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Dartmouth Teams up with the American University of Kuwait to Save Lives

Aug 25, 2021   |   by Julie Bonette

This summer, when Amro Nour, an electrical engineering professor at the American University of Kuwait (AUK), came to Dartmouth to join engineering professor Fridon Shubitidze, the goal was simple: To save lives through collaboration on two separate research projects.

"Both of our projects have a commonality, which is that we are trying to save human lives. We want our technology to spread to improve people's health."

Fridon Shubitidze

Professors Fridon Shubitidze and Amro Nour.

The first project focused primarily on the use of magnetic nanoparticle (MNP) hyperthermia to treat deep tissue tumors without harming normal tissue. Using technology previously developed by Ian Baker, the Sherman Fairchild Professor of Engineering at Dartmouth, Nour and Shubitidze worked on optimizing the size, frequency, composition, and configuration of external electromagnetic energy sources to achieve desirable heat in cancerous cells and to minimize unwanted heat in normal tissue.

The second involved Shubitidze's previous research on subsurface remote sensing for the purpose of detecting, mapping, and identifying underground unexploded ordnances and landmines. Using advanced electromagnetic induction sensing and data processing technologies developed in Shubitidze’s lab, the researchers can distinguish dangerous underground targets from non-hazardous clutter.

Shubitidze holds a handheld advanced electromagnetic induction sensor array he and his group built at Dartmouth for detecting, mapping and identifying underground explosive hazards and metallic infrastructures.

The United States military has approved the technology for domestic use, but Kuwait still needs to clean up unexploded ordnances left over from the Gulf War.

The international duo has already had two conference proposals accepted for later this fall and hope to continue their collaboration.

"We are talking about developing some joint programs, joint grants, and projects as well," said Shubitidze. "For any research, it's better to have multiple universities involved to get different perspectives."

Shubitidze, who serves as a consultant to the AUK program, was approached by Nour several years ago after the latter read a paper of Shubitidze's and realized the potential for fruitful collaboration. Nour is the thirteenth AUK faculty member to participate in the Dartmouth-American University of Kuwait Faculty Fellowship program, which has brought an AUK faculty member to Dartmouth each summer since 2009 for mentorship and collaboration, with the exception of last year due to the pandemic.

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