Innovation Day 2022

Capstone Projects 2022

Welcome the BMEG 457 Capstone Design Project suite for 2022. Using the knowledge and skills they have gained during their studies, graduate students are tasked with solving real world problems that require immediate solutions.

See below for this year’s project presentations.



Portable Automated External Defibrillator.Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) results from any electrical disturbance that suddenlydisrupts and stops the heart from beating. The current solutions, automated externaldefibrillators (AEDs), are few and far between in public buildings. People who findthemselves needing to assist a victim of SCA first need to find nearby AEDs, a delaythat can potentially be fatal on top of an already stressful, high risk, and new situation.To solve the problem, we have designed a more portable AED that can be placed inpockets or handbags. This device will operate as a regular AED, with a built-in algorithmto classify the monitored ECG signal when attaching the pads to the patients, aninstruction page for CPR performance and the capacity for only a single shock, as thiswould allow for a much smaller battery (and overall device). Additional shocks past thefirst are shown to be much less effective when not administered by medicalprofessionals. It is expected that such a device can significantly increase the survivalrate for SCA patients in public environments (in other words, not medical facilities).


Nick Heerema, Jiaxing Huang, Ai Yang,Eunice Nwaobi, Gary Lin

CLIENT: Dr. Zachary Laksman
Assistant Professor at UBC Medicine and SBME




The opioid crisis has been a longstanding issue that has been particularly severe in BC. The crisis has only been getting more severe over the years, and particularly with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has pushed people further into isolation, the crisis has heightened at an even more rapid pace than it did during pre-pandemic times. To combat this,we have developed Buddy, a portable,andwearable device that can detect and deliver naloxone in the presence of an overdosein collaboration with the 2020/2021 capstone team for this project. Buddycan measure a user’s respiratory rate and determine if the user is undergoing bradypnea (breathing at an abnormally low rate) or has stopped breathing altogether. If this persists,a rousability test willbe performed to check if the user is still conscious. If the user fails the rousabilitytest, the device will believe that the user is going through an opioid overdose, deliver naloxoneto the user, and sendan alert of the user’s condition to local emergency services. Currently, the device is still in its infancy stage, however,future works include creating a more robust prototypewith higher accuracy, gaining FDA/Health Canada approval, and creating a plan to take the device into the market.


Lane Messier, Sheresa Lee, Paul Juralowicz, Harry Hosker, Adam Seid


Dr. Hamish Millar
Clinical Instructor, Burnaby General Hospital



Bioprinting is a rapidly evolving field that can be utilized in a variety of biomedical research. This technology allows researchers to study cellular mechanisms and construct personalized tissues and organs for implantation. However, researchers have to spend a lot of time and money trying to find the correct printer settings in order to obtain a successful print. Therefore, our team developed a solution that reduces the time it takes to discover the ideal set of printing parameters (material pressure, cross-linker pressure, print speed) for any bioinks. The proposed calibration approach reduces the time required for the successful setup of a print with any bioink from 3 hours and roughly $500 (5 ml) of bioink to 10 minutes and $50 (0.5 ml) of bioink, respectively. Our solution can accelerate research towards more applications of bioprinting while simultaneously reducing material costs. 


Ariel Zhang, Danny Wu, Ella Sit, Sebastian Lee, Roshan Pawar

CLIENT: Axolotl Biosciences



Cells are constantly receiving chemical and physical stimuli from their surrounding environment. Their response to these stimuli may be to divide into two daughter cells. A cell division counter could provide a snapshot into the history of a cell, which may be used by researchers to further our understanding of organism development and diagnose diseases with abnormal cell division rates, such as cancer. Our team aims to design a system that can retrieve the number of times each cell in a population has undergone division. We designed a plasmid, a circular DNA construct, to count cell divisions based on the transition between fluorescent proteins. The plasmid is built by the sequential addition of fluorescence-based modules for each division. In collaboration with the Yachie Laboratory, we assembled our plasmid and introduced it into mammalian cells. Our project proposes a novel approach to map the trajectory of mammalian development in high resolution which can be used as an essential resource for life and health sciences and for the education of future generations.


