"Smart" Syringe for Training Developed by UNH Nursing-Engineering Faculty Team

"Smart" Syringe for Training Developed by UNH Nursing-Engineering Faculty Team

Nov 02, 2011

UNH nursing and electrical engineering faculty have crossed departmental lines to create a “smart” training syringe that will help nurses and other health care professionals learn how to give the most effective intramuscular injections by providing realtime feedback. It’s the first device of its type ever created.

“We want to be sure people are getting the medicine in the muscle where it’s going to work. This would be a way to ensure that people are getting immunized,” says Paula McWilliam, assistant
professor of nursing, who is collaborating with professor John LaCourse, chair of the department of electrical and computer engineering. Tyler Rideout, a graduate student in electrical and computer engineering, and undergraduates Amanda Makowiecki ’14 (electrical engineering) and Holly Parker ‘13 (nursing) are assisting, as did Dana Daukssa ’11 (biochemistry).

The prototype “smart” syringe is a simple plastic syringe equipped with force and acceleration sensors. “How you grab it, how you move it through space, how deeply you push it in all gets measured,” says LaCourse, andis then transmitted to a computer. “For example, the syringe’s readout could advise a student to modify technique by adjusting their injection angle.”

LaCourse and McWilliam are working with UNH’s office for research partnerships and commercialization, which has filed a patent application for their prototype. They’re also looking for a commercial partner who could take their prototype to market. “This is a great example of the exceptional research coming out of UNH, and we’re excited about the commercial potential for the technology,” says Maria Emanuel, senior licensing manager.

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