Biomedical/Biochemical Applications

Diagnosis of Pathogen Infections Using Mass Spectral Analysis of Immune System Modulators

A library containing mass spectral patterns has been assembled from responses of the immune system to known pathogens that are compared and matched with responses to unknown infections, aiding in diagnosis.





Methods and Devices for Detection and Diagnosis of Malaria

Methods and Devices for Digital Microscopy Based Automated Diagnosis of Blood-borne Parasites

Method to Accumulate and Increase the Concentration of Heme in Test Samples for Transporting and Testing

Use of Laser Desorption (LD) and Matrix Assisted LD Ionization Mass Spectrometry to Detect Fecal Blood

Direct Mass Spectroscopic Analysis of Blood Samples to Detect Heme as an Indicator of Malaria Infection


Researchers at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and The Bloomberg School of Public Health have developed a complement of highly sensitive and specific procedures for the rapid detection of heme in biological samples. Heme is the deep red iron-containing part of hemoglobin and myoglobin. In some disease states, heme may become disassociated from red blood cells and can be mass spectrometrically or electrochemically detected in blood, stool, cerebro-spinal fluid or urine samples. Circumstances that cause the presentation of heme include malarial or other blood-borne parasite infections, colon cancer, internal bleeding, disease, trauma, and kidney or urinary tract infections. Direct laser desorption time-of-flight mass spectrometry, electrochemical sensors or optical recognition algorithms are used individually or in conjunction with each other to alleviate time-consuming direct inspection by technicians. Early detection assists in successful treatments and reduced medical fees.

Communications and Distributed Systems

Remote Monitoring and Relaying Device for Audible Alarms

A small electronic apparatus is worn close to the ear, attached to eyeglasses, earrings or other accessories around the same area. It selectively detects alarms that the wearer cannot hear because of hearing impairments or environmental noise. Watch alarms, cell phone chimes, PDA alerts or any other electronic sounds are detected and relayed as louder, more audible cues; however, ambient noises are not amplified. The device functions without altering the user's commercial devices.

Information Processing and Management

Chebyshev Data Compression

The need for data reduction during space missions led to this novel method of compression that enables large quantities of scientific information to be moved between remote spacecraft and Earth. The Chebyshev technique addresses the limitations imposed by space missions, including finite power resources, processing speed and available memory. This ideal compression algorithm is implemented in real time to preserve memory resources. It is fast and computationally simple, and is able to prevent total data loss in the event of corruption during transmission. The technique could be incorporated into standard data compression techniques to optimize and enhance commercial transmission of images, text, video, audio or facsimile.


Software for Automated Coding of Medical Records

This software automatically codes unstructured medical records that are stored as text in Microsoft Access. This unique technology requires none of the industry standards for content, structure or vocabulary. The coded information can be grouped with data from other sources and analyzed for various properties and patterns such as those associated with disease outbreaks, epidemics and bioterrorist events.

Space and Environmental Physics

Time of Flight System on a Chip (TOF Chip)

A single, mixed analog-digital, low-power, precise time interval measurement chip will be a valuable enabling technology for next-generation small spacecraft, particularly for spacecraft constellations.

Reusable Java Library and Science Planning Tools

A library and science planning software tool was developed to improve the reusability of library components compiled for specific projects that generate and use complex and voluminous amounts of data. Currently used to plan space missions, this tool could be used for any analytical project. The tool is implemented in Java language for deployment on any platform over the Web.


Thermal Control Apparatus for Body Armor; Matthew G. Bevan, Paul J. Biermann.
(02 Apr 02)

Analysis of fatality statistics compiled by the FBI suggests that a large percentage of law enforcement deaths could have been prevented if the officer had been wearing a bulletproof vest. Despite this evidence, many still choose not to wear soft body armor due to increased weight, poor fit and heat build-up. In addition to adding bulk and weight, the protective layers of a vest insulate the wearers and trap heat and moisture near their bodies. This APL-developed apparatus uses an array of materials that transfer heat and moisture away from the body and the body armor, keeping the wearer cooler and unencumbered by the weight of perspiration, while reducing degradation to the ballistic properties of the vest. The system can be added to existing vests or included in the design of new ones.


Apparatus and Method for Locating an Object; Daniel C. Chin, Rengaswamy Srinivasan, Paul R. Zarriello. (25 Jun 02)

Digging, probing and drilling holes in the ground are damaging, exhaustive and time-consuming methods for locating buried objects for removal or maintenance, such as plastic and metal land mines, chemical and biological storage drums/containers and buried pipelines (metal, concrete, and plastic). This patented invention easily, inexpensively, reliably and accurately locates objects buried in soil or immersed in liquid. Depending on the specific conditions of each search, the depth and size of an object can be determined from the detection of the magnetic field an object will emit in response to a weak AC signal applied at the surface. The response fields are analyzed with accurate, reliable software specifically developed and tested for this application. Computer simulations and field tests illustrate that this method and device are superior to other remote sensing methods used for locating buried objects.

2002 The Johns Hopkins University