Research Projects (Current and Past)
- Biomechanical Analysis of child birth in air and water
Post-partum hemorrhage (PPM) is the major cause of maternal deaths worldwide. PPM is aggravated by trauma caused to perineum and underlying muscles during child delivery. Delivery in Air is the most common form of delivery. However, mothers and healthcare professionals are practicing numerous birth positions to reduce pain and post-partum trauma. Water birth has become a popular birth speeding procedure, known to reduce epidural analgesia, said to be less painful and leads to less perineal tears. Perineal tears result from stresses generated at the perineum during contraction of the perineal muscles. This study aimed at performing stress analysis to obtain a good estimation of stresses developed at the perineum during air and water birth. We present the geometrical and biomechanical modeling of the second stage of labor using finite element analysis. The major organs involved were modeled i.e. fetus, uterus and abdomen. Fluid interactions between fetus and uterus and boundary conditions were modeled to present an accurate representation of real delivery. The major forces which cause expulsion of the fetus i.e. cyclic uterine contractions and voluntary abdominal muscle contractions and the base tonus (residual pressure in uterus) were considered and appropriately modeled with real time values. After the simulation, our stress analysis revealed higher localized stress values at the perineum for delivery in water. For the same loading conditions, ie, uterine contractions and abdominal contractions, stresses generated at the perineum in the birth under water were greater than the stresses generated in air delivery. When a mother is immersed in water and pushes with the same force as she would whilst delivering in air, more damage would be caused to the perineum. Further studies will be done to ascertain the minimal force to be exerted during water delivery and how the temperature of the water could affect tissue properties.
- A biomechanical analysis of the femoral neck fracture fixation
Bone fractures occur in our daily lives as a result of a fall, a motor accident, sports injuries, etc. The likelihood of bone fractures increases with age and/or as a result of osteoporosis. These fractures occur more often at the femoral neck due to its small radius, low bone density and the nature of the forces acting at that point. In the case of the complete dissociation of the femoral head from the rest of the femur, a surgeon has to place a rod between the two fractured pieces of bone. The ideal angle from literature which induces the least bending moments about the rod is an insertion at an angle of 150 degrees, however surgeons do not prefer this angle and choose less steep insertion angles (usually 130 degrees). At this angle, cyclic bending moments are generated in the rod and can cause the implant to fail. The bending moments generated in the rod also varies with varying femoral geometry (Due to race, sex, age etc.). This study aimed at finding the optimum angle of insertion of the intramedullary rod that will be both convenient for the surgeon and ensure the long-term durability of the implant. Using finite element analysis, 120 femur models with IM rods inserted at various angles were developed, solved and analyzed. The results showed that the safest angle of insertion of the implant is 150 degrees however for most femoral neck shaft angles (NSA), the 130 degree angle preferred by surgeons will be safe mechanically for the patient’s lifetime. However for NSA’s with large deviations from the mean NSA of 129 degrees, the implant has to be inserted at a steeper angle. Based on these results tables, graphs, and an application has been developed to aid surgeons in choosing patient specific optimum insertion angles.
- The design and implementation of reusable soiled diaper detector and alert system
As human beigns there are stages in our development when we are all victims of urinary incontinency, whether it is during early development when we are babies or later when we are older. Diapers have thus become and expedient way of dealing with the consequences of this setback. The nemesis of soiled diapers that remain for a long time is skin infections amongst other effects. There have therefore been a lot of attempts over the years to design and implement devices that can detect soiled diapers as the traditional means of detecting such is not very ideal because of health, sanitation and hygienic reasons. At the heart of the modern disposable diaper is the super-absorbent hydrogel. This project employs the unique electrical response of hydrogels to the presence of urine in detecting diapers that are soiled. Once wetness is detected, microprocessors, RF transmitter and receiver pairs are used to relay the information to caregivers who may be as distant as up to 250 feet from the wearer.
Two fine copper wirres of length 10 centimeters were attached to the opposite sides of 25 millimeters long plastic conduit. Even number of holes were made in a regular pattern in the conduit. The conduit was then filled with hydrogels.
By building our own sensors and employing microcontroller and radio frequency (RF) technologies, we successfully designed and implemented a device that is able to detect wetness in diapers and relay it to a distant caregiver. This we believe offers a form of a solution to the harmful effects posed by soiled diapers that remain unchanged for a long time.
We are working on miniaturizing the sensor unit to increase its concealability. Also in the event of multiples of the device being present at the same place, interferences may occur with receiver signals. We are therefore working on employing the use of encoders in devices to be used in such circumstances. A display panel on the receiver unit will help indicate specifically which wearers diaper needs change in a managed care environment such as schools and hospital wards.
- Detection of urinary tract infections in infants
Urinary tract infections in infants has been declared by the world health organization (WHO) as one of the commonest bacterial infection. In childhood it has special significance because of its variable presentation, often without urinary symptoms, difficulty with urine collection in infants and toddlers and consequently difficulty in making the diagnosis.
Relatively little emphasis has been placed on improving the primary diagnosis of the first UTI in infancy and early childhood in primary care where urine collection is particularly difficult. It is logical to expect that early diagnosis and prompt treatment of the first and subsequent infections will be more effective in preventing the acquisition of renal scarring than and ultrasound or other more invasive imaging tests carried out after the child has recovered from the acute episode.
Our project seeks to design a new, rapid and simple bedside screening test to help in the early detection of urinary tract infections in infants. The incorporation of urine test strips into disposable diapers will detect this infection by the colour changes visible to the physician or clinician upon inspection.
1. Designing a readily available EMS device for physiotherapy
2. Automated neonate exchange transfusion
3. Infant apnea system
4. BMI device with covid-19 station
5. Affordable neonatal incubator
6. Mechanical leg Support for ankle injuries
7. Bilirubin level detection of neonatal jaundice using colour sensor in phototherapy
8. Affordable mobile hydraulic patient hoist
9. Plastifuge for malaria diagnosis