The HEPIUS (Holistic Electrical, Ultrasonic, and Physiological Interventions Unburdening Those with Spinal Cord Injury) team aims to design and develop a system of systems comprising an entirely new class of implantable and wearable medical devices to aid spinal cord injury patients in both the acute and chronic phases of injury.
The HEPIUS Innovation Labs consist of multiple multidisciplinary labs at various campuses across Johns Hopkins, from the schools of engineering and medicine to Johns Hopkins Bayview and the Applied Physics Lab.
Our mission is to identify major clinical needs for spinal cord injury patients and drive the development of new imaging modalities, drug delivery and minimally invasive therapeutic technologies. We then translate these advances to clinical use and develop the medicine of tomorrow.
Facilities and Resources (Slideshow)
Clinical Ultrasound Imaging Systems
In order to assist in the design of our custom ultrasound probes, the HEPIUS center is equipped with ultrasound imaging systems commonly found in clinical settings. Some of our specific systems allow us to power and control custom ultrasound transducers for use in grayscale, color doppler and spectral doppler imaging modes.
Therapeutic Ultrasound: Neuromodulation
The lab will use low-intensity, focused ultrasound neuromodulation equipment to aid in spinal cord injury rehabilitation. This equipment can target precise regions of the central nervous system and be programmed to continually treat the same region of the central nervous system across several days.
Therapeutic Ultrasound: Thermal Ablation
Therapeutic ultrasound can also be used in minimally invasive, high-intensity, focused applications to thermally ablate tissues, including brain tumors. We can monitor the ablation separately with different equipment that can create MRI images.
Acoustic Simulations and Pressure Field Mapping
As part of the design process for our various ultrasonic transducers, we employ a combination of computer simulations and high-resolution experiments to determine the acoustic pressure fields generated by the devices. This includes the use of simulation software and equipment, including a needle hydrophone and a degassed water tank equipped with a 6-axis motorized positioner.
Our fabrication shop has a state-of-the-art 3D printer, laser cutter, vinyl cutter and 3D scanner. Coupled with a fully equipped soldering and rework station and microscopy equipment, the HEPIUS lab can fabricate virtually anything.
Rodent studies can't always be translated to human use, especially in the field of spinal cord injury. Supported by a 24/7, on-site veterinary team, our lab will rely on porcine models, which are more similar to humans' anatomy, vasculature and immune response.
Given our ultimate goal to be on the forefront of translational medicine, we're equipped with a fully stocked mock intensive care unit (ICU) to practice implementing our devices in tissue mimicking phantoms to ensure successful future use in patients.
The Johns Hopkins Hospital
Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory