Wednesday, July 29, 2015

UTSA biomedical engineering student wins $25,000 American Heart Association fellowship

nanosystem

Nanochips combined to make a nanosystem

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(June 17, 2013) --University of Texas at San Antonio biomedical engineering Ph.D. candidate Anand Srinivasan has been awarded a $25,000, one-year doctoral fellowship from the American Heart Association (AHA). This highly competitive fellowship provides significant funding to doctoral students to support research and training in cardiovascular and stroke discoveries.

For nearly four years, Srinivasan has developed and tested a series of prototype nanochips under the guidance of UTSA biomedical engineering assistant professor Anand Ramasubramanian and biology professor Jose Lopez-Ribot in collaboration with the director of science at the U.S. Institute of Surgical Research, Kai P. Leung. Their nanochips aid in high-throughput screening, an automated process that allows researchers to quickly test small molecules against an array of thousands of microbial biofilms.

Supported by the AHA, Srinivasan will develop a new chip-based platform that can be used to test the effectiveness of drug treatments for infective endocarditis, a dangerous bacterial-fungal infection of the heart's inner lining. The research is a challenge because it requires Srinivasan to develop a chip that will facilitate bacterial and fungal co-culture biofilms at a nano scale.

Infective endocarditis is an example of a health care-associated infection (HAI), devastating and even deadly infections caused by microorganisms such as bacteria and fungus. Patients generally acquire HAIs when they receive treatment for other conditions, often as a result of their compromised immune systems. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one of every 20 hospitalized patients will contract an HAI.

While the medical community is fighting back against HAIs by testing thousands of microbial biofilm samples from hospital surfaces throughout the world, the process is time consuming and costly. The technology currently in use also is outdated.

"The industry standard process currently in place was developed back in the 1950s and tests only a few hundred samples at a time," said Srinivasan. "Using chip-based, high-throughput technology, we have developed a process that is quicker and cheaper. Just one of our nanochips can test 1,200 samples simultaneously."

"We are fortunate to have Anand work on this project," said Ramasubramanian. "He has shown tremendous dedication, resolve and passion all along in integrating microbiology into chip design and fabrication, which is a big challenge."

Srinivasan has authored seven peer-reviewed journal articles and has been invited to give presentations on his discoveries at several conferences across the country, including the American Society of Microbiology and Biomedical Engineering Society. Most recently, his paper, "A High-Throughput Nano-Biofilm Microarray for Antifungal Drug Discovery," was accepted by mBio, the peer-reviewed journal of the American Society for Microbiology, and was published this month.

>> Learn more about the UTSA Department of Biomedical Engineering.

 

 

Did You Know?

Sometimes you have to see the little picture

UTSA researchers are exploring matter at the atomic level with Helenita. It's one of the most powerful microscopes in the world, with the ability to operate near the theoretical limit of resolution. At 9 feet, 2 inches tall and weighing more than two tons, Helenita can dissect almost anything. With Helenita's resolution, researchers can study particles atom by atom to see how they behave.

That's critical in developing nanotechnology that will help diagnosis early-stage breast cancer or make helmets that are uber strong. Moreover, the detail that Helenita provides will allow nanotechnology researchers to create new therapies and treatments to fight a wide range of human diseases.

Did you know? Helenita can magnify a sample 20 million times its size, which would make a strand of human hair the size of San Antonio.

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July 30, 5 - 7 p.m.

Networking and happy hour with AIA San Antonio's Women in Architecture

Join AIA San Antonio’s Women in Architecture group for their networking and happy hour event, where all design professionals are welcome.
Liberty Bar, 1111 S. Alamo St.

Aug. 1, 9 p.m.

"Inside Peace" documentary screening

This documentary, presented by the San Antonio Film Festival, documents the experience of re-entry after incarceration. The film features Michael Gilbert, associate professor in the department of criminal justice and director of the Office of Community and Restorative Justice program at UTSA.
Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, 100 Auditorium Circle

Aug. 4, 6 - 8 p.m.

Free Teacher Tuesday: Los Tejanos Workshop

Discover resources and strategies for teaching Tejano history and culture and get a special educator's tour of the new long-term exhibit, Los Tejanos.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. César E. Chávez Blvd.

Aug. 9, 12 - 5 p.m.

Vaquerocation 2015

This cowboy-themed programming, offered in conjunction with Our Kids Magazine's Kidcation Week, gives families the opportunity to visit with cowboy docents, enjoy readings and visit activity tables.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.

Aug. 22, 6 p.m.

UTSA Alumni Gala

The UTSA Alumni Association hosts this annual gala honoring the Alumna of the Year, Alumnus of the Year and the Alumnus of the Year Lifetime Achievement award winners.
Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa, 9800 Hyatt Resort Dr.


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