Reviewing different research papers and our interviews with doctors, we realized that patients will tremble when Parkinson’s disease attacks. Detecting trembling, therefore, can be an essentially practical method for recognizing the attacks of such a disease. If successful detection is accomplished, we can then control the suffering symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease by producing L-dopa, through genetically engineered bacteria.
Location of hardware and flora of E.coli
1.E.coli normally lives in the human intestine where humans absorb medicines and transport them through blood vessels to the brain.
2.We selected the large intestine to place our hardware because it is wider, allowing us to devise the hardware in a freer way.
We designed a capsule-like Polycarbonate (PC) outer shell for the lighting part. Polycarbonate, being a relatively stable material, protect the electrical circuit and LED from the acid or basic environment in the intestine. Besides, it is small enough, so no surgery is needed which is safer for the old who have Parkinson’s Disease.
A vibration sensor is installed to a normal watch, or sports bracelets, to enable it to detect the tremble and send the data to doctors, who would administrate drugs based on given data.
It is important to note that, we will not use a linear accelerator meter as our vibration sensor because it can only detect large extent vibration. Instead, we will use a gyroscope, a vibration sensor can delicately detect slight changes in direction.
According to a doctor from Digestive Department, producing drugs in the large intestine is not as ideal as we thought because everything absorbed by the intestine would have to go through the whole systematic circulation. One of the steps of the circulation is in the liver. In many clinical drugs testing, drugs would break down or its structure would be changed completely and will no longer be useful. Fortunately, at least half of an oral levodopa dose is decarboxylated during absorption and first-pass hepatic metabolism. Further decarboxylation may occur by AAADC during successive circulation through these tissues. Approximately 70% of the levodopa metabolites appear as dopamine and its degradation products. (Levodopa J. Aldred, J.G. Nutt, in Encyclopedia of Movement Disorders, 2010)
Secondly, if we put the light part into the intestine, it would probably oppress the intestinal wall which would lead to intestinal perforation or bowel necrosis.
Next, the doctor pointed out that a colony wouldn’t stay in the intestine for too long because very their fixation depends on patients’ eating habits. As a result, we might change our product, genetically engineered bacteria, into capsules or drinks that could last for five to seven days. Thus, we would do further genetic editioned bacteria to make it durable to most of the patients.
Finally, we are thinking about whether levodopa can pass the blood-brain barrier. “A similar transport system transfers levodopa across the blood-brain barrier. Levodopa is extensively decarboxylated to dopamine in peripheral tissues such as the gut wall, liver, and kidney.” (Derek G. Waller BSc (HONS), DM, MBBS (HONS), FRCP, Anthony P. Sampson MA, Ph.D., FHEA, FBPhS, in Medical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (Fifth Edition), 2018)
Unfortunately, the production of our design (for both bracelets and chips ) would take at least 6 months, and we are thus unable to physically present you with our hardware, because first, every circuit board, including both the receiving end and the tr
ansmitter, needs to be customized;secondly, we are not sure what type of gyroscope is the most suitable for us, considering its size and accuracy, which requires a large number of experiments and expertise to design.
The following development will be updated after the Giant Jamboree! The sketches of our hardware are, however, available.
The protective of the lighting part is made of Lexan, which is one of the three major transparent materials. Besides, it is both acid-resistant and alkali-resistant. The rest of the lighting parts are button cells, which can provide lasting electric power, a blue LED light, and a Bluetooth receiver chip, which can receive signals sent by a smart bracelet and act as a switch of the light.
The smart bracelet would sense the tremble of hands when patients are attacked by PD. The data of vibration frequency and extent would be sent to a professional doctor, who would calculate the needed amounts of drug and time needed for E.coli to produce them. It would send a lasting signal which commands the light to illuminate the flora.
J. Aldred, J.G. Nutt, in Encyclopedia of Movement Disorders, 2010
2. Extrapyramidal movement disorders and spasticity
Derek G. Waller BSc (HONS), DM, MBBS (HONS), FRCP, Anthony P. Sampson MA, Ph.D., FHEA, FBPhS,
in Medical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (Fifth Edition), 2018