Biomedical Engineering


Photo of Michael Plesniak


Biofluid Dynamics Lab

The Biofluid Dynamics Lab (BDL) is directed by Professor Michael Plesniak. Research in the BDL focuses on experimental in vitro investigations of unsteady, viscous physiological flows. Most processes within the body involve laminar, or non-turbulent fluid flow, but aeroacoustics of speech and pathological blood flow through arteries are rare exceptions that offer a wealth of challenging fluid dynamics issues. Current research includes the study of secondary flows caused by curvatuire in the vasculature and their interaction with arterial stents, and the biophysics of human speech production, including the effects of pathologies such as polyps. You may also want to learn more about GW's Center for Biomimetics and Bioinspired Engineering. Learn more about Professor Plesniak.


Photo of Murray Loew


Medical Image Analysis Laboratory

The Medical Image Analysis Laboratory, directed by Professor Murray Loew, conducts research into methods to enhance, display, combine, and extract diagnostic information from medical images and signals. We develop techniques in one to four dimensions for high-accuracy image registration, tissue characterization, and disease detection using both conventional (MRI, CT, PET, ultrasound) and emerging (optical coherence tomography, infrared, impedance) imaging modalities. Much of the research is conducted in collaboration with clinicians to ensure that the results have clinical value. Our registration methods now are being applied also to the analysis of hyperspectral images of works of art, with the goal of mapping the composition of artists' paints at high spatial resolution. Learn more about Professor Loew.


Photo of Jason Zara


Laboratory for Applications of MEMS in Medical Imaging

In our laboratory we work in a wide variety of areas, such as MEMS actuators in ultrasound and optical imaging, medical image analysis including early cancer detection in optical images, and analysis of fMRI images. We also work in several areas of multimodality imaging and treatment; among these are the development of probes that combine optical coherence tomography (OCT) for early cancer detection and cold plasmas for cancer treatment. Other areas of interest involve the combination of acoustic and optical imaging for multimodal epithelial tissue imaging. Learn more about Professor Zara.


Photo of Professor Michael Kay


Cardiac Electrophysiology Research Lab

This research group studies the cause of lethal arrhythmias. Ventricular fibrillation, a lethal cardiac arrhythmia resulting from a heart attack, is the primary cause of sudden cardiac arrest, and exactly how a heart attack causes a lethal arrhythmia is still unknown. Professor Matthew Kay's team has developed new ways to re-create heart attacks in the lab using living tissue. Electrophysiological events that trigger ventricular fibrillation are studied using fast fluorescence imaging of transmembrane potential, intracellular calcium, and NADH. The studies are providing a better understanding of the causes of sudden cardiac death and new ways to prevent it. Learn more about Professor Kay.


Photo of Michael Keidar


Micropropulsion and Nanotechnology Lab (MpNL)

Professor Michael Keidar's MpNL conducts advanced fundamental and applied research in plasma medicine, micropropulsion for micro and nanosatellites, and plasma nanoscience and nanotechnology. Current projects include cold plasma application for wound healing, cold plasma cancer therapy, the synthesis of single-wall carbon nanotubes with controlled conductivity, the synthesis of graphene with controlled numbers of layers, and the manufacturing of ultracapacitor devices based on the nanotubes and graphene. Learn more about Professor Keidar.


Photo of Elias Balaras


Laboratory for Computational Physics and Fluid Mechanics

This lab aims to develop high-fidelity modeling tools applicable to multiphysics/multiscsale flow problems in physical and biological systems. Central to its work is the synergy of mathematical modeling and computational algorithms coupled to the remarkable advancements in computer hardware technology, which enable us to simulate a wide variety of natural phenomena. The current thrusts are fluid-structure interactions, multiphase turbulent flows, and multiscale modeling of the blood circulation and related biomedical devices. An example problem in the latter category is the two-way interaction between the macroscopic flow patterns and blood elements, which represents the link between fluid mechanics and clinical applications. These computations involve the interactions of fluid flow with millions of deformable particles, which are only possible on the latest petascale supercomputing platforms. Learn more about Professor Balaras.


Photo of Professor Sarkar


Biofluids and Ultrasonics Lab

This lab, led by Professor Kausik Sarkar, has three thrust areas of research: 1) diagnostic ultrasound imaging, drug delivery and therapy--developing bubbles and liposome-based ultrasound contrast agents and targeted drug delivery vehicles; 2) investigating the therapeutic effects of low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) for cancer and other diseases; and 3) performing high fidelity simulation of blood rheology, cell adhesion underlying atherosclerosis and inflammatory diseases as well as other heterogeneous flows of micro- and nanoparticles for drug delivery. The lab's projects are funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. Learn more about Professor Sarkar.


Photo of Professor Vesna


Therapeutic Ultrasound Lab

The research work in this laboratory led by Professor Vesna Zderic focuses on various aspects of therapeutic ultrasound with special emphasis on ultrasound-enhanced drug delivery. Projects include the application of low-intensity ultrasound to promote the delivery of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs into the eye and antifungal drugs into nails, high-intensity focused ultrasound therapy for tumor treatment, modeling of ultrasound effects in various biological tissues, and studies of the effects of ultrasound on modifying cellular responses such as insulin production from pancreatic beta cells. Learn more about Professor Zderic


Photo of Professor Lijie Grace Zheng


Bioengineering Laboratory for Nanomedicine and Tissue Engineering

Professor Lijie Grace Zhang's lab applies a range of interdisciplinary technologies and approaches in nanotechnology, stem cells, tissue engineering, biomaterials, and drug delivery for various biomedical applications. The main ongoing research projects include: designing biologically inspired nanostructured scaffolds for bone, cartilage, osteochondral and neural tissue regenerations; directing stem cell differentiation in 3-D biomimetic scaffolds for regenerative medicine; developing sustained drug formulations for long term and controlled drug release at disease or cancer sites; and investigating novel nano drug delivery systems with cold plasma for cancer treatments. Learn more about Professor Zhang.