Cellular Candy Molds

From: Robert Coelius
MconneX

Anyone who has made Jello knows how difficult it can be to spring the wobbly treat from its mold intact. Now, imagine trying to dislodge something 10 times softer than gelatin, while keeping every detail unscathed down to a microscopic level. That was the problem faced by U-M biomedical engineering professor Shu Takayama.

His team is working with a type of silicone called Sylgard 527. It’s so soft that just a few cells can squeeze it out of shape.

“Soft silicone structures are useful for studying human cells outside the body,” Takayama said. “We can use them to measure the very small squeezing effect that cells generate during wound healing. This enables us to test the effects of drugs using very small samples of human cells, instead of testing on actual patients.”

The solution came when a PhD student and avid cook was trying a new recipe for homemade cotton candy. The cotton candy was a total failure but when he took the hardened mass out of the pan, he noticed that the sugar retained every detail of the pan it came out of. Why not use hardened sugar as a mold for super-soft silicone? They could pour in the silicone, wait for it to cure, then dissolve the mold in water, leaving perfectly cast pillars of soft silicone.

The sugar molds turn out perfect soft silicone pillars every time.

The pillar-making process begins with a hard epoxy “negative mold” — a mirror image of the sugar mold used to cast the final pillars. They pour in hard silicone to create an initial plastic mold. Next, the molten sugar mixture is poured into this initial plastic mold and left to cool, hardening into what looks a lot like a piece of hard candy. The hardened sugar is popped out of the initial plastic mold and the sugar is then used as a mold for the silicone. The researchers pour the silicone into the sugar mold and cure the concoction in an oven. Finally, the silicone and sugar mold are put into a water bath. The sugar dissolves, while the water-repellent silicone stays intact.

The candy molding process is detailed in a paper published in the journal Lab on a Chip.

In the meantime, they’re in the lab enjoying the sweet smell of science.

This entry was posted by yjmoon on Monday, December 7th, 2015 at 3:46 pm and is filed under All News, Faculty News.

Cellular Candy Molds

From: Robert Coelius
MconneX

Anyone who has made Jello knows how difficult it can be to spring the wobbly treat from its mold intact. Now, imagine trying to dislodge something 10 times softer than gelatin, while keeping every detail unscathed down to a microscopic level. That was the problem faced by U-M biomedical engineering professor Shu Takayama.

His team is working with a type of silicone called Sylgard 527. It’s so soft that just a few cells can squeeze it out of shape.

“Soft silicone structures are useful for studying human cells outside the body,” Takayama said. “We can use them to measure the very small squeezing effect that cells generate during wound healing. This enables us to test the effects of drugs using very small samples of human cells, instead of testing on actual patients.”

The solution came when a PhD student and avid cook was trying a new recipe for homemade cotton candy. The cotton candy was a total failure but when he took the hardened mass out of the pan, he noticed that the sugar retained every detail of the pan it came out of. Why not use hardened sugar as a mold for super-soft silicone? They could pour in the silicone, wait for it to cure, then dissolve the mold in water, leaving perfectly cast pillars of soft silicone.

The sugar molds turn out perfect soft silicone pillars every time.

The pillar-making process begins with a hard epoxy “negative mold” — a mirror image of the sugar mold used to cast the final pillars. They pour in hard silicone to create an initial plastic mold. Next, the molten sugar mixture is poured into this initial plastic mold and left to cool, hardening into what looks a lot like a piece of hard candy. The hardened sugar is popped out of the initial plastic mold and the sugar is then used as a mold for the silicone. The researchers pour the silicone into the sugar mold and cure the concoction in an oven. Finally, the silicone and sugar mold are put into a water bath. The sugar dissolves, while the water-repellent silicone stays intact.

The candy molding process is detailed in a paper published in the journal Lab on a Chip.

In the meantime, they’re in the lab enjoying the sweet smell of science.

Cellular Candy Molds

This entry was posted by yjmoon on Monday, December 7th, 2015 at 3:46 pm and is filed under .

Cellular Candy Molds

This entry was posted by yjmoon on Monday, December 7th, 2015 at 3:45 pm and is filed under .

Auto Draft

This entry was posted by yjmoon on Monday, December 7th, 2015 at 3:42 pm and is filed under Uncategorized.

Have A Technical Innovation Idea That Could Improve Patient Care?

