November 12, 2012
4" wafer with 160 membranes. (Photo by SiMPore Inc.)
Nano-porous silicon membranes developed at the University of Rochester's Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences will soon be used to manufacture portable devices that can analyze DNA in remote settings.
A $600,000 grant from the National Science Foundation will fund a partnership among Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, James McGrath, SiMPore, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Integrated Nanotechnologies (INT) to fabricate the devices.
October 10, 2012
The University of Rochester is combining its medical, engineering, and entrepreneurial expertise to create the Center for Medical Technology Innovation (CMTI). A collaboration of the Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the School of Medicine and Dentistry, CMTI will also make use of the University's Center for Entrepreneurship as it coordinates activities to develop technological solutions to clinical problems.
Ankur Chandra, M.D., the medical director of CMTI, said a recent development at the University of Rochester Medical Center validates the importance of the center's approach. Since multiple medical conditions such as aortic aneurysms can now be addressed by inserting devices through blood vessels - rather than by open surgery - larger catheters are needed to place through the femoral artery in the thigh, the point where the devices are inserted.
One of our students, Rachel Rakvica, noticed that the larger openings allowed for newer techniques to close the artery - a novel approach that did not require incisions,said Chandra.
We've obtained a provisional patent, with the hope of further developing the technology.
Amy Lerner, the academic director of CMTI, has had a great deal of experience guiding students in the medical device development process. An associate professor of biomedical engineering, Lerner directs the senior design course, a year-long program in which teams of students partner with clinicians, companies, and other institutions to solve real-world engineering problems.
The new center will be critical in helping take student and faculty design solutions to the next step,said Lerner.
We'll work closely with industry to address design challenges, which will also help prepare our students for careers in healthcare.
The executive director of CMTI will be Greg Gdowski, who earned a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering at Boston University and worked as a research fellow at Blue Highway, an engineering services company in Syracuse. Gdowski believes the new center will increase the national visibility and stature of the University of Rochester and its biomedical engineering program. He added,
It will also help foster growth and collaboration between faculty at the Hajim School and those at the Medical Center.
September 28, 2012
Professor Axel Wismueller receives NIH R01 Award
Axel Wismueller, M.D., Ph.D.
Axel Wismueller, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Imaging Sciences and Biomedical Engineering has received an RO1 award from the National Institutes of Health for his project,
Exploring large scale functional connectivity in the human brain: from bench to bedside.Supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and its AIDS research program, this three-year project will focus on developing a novel computational framework to explore directed information transfer in the human brain, which will permit connectivity analysis in large time-series ensembles obtained from functional MRI neuro-imaging studies.
To demonstrate the clinical applicability of this innovative framework, an associated clinical study will also investigate changes in brain networks observed in patients with HIV-related cognitive impairment under anti-retroviral therapy. The overall goal is to establish a clinical model for evaluating whole-brain functional connectivity as a novel biomarker for disease progression and therapy effectiveness. Embedded in the Collaborative Research in Computational Neuroscience program of the National Science Foundation, the project launches a transatlantic network that promotes teaching, training and career mentoring activities for young researchers at undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate levels.
September 24, 2012
Dr. Jim McGrath Receives $900,000 in NSF Grants
Biomedical Engineering associate professor, Jim McGrath, Ph.D. has just received some important grants to develop new applications for the super-thin, nanoporous silicon membranes that have been developed at the Hajim School of Engineering & Applied Sciences. A nearly $600,000 National Science Foundation grant will partner McGrath's lab, SiMPore (the University-based startup that manufactures the membranes), RIT, and Integrated Nanotechnologies (INT), another local startup. They'll be using the membranes as filters in a portable INT device that can analyze DNA extracted from a drop of blood. This can be used to diagnose disease or detect pathogens, in the field, in a matter of minutes. They'll then miniaturize all of this onto a lab-on-a-chip (LOC).
