and tracheotomy procedures in order to open the airway and save lives.

Eye Health

Development of therapies for ocular disease such as macular degeneration, age-related macular degeneration (AMD or ARMD) and glaucoma.

Development of new techniques and devices to improve intraocular lens exchange surgery outcomes.

Ocular tissue used for the development of drug assays. An assay in an analytic procedure to assess or measure the presence or amount of the studied drug. This is an important part of drug development and delivery to consumers.

Research to help prevent blindness through effective treatment of disease.

Foot and Ankle

A minimally invasive surgery training for physicians specializing in foot and ankle disorders. Procedures demonstrated include: ankle arthroscopy, talus OATS, and tendon reconstruction and repair techniques. The goals of this training are to reduce surgical recovery time and improve overall patient outcomes.

Bio-mechanical testing of new techniques to treat ankle syndesmosis injury.

Hands on surgical training for practicing podiatrists regarding bunion correction.

Podiatry procedures tested for foot and ankle reconstructive purposes to restore and improve the function, range of motion, and stability while reducing pain and preventing deformities.

Forearms, Elbows, Wrists, Hands and Shoulders

Surgical skills workshop for practicing surgeons. Topics of instruction include the teaching of a new procedure for endoscopic tunnel release. An endoscope is an instrument inserted into the body to examine the affected area. The goal of this learning is improved treatments for patients suffering from injuries and afflictions of the forearm and wrist.

Training of professional hand surgeons with a new technique in flexor tendon repair. The course is designed to teach surgeons the proper placement of medical devices. Post operative rehabilitation options are also covered.

Research regarding the development of improved surgical methods for the repair and fixation of the humerus and elbow due to fracture.

Surgeon training on arthroscopic shoulder repair procedures. Arthroscopic surgery utilizes a tiny camera to examine and repair the tissues. The arthroscope is inserted using a very small incision. The goal of this type of minimally invasive procedure is to improve patient outcomes, with less pain and downtime.

A study to understand the anatomy of the distal radius, carpal joint, and proximal humerus. With this study, researchers are able to explore minimally invasive procedures for the shoulder and arm, allowing for more exact repair options. The goal is to greatly increase range of motion after these procedures.

Hands on arthroscopic surgical training for shoulder instability and rotator cuff repair. This research and training helps to advance techniques and determine the effectiveness of the procedure for the nearly 53,000 people per year that undergo this surgery.

Infections & Disease

The evaluation, development and improvement of drugs to combat fungal infections.

Assay (analytic lab procedure) development to help improve the early detection of various rare and terminal diseases

Knees & Hips

In vitro cadaveric biomechanical testing, examining capsular contribution to joint motion, stability, and reaction forces.  Research will examine capsular contributions to hip joint biomechanics. From each hip joint, clinical range of motion and reaction forces will be captured. Various surgical approaches were be performed and compared, to examine the effects and benefits of surgical techniques and methods.

Hands on training led by orthopedic surgeons to test a new robot that will perform ACL reconstructions with multiple grafts.  The primary focus of this training is to be able to recommend to orthopedic surgeons the ideal ACL graft and conditioning protocol in an effort to improve the success rates of all ACL surgeries.

The continuing education of practicing physicians and surgeons regarding total and partial knee replacement. Implant devices and instruments are designed to make the surgical technique simpler and more straightforward, improving accuracy and reproducibility while reducing operating and patient recovery times. This surgical training is designed to improve surgeon effectiveness leading to improved treatments and outcomes for patients.

Training doctors on total hip replacements. In the US alone, some 300,000 people have total hip replacement every year. The goal of this training is to reduce the recovery time for patients while improving overall quality of life.

Total hip arthroplasty (replacement) research to ensure that the more than 300,000 total hip replacements that are performed within the United States each year have better outcomes for patients.  This surgery often transforms a patient’s way of life giving them increased mobility while freeing the patient from the chronic pain typically caused by severe hip arthritis.

Lung Disease – Lung Cancer

R&D for prototype medical devices that reduce post-operative complications due to lung re-sectioning surgery.

Training practicing surgeons on techniques and the operation of a robotic device that performs less invasive thoracic procedures such as lung re-sectioning and tumor removal.

Development of a biomarker in cancer patients that will assist in the development of drug therapies.

Researchers are searching for early indicators of lung disease such as COPD or cancer by utilizing donated lung tissues. Early identification of these types of diseases could lead to improved treatment options and better results for patients.

Medical Device Training & Development

A product development engineer, and often a surgeon who is assisting in the development of the device, uses the latest prototype device to conduct a simulated surgical fixation. This is then evaluated via x-ray to determine how well the device worked. Changes are made to the device and additional surgeries are conducted until the product design is finalized.

Medical Student Training

A medical teaching university preparing students to practice healthcare. The program combines didactic learning with hands on application to improve understanding.

