Research Areas

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A unique aspect of the BME program is its research-focused curriculum. The BME department encourages research work starting as early as the sophomore year (level 3). Undergraduate students of BME, who are interested, will have the opportunity to work with our faculty members to get involved in research work early on. In the long run, this will greatly enhance their prospects for graduate studies and/or lead innovative projects after graduation. Currently, our faculty members are focused on research in the following major areas:

Translational Cell & Tissue Engineering

Research in translational cell and tissue engineering encompasses the development of functional grafts/tissues with the capacity to influence cellular response favorably and translates cutting-edge technology to improve or restore function at the molecular, cellular, and tissue levels. This technique, which aims to repair or regenerate diseased or damaged tissues, organs, and cells- has the power to fundamentally alter the field of medicine. Specific areas of interest include materials development, biochemical manipulations, cell culture, and genetic engineering. The processing conditions, such as decellularization, sterilization, and biomimetic coating- are also evaluated in terms of how they affect the characteristics of the biological grafts and tissues. Developing artificial organs and prosthetic devices are direct applications of this area with a significant impact on society.

Biomechanics and Biofluids

Research in Biomechanics involves using the principles of mechanics at the cellular, tissue, and joint level with various applications, including in orthopedics, musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems. Investigations in injury and orthopedic biomechanics address relevant biomechanical research problems of injury. In addition, experimental and computational techniques can be applied to develop and validate soft and hard tissue behavior models.

Biomedical Imaging

Biomedical Imaging involves techniques and processes of creating visual representations of the interior of a body, organs or tissues for clinical analysis and medical intervention. This is an important area of research which involves the technologies required for diagnostics. Thanks to the ceaseless efforts of biomedical engineers, a great variety of diagnostic instruments are available today that have made it possible to detect diseases more accurately, sometimes at their earlier stages when they are easily curable, and thus improved the overall quality of medical treatment.

Biomedical Data Science

This area of research aims to develop signal processing and machine learning algorithms on biosignals and images for the prognosis, diagnosis, detection, and screening of various medical conditions. This field of study is essentially the next step after data acquisition from biomedical sensors or imaging equipment. Expertise in signal processing as a tool has a unique advantage since it can be applied to various types of data, including ECG, EMG, MRI, X-ray and Ultrasound imaging.

Digital Health

Digital Health involves the application of mobile devices, smartphones, and electronic health record data to address various public health problems. One particular outcome of mobile health (mHealth) research is telemedicine, which aims to bring advanced healthcare services to the masses. These research areas heavily involve electrical circuits and system design, prototyping, implementing algorithms on microcontrollers and/or smart wearable/portable devices, and finally, signal processing and machine learning system design.

Computational Medicine

Computational Medicine aims to advance healthcare by developing computational models of disease, personalizing these models using data from patients, and applying these models to improve the diagnosis and treatment of disease. These models are used to discover novel risk biomarkers, predict disease progression, design optimal treatments, and identify new drug targets for applications such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and neurological disorders.

Medical Device Development

The broad field of medical device development entails the creation of tools, equipment, appliances, implants, reagents, supplies, materials, software, and processes for detecting, managing, and preventing diseases. This area of study and research in biomedical engineering includes determining the clinical need for a new device or for improvements to existing devices, developing novel prototypes, carrying out the necessary clinical development and trials, managing regulatory affairs, and launching the product. With stakeholders from various backgrounds, it presents biomedical engineers with a wide range of opportunities to combine their technical expertise, creativity, and passion for medicine, translate them into safe, efficient medical products, and improve the standard of care for patients and healthcare professionals.

Biomaterials and Drug Delivery

The field of biomaterials deals with the research in unique materials such as biopolymers, metals, ceramics, peptides, and composites. These biomaterials are structured into matrices such as microfiber, nanofiber, nanoparticle, hydrogel, bioadhesive, nano-emulsion, bio-sponges, and biofilms. State-of-the-art laboratory techniques are used in this regard. For instance, electrospinning, wet spinning, chemical precipitation, freeze-drying, sintering etc. are some of the most used methods. Precision medicine can also be manufactured using the wonders of additive manufacturing. Therapeutic drugs are loaded into these biomaterial-based structures and a controlled release of drugs can thus be achieved in various durations from them. The drug-loaded matrices possess antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and show excellent results in healing wounds in mouse and rabbit models. 

Pre-Clinical and Clinical Research

Pre-clinical and clinical research fields incorporate biocompatibility analysis, animal and clinical trials. We already have an Animal Research Facility (ARF) where mice, rats, and rabbits are bred into colonies for different biomedical applications. The BME department also conducts pre-clinical and clinical trials of novel medical devices. Our future plan includes developing a Clinical Research Organization (CRO) within the department to conduct clinical research with patient data for improving disease diagnosis and developing new technologies. Our current focus is on 1) medical device development, 2) cancer research, 3) targeted drug delivery for cancer treatment (pre-clinical), 4) clinical informatics, 5) gait and clinical movement research, and 6) application of AI in disease detection.