Along the translational continuum: MEMS-based technologies for overcoming sensory loss in the auditory and vestibular systems
Our group pursues novel sensing and stimulating systems to overcome sensory loss in the hearing and balance systems. To enhance sound perception with cochlear implants, we have begun to investigate micromagnetic stimulation of the auditory system, as well as continue to improve thin-film electrode arrays for intracochlear stimulation. Moving to the vestibular system, we pursue both implantable and body –worn systems. Analogous to a cochlear implant, we are developing a vestibular prosthesis to convey head rotation cues to the vestibular system through electrical stimulation of vestibular nerve fibers to overcome debilitating bilateral vestibular hypofunction. Complementing our work in implantable systems, we are gathering pilot data for a head worn angular motion monitoring system to aid patients in completing vestibular rehabilitation exercises at home. By utilizing a user-friendly interface to the system we hope to facilitate the transfer of patient measures to a clinic between rehabilitation sessions.
Since 2007, Dr. Pamela Bhatti has been an Assistant Professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, GA and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2014. She received a B.S. in Engineering Science (Bioengineering) from the University of California, Berkeley in 1989, an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington in 1993, and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 2006 with an emphasis on MEMS. In 2013, she received an M.S. in Clinical and Translational Research from the Emory School of Medicine. Before completing her Ph.D., she researched the detection of breast cancer with ultrasound imaging at the University of Michigan’s Department of Radiology (1997-1999). Her industry experience includes embedded systems software development at Microware Corporation, Des Moines, IA (1996-1997), local operating network applications development at Motorola Semiconductor in Austin, TX (1994-1995), and research and fabrication of controlled-release drug delivery systems at Alza Corporation in Palo Alto, CA (1986-1990). Pamela received the NSF CAREER Award in 2011. Committed to translating technology to the clinical setting, she is a KL2 Scholar with the Atlanta Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (ACTSI), serves at the ACTSI Research Education, Training & Career Development Director for Georgia Tech, and holds the rank of Adjunct Professor of Rehabilitative Medicine with the Emory University School of Medicine. In 2014 she participated in the NSF I-Corps program focusing on customer discovery and as an outcome co-founded CameRad Technologies to commercialize an embedded system to increase throughput and reduce patient misidentification errors in imaging studies.