Hitesh Handa doesn’t think a hospital stay for one problem should turn into another.
But that’s exactly what happens to tens of thousands of people every year when their central lines or catheters become infected during hospital stays.
Lucky for future hospital patients, Handa, an assistant professor of engineering at the University of Georgia, is developing coatings for medical devices to keep patients from contracting potentially deadly infections.
These coatings release nitric oxide, a powerful gas found naturally in the body that keeps blood flowing and staves off infection. It can also prevent bacteria from multiplying on the devices and causing disease.
“I feel engineers have a lot of solutions, but we don’t know what the problems are sometimes,” Handa says. “And clinicians have a lot of problems they want solutions for, but they don’t know who to go to. So, I thought, why not? I can be the bridge between engineers and clinicians.”