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BME Research Instructor Dr. Melissa Caughey has been awarded a $25,000 pilot grant funded by the Pittsburgh Heart, Lung, and Blood Vascular Medicine Institute, the Hemophilia Center of Western Pennsylvania, and Vitalant to evaluate a wearable hydration sensor in patients with sickle cell disease and its utility in guiding hydration therapy. The funding will span one year, with a potential renewal up to two years, totaling $50,000.

Individuals with sickle cell disease are susceptible to fluid loss due to coexisting renal disease. Hypertonic extracellular fluid intensifies water efflux from the red blood cells, which is a precursor to hemoglobin S polymerization, vaso-occlusive events, and excruciating pain crises in patients with sickle cell disease. A rapid and reliable assessment of hydration status is needed to guide fluid resuscitation therapy and maintain fluid balance. Grant co-investigators from UNC and NC State include Dr. John Muth, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Dr. Yong Zhu, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Congratulations Dr. Melissa Caughey!

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