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CAMP December Newsletter: Page 4

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Clarkson University Professor Evgeny Katz Receives Grant to Create a Field Hospital on a Chip
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Professor Evgeny Katz with his students and research associates. Sitting (left to right): Ph. D. students Soujanya Chinnapareddy and Mary Anitha Arugula, Professor Katz, and Ph.D. student Guinevere Strack. Standing (left to right): Ph.D. student Zhou Jian, Research Assistant Professor Marcos Pita, Postdoctoral Research Associate Jan Halamek, and Ph.D. student Tsz Kin Tam.

With a $1.6 million grant from the Office of Naval Research (ONR), Clarkson University’s Milton Kerker Chaired Professor Evgeny Katz will serve as Co-PI with Professor Joseph Wang, PI of the project from the University of California at San Diego.  Together they hope to create a "field hospital on a chip" that soldiers can wear on the battlefield.


Professor Katz has been at Clarkson for only two years, but began working on his part of the project, focusing on biocomputing and enzyme logic, before his arrival.  So far, he and his research team at Clarkson have published 15 papers on this subject.

The new project, titled "Autonomous Devices for Advanced Personnel Treatment (ADAPT): Use of Enzymes as ‘Logic Gates’ for Sensor Fidelity and Control," is the next step for Katz and will last another four years.

The end result of the project will be an automated sense-and-treat system that can continuously monitor a soldier’s sweat, tears or blood for biomarkers that signal common battlefield injuries such as trauma, shock, brain injury or fatigue. Once the system detects a battlefield injury, it will automatically administer the proper medication. Therefore the treatment will begin well before the soldier has reached a field hospital.


 

This high level of automated diagnostic dexterity is where Professor Katz comes in. The "enzyme logic" research recently demonstrated by Katz and his team showed that enzymes not only measure biomarkers, but also provide the logic necessary to make a limited set of diagnoses based on multiple biological variables.


"We have already designed bioelectrodes and biofuel cells responding to multiple biochemical signals in a logic way," says Katz. "In the future we could expect implantable devices controlled by physiological signals and responding to the needs of an organism, notably a human."


Professors Wang and Katz hope that the resulting enzyme-logic sense and treat system will revolutionize the monitoring and treatment of injured soldiers and also lead to dramatic improvements in their survival rate.


"I am excited for Clarkson University to be a part of this cutting-edge research on how to best protect and care for our soldiers on the battlefield. This type of research is vitally important to our men and women in the Armed Forces, and I am glad the Office of Navel Research chose Clarkson as the co-recipient of this important grant," said Congressman John M. McHugh (NY-23). "I look forward to seeing the results of this research, and am hopeful that this project could provide benefits for every service member."