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VTCSOM Spotlight on Research- Chris Childers

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Category: research Video duration: VTCSOM Spotlight on Research- Chris Childers
Chris Childers, a fourth-year student at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, wanted to know if there was a less invasive way of removing biofilm from the catheters of patients. Working with his mentors Eli Vlaisavljevich and Jayasimha Roa, Childers was able to break new ground through his award-winning research. Members of VTCSOM’s class of 2022 will present findings from their four-year research projects on March 25 at the school during the 2022 Student Research Symposium.
The project that I'm working on as a focused ultrasound to basically treat. I'm going to play biofilms off of catheter-based medical devices. Anytime we put these devices inside the human body, you can't grow biofilms on that bacteria they can harbor there and cause infection in the body. And so we want to do is be able to remove and kill those biofilms on this medical devices non-invasively by using ultrasound. We didn't have a whole lot of literature on to whether or not this was actually feasible. And so they kinda, the first part of my project was really kind of that proof of concept, determining. Is this feasible, is it possible? Can we get a cavitation cloud or an ultrasound hits it, trips the cloud inside the lumen of a catheter. Can we remove a biofilm and can we kill bacteria? What kind of the three just general big questions that we had at the beginning of the project. Chris really started this entire project, which is a completely new direction for our labs. So histo Gypsy, the core technology that our group work size of focus ultrasound technology that we're currently developing for a lot of applications, but mostly in oncology. So non-invasive treatment, tumors, liver tumors. We have some work on pancreatic cancer. So Chris came in and was very interested in developing a technology or version of this that we can actually use for the treatment of biomaterial associated infections. But we found, my project was that one we could use focused ultrasound to treat the inside of a catheter. We also found that focus ultrasound when we apply these catheters or remove a biofilm from the catheter. And lastly, we found focus I've shown will also kill bacteria in suspension. In the future of medicine is starting to do things through smaller incisions through completely potentially in our case, non-invasive procedures. And if we could do that with this technology, it means the world for the patient because they don't have to have a needle-stick. They don't have to go into the scalpel or anything. It's just an ultrasound device like you would go and have your baby ultrasound. I originally wanted to go into emergency medicine. But this project expose me to radiology and interventional radiology kind of learning about the minimally invasive and non-invasive ablation method. And from that, I started, become more interested in it, did more research and now I've just applied to interventional and diagnostic radiology from I work with a lot of the leading interventional radiologists in the world and I think Chris is the next in line to take over for that. He has that same attitude. That's not only carrying about the patients, but it's thinking ahead to what's next. And how can we have more non-invasive technologies that can not only improve the outcomes of patients, but the quality of life going through these therapies, he really has that approach if this becomes the next technology that we use to make sure that we keep medical devices sterile and keep patients from becoming septic from implanted medical device. I mean, that's that's massive.