I am Fawaz Mohsin, an Economics and Biomedical Engineering major from the University of Connecticut. I am doing research through the BME CUReS REU in Thomas Milner’s Lab this summer, which specializes in imaging and diagnostics.
We have had several challenges that we have had to overcome, as well as many successes.
We are conducting experiments with the Chick Chorioallantoic Membrane Assay(CAM). The CAM assay is basically when we expose the innards of a developing chick egg in order to observe and test on it’s vasculature.
The reason our lab is using the CAM assay is to practice using our 1070 laser to coagulate blood vessels. Why is this important? In many surgeries, patients can die from bleeding out. If we can coagulate blood vessels using the 1070 laser, surgery can be performed without any fear of losing too much blood.
The problem is that we need to pin down the specific intensities, powers, and durations of laser beam needed to coagulate blood vessels of different sizes at different depths beneath the skin. In order to do this, we need to collect many data points and recognize a trend. On top of this, the procedure we were following for the CAM assay was producing a very low yield, with high risk of infection.
Through trial and error, I was able to perfect our procedure to produce a high yield of healthy, developing eggs – with a lower chance of infection. On top of this, we have had several successes in using the 1070 laser to coagulate blood vessels, giving us several data points.
As I reflect back on my summer thus far, I am grateful to have been given such an amazing opportunity to broaden my skills and participate in research.
The skills I am gaining could not have been learned anywhere else.
-Fawaz Mohsin, University of Connecticut