The UM Coulter Translational Research Partnership Program is pleased to announce the 2016 Call for Proposals.   The deadline for proposal submission is January 15th, 2016.

The UM Coulter Program is funded through proceeds of an endowment from the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation and supports collaborative translational research projects that involve co-investigators from any engineering department and a clinical department.

The goal of this program is to accelerate the development and commercialization of new medical devices, diagnostics, and other biomedical products that address unmet clinical needs and lead to improvements in health care. Projects are supported and mentored by a team of industry experienced experts who proactively work to accelerate Coulter Program objectives of developing new product concepts to the point of partnering with industry or forming start-up companies with follow-on funding to commercialize new products envisioned from translational research efforts. Funding does not require cost-sharing of salaries.

Distinctive aspects of the Coulter Program include business assessment work that dovetails with technical milestones for each project.  Specific benefits to each project include:

•         Business Development Support

•         Intellectual Property advice

•         Regulatory guidance

•         Follow-on funding guidance

•         Mentorship from Oversight Committee

•         The C3i Commercialization Planning Program

For more information, visit http://www.bme.umich.edu/research/coulter.php or Download Coulter Proposal Instructions and Application Form Herehttp://www.bme.umich.edu/research/coulter_apply.php

Karen Schroeder, a doctoral candidate in the Chestek lab for cortical neural prosthetics, records hand movements for development of control interface technology for amputees.

 

 

For questions, please contact Thomas Marten, Coulter Program Director, at tmarten@umich.edu or (734)647-1680.

This entry was posted by yjmoon on Friday, November 20th, 2015 at 2:46 pm and is filed under .

Have A Technical Innovation Idea That Could Improve Patient Care?

The UM Coulter Translational Research Partnership Program is pleased to announce the 2016 Call for Proposals.   The deadline for proposal submission is January 15th, 2016.

The UM Coulter Program is funded through proceeds of an endowment from the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation and supports collaborative translational research projects that involve co-investigators from any engineering department and a clinical department.

The goal of this program is to accelerate the development and commercialization of new medical devices, diagnostics, and other biomedical products that address unmet clinical needs and lead to improvements in health care. Projects are supported and mentored by a team of industry experienced experts who proactively work to accelerate Coulter Program objectives of developing new product concepts to the point of partnering with industry or forming start-up companies with follow-on funding to commercialize new products envisioned from translational research efforts. Funding does not require cost-sharing of salaries.

Distinctive aspects of the Coulter Program include business assessment work that dovetails with technical milestones for each project.  Specific benefits to each project include:

•         Business Development Support

•         Intellectual Property advice

•         Regulatory guidance

•         Follow-on funding guidance

•         Mentorship from Oversight Committee

•         The C3i Commercialization Planning Program

For more information, visit http://www.bme.umich.edu/research/coulter.php or Download Coulter Proposal Instructions and Application Form Herehttp://www.bme.umich.edu/research/coulter_apply.php

Karen Schroeder, a doctoral candidate in the Chestek lab for cortical neural prosthetics, records hand movements for development of control interface technology for amputees.

 

 

For questions, please contact Thomas Marten, Coulter Program Director, at tmarten@umich.edu or (734)647-1680.

This entry was posted by yjmoon on Friday, November 20th, 2015 at 2:46 pm and is filed under .

Have A Technical Innovation Idea That Could Improve Patient Care?

The UM Coulter Translational Research Partnership Program is pleased to announce the 2016 Call for Proposals.   The deadline for proposal submission is January 15th, 2016.

The UM Coulter Program is funded through proceeds of an endowment from the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation and supports collaborative translational research projects that involve co-investigators from any engineering department and a clinical department.

The goal of this program is to accelerate the development and commercialization of new medical devices, diagnostics, and other biomedical products that address unmet clinical needs and lead to improvements in health care. Projects are supported and mentored by a team of industry experienced experts who proactively work to accelerate Coulter Program objectives of developing new product concepts to the point of partnering with industry or forming start-up companies with follow-on funding to commercialize new products envisioned from translational research efforts. Funding does not require cost-sharing of salaries.

