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Non-Invasive Bladder Volume Sensing for Neurogenic Bladder Dysfunction Management with Dr. Eric A. Kurzrock and Dr. Soheil Ghiasi

Wed, March 14, 2018
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM PT
Banatao Auditorium, Sutardja Dai Hall, UC Berkeley

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About the speakers:

Eric A. Kurzrock, MD, FAAP Dr. Eric Kurzrock is professor of Urology at University of California, Davis School of Medicine in Sacramento. He is the chief of pediatric urologic surgery at the UC Davis Children’s Hospital and Shriners Hospital for Children – Northern California. Dr. Kurzrock graduated from UC Berkeley, biochemistry, then UCLA School of Medicine. He completed general surgery and urology training at USC and then a pediatric fellowship at UCSF. Dr. Kurzrock is the director of the urologic stem cell laboratory in the UC Davis Institute for Regenerative Cures. He has received funding from Shriners Hospital, CIRM and NIH. His laboratory was the first to identify and characterize adult urothelial stem cells and also the first to induce human embryonic stem cells and iPS cells into urothelium. He also investigates bladder bioengineering and is currently funded to evaluate angiogenesis in tissue engineering models. Dr. Kurzrock has also written extensively on pediatric urologic outcomes. Dr. Kurzrock currently chairs, Clinical Quality Improvement for the department, and serves on the Quality Safety Operations Committee, Children’s Surgery Performance Improvement and Patient Safety Committee, Electronic Medical Record Faculty Committee and the Practice Management Board Finance Committee. He is a past member of the Society of Pediatric Urology executive committee and is currently a member of the Journal of Urology editorial committee.

Soheil Ghiasi is a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of California, Davis. His research interests include architecture, design methodologies, and design automation techniques for embedded systems, with particular emphasis on systems that find applications in human health. He received his B.S. degree from Sharif University of Technology, in 1998, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2002 and 2004, respectively. He has served on the organizing and technical program committees of numerous conferences, and associate editor of several Journals in the broader area of embedded computing systems. He is a senior member of IEEE and ACM.

Talk abstract:

Millions of patients suffer from the consequences of spinal cord injury (SCI) and congenital spinal anomalies. Although many of these patients have obvious limitations in mobility, unbeknownst to the general public is that nearly all have neurogenic bladder dysfunction and lack control of their bladder. Since SCI patients are unable to sense bladder fullness, they are recommended to catheterize every 2 to 4 hours throughout the day. This high frequency of emptying adds insult to injury . A common problem is making the trip to the bathroom and only finding a small amount of urine in the bladder. Or worse, not getting to the bathroom in time and leaking because the bladder was too full. To address this problem, we aim to build a non-invasive, patch-like device that would be worn by SCI patients to receive timely alerts for starting to look for a bathroom to perform catheterization. The device would utilize an array of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and photodetectors to infer spatial expansion of the bladder. The underlying physical principle exploited by our device is measurement of back scattered light at wavelengths for which water has high absorption coefficient (e.g., ~950nm) via an array of light source and detectors with fixed distances. We will develop machine learning algorithms to identify patterns in light absorption maps generated by the sensor array, and to personalize the alert to better match individual patient’s body characteristics and preferences. Extensive empirical studies with bladder replicas, swine bladder and healthy human volunteers will be carried out.


Free and open to the public. Register online by Monday for a free lunch at UC Berkeley. The CITRIS Research Exchange Seminar Series is a weekly dialogue highlighting leading voices on societal-scale research issues. Each one-hour seminar starts at 12pm Pacific time and is hosted live at Sutardja Dai Hall on the UC Berkeley campus.

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