Arezoo Emadi, Jenitha BalasingamProfessor Arezoo Emadi and grad student Jenitha Balasingam of the Electrical Micro and Nano Devices and Sensors Research Centre (e-Minds) adjust an ultrasonic imaging system for cancer detection.

Tiny technologies promise giant applications

What if family doctors had access to low-cost, handheld scanners or biosensors that could detect cancer at an early stage? What if they could monitor a patient’s heart activity through a wearable device and detect early signs of cardiovascular disease? How about a sensor that could prevent intoxicated drivers from operating vehicles or a navigation system that could aid the visually-impaired indoors?

Researchers at the University of Windsor hope to advance these technologies and more in Windsor’s first state-of-the-art microfabrication facility. The high-tech clean room will be specially designed to facilitate multidisciplinary micro- and nano-scale research by controlling air pollutant levels, pressurization, temperature, and humidity.

It is slated to open in 2019 in the Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation.

“This fabrication facility will provide us with an ideal incubator for academia and industry to
foster collaborative research and commercialization of advanced sensors, thus increasing our leadership in the emerging area of the micro nano sensor industry — an area which is rapidly growing,” says Jalal Ahamed, an assistant mechanical engineering professor who designs and fabricates micro- and nano-systems for a variety of applications, including healthcare, automotive, aerospace and manufacturing.

“More and more devices are becoming smaller and smarter, so there is an increased need for finding innovative and cost- effective ways to miniaturize these sensors.”

Local companies have already shown interest in commercializing Dr. Ahamed’s personalized navigation system for the visually impaired and those in low-visibility environments. Unlike most navigation systems, which rely on a GPS satellite signal, Ahamed’s wearable smart device uses motion and acoustic wave sensors to detect nearby objects — the same way bats use sound waves to navigate.

Read more about other projects that will benefit from the facility on the Windsor Engineering website. The full article is featured in the 2018 issue of Windsor Engineering (WE).

David Musyj, Dora Cavallo-Medved, Todd Warriner, Jeff CaseyWindsor Regional Hospital president David Musyj, biology professor Dora Cavallo-Medved, former NHLer Todd Warriner, and event chair Jeff Casey announced the Play for a Cure NHL Alumni Pro-Am event at the Windsor Regional Cancer Centre.

Hockey event to raise funds towards local cancer research

A two-day event featuring National Hockey League (NHL) alumni players plans to donate proceeds towards a fund that will support local cancer research.

The Play for a Cure NHL Alumni Pro-Am event will be held over two days on March 28 and 29, 2019, with set goals to raise awareness about local cancer research, and the significance of integrating this research into cancer patient treatment.

Event chair Jeff Casey is a cancer survivor and says it is because of cancer research that he was able to make a recovery.

“I decided to do something fun and unique that will raise the profile of the amazing work being done by researchers in our community,” says Casey.

Play for a Cure will be open to the public, and all proceeds from the ticket sales will go towards the Cancer Research Collaboration Fund hosted at the Windsor-Essex Community Foundation to support collaborative local cancer research. Casey says the aim is to raise $100,000.

“This is a new fund that is going to support cancer research projects, equipment, and community programs that benefit cancer patients,” says Dora Cavallo-Medved, professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. “And will also provide opportunities for scholarships and training for the next generation of researchers.”

The Windsor Cancer Research Group (WCRG) will be major beneficiary of this fund, which will help support cancer research ongoing at the University of Windsor and Windsor Regional Hospital.

“Many of our researchers study all different kinds of cancer,” says Dr. Cavallo-Medved. “Through our clinical trials program, we try to take our findings from the labs and translate this research into helping cancer patients.”

—Darko Milenkovic