Distinctive aspects of the Coulter Program include business assessment work that dovetails with technical milestones for each project.  Specific benefits to each project include:

•         Business Development Support

•         Intellectual Property advice

•         Regulatory guidance

•         Follow-on funding guidance

•         Mentorship from Oversight Committee

•         The C3i Commercialization Planning Program

Karen Schroeder, a doctoral candidate in the Chestek lab for cortical neural prosthetics, records hand movements for development of control interface technology for amputees.

For more information, visit http://www.bme.umich.edu/research/coulter.php or Download Coulter Proposal Instructions and Application Form Herehttp://www.bme.umich.edu/research/coulter_apply.php

For questions, please contact Thomas Marten, Coulter Program Director, at tmarten@umich.edu or (734)647-1680.

This entry was posted by yjmoon on Friday, November 20th, 2015 at 2:46 pm and is filed under All News, Student/Post-Doc News.

Have A Technical Innovation Idea That Could Improve Patient Care?

The UM Coulter Translational Research Partnership Program is pleased to announce the 2016 Call for Proposals.   The deadline for proposal submission is January 15th, 2016.

The UM Coulter Program is funded through proceeds of an endowment from the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation and supports collaborative translational research projects that involve co-investigators from any engineering department and a clinical department.

The goal of this program is to accelerate the development and commercialization of new medical devices, diagnostics, and other biomedical products that address unmet clinical needs and lead to improvements in health care. Projects are supported and mentored by a team of industry experienced experts who proactively work to accelerate Coulter Program objectives of developing new product concepts to the point of partnering with industry or forming start-up companies with follow-on funding to commercialize new products envisioned from translational research efforts. Funding does not require cost-sharing of salaries.

Distinctive aspects of the Coulter Program include business assessment work that dovetails with technical milestones for each project.  Specific benefits to each project include:

•         Business Development Support

•         Intellectual Property advice

•         Regulatory guidance

•         Follow-on funding guidance

•         Mentorship from Oversight Committee

•         The C3i Commercialization Planning Program

For more information, visit http://www.bme.umich.edu/research/coulter.php or Download Coulter Proposal Instructions and Application Form Herehttp://www.bme.umich.edu/research/coulter_apply.php

Karen Schroeder, a doctoral candidate in the Chestek lab for cortical neural prosthetics, records hand movements for development of control interface technology for amputees.

 

 

For questions, please contact Thomas Marten, Coulter Program Director, at tmarten@umich.edu or (734)647-1680.

This entry was posted by yjmoon on Friday, November 20th, 2015 at 2:46 pm and is filed under .

Have A Technical Innovation Idea That Could Improve Patient Care?

The UM Coulter Translational Research Partnership Program is pleased to announce the 2016 Call for Proposals.   The deadline for proposal submission is January 15th, 2016.

The UM Coulter Program is funded through proceeds of an endowment from the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation and supports collaborative translational research projects that involve co-investigators from any engineering department and a clinical department.

The goal of this program is to accelerate the development and commercialization of new medical devices, diagnostics, and other biomedical products that address unmet clinical needs and lead to improvements in health care. Projects are supported and mentored by a team of industry experienced experts who proactively work to accelerate Coulter Program objectives of developing new product concepts to the point of partnering with industry or forming start-up companies with follow-on funding to commercialize new products envisioned from translational research efforts. Funding does not require cost-sharing of salaries.

Distinctive aspects of the Coulter Program include business assessment work that dovetails with technical milestones for each project.  Specific benefits to each project include:

•         Business Development Support

•         Intellectual Property advice

•         Regulatory guidance

•         Follow-on funding guidance

•         Mentorship from Oversight Committee

•         The C3i Commercialization Planning Program

For more information, visit http://www.bme.umich.edu/research/coulter.php or Download Coulter Proposal Instructions and Application Form Herehttp://www.bme.umich.edu/research/coulter_apply.php

Karen Schroeder, a doctoral candidate in the Chestek lab for cortical neural prosthetics, records hand movements for development of control interface technology for amputees.

 

 

For questions, please contact Thomas Marten, Coulter Program Director, at tmarten@umich.edu or(734)647-1680.

Caption: ”Karen Schroeder, a doctoral candidate in the Chestek lab for cortical neural prosthetics, records hand movements for development of control interface technology for amputees. 

This entry was posted by yjmoon on Friday, November 20th, 2015 at 2:45 pm and is filed under .

bigger photo

Karen Schroeder, a doctoral candidate in the Chestek lab for cortical neural prosthetics, records hand movements for development of control interface technology for amputees.

