Friday, May 18, 2018

URSP Student Linda Azab Develops a Computational Model of Microparticle Interactions for Lyme Disease Detection in Urine

My name is Linda Azab, I am a senior at George Mason University pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in
Bioengineering with a concentration in signals and systems. For my OSCAR URSP project I am working on developing a computational model of microparticle interactions for Lyme disease detection in urine. The concept for this project was developed in lieu of one of my professor’s research in micro fluid dynamics. The goal of the project is to detect the presence of early stage Lyme Disease in urine samples. This project is of strategic value for my post-graduate career path in diagnostics research in Biomedical Engineering, and after consulting with my professor of micro-fluid dynamics, Dr. Nitin Agrawal, I believed this research was going to provide me with an invaluable learning opportunity while advancing empirical research. My goal was to use my engineering foundation to advance a career that contributes to the bridge between engineering and medicine, and this project is a significant investment in that long-term commitment. I go to the lab two days a week; in the lab I develop simulations of the urine sample’s potential environment in a software called COMSOL. In the software, I implement different micro fluidics theorems by varying the conditions the sample is in, for example; the temperatures at the top and bottom of the container, the number of particles in the sample, and the container dimensions. One thing I discovered this term is that no matter the level of difficulty of a research project, you still have to devote a significant amount of time and effort to the process in order to yield results.