A medical teaching university that is committed to educating and preparing its students to practice at the forefront of a dynamic health care system. This program combines comprehensive didactic education with practical experience. Tissues are utilized at this facility to provide hands on clinical training and education to future medical practitioners. This facility is dedicated to the development and training of medical practitioners in an effort to ensure the availability of qualified healers in society.

Osteoporosis and Arthritis

Development of a technique that produces improved fusion of the spinal vertebrae in patients with low bone density.

Use of femur specimens that have been tested & verified to have low bone density in order to increase knowledge regarding low bone density as it relates to the femur to produce better patient healing and post-surgical intervention.

Testing and device implantation to reinforce hip implant performance and improve range of motion after total hip replacement.

Physician training on the correction of severe joint deformity and joint pain in the fingers and thumbs and pain caused by arthritis.

Pharmaceutical Research

Saphenous and Femoral Veins were used in the evaluation of a drug used to treat vein graft procedure. This research will help inform appropriate use of the drug for patients with arterial disease and are in need of arterial bypass grafts.

Pharmaceutical research regarding techniques improving drug delivery systems. By performing these studies, it is possible to evaluate new drugs or new formulations, and assess risk of exposure to a toxic compound without having to resort to animal models or prematurely expose human patients whose safety might be compromised. The result of these in vitro studies allows progression to human clinical trials.

FDA validation of certain drugs delivered through transdermal means (through the skin).

Medical research studies regarding drug permeation through the use of transdermal drug products. With this method, drugs are commonly applied to the skin as with a “patch”, a cream or micro-needling, for example. It is an alternative to oral delivery and hypodermic injections and can improve patient adherence to a drug regimen.

Plastic Surgery

Investigating the craniofacial anatomy. Amazing strides have been made in facial reconstruction in recent years for those that have suffered severe trauma or born with birth defects. This can lead to a greater quality of life overall for the patient.

Psoriasis

Permeation studies regarding topical medications, testing permeability, and defining proper dosing applications. This is aimed to determine potential toxicity of a treatment for psoriasis.

Spinal Injuries & Conditions

Instruction course on musculoskeletal implants for spinal procedures. This critical training for physicians and product development is aimed to achieve pain free, active lives for patients with spinal disorders, including scoliosis.

The training of surgeons on minimally invasive cervical spine procedures. The cervical spine is the very delicate area that houses the spinal cord, which sends messages from the brain to the body. Roughly 50% of people over 50 years of age suffer from some degeneration here. With minimally invasive techniques, patients on average are discharged in half the time of traditional open techniques, thus improving the recovery time and outcomes, leading to better mobility and quality of life.

Surgical training in the performance of cervical disc replacement techniques. Surgeons will learn proper technique for inserting artificial cervical discs.  The goal of the training is to ensure the proper technique is being used to reduce patient pain and healing time.

Hands on surgical training on the proper techniques to correct advanced scoliosis in adolescents.

Hands on training and practice for neurosurgeons including cervical spine and cranial procedures.

Lumbar and thoracic spinal implant surgical training for current physicians.

R&D related to the development of minimally invasive screws for use in the correction and fixation of spinal vertebrae fractures.

Surgical training in the performance of anterior lumbar fusion to correct degenerative disk disease. The goal of the training is to reduce patient pain and healing time by avoiding a posterior approach.

Improvements in treatments available to address severe spinal compression injury. The goal of this work is to reduce pain and increase stability for the patient.

Physician and surgeon education conducted in order to teach surgeons the correct placement and usage of novel medical devices to treat afflictions and injury of the spine. Medical research is conducted in order to improve surgical instrumentation design leading to clinical trials in living patients. The goal of this work is to improve the overall quality of treatment available to patients with spinal debilitation and injury.

Medical research to create improved treatment options for those suffering from Sacroiliac Joint Disease. SI Disease affects a small joint at the junction of the spine and the pelvis, causing low back and buttock pain for the patient. Improved treatment options may help to reduce pain and improve mobility and quality of life for many patients.

Training spinal surgeons on anterior and posterior approaches. Surgeons are trained in both practices for spinal surgery, leading to maximum muscle preservation. This limits the risk of nerve damage and leads to improved outcomes for patients.

Surgeon training on a new direct lateral interbody infusion device. The goal of this new device is to reduce the risk of post-operative complications, while minimizing surgical trauma. This can lead to much quicker recovery time so that the patient can return to their normal life.

Surgeon Training

Surgical training in the performance of cervical disc replacement techniques. Surgeons will learn proper technique for inserting artificial cervical discs.  The goal of the training is to ensure the proper technique is being used to reduce patient pain and healing time.

Instruction involving surgeons and residents from around the world learning new surgical techniques and acquiring important arthroscopic skills. Topics of instruction include ACL reconstruction, PCL reconstruction, arthroscopic meniscal repair, and osteochondral grafting and repair. This allows orthopedic surgeons to improve their skills in an environment that closely simulates true surgical conditions.

*On average, Science Care donors contribute to up to six different medical research or training projects