Another $300,000 from NSF will fund McGrath's ongoing research to modify the membranes for additional uses; a $100,000 grant continuation from the Coulter Foundation will fund McGrath's efforts to develop a blood dialysis device, using a silicon membrane, that would be small enough to wear on a belt. Imagine what a godsend that would be, if people could remain mobile and active while undergoing continuous dialysis, instead of sitting four hours a day, three days a week in dialysis centers!
September 14, 2012
David Williams, Ph.D. a faculty member of the University of Rochester's Institute of Optics, director of its Center for Visual Science, and dean for research in Arts, Science, and Engineering, will receive the Antonio Champalimaud Vision Award at a ceremony today in Lisbon, Portugal. The ceremony, chaired by the president of Portugal, will recognize Williams' work on adaptive optics technologies as a
major breakthrough in the understanding and/or the preservation of vision.Williams is widely regarded as one of the world's leading experts on human vision.
In awarding the prize, the jury stated that Williams and his research group have
revitalized the field of physiological optics, producing year after year truly beautiful, technically brilliant and groundbreaking work.
September 14, 2012
Drs. Ovitt and Benoit Awarded NIH Grant
Salivary gland cells are viable encapsulated within hydrogels: A dissociated cell prep prepared from whole submandibular gland was seeded into PEG hydrogels and incubated in serum-free media. At 7 days, the hydrogels were fixed, sectioned, and immunostained for nuclei (DAPI) and keratin 5, a marker of salivary progenitor cells.
Biomedical Genetics assistant professor, Catherine Ovitt, Ph.D. and Danielle Benoit, Ph.D., assistant professor of Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering, have been awarded a four year grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), for the project, entitled Hydrogel encapsulation of salivary gland cells promotes cell survival, proliferation, and assembly.
This project deals with potential utility of adult stem or progenitor cells for repair of radiation-damaged salivary glands. While the potential is high, it is currently only a theoretical solution for patients suffering from xerostomia. There remain several critical obstacles that must be resolved before cell-based therapy for dysfunctional salivary glands can be moved into the clinical arena. These include the identification of appropriate donor cells, the technology for promoting implantation, and direct functional assays to assess the outcomes.
The goal is to determine if the use of hydrogels can promote in vivo differentiation of transplanted progenitor cells. The successful completion of this project will establish a foundation for subsequent translational research to progress the technology into clinical applications.
September 11, 2012
Dr. Jong-Hoon Nam Awarded NSF Grant
Jong-Hoon Nam, Ph.D., assistant professor of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, has been awarded a three year grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The objective of the project, entitled Multi-Scale Analysis of Mechanotransduction in the Organ of Corti, is to establish a coherent theory of how the organ of Corti (cochlear sensory epithelium) optimizes the force from the outer hair cells in order to magnify tiny vibrations of the basilar membrane.
With ME and BME professor, Sheryl Gracewski, Ph.D. as Co-PI, the research will take two innovative approaches. First, it will integrate cellular physiology and macro/micro mechanics of the cochlea. Second, computational and experimental models will be investigated in parallel to reduce the animal use while maximizing the research outcome. This will make a direct impact on understanding various hearing disorders. Besides hearing sensation, mechano-transduction plays a crucial role in other tissues such as muscle, bone and articular cartilage. Therefore, the findings of this research will advance the general understanding of mechano-sensation.
For more information please visit the Nam Lab.
August 30, 2012
NIH Awards $7.5M, Designates URMC Orthopaedics as Center of Research Translation
The University of Rochester Medical Center was granted a $7.5 million Center of Research Translation (CORT) award for programs designed to find new therapies for arthritis and bone healing. With a rising population of older adults, musculoskeletal diseases are a major economic burden in the United States and in the health-care system, and the award places the URMC in a leadership role for seeking solutions.
Regis O'Keefe, M.D., Ph.D., the Marjorie Strong Wehle Professor in Orthopaedics and department chair, is the principal investigator. He noted that the unique structure of CORT requires collaboration among scientists, and rewards institutions that build on previous work in a highly integrated environment.
