Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

World's First Voluntary Gorilla Blood Pressure Reading

12.11.2009
Zoo Atlanta recently became the first zoological institution in the world to obtain voluntary blood pressure readings from a gorilla. This groundbreaking stride was made possible by the Gorilla Tough Cuff, a blood pressure reading system devised through partnership with the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University.

Created as a senior design project by biomedical engineering undergraduates David Sotto, Nisha Bhatia, Stephanie Drewicz and Scott Seaman, the prototype has now been successfully tested on one of Zoo Atlanta’s 22 western lowland gorillas. The students also had guidance from Hanjoong Jo, the Ada Lee and Pete Correll Professor in Biomedical Engineering and the Division of Cardiology; and Professor Franklin Bost, the Coulter Department director of design instruction.

“Zoo Atlanta is home to the nation’s largest collection of gorillas, so there is an ongoing responsibility to contribute to the zoological community’s understanding of their care,” said Dennis Kelly, President and CEO. “We are proud to have spearheaded an effort that will ultimately benefit gorillas living in captive settings around the world.”

The Gorilla Tough Cuff operates in the same manner as the mechanism familiar to humans, with the patient slipping an arm into a cuff. As the cuff inflates, the blood pressure reading is measured and displayed on a monitor. The student design team’s biggest set of challenges, however, was constructing a durable, comfortable cuff large enough to fit an adult male gorilla weighing upwards of 300 pounds.

The prototype system was comprised of a blood pressure cuff bolted to a casing made of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plastic. The casing was zip-tied to a rectangular mesh trap and the trap was temporarily attached to the gorilla cage. The pressure cuff tubing was connected to an off-the-shelf veterinary blood pressure monitor located outside of the gorilla cage.

“We also built a safety mechanism into the device so that the gorillas would not be injured if they became alarmed or frightened and tried to remove their arm from the cuff,” said Sotto, who is currently a graduate student at Georgia Tech.

Once the prototype was complete, the Tough Cuff had its first tester: Ozzie, a 48-year-old male western lowland gorilla. Gorillas aren’t typically keen on the idea of inserting their arms into inflatable cuffs: Ozzie’s accomplishment is the result of months of patience and diligent voluntary positive reinforcement training on the part of Zoo Atlanta’s Primate Team.

One of four geriatric gorillas living at the Zoo (the others are Shamba, 50; Choomba, 48; and Ivan, 47), Ozzie is at an age where he may be subject to health concerns similar to those experienced by mature humans. Cardiac disease is the leading cause of mortality in adult male gorillas living in captive settings, and the new system will enable veterinarians to more effectively monitor precursory signs such as high blood pressure.

“This is a great step forward in the medical management and care of captive gorillas,” said Dr. Sam Rivera, Associate Veterinarian at Zoo Atlanta. “Our Veterinary and Primate Teams are extremely fortunate to have the biomedical engineering department at Georgia Tech and Emory University as a resource.”

The Gorilla Tough Cuff has already been demonstrated for veterinarians and animal care professionals from numerous other accredited zoos. The device could ultimately prove invaluable to the more than 100 institutions around the world currently housing the species.

About Zoo Atlanta
An accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Zoo Atlanta inspires value and preservation of wildlife through a unique mix of education and outdoor family fun. From well-known native wildlife to critically endangered species on the brink of extinction, the Zoo offers memorable close encounters with more than 1,000 animals from around the world. The Zoo’s newest attraction, Boundless Budgies: A Parakeet Adventure, opened in April 2009. The interactive new experience is the largest of its kind in the Southeast. Zoo Atlanta is also the proud home of Xi Lan, the only giant panda cub born in the U.S. in 2008. Other highlights include the nation’s largest collection of great apes and a global center of excellence for the care and reproduction of vanishing amphibians and reptiles. Zoo Atlanta is open daily with the exceptions of Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Keeper talks, interactive wildlife shows, education programs and special events run year-round. For more information, call 404.624.WILD or go to zooatlanta.org.
About Georgia Tech
The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the nation’s premier research universities. Ranked seventh amongst U.S. News & World Report’s top public universities, Georgia Tech’s more than 19,000 students are enrolled in its Colleges of Architecture, Computing, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Management and Sciences. Georgia Tech is among the nation’s top producers of women and African American engineers. The Institute offers research opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students and is home to more than 100 interdisciplinary units and the Georgia Tech Research Institute.

Abby Vogel | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.gatech.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht First transcription atlas of all wheat genes expands prospects for research and cultivation
17.08.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung

nachricht Staying in Shape
16.08.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für molekulare Zellbiologie und Genetik

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum material is promising 'ion conductor' for research, new technologies

17.08.2018 | Materials Sciences

Low bandwidth? Use more colors at once

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Protecting the power grid: Advanced plasma switch for more efficient transmission

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>