Karen Schroeder, BME PhD Student, demonstrates use of a brain machine interface (BMI) system that uses 100 channel arrays implanted the in motor and premotor cortex with the goal of eventually developing clinically viable systems to enable paralyzed individuals to control prosthetic limbs, as well as their own limbs using functional electrical stimulation and assistive exoskeletons in the NCRC on August 1, 2013.

Photo: Joseph Xu, Michigan Engineering Communications & Marketing

www.engin.umich.edu

This entry was posted by yjmoon on Friday, November 20th, 2015 at 2:44 pm and is filed under .

New Michigan Regenerative Medicine Center Formed

The new Michigan Regenerative Medicine Center will be led by Drs. David Kohn (left) and William Giannobile, seen here in Giannobile’s laboratory at the School of Dentistry.

The University of Michigan School of Dentistry is one of 10 institutions in the country that has been selected by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) to establish a center that will develop clinical applications in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine that have dental, oral and craniofacial tests.

The Michigan Regenerative Medicine Resource Center, as it’s official known, will be led by Drs. William Giannobile and David Kohn.  Their education and expertise complement each other – Giannobile’s as a clinician/life scientist; Kohn’s as an engineer.  Giannobile chairs the school’s Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine.  Kohn is a professor in the school’s Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences and a professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the College of Engineering.

“The center will transform how clinicians in the not-too-distant future repair, reconstruct and regenerate dental, oral and craniofacial anomalies in patients due to injury or disease,” Giannobile says.  “In recent years there have been major discoveries and advances in dentistry, medicine, biology, materials science, technology and other fields, and NIDCR wants the Michigan Center and similar centers around the country to find ways to use those advances so clinicians can then apply those discoveries to help their patients.”

Crucial to achieving that objective, Kohn says, will be establishing teams of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary specialists from across the University of Michigan, industry and private practice.  “These teams will be dedicated to selecting the most scientifically sound, clinically and commercially applicable strategies to regenerate oral tissues,” he says.

Historically, Kohn says, discoveries in a laboratory have progressed in a linear fashion, that is, they move forward one step at a time before being commercialized and used clinically.  “We want to change that approach,” Kohn adds.  “Our teams will take discoveries that show promise and provide the resources to advance the technologies to apply them more quickly than in the past.”  This approach, he adds, is uniquely suited to Michigan’s broad scientific, clinical and engineering strengths, and interdisciplinary culture.

Giannobile says clinical teams will work with technical advisory groups and data centers to assess what might be feasible clinically.  In the past, he says, scientists and clinicians have not always communicated to take advantages of scientific advances that can be used by dentists in a patient care setting.

Above are three-dimensional printed polymer scaffolds designed to promote bone and periodontal repair in the oral cavity. The design offers the potential to regenerate the different tissues teeth needed to treat teeth that have lost support due to the periodontal disease process.

Among the groups that will help the Michigan Regenerative Medicine Resource Center will be the Wyss Institute at Harvard, a multidisciplinary research institute that focuses on developing new materials with applications in health care, manufacturing and other areas, and the McGuire Institute in Houston which focuses on delivering clinical applications based on research using new or improved technologies.

The center was established with a $125,000 grant from NIDCR, the first step in what will be a two-step process.  The next step involves submitting a proposal that could possibly lead to funding for as much as $10 million, sometime next summer.

- See more at: http://dent.umich.edu/news/2015/10/14/new-michigan-regenerative-medicine-center-formed#sthash.1i4hOOSf.dpuf

This entry was posted by yjmoon on Friday, November 6th, 2015 at 2:14 pm and is filed under All News, Faculty News.

New Michigan Regenerative Medicine Center Formed

The new Michigan Regenerative Medicine Center will be led by Drs. David Kohn (left) and William Giannobile, seen here in Giannobile’s laboratory at the School of Dentistry.

The University of Michigan School of Dentistry is one of 10 institutions in the country that has been selected by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) to establish a center that will develop clinical applications in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine that have dental, oral and craniofacial tests.

The Michigan Regenerative Medicine Resource Center, as it’s official known, will be led by Drs. William Giannobile and David Kohn.  Their education and expertise complement each other – Giannobile’s as a clinician/life scientist; Kohn’s as an engineer.  Giannobile chairs the school’s Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine.  Kohn is a professor in the school’s Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences and a professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the College of Engineering.