One of the three key initiatives of the CORT grant is Translating how PTH therapy can improve the healing of major bone defects caused by trauma. Led by Edward M. Schwarz, Ph.D., the Burton Professor of Orthopaedics and director of the URMC Center for Musculoskeletal Research, investigators are studying the role of PTH in preventing the body's negative reaction to reconstructive surgery following trauma or cancer.
August 6, 2012
Professor McAleavey Awarded Patent
A conventional ultrasound image (left) is insensitive to the
stiffnessor shear modulus of tissue, as shown in this image of a test object with a 1 cm stiff inclusion. The greater modulus of the inclusion is clearly revealed in the SMURF image (right).
Professor Stephen McAleavey of the Department of Biomedical Engineering has been awarded a new U.S. Patent. The patent, number 8,225,666, is titled
Ultrasound Imaging of Tissue Stiffness by Spatially Modulated Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse.The patent details a new ultrasound elastography technique, termed SMURF imaging, that uses acoustic radiation force to quantify tissue stiffness. Tissue stiffness is a known indicator of disease. Thus, this new technology will be useful clinically to noninvasively diagnosis fibrosis, cancerous tumors, vascular diseases, and monitor the progress of ablation therapies. Professor McAleavey is an active member of the Rochester Center for Biomedical Ultrasound (RCBU).
July 25, 2012
Danielle Benoit Receives NSF Research Grant
Danielle Benoit, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, has been chosen for a 3-year, $420,000 National Science Foundation award in support of her project,
Developing materials strategies to control siRNA spatial and temporal delivery to engineer multicomponent tissues.
June 21, 2012
Each spring, seniors in computer science, optics, biomedical, computer and electrical, chemical and mechanical engineering at the Hajim School present the projects they have worked on all year. Students work in teams to solve a problem brought to them by a customer from outside the University. See below for the video of their projects.
June 15, 2012
Funding Awarded to Senior Design Project
The UR Technology Development fund has decided to invest approximately $50,000 toward the development of a product designed by a Senior Design Team in Biomedical Engineering. Benjamin Horowitz, Megan Makarski, William Sipprell, and Robert Handzel (Biomedical Engineering, '09), working with Strong Neonatologists Timothy Stevens, M.D., and Patricia Chess, M.D., designed and prototyped a respiration monitor for use on very low birth weight newborns. With this funding, which was awarded to Scott Seidman, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Neurobiology & Anantomy, a second-generation prototype ready for introduction into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit will be constructed and tested, with the clear aim of getting this life-saving technology onto the market.
June 10, 2012
Learning how to twist long, narrow balloons into animal shapes took almost no time for the crew from Therapeutic Biomaterials Lab at the University of Rochester. They're prepared for the longer haul of figuring out how to kill cancer stem cells with drugs while leaving normal, healthy cells alone.
The dozen or so undergraduates, grad students and post-docs of the lab headed by Danielle Benoit sold lemonade to raise money for Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, which funds research to find a cure for childhood cancer. The foundation has awarded Benoit's lab $40,000 for each of four years for work in nanotechnology. This is third time the lab has run the stand during the foundation's National Lemonade Days.
The students raised $360 Saturday at the Rochester Public Market and $370 Sunday at the Brighton Farmers Market at Brighton High School toward its goal of $4,000. They've collected more than $900 online, with a few more weeks to go. If you would like to donate please visit the Benoit Lab Lemonade Stand.
June 5, 2012
A local company is connecting innovators with people who want to fund their inventions. Their first venture is with the University of Rochester. Researchers at the University of Rochester come up with a lot of inventions that, if they had money, would be extremely helpful to the public. So what Innovocracy wants to do is link up inventors at the institutions like the U of R with people who want to help those inventions become marketable.
Despite it being summer at the University of Rochester, researchers are still busy working. Dr. Stephen McAleavey, UR Researcher, said,
We got a team of 4 or 5 of our seniors to work on the project for a semester.
