David N. Ku | Lawrence P. Huang; Endowed Chair in Engineering & Entrepreneurship and Regents' Professor, School of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech; Professor of Surgery, Emory University
Abstract: Nano and microtechnologies have a big potential to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of diseases. In this seminar, I will highlight three examples that may be unusual to the audience. (1) ThromboCheck has been developed from the Atlanta Center for Microengineering for Point of Care Technologies (ACME-POCT). We converted a complex system to recreate heart attacks from the flow of whole blood using microfluidics into a simple POC device that can be run by the phlebotomist to yield clinically relevant info within 5 minutes. (2) Nanoparticles have been suggested for drug delivery systems. However, we have recently found that the nanoparticles themselves may have therapeutic value in preventing heart attacks as a novel therapy. These nanoparticles act by physics so have a device instead of pharmaceutical regulatory pathway with potential $1 bn savings in development cost. (3) Lastly, new microPCR techniques have been used for diagnosing COVID-19. The next pathogen ripe for POC development should be other respiratory diseases such as TB that is the number one killer of children around the world. A novel sampling technique may allow better surveillance and adoption than sputum or nasal swabs while providing more information on who need not be quarantined.
Bio: David Ku is a Regents’ Professor of Mechanical Engineering and holds the Huang Chair Professorship for Engineering Entrepreneurship at Georgia Tech and is also Professor of Surgery at Emory University. His primary research is in the area of how blood clots to create heart attacks and strokes. This work may also identify people who are at risk for severe bleeding such as with trauma and postpartum hemorrhage. This work is funded by NIH, NSF, and FDA. He has commercialized several medical technologies including knee cartilage prostheses and venous valves with two companies reaching over $400 million in market capitalization. Dr. Ku also teaches entrepreneurship at Scheller College of Business.