Pictured from left to right: High school student Alexandra Lachmann, Qi Kang (NYIT master’s candidate in electrical and computer engineering), Rui Bao (NYIT master’s candidate in electrical and computer engineering), Joseph Sassoon (NYIT master’s candidate in bioengineering), Leon Arki (French visitor), Charles Gros (French visitor), Amir Javan-Khoshkholgh (postdoctoral fellow), Associate Professor Aydin Farajidavar, Nadi Abumahfouz (NYIT master’s candidate in electrical and computer engineering), Pratik Sheth (NYIT master’s candidate in electrical and computer engineering), and Niyati Prajapati (NYIT master’s candidate in electrical and computer engineering).
Walking through the halls of Harry J. Schure Hall this past summer, a flutter of activity could be heard coming from room 106.
Inside, Charles Gros was working on an application that can translate American sign language into written words so that people with hearing impairment can more easily communicate and express themselves. Laura Ratovo was developing longer-lasting novel electrodes for electrical stimulation of the stomach—a type of therapy often used to treat functional gastrointestinal (GI) diseases such as gastroparesis. And Leon Arki was developing a new flexible and biocompatible sensor that can be used to detect stretches in the GI tract.
Charles Gros is working on an app which can translate American sign language into written words.
These researchers, graduate students at CESI Graduate School of Engineering in Paris, France, all interned at the Integrated Medical Systems Lab (IMS Lab) at NYIT over the summer under the supervision of Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Aydin Farajidavar, Ph.D.
But these students weren’t the only ones working in the lab over the summer. Nor is the lab busy only during the summer break. “This is not just over the summer. This is year-round,” Farajidavar said.
Throughout the year, the space is filled with undergraduate and graduate students from NYIT College of Engineering and Computing Sciences developing medical devices to combat diseases. They have already produced a revolutionary device: a portable module that can document gastric contractions in patients suffering from gastroparesis.
“Currently, the focus of the lab is on developing closed-loop electroceuticals to address gastroparesis and diabetes,” said Farajidavar.
NYIT post-doctoral fellow Amir Javan-Khoshkholgh, Ph.D., is working on developing an implantable device (orange-brown color) that is designed to map stomach activity and a related receiver system (purple board). Both boards are under test.
One of the projects being developed is a device that will record peripheral nerve activity and modulate liver function by electrical stimulation to control glucose in diabetes patients. Another device will record GI activity and deliver electrical stimulation to the GI. The latter could potentially help patients digest food easier or help them maintain their weight.
Students from CESI have been seeking internships in Farajidavar’s IMS Lab since 2015. It has become a sought-after spot for French students looking to expand their studies in the United States. “I think the first students who found my lab read some of [my] publications and visited the lab’s website. And the ones who visited us later heard about the positive experience of their peers at the IMS Lab,” said Farajidavar.
During their time at NYIT, the students, who pay a fee to use the facilities, practice what they have learned in the classroom, learn new skills, and implement their learning in a project. And just like any course, they are evaluated at the end of their internship.
Assistant Professor Aydin Farajidavar (standing) and master’s candidate Nadi Abumahfouz watch as Amir Javan-Khoshkholgh programs the board of the implantable device designed to map stomach activity.
The lab has also caught the attention of local high schools. Students from Hicksville, Roslyn, Stuyvesant, Jericho, and Schreiber high schools in Long Island have carried out summer research at the IMS Lab. Senior Alexandra Lachmann from Manhasset High School was looking to conduct cutting edge research this past summer. She connected with Farajidavar and is now working on a bio-friendly power source inspired by electrophorus electricus, more commonly known as the electric eel.
“The Integrated Medical Systems Lab is seeking to address different diseases and disorders by developing novel medical devices,” said Farajidavar. “Diseases don’t give a break to patients during the summer, why would we take one,” he said.