“The center will transform how clinicians in the not-too-distant future repair, reconstruct and regenerate dental, oral and craniofacial anomalies in patients due to injury or disease,” Giannobile says.  “In recent years there have been major discoveries and advances in dentistry, medicine, biology, materials science, technology and other fields, and NIDCR wants the Michigan Center and similar centers around the country to find ways to use those advances so clinicians can then apply those discoveries to help their patients.”

Crucial to achieving that objective, Kohn says, will be establishing teams of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary specialists from across the University of Michigan, industry and private practice.  “These teams will be dedicated to selecting the most scientifically sound, clinically and commercially applicable strategies to regenerate oral tissues,” he says.

Historically, Kohn says, discoveries in a laboratory have progressed in a linear fashion, that is, they move forward one step at a time before being commercialized and used clinically.  “We want to change that approach,” Kohn adds.  “Our teams will take discoveries that show promise and provide the resources to advance the technologies to apply them more quickly than in the past.”  This approach, he adds, is uniquely suited to Michigan’s broad scientific, clinical and engineering strengths, and interdisciplinary culture.

Giannobile says clinical teams will work with technical advisory groups and data centers to assess what might be feasible clinically.  In the past, he says, scientists and clinicians have not always communicated to take advantages of scientific advances that can be used by dentists in a patient care setting.

Above are three-dimensional printed polymer scaffolds designed to promote bone and periodontal repair in the oral cavity. The design offers the potential to regenerate the different tissues teeth needed to treat teeth that have lost support due to the periodontal disease process.

Among the groups that will help the Michigan Regenerative Medicine Resource Center will be the Wyss Institute at Harvard, a multidisciplinary research institute that focuses on developing new materials with applications in health care, manufacturing and other areas, and the McGuire Institute in Houston which focuses on delivering clinical applications based on research using new or improved technologies.

The center was established with a $125,000 grant from NIDCR, the first step in what will be a two-step process.  The next step involves submitting a proposal that could possibly lead to funding for as much as $10 million, sometime next summer.

- See more at: http://dent.umich.edu/news/2015/10/14/new-michigan-regenerative-medicine-center-formed#sthash.1i4hOOSf.dpuf

This entry was posted by yjmoon on Friday, November 6th, 2015 at 2:03 pm and is filed under .

Scaffolds_closeup_3545_Web

Above are three-dimensional printed polymer scaffolds designed to promote bone and periodontal repair in the oral cavity.  The design offers the potential to regenerate the different tissues teeth needed to treat teeth that have lost support due to the periodontal disease process.

This entry was posted by yjmoon on Friday, November 6th, 2015 at 2:02 pm and is filed under .

Giannobile (Will)_Kohn (Dave)_3542_NEW_tweaked_Web

The new Michigan Regenerative Medicine Center will be led by Drs. David Kohn (left) and William Giannobile, seen here in Giannobile’s laboratory at the School of Dentistry.

This entry was posted by yjmoon on Friday, November 6th, 2015 at 2:01 pm and is filed under .

The Sweet Smell of Science: A Failed Candy Recipe Solves a Sticky Problem in the Lab

Anyone who has made Jello knows how difficult it can be to spring the wobbly treat from its mold intact. Now, imagine trying to dislodge something 10 times softer than gelatin, while keeping every detail unscathed down to a microscopic level. That was the problem faced by University of Michigan postdoctoral researcher Chris Moraes.

Moraes’s team, led by biomedical engineering professor Shu Takayama, was studying  how scar tissue forms inside the body, specifically in the soft-celled lungs and liver. To do that, they were working with a type of silicone called Sylgard 527. It’s so soft that just a few cells can squeeze it out of shape.

“Soft silicone structures are useful for studying human cells outside the body,” Takayama said. “We can use them to measure the very small squeezing effect that cells generate during wound healing. This enables us to test the effects of drugs using very small samples of human cells, instead of testing on actual patients.”

Cellular Sugar Molds

Moraes wanted to mold the Sylgard into tiny pillars less than a millimeter wide, then position the cells around them in a donut shape. He could then apply different treatments to the cells and measure how much their expansion and contraction squeezed the pillars out of shape.

