Lab Contact Information
Sorenson Molecular Biotechnology Building (SMBB), 4th Floor
36 South Wasatch Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
Goal: To design medical devices that address unmet clinical needs, and to bring them to market in the short-term.
Our laboratory research efforts are motivated by the need for new medical device technologies and designs. We work in the fields of imaging, biosensors and tissue engineering. Our projects almost always come from an unmet clinical need and are managed using a “design control” perspective. We work closely with clinicians and other researchers to bring a diverse set of technical and thinking skills to our projects. The lab has been involved with launching several new medical products through startup companies, and we know what it takes to move technology from the lab to the clinic.
Pediatric cardiac reconstructive surgery comes with the risk of injury to the conduction system, the sinoatrial and atrioventricular nodes (SAN, AVN), necessitating permanent implantation of a pacemaker. The injuries result from difficulty identifying the tissues during the operation. A collaborative study between the Laboratory of Robert Hitchcock in Bioengineering, Frank Sacshe, Ph.D., from the U of U’s Cardiovascular Research and Training Institute (CVRTI) and U of U pediatric surgeon Aditya Kaza, M.D. demonstrates the feasibility of identifying nodal tissue in the living heart using extracellular fluorophores and fiber-optics confocal microscopy. Application during pediatric reconstructive heart surgery may reduce risks of injuring nodal tissues.
Robert Hitchock, Ph.D. was mentor and judge for the annual Bench-to-Bedside competition held in April, challenging students to come up with innovative ways to meet current challenges in medicine. “Bench-to-Bedside is a unique competition because it focuses on the student experience. Groups of students from many different parts of the campus assemble into teams to develop unique medical products, explained Hitchcock. "Year after year, the competition provides a high impact experience that not only engages the participants but also helps get new technologies into the hands of clinicians.” LEARN MORE