Medical issues such as lymphedema, edema and lymphatic obstruction are painful and difficult to diagnose.

These diseases consist of fluid build-up and occlusion, or blockage, of blood flow, usually in an appendage such as an arm or a leg. Often caused by cancer treatment, there is no cure for these conditions. Instead, lifestyle changes and adjustments to daily routines can make the symptoms manageable and reduce pain.

FIU researchers are looking at ways to detect these diseases early enough that they can be monitored and treated.

FIU CEC Staff Shekhar BhansaliProfessors Shekhar Bhansali and Jessica Ramella—who are in the College of Engineering & Computing and affiliated with the College of Arts, Sciences & Education’s Biomolecular Sciences Institute—were recently awarded a patent for a sensor designed to diagnose the conditions, in conjunction with researchers at the University of South Florida (USF).

“The sensor is a tool that can help diagnose disorders that cannot currently be diagnosed, much less treated,” Bhansali says.

According to Bhansali, lymphedema is nearly impossible to diagnose. The difficulty in diagnosing it leads to unnecessary pain and associated complications, such as cellulitis, a bacterial skin infection. If left for too long, the skin can harden and the swelling can increase.

Read more at FIU News.