Molding those pillars, however, turned out not to be so simple. The team was using hard epoxy molds, and there was no way to remove the silicone pillars without turning them into useless lumps of goo.

The solution came when Moraes was at home in his kitchen. An avid cook, he was trying a new recipe for homemade cotton candy.

“The cotton candy was a total failure,” he said. “I ended up with nothing but a huge blob of sugar syrup. I gave up and left it to cool in the pan.”

But when he took the hardened mass out of the pan, he noticed something surprising: The sugar retained every detail of the pan it came out of. It got him thinking: why not use hardened sugar as a mold for super-soft silicone? They could pour in the silicone, wait for it to cure, then dissolve the mold in water, leaving perfectly cast pillars of soft silicone.

The next day, Moraes was in the lab, perfecting a recipe for sacrificial sugar molds. The recipe was simple: sugar, water and corn syrup, cooked in the microwave to just the right consistency.

“It smelled great,” said biomedical engineering doctoral student Joe Labuz, who also works on the project. “The trick is to caramelize the sugar, hardening it enough so that it doesn’t deform as the silicone cures. Eventually, we got it just right and also drew a crowd of our colleagues who wondered where the great smell was coming from.”

The sugar molds turn out perfect soft silicone pillars every time.

 

Joseph Labuz, BME PhD Student, puts sugar molds in a water bath for the casting of soft silicone pillars in the NCRC. Photo by: Joseph XuThe pillar-making process begins with a hard epoxy “negative mold” – a mirror image of the sugar mold used to cast the final pillars. The researchers pour in hard silicone to create an initial plastic mold. Next, the molten sugar mixture is poured into this initial plastic mold and left to cool, hardening into what looks a lot like a piece of hard candy. The hardened sugar is popped out of the initial plastic mold and the sugar is then used as a mold for the silicone. The researchers pour the silicone into the sugar mold and cure the concoction in an oven. Finally, the silicone and sugar mold are put into a water bath. The sugar dissolves, while the water-repellent silicone stays intact.

The team is using the new process to better understand how scar tissue forms inside the body. Internal scarring is a common occurrence in diseases like cancer and diabetes, where the body tries to repair organ damage done by the disease. The formation of scar tissue can cause further problems by preventing organs from working properly.

“Scarring happens when the body’s healing process goes too far,” Takayama said. “If we can prevent it from happening or even reverse it, we could reduce the impact of a lot of diseases and create better outcomes for patients.”

The candy molding process is detailed in a paper published in the journal Lab on a Chip. Labuz says it can also be used other researchers to create virtually any type of soft silicone structure. In the meantime, they’re in the lab enjoying the sweet smell of science.

The paper is titled “Supersoft lithography: candy-based fabrication of soft silicone microstructures.” The work was supported by the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Health (grant numbers CA 170198 and AI116482) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

This entry was posted by yjmoon on Monday, November 2nd, 2015 at 4:11 pm and is filed under .

The Sweet Smell of Science: A Failed Candy Recipe Solves a Sticky Problem in the Lab

Anyone who has made Jello knows how difficult it can be to spring the wobbly treat from its mold intact. Now, imagine trying to dislodge something 10 times softer than gelatin, while keeping every detail unscathed down to a microscopic level. That was the problem faced by University of Michigan postdoctoral researcher Chris Moraes.

Moraes’s team, led by biomedical engineering professor Shu Takayama, was studying  how scar tissue forms inside the body, specifically in the soft-celled lungs and liver. To do that, they were working with a type of silicone called Sylgard 527. It’s so soft that just a few cells can squeeze it out of shape.

“Soft silicone structures are useful for studying human cells outside the body,” Takayama said. “We can use them to measure the very small squeezing effect that cells generate during wound healing. This enables us to test the effects of drugs using very small samples of human cells, instead of testing on actual patients.”

Cellular Sugar Molds

Moraes wanted to mold the Sylgard into tiny pillars less than a millimeter wide, then position the cells around them in a donut shape. He could then apply different treatments to the cells and measure how much their expansion and contraction squeezed the pillars out of shape.

Molding those pillars, however, turned out not to be so simple. The team was using hard epoxy molds, and there was no way to remove the silicone pillars without turning them into useless lumps of goo.

The solution came when Moraes was at home in his kitchen. An avid cook, he was trying a new recipe for homemade cotton candy.