May 31, 2012
Karla Mercado Attends Physical Acoustics Summer School
Karla Mercado applied to and was selected to attend the Physical Acoustics Summer School (PASS) at the University of Mississippi National Center for Physical Acoustics from May 23-29. The purpose of PASS is to bring intermediate and advanced graduate students, distinguished lecturers, and discussion leaders together to discuss a wide variety of subjects in Physical Acoustics. Participation is limited to 50 attendees and it is a very selective process. Karla Mercado is a Ph.D. candidate in BME working with Professor Diane Dalecki on a project to develop high-frequency ultrasound techniques to noninvasively characterize the material, structural, and biological properties of engineered tissues. Karla is also a student member of the RCBU.
May 17, 2012
BME/ChE Professors Receive Provost Multidisciplinary Award
Professor Hani Awad (BME) in collaboration with professor Matthew Yates (ChE) received one of the 2012 Provost's Multidisciplinary Awards for their collaborative project entitled
Coating of Titanium Implants with Electrically Polarized Hydroxyapatite to Enhance Bone Integration.
May 3, 2012
Engineering students, Silvia Perucchio (Mechanical Egineering) and Doug Clift (BME) spoke with WHAM 13 News about Hajim Design Day 2012 and the design project they are working on. Hajim Design Day 2012 was held on Thursday, May 3 and showcased engineering students Real-World solutions for the community. YNN also featured Hajim Design Day 2012 as the students got to show off their products during today's Design Day at the school.
Student teams at the University's Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have been partnering with local companies and institutions over the past year to solve real-world engineering problems. The students demonstrated their results from 12-2 p.m. in the Munnerlyn Atrium of Robert B. Goergen Hall. To learn more about this event see the Hajim Design Day project images.
May 1, 2012
John Nicosia wins award at UR Research Expo
John Nicosia presenting his research at the UR Research Expo.
John Nicosia (BME class of 2013) was awarded the Professors' Choice Award for Undergraduate Research in Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University of Rochester Undergraduate Research Expo held on April 20, 2012. John was recognized for the research he presented in his poster titled
Techniques to Quantify Cell Proliferation in Three-Dimensional Hydrogels.His mentors for this research and co-authors on the poster are Professor Diane Dalecki and Professor Denise Hocking. John has been involved in research in biomedical ultrasound in the Dalecki Lab since his freshman year. John will be continuing his research to advance new applications of ultrasound in cell and tissue engineering though the summer and senior year as a Xerox Fellow in the Dalecki Lab.
April 17, 2012
Serious, drug-resistant staph infections are a growing problem in health care in the United States and across the globe. In a coordinated effort to stop these superbugs, investigators from the University of Rochester Medical Center have been selected to lead an ambitious, five-year project, with an emphasis on infections from complex orthopedic surgeries such as joint replacement, fracture repair, or trauma.
AOTrauma, part of the Switzerland-based AO Foundation, awarded $3 million to a team led by Stephen l. Kates, M.D., professor of Orthopaedics at URMC. The URMC has been studying ways to combat Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) for several years. Edward M. Schwarz, Ph.D., a co-investigator on the AOTrauma project, the Burton Professor of Orthopaedics, and director of the URMC Center for Musculoskeletal Research, is leading the development of a vaccine to prevent MRSA infections following bone and joint surgery.
April 11, 2012
Autism Research Being Funded Through Novel Platform
Stephen McAleavey, Associate Professor in Biomedical Engineering and Daniel Mruzek, Assistant Professor of the Department of Behavioral Pediatrics have recently submitted an Autism project for sponsorship on a new platform called Innovocracy. The University of Rochester recently signed up as an Innovocracy Launch Partner and the Autism project has already raised 172% of its funding goal from individual donors within the first few days. The Innovocracy platform allows the aggregation of small donations to help propel innovative research in the support of proof-of-concept projects. Supporters include everyone from alumni, friends and family to the general public interested in autism research. This collaboration was initiated through an undergraduate Senior Design project, and subsequently received CTSI pilot funds for further development and early clinical evaluation.
April 10, 2012
BME Students Receive Whitaker Fellowships
Two UR seniors in BME and an alumna who graduated last year have won prestigious Whitaker International Fellows awards. The program is managed by the Institute for International Education, the same organization that manages the Fulbright Fellowship awards. The goal of the program is to provide students who show potential for leadership in Biomedical Engineering the opportunity to obtain international experience either in education or research (or both) after they have completed their undergraduate degree.
