Secure Laser Needed for Capstone Project
Update: The Seaver Capstone project has been fully funded! Any additional funds raised over the $7,000 goal will still go directly toward future Electrical Engineering projects.
Students in the Electrical Engineering Department at LMU, as a capstone project, have taken on the challenge to create a system to continuously monitor glucose levels in a patient’s blood that is noninvasive.
Diabetes is a chronic disease caused by the lack of insulin produced in the body in order to control blood glucose levels. In the United States alone 29 million people have the disease; globally the number is staggeringly higher — an estimated 415 million people live with diabetes.
To prevent severe health complications, patients must continuously measure their blood glucose levels through invasive methods with a needle, which can be painful. Constant monitoring is required to prevent both chronic and acute complications from the disease.
The students’ approach uses Near Infrared techniques, wherein glucose concentrations would be monitored at the earlobe and at loose skin between the index finger and thumb using spectroscopy.
A noninvasive glucose meter measures blood glucose levels without drawing blood, without puncturing the skin, or without causing pain or trauma. For decades researchers have been trying to find a successful technique to do this, but to this day no clinically or commercially viable product exists.
Exploring an alternative long-term solution to this medical issue has not been easy but those working on this capstone project formed an interdisciplinary team to maximize their efforts. Their focus on a method that is based on using infrared laser diodes and light absorption in materials has already produced good results. However, the light source they have been using is not strong enough, and they need a bigger light source than what is currently available to them. In order to fully develop such this system, students need a supercontinuum laser, which costs $7,000.
The potential impact to society on a global stage is enormous should these students develop this system. Please fuel these students with a contribution to this Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering capstone project so that they can acquire this laser, and hopefully make the world’s first noninvasive glucose meter.
For additional information on this CSE Capstone project or other Raise the Roar programs and projects, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.