A Dual-Function Esophageal Probe

University of Utah biomedical engineering students Lauren Slattery, Emma Slominski, Robert Falconer, and Catie Augustine put the L-E-R-C into LERC Medical. The first letters of their names form the name of the company they formed to support the realization of their prototype of a dual-function esophageal probe.

Esophageal probes are long probes inserted through the esophagus of a patient under general anesthesia to monitor core body temperature during surgery. LERC Medical developed a dual-function esophageal probe, meaning it measures both core body temperature and oxygen saturation. Both of these measurements are necessary to determine a patient’s stability during surgery.

Currently, to monitor these vitals, two separate devices are necessary. “We wanted to simplify the number of devices needed during a surgery,” Augustine said. “So, we developed a prototype with sensors that are currently available, and threaded them to create a bifurcated mature.” Not only could this new probe reduce the cost incurred by the devices needed during a surgery, but it also reduces the clutter in the surgery theater.

Due to the device’s integration, the insertion procedure of the LERC Medical esophageal probe will not differ from the current practice of esophageal probe insertion.

“I chose this project because I knew it would be a challenge incorporating the electric components, and I was curious as to how it would work and wanted to explore it,” Slominski said.

The team hopes to develop LERC medical as an acquirable passion project.

More articles like this in ‘Student Innovation @ the U!’

Find this article and a lot more in the 2023 “Student Innovation @ the U” report. The publication is presented by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute to celebrate student innovators, change-makers, and entrepreneurs.

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About the Author:

Avatar photo Julia recently graduated from the University of Utah with a graduate degree in mechanical engineering. She is a contributor at the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute and a past Lassonde student leader. Connected with Julia on LinkedIn here.

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