Catherine Marando's (UR BME '12) award is to engage in research related to the study and treatment of glaucoma at Imperial College in London. Douglas Clift (UR BME '12) will be using his award to study musculoskeletal tissue engineering and biomaterials development at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia in Barcelona Spain. Kelli Summers (UR BME '11) will be going to Vienna Austria to study methods and mechanisms for developing molecular contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging.
April 9, 2012
John Nicosia and Laura Hobbs Awarded UR/Xerox Undergraduate Research Fellowships
BME undergraduate students John Nicosia and Laura Hobbs have been awarded UR/Xerox Undergraduate Research Fellowships. Both students will be working in the laboratory of Diane Dalecki, RCBU Director and Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering. Research projects will focus on developing ultrasound technologies for cell and tissue engineering applications. The SEAS Xerox Fellowship Program is a highly competitive program that provides engineering students with research experience. The program begins during the summer preceding the senior year, and continues as an independent research course in the fall and spring semesters of the senior year.
April 5, 2012
BME Undergraduate Michael Bux Awarded Prestigious Xerox Undergraduate Fellowship
Michael Bux, BME Junior in the laboratory of Danielle Benoit, Ph.D. was recently awarded a SEAS Xerox Undergraduate Fellowship. The SEAS Xerox Fellowship Program is a highly competitive program to provide engineering undergraduates with an opportunity to participate in a research experience in SEAS during the summer preceding their senior year. Additionally, students will receive independent study course credit for the continuation of their work during the fall and spring semesters of their senior year. Selection criteria include research interests, competitive academic performance, and intellectual ability and curiosity.
April 2, 2012
Benoit Lab To Host 3rd Annual Alex's Lemonade Stand Fundraiser in June
The Benoit Lab one of their Alex's Lemonade Stand Fundraisers
Danielle Benoit, Ph.D. and her Therapeutic Biomaterials Lab, will once again give back by hosting their 3rd annual Alex's Lemonade Stand fundraiser for ALSF at the Rochester Public Market and the Brighton Farmers' Market June 9-10. Last year's fundraiser for cancer was a rousing success as the lab raised over $2000, and Dr. Benoit hopes to raise even more this year. The lab continues to urge friends, family, and colleagues to contribute in person and online to help support ALSF.
Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of cancer patient Alexandra
AlexScott (1996-2004). In 2000, 4-year-old Alex announced that she wanted to hold a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer. Since Alex held that first stand, the Foundation bearing her name has evolved into a national fundraising movement, complete with thousands of supporters across the country carrying on her legacy of hope. If you would like to contribute to this effort, please visit the Benoit Lab's ALSF Lemonade Stand.
March 30, 2012
Two current BME and Chemical Engineering students and a BME alumna have received prestigious National Science Foundation Research Fellowships. BME graduate student, Jason Inzana (Awad Lab), Michael Baranello, a Chemical Engineering Ph.D. student in the Benoit Lab, and Molly Boutin, an alumnus of the Benoit lab (undergraduate research assistant), were among those who received the fellowships.
Selection for these awards is based on the students' outstanding abilities and accomplishments, as well as their potential to contribute to strengthening the vitality of the US science and engineering enterprise. The fellowship, which is part of a federally sponsored program, provides three years of graduate study support for students pursing doctoral degrees. The fellowship includes a three-year annual stipend of $30,000, a $10,500 educational allowance to the institution, and international research opportunities.
March 27, 2012
Dr. Diane Dalecki to Serve on AIUM Bioeffects Committee
Dr. Diane Dalecki (Director, RCBU) has been elected to serve as a member of the AIUM Bioeffects Committee. The official term of service begins at the completion of the 2012 Annual Convention in Phoenix, AZ and expires at the end of the 2015 Annual Convention. Dr. Dalecki has previously served as Chair and member of the AIUM Bioeffects Committee.
