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At Cornell

MEMS Devices for Minimally Invasive
Medical Procedures

Peter Schlegel

Cornell-Ithaca Engineers Develop Sensors and MEMS Devices for WCMC Urologists

Examining Testicular Tissue
Amit Lal

Amit Lal, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Our team of Cornell engineers and urologists, Amit Lal and Rajit Manohar, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Darius A. Paduch and Peter N. Schlegel, Urology, WCMC, create various sensors and MEMS devices that can be used for minimally invasive evaluation of the testis, including testicular cancer detection. Lal’s laboratory has fabricated a silicon probe integrated with an ultrasonic actuator and polysilicon strain gauges. This probe could be used for detection of rare sites of sperm production as part of male fertility treatments in order to improve the microdissection testicular sperm extraction (TESE) surgical procedure. The probe technology is also being used to investigate its applicability for identifying prostate cancer tumors within the prostate gland. Manohar’s lab is developing a low-power microcontroller that can be used for the digital electronics.

Promising Technologies for Diagnoses

These promising new technologies may have tremendous impact on diagnosis and management of male infertility and testicular cancer. They may also have an immediate application for studying the structure of tissues in live animal models. Infertility affects one out of ten couples in the United States. The currently available clinical imaging and biochemical studies do not provide adequate structural information within the testis to differentiate between various forms of male infertility. Thus, patients often need to undergo more invasive surgical procedures such as testis biopsy for diagnosis. In our laboratories at WCMC, Schlegel and I have tested these novel probes, developed in Lal’s Cornell-Ithaca laboratory, on testicular tissue. The probes have proven to be very sensitive and reliable tools for measuring physical properties of the testicular tissue.


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