Aahana Kanyal, Atishay Jay, Bianca Kirsh, Brian Guo, David Mackay

CLIENT: Dr. Nozomu Yachie
Associate Professor, UBC School of Biomedical Engineering



During intracranial hematomas, blood pools within the skull, exerting pressure and restricting blood flow to the brain. Treatment is time-sensitive, and in severe cases, intracranial hematomas can lead to brain damage or even death. Current interventions require complex procedures performed by neurosurgeons to open the skull and remove the blood clot. The aim of our project is to design an attachment for a drill commonly found in clinical settings, which would allow users to drill through the skull and stop automatically before reaching the brain. Blood can then be drained from this small hole, relieving some of the pressure exerted on the brain.

Our fully mechanical device utilizes these widely available drills and drill bits to bore through the skull while being able to detect when the drill bit penetrates the skull. This progression of the drill bit is regulated by a clutch which disengages once the skull is fully breached. This feature allows users without neurosurgery expertise to safely drain the hematoma. In rural or remote communities, such a device would provide a critical buffer period until a neurosurgeon can perform further treatment.


AbdulRahman Shinnawy, Edward Hoptioncann, Gavin McNaughton, Nozomi Asaoka, Sam Freeman

CLIENT: Dr. Amir Behboudi
Department of Emergency Medicine, Peace Arch Hospital



Cortisol and cortisone play a key role in regulating our bodies response to stress and fight-or-flight situations. Being able to monitor the levels of these hormones throughout our daily lives could immensely improve our physical awareness and wellbeing. With current methods of detection being complex and expensive, we have aimed to develop an accessible, readily useable cortisol biosensor to provide real-time measurements from sweat. Utilizing molecular imprinting polymer technology and suitable data acquisition techniques, we have been able to specifically detect cortisol on biological scales. Critically, we designed our sensor to be amenable to textile incorporation, paving the way for a lightweight wearable device.


Arpan Grover, Thida Htun, Nadira Djafri, Nik Provenzano, Jonathan Gui, Roan Raina

CLIENT: Lynn Wan
Future Materials Research Manager, Lululemon Athletica



Hemiparesis is a common after-effect of stroke and is characterized by weakness in one side of the body. The extent of impact causes significant lifestyle changes, such as difficulty with activities of daily living and reliance on caregivers. Assistive exoskeletons have been implemented as a method for rehabilitation, however current marketed devices are inaccessible due to high price points and rigid designs. Furthermore, assistive devices are often designed for larger regions of the body (e.g. limbs); fine motor skills have yet to be explored to the same extent. Fingorigami is a multi-system rehabilitative exoskeleton which offers a cost-effective, user-friendly, and customizable design. Our device is to be used by stroke survivors with hemiparesis during rehabilitation sessions with a healthcare professional. The proposed solution incorporates finger and joint actuation via a motorized exoskeleton, coupled with electromyographic (EMG) sensing to determine the user’s intentions.


Farah Azim, Daniella D’Amici, Kaylee McGeough, Han Nguyen, Nikolai Seva

CLIENT: Dr. Lyndia Wu
Director of Sensing in Biomechanical Processes Lab, Faculty of Applied Science, UBC



Paclitaxel is a hydrophobic chemotherapy drug that is mainly used for cancers residing in adipose tissues, such as breast cancer. Administration of this drug causes several issues, as the hydrophobic nature causes it to adhere to the inner sides of intravenous tubes. In addition, this drug has several side effects such as nausea, hair loss, and loss of appetite. Albumin, the most abundant protein in blood, can be utilized as a vessel to load the hydrophobic drug on to create a new particle for drug delivery. Doing so will improve circulation of the drug in the body and alleviate the immune response of the body. To load the drug on the protein, a process called “heat pasteurization” will be utilized. The basis of this approach is that protein unfolds, or denatures, when it is heated, and refolds, or renatures when it is cooled down. Paclitaxel will be added when the protein is in its unfolded state, creating non-covalent bonds to the binding sites exposed by the unfolded protein. Creating this protein-drug particle will serve as a proof of concept towards a novel method of joining these two molecules together, and will be a step toward a safer and more effective delivery of paclitaxel.


Shikhar Chitkara, Jackie Liu, Selena Nikolic, Saki Wang, Taia Yuen-Joaquin


Dr. Surjit Dixit, Industry Client

Dr. Vikramaditya Yadav,
SBME & CHBE Professor, UBC Biofoundry Lab

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Danielle Walker

Partnerships Manager
School of Biomedical Engineering