March 14, 2012
Benjamin Miller, Ph.D., and Itender Singh, Ph.D.
Researchers have taken another crack at a promising approach to stopping Alzheimer's disease that encountered a major hurdle last year. In research published this week in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, scientists have developed a compound that targets a molecular actor known as RAGE, which plays a central role in mucking up the brain tissue of people with the disease.
Scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center and the University of Southern California synthesized a compound that stops RAGE in mice - reversing amyloid deposits, restoring healthy blood flow in the brain, squelching inflammation, and making old, sick mice smarter. But the scientists caution that the work has a long way to go before it's considered as a possible treatment in people.
In the latest work, Zlokovic and colleagues screened thousands of compounds for anti-RAGE activity and identified three that seemed promising. Then the team turned to chemists Benjamin Miller, Ph.D., and graduate student Nathan Ross. The pair analyzed the compounds' molecular structures, then used that knowledge to create dozens of candidates likely to have activity against RAGE.
March 13, 2012
Paul L. LaCelle, M.D., a University of Rochester Medical Center faculty member for more than 40 years, a former department chair and former senior dean, died March 9. He was 82.
Dr. LaCelle, a 1959 graduate of the University's School of Medicine and Dentistry, joined the faculty in 1964 as an instructor of what was then the Department of Radiation Biology and Biophysics. He was named a professor in 1974 and chaired what is now the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics from 1977 to 1996.
February 27, 2012
You may think you're pretty familiar with your hands. You may think you know them like the back of your hand. But as the following exercises derived from the latest hand research will reveal, your pair of bioengineering sensations still hold quite a few surprises up their sleeve.
Our fingers can seem like restless Ariels, so fast and dexterous you'd think they had plans and options of their own. Yet as scientists who study the performance, circuitry and evolution of the human hand have lately determined, the appearance of digital independence is deeply deceptive.
Even when you think you're moving just one finger,said Marc H. Schieber, a professor of neurology and neurobiology at the University of Rochester Medical Center,
you're really controlling your entire hand.The pianist playing Ravel or the typist clacking on Blogspot?
People tend to think, they're hitting one key at a time, so they must be moving one finger at a time to hit that key,Dr. Schieber said.
But really, all the fingers are in motion all the time.
February 15, 2012
Richard E. Waugh, professor and chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, and James M. Farrar, professor of chemistry, have been elected Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The AAAS is the world's largest general scientific society and the publisher of the journal Science.
The AAAS recognized Waugh for his
distinguished contributions to the study of cell and membrane mechanics and for leadership in biomedical engineering.Waugh received a Ph.D. in bioengineering from Duke in 1977 and came to Rochester in 1980. His laboratory has historically been one of the leading facilities for investigating red blood cell mechanical properties and the stability of biological membranes.
January 25, 2012
Marvin Doyley (ECE and BME) was invited to write a topical review article by the journal Physics in Medicine and Biology (PMB). This article, titled Model-based elastography: A survey of approached to the inverse elasticity problem, was published online in January and was selected by PMB as their featured article. The review is also featured as Editor's Choice by Medical Physics Web.
The article reviews current approaches to elastography and documents efforts to develop elastography within the framework of solving an inverse problem, so that elastography may provide reliable estimates of mechanical properties of tissue. Dr. Doyley is a member of the Rochester Center for Biomedical Ultrasound (RCBU).
January 3, 2012
Mitochondria powering neurons are visible in red.
An article published by BME Research Assistant Professor Seth Perry,
Mitochondrial membrane potential probes and the proton gradient: a practical usage guide,was BioTechniques top-accessed peer-reviewed paper for 2011. The distinction was determined by number of viewings on BioTechniques.com.
Published last February, the paper provides an overview of the strengths and potential problems of the most commonly-used mitochondrial membrane dyes. Other authors of the paper include BME professor Edward Brown, as well as researchers from the URMC Department of Neurology, the Graduate Program in Toxicology, the Center for Neural Development and Disease, and the Department of Microbiology and Immunology.