“The cotton candy was a total failure,” he said. “I ended up with nothing but a huge blob of sugar syrup. I gave up and left it to cool in the pan.”

But when he took the hardened mass out of the pan, he noticed something surprising: The sugar retained every detail of the pan it came out of. It got him thinking: why not use hardened sugar as a mold for super-soft silicone? They could pour in the silicone, wait for it to cure, then dissolve the mold in water, leaving perfectly cast pillars of soft silicone.

The next day, Moraes was in the lab, perfecting a recipe for sacrificial sugar molds. The recipe was simple: sugar, water and corn syrup, cooked in the microwave to just the right consistency.

“It smelled great,” said biomedical engineering doctoral student Joe Labuz, who also works on the project. “The trick is to caramelize the sugar, hardening it enough so that it doesn’t deform as the silicone cures. Eventually, we got it just right and also drew a crowd of our colleagues who wondered where the great smell was coming from.”

The sugar molds turn out perfect soft silicone pillars every time.

 

Joseph Labuz, BME PhD Student, puts sugar molds in a water bath for the casting of soft silicone pillars in the NCRC. Photo by: Joseph XuThe pillar-making process begins with a hard epoxy “negative mold” – a mirror image of the sugar mold used to cast the final pillars. The researchers pour in hard silicone to create an initial plastic mold. Next, the molten sugar mixture is poured into this initial plastic mold and left to cool, hardening into what looks a lot like a piece of hard candy. The hardened sugar is popped out of the initial plastic mold and the sugar is then used as a mold for the silicone. The researchers pour the silicone into the sugar mold and cure the concoction in an oven. Finally, the silicone and sugar mold are put into a water bath. The sugar dissolves, while the water-repellent silicone stays intact.

The team is using the new process to better understand how scar tissue forms inside the body. Internal scarring is a common occurrence in diseases like cancer and diabetes, where the body tries to repair organ damage done by the disease. The formation of scar tissue can cause further problems by preventing organs from working properly.

“Scarring happens when the body’s healing process goes too far,” Takayama said. “If we can prevent it from happening or even reverse it, we could reduce the impact of a lot of diseases and create better outcomes for patients.”

The candy molding process is detailed in a paper published in the journal Lab on a Chip. Labuz says it can also be used other researchers to create virtually any type of soft silicone structure. In the meantime, they’re in the lab enjoying the sweet smell of science.

The paper is titled “Supersoft lithography: candy-based fabrication of soft silicone microstructures.” The work was supported by the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Health (grant numbers CA 170198 and AI116482) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

Tags: , ,

This entry was posted by yjmoon on Monday, November 2nd, 2015 at 4:09 pm and is filed under All News, Faculty News.

The Sweet Smell of Science: A Failed Candy Recipe Solves a Sticky Problem in the Lab

Anyone who has made Jello knows how difficult it can be to spring the wobbly treat from its mold intact. Now, imagine trying to dislodge something 10 times softer than gelatin, while keeping every detail unscathed down to a microscopic level. That was the problem faced by University of Michigan postdoctoral researcher Chris Moraes.

Moraes’s team, led by biomedical engineering professor Shu Takayama, was studying  how scar tissue forms inside the body, specifically in the soft-celled lungs and liver. To do that, they were working with a type of silicone called Sylgard 527. It’s so soft that just a few cells can squeeze it out of shape.

“Soft silicone structures are useful for studying human cells outside the body,” Takayama said. “We can use them to measure the very small squeezing effect that cells generate during wound healing. This enables us to test the effects of drugs using very small samples of human cells, instead of testing on actual patients.”

Cellular Sugar Molds

Moraes wanted to mold the Sylgard into tiny pillars less than a millimeter wide, then position the cells around them in a donut shape. He could then apply different treatments to the cells and measure how much their expansion and contraction squeezed the pillars out of shape.

Molding those pillars, however, turned out not to be so simple. The team was using hard epoxy molds, and there was no way to remove the silicone pillars without turning them into useless lumps of goo.

The solution came when Moraes was at home in his kitchen. An avid cook, he was trying a new recipe for homemade cotton candy.

“The cotton candy was a total failure,” he said. “I ended up with nothing but a huge blob of sugar syrup. I gave up and left it to cool in the pan.”

