2024 Investiture Information

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Special Seminar: Mechanics of Bioelectronics—Engineering Drug Delivery Devices and Bioresorbable Pacemakers



3:30pm - 4:30pm ET


Meeting ID: 977 7792 8244
Passcode: 813105

In recent years, bioelectronics with advanced monitoring capabilities have garnered considerable interest as a means of expanding patient care beyond traditional hospital and clinic settings. These soft, bioresorbable devices, many of which are wireless, have the potential to replace bulky, rigid, and wired medical technologies by matching or exceeding their performance.

In this seminar, I will delve into several examples of my research contribution and accomplishments in the field, including the modeling and development of implantable bioelectronics that can monitor physiological signals, administer drugs, and pace the heart. First, we will examine drug delivery systems with electrochemical actuation, which provide programmable volume and flow rates in miniaturized form factors. This technology is particularly useful for in vivo pharmacological experiments in freely moving animals where flow rate control and delivery time are important. I will present an analytical model that accounts for all the variables that influence drug delivery in non-dimensional parameters such as pressure, volume, and microfluidic channels. By varying these non-dimensional parameters, researchers can create a scalable relationship for the volume and flow rate, as well as delivery time. This model offers researchers greater flexibility when designing programmable drug delivery systems for neuroscience and clinical research.

Next, we will consider a leadless, battery-free, fully implantable cardiac pacemaker for postoperative control of cardiac rate and rhythm. This device completely dissolves and is cleared by natural biological processes after a defined operating timeframe. I will demonstrate that this device is effective in pacing hearts of various sizes in mouse, rat, rabbit, canine, and human cardiac models, with tailored geometries and operating timeframes, powered by wireless energy transfer. This approach overcomes the key disadvantages of traditional temporary pacing devices and may serve as the foundation for the next generation of postoperative temporary pacing technology.

About the Speaker(s)

Raudel Avila
PhD Candidate, Northwestern U

Raudel Avila

Raudel Avila is a PhD candidate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern University. He received a BS in mechanical engineering from The University of Texas at El Paso. His current research focuses on modeling the mechanics and electromagnetics in bioelectronics for health care and biomedical applications. As a PhD candidate, he has published more than 40 journal papers, many as lead author in high profile journals such as the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids. During his PhD, he received the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and the Ford Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellowship. In 2019, Raudel received the Outstanding Researcher Award from the International Institute of Nanotechnology at Northwestern University. In 2022, he was selected as a Future Trailblazer in Engineering by Purdue University for his potential impact in expanding representation and diversity in engineering.


For more information, contact Ashley Parker at ashley.l.parker@dartmouth.edu.