Syracuse Chapter of Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society Presents:

The EMBS HealthTech Symposium Spring 2009

Thursday April 23rd 2009 2:00-7:00pm

At the Welch Allyn Lodge

4341 State Street Rd, Skaneateles Falls, NY 13153-0220

Cost: $20 for professionals, $10 for IEEE Members, Free for students and EMBS Members. Payment received at the door

For up to the date information, see the EMBS chapter website


Sponsored by Binghamton, Rochester and Syracuse Sections of the IEEE, Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society and Blue Highways

RSVP: e-mail to EMBS Webmaster (

Come join us for an evening opportunity to meet some of your regional colleagues in the Medical Engineering field.

Second Heart Stimulation: State of the Science
Carolyn Pierce, Clinical Science and Engineering Research Center,
Department of Bioengineering, Binghamton University

While the primary pumping function of the heart is well documented, little attention has been given to the second heart, or the calf muscle pump (CMP), as an integral mechanism involved in maintaining homeostasis. We have shown that the CMP can be easily activated in those persons who have failure of the CMP with exogenously applied vibration to the plantar surface of the feet using a mechanical vibration plate which activates reflex arcs to contract the soleus muscle. Activation of the CMP allows for the return of fluid from the lower extremities to both maintain circulating blood volume and thus blood pressure. In addition the CMP serves to prevent fluid extravasation into the tissues of the lower extremities ultimately preventing tissue perfusion. Our research in the Clinical Science and Engineering Research Center (CSERC) at Binghamton University focuses on using plantar vibration to activate the CMP to improve lower extremity circulation in several disease states including: osteoporosis, heart failure, intradialytic hypotension, and cognitive impairment. The current findings from these studies and our plans for further research will be presented.

Biography: Carolyn Pierce, R.N., DSN, is presently an assistant professor in the Decker School of Nursing and holds an appointment in the graduate program in bioengineering at Binghamton University. Her interdisciplinary research aims to synthesize the nursing focus on health with the bioengineering focus on complex systems. In concert with bioengineers, she performs research using plantar stimulation to augment function of the second heart in such altered health conditions as osteoporosis, heart failure, and mild cognitive impairment.
Carolyn worked as a Registered Nurse in critical care settings for many years. She holds a BS and MS from The Pennsylvania State University and a DSN from T he University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her associated research interests are in rural health care and social capital in rural areas.

Some applications of Nanotechnology in Biomedical Engineering
Jim McGrath, Director of Academic Alliances,
Simpore, Rochester

Dr. McGrath talk will focus on his work with the NRG and the revolutionary silicon-based membrane material discovered at the University of Rochester. The porous membrane is so thin it's invisible edge-on, and may revolutionize the way doctors and scientists manipulate objects as small as a molecule. Despite being only 50 atoms thick, the silicon filter can withstand surprisingly high pressures and may be a key to better separation of blood proteins for dialysis patients, speeding ion exchange in fuel cells, creating a new environment for growing neurological stem cells, and purifying air and water in hospitals and clean-rooms at the nanoscopic level.
At more than 4,000 times thinner than a human hair, the membrane is one of the world's thinnest materials—thousands of times thinner than similar filters in use today. The thinness and ability to adjust its pore size give the filter significant advantages over current membranes in its ability to separate molecules, making it possible to sort proteins quickly and inexpensively.

Biography: Jim McGrath is an Associate Professor in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Rochester. He has published numerous articles describing cell migration exhibited by endothelial cells as well as the ameboid-like migration of leukocytes. His work has also focused upon nanoparticle interactions with proteins and cellular systems. He joinly leads the Nanomembrane Research Group (NRG) with Philippe Fauchet where they are developing novel ultrathin silicon nanomembranes for biological applications.
Dr. McGrath graduated with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Arizona State. He continued at Harvard/MIT where he completed a MS in Mechanical Engineering and a PhD in Biological Engineering. He came to the University of Rochester in 2000 after completing his postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins University. He currently teaches within the BME program at the University of Rochester and is the Director of their Graduate Program in Biomedical Engineering.