But when he took the hardened mass out of the pan, he noticed something surprising: The sugar retained every detail of the pan it came out of. It got him thinking: why not use hardened sugar as a mold for super-soft silicone? They could pour in the silicone, wait for it to cure, then dissolve the mold in water, leaving perfectly cast pillars of soft silicone.

The next day, Moraes was in the lab, perfecting a recipe for sacrificial sugar molds. The recipe was simple: sugar, water and corn syrup, cooked in the microwave to just the right consistency.

“It smelled great,” said biomedical engineering doctoral student Joe Labuz, who also works on the project. “The trick is to caramelize the sugar, hardening it enough so that it doesn’t deform as the silicone cures. Eventually, we got it just right and also drew a crowd of our colleagues who wondered where the great smell was coming from.”

The sugar molds turn out perfect soft silicone pillars every time.

 

Joseph Labuz, BME PhD Student, puts sugar molds in a water bath for the casting of soft silicone pillars in the NCRC. Photo by: Joseph Xu

 

The pillar-making process begins with a hard epoxy “negative mold” – a mirror image of the sugar mold used to cast the final pillars. The researchers pour in hard silicone to create an initial plastic mold. Next, the molten sugar mixture is poured into this initial plastic mold and left to cool, hardening into what looks a lot like a piece of hard candy. The hardened sugar is popped out of the initial plastic mold and the sugar is then used as a mold for the silicone. The researchers pour the silicone into the sugar mold and cure the concoction in an oven. Finally, the silicone and sugar mold are put into a water bath. The sugar dissolves, while the water-repellent silicone stays intact.

The team is using the new process to better understand how scar tissue forms inside the body. Internal scarring is a common occurrence in diseases like cancer and diabetes, where the body tries to repair organ damage done by the disease. The formation of scar tissue can cause further problems by preventing organs from working properly.

“Scarring happens when the body’s healing process goes too far,” Takayama said. “If we can prevent it from happening or even reverse it, we could reduce the impact of a lot of diseases and create better outcomes for patients.”

The candy molding process is detailed in a paper published in the journal Lab on a Chip. Labuz says it can also be used other researchers to create virtually any type of soft silicone structure. In the meantime, they’re in the lab enjoying the sweet smell of science.

The paper is titled “Supersoft lithography: candy-based fabrication of soft silicone microstructures.” The work was supported by the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Health (grant numbers CA 170198 and AI116482) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

This entry was posted by yjmoon on Monday, November 2nd, 2015 at 4:09 pm and is filed under .

The Sweet Smell of Science: A Failed Candy Recipe Solves a Sticky Problem in the Lab

Anyone who has made Jello knows how difficult it can be to spring the wobbly treat from its mold intact. Now, imagine trying to dislodge something 10 times softer than gelatin, while keeping every detail unscathed down to a microscopic level. That was the problem faced by University of Michigan postdoctoral researcher Chris Moraes.

Moraes’s team, led by biomedical engineering professor Shu Takayama, was studying  how scar tissue forms inside the body, specifically in the soft-celled lungs and liver. To do that, they were working with a type of silicone called Sylgard 527. It’s so soft that just a few cells can squeeze it out of shape.

“Soft silicone structures are useful for studying human cells outside the body,” Takayama said. “We can use them to measure the very small squeezing effect that cells generate during wound healing. This enables us to test the effects of drugs using very small samples of human cells, instead of testing on actual patients.”

Cellular Sugar Molds

Moraes wanted to mold the Sylgard into tiny pillars less than a millimeter wide, then position the cells around them in a donut shape. He could then apply different treatments to the cells and measure how much their expansion and contraction squeezed the pillars out of shape.

Molding those pillars, however, turned out not to be so simple. The team was using hard epoxy molds, and there was no way to remove the silicone pillars without turning them into useless lumps of goo.

The solution came when Moraes was at home in his kitchen. An avid cook, he was trying a new recipe for homemade cotton candy.

“The cotton candy was a total failure,” he said. “I ended up with nothing but a huge blob of sugar syrup. I gave up and left it to cool in the pan.”

But when he took the hardened mass out of the pan, he noticed something surprising: The sugar retained every detail of the pan it came out of. It got him thinking: why not use hardened sugar as a mold for super-soft silicone? They could pour in the silicone, wait for it to cure, then dissolve