Misha Ditmans 2019 Ryerson 3MT® Presentation


You have been in an accident. You’re badly hurt, bones broken, cuts bleeding all over. You’re rushed to the hospital,
where doctors and nurses spend hours in surgery, fixing you. You’re then taken to that ICU, intensive care unit. Or you hope to recover, become
healthy, and go home. But, for ten percent of patients, this is not the case. Their condition only worsens because of acute respiratory distress syndrome, ARDS. These patients first develop an infection
of the lungs called pneumonia. And then, because they have just been
through a traumatic experience, their immune system is weak. And this develops into ARDS, where sections of the lungs fill with fluid and
the patients drown from the inside. The current treatment for ARDS is to put
them on a ventilator, so that it breathes for them
and hopefully the body can heal itself. But there’s actually a problem with this,
because it actually hurts the lungs. It’s as if you have two balloons:
one filled with water, and one empty. If I blow into both balloons at the same time, all that air will go into the empty balloon. And, if I blow in enough air for both balloons, that empty balloon will become over-extended and damaged. Same thing happens in the lungs. All that air that the ventilator blows goes into the healthy air-filled regions
of the lungs and over-extends it, and damages it. But this is the best
treatment that we have today, and it’s because of that lack of a good,
targeted, effective treatment that the mortality rate for ARDS is 40%. That’s 40% of people with this disease that die. Bar lab is looking to change that. We want to use
ultrasound and microbubbles to treat ARDS in the lungs. We inject drug-carrying microbubbles into
the veins and throughout the body, then use ultrasound on the lungs to
energize those bubbles and deliver drugs. It works very similarly to how you would just blow a bubble. So there, the breath, your breath gives it the energy. As you breathe in, the bubbles get bigger and bigger and bigger, until they pop. Same thing with an ultrasound. The ultrasound gives energy to microbubbles
and they get bigger and bigger and bigger till they pop and
deliver a drug specifically to that region. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “You want to use ultrasound in the lungs? But lungs are filled with air, and an
ultrasound can’t go through air. What’s the point?” And you’d be right. But it’s that specific quality, that that injured area is actually filled with
fluid, allowing the ultrasound to pass through and deliver drugs only to the injured area,
not the healthy region. The bubbles are popped in that specific area, and then people get healthy. My personal research, on looking at the
best ultrasound settings to use for this treatment, will hopefully contribute to allowing this
to be used in hospitals everywhere. And so, if you’re ever in the
ICU, knock on wood, you don’t have to worry about
lung injury or lung disease. You can just focus on being better with ease. Thank you.

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