New Jersey Institute of Technology Research Highlights

NEWARK, July 26- -- The development of a virtual reality system for rehabilitating the hand function of stroke victims, a new instrument for detecting malignant melanomas and more inquiries number among the newest research thrusts at the Newark College of Engineering at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). Information about these and other projects, follow. For additional details, interviews and/or photo opportunities, contact the NJIT public relations department.

Heart Rate Variability The time interval between heartbeats is not constant and this variability decreases with age and disease. Stanley Reisman, Ph.D., professor of biomedical engineering at NJIT, is exploring the role of heart rate variability in health and disease. In a project with University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and the East Orange VA Medical Center, he is studying heart rate variability in subjects with heart failure and syncope. A privately-funded study is looking at heart rate variability in Parkinson's disease and in cancer. His particular interest is the use of time-frequency analysis, which allows the study of heart rate variability over time as conditions in the subjects change.

Virtual Reality in Rehabilitation In collaboration with scientists from Rutgers University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey,. Michael Recce, Ph.D., associate professor of biomedical engineering, is developing a PC-based desktop virtual reality system for rehabilitating hand function in stroke patients. Funded by the New Jersey Commission for Science and Technology, the system uses two hand-input devices, a CyberGlove and a RMI force feedback glove, to allow the user to interact with four rehabilitation exercises. The therapy program is semi-automated and personalized to each user through the use of performance based target levels that adapt between sessions to induce the user to improve. To further motivate the patient, screen displays are designed as interactive games. Preliminary studies have found substantial recovery of motor abilities in patients.

Multispectral Imaging for Cancer Detection Malignant melanoma is the leading killer among dermatological diseases and the most lethal skin cancer. Structural and morphological changes of the pigmented lesion are important for early detection of melanoma. Atam Dhawan, Ph.D., NJIT Professor and Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has developed a novel non-invasive optical instrument called the "Nevoscope" for in situ imaging of skin lesions through transillumination by visible light. Currently, a new multispectral Nevoscope imaging and image analysis system with a signature database for characterization of skin lesions is being developed and evaluated. Funded by NASA, Dhawan is also studying tissue characterization from multimodality multiparameter magnetic resonance brain images and data mining for safety diagnostic subsystem of next generation jet propulsion systems.

Ultrasound for Soil Decontamination With an initial two-year funding by USEPA to investigate the enhancement of soil washing process using ultrasound, Jay Meegoda, Ph.D. NJIT Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, is leading a team to develop an innovative and cost effective way to decontaminate soils and sediments. Since the technology to recycle the surfactant used in soil-washing process is not cost effective, Meegoda proposed to apply vacuum to capture the contaminants removed from ultrasound. In an NSF-supported study, he has demonstrated the effectiveness of the coupled ultrasound/vacuum technology. The team is pushing the technology further by investigating the use of ultrasound to decontaminate the sediments and then separate the cleaned sediments using acoustical energy instead of applying vacuum.
Newark College of Engineering, one of six colleges at New Jersey Institute of Technology was founded in 1881. The college currently includes six engineering departments and one engineering technology department, 150 tenured and tenure-track faculty and an enrollment of 2,500 B.S. students , 670 M.S. students, and 220 Ph.D. students. During the 1999-00 academic year, the school awarded 32 doctorates. It has an annual research expenditure of $31.7 million.  

NJIT is a public research university enrolling over 8,200 bachelor's, master's and doctoral students in 80 degree programs through its five colleges: Newark College of Engineering, New Jersey School of Architecture, College of Science and Liberal Arts, the School of Management and the Albert Dorman Honors College. Research initiatives include manufacturing, microelectronics, multimedia, transportation, computer science, solar astrophysics, environmental engineering and science, and architecture and building science. According to Yahoo! Internet Life magazine rankings, NJIT has been America's most wired public university for three consecutive years.

Contact Information:   Sheryl Weinstein
Public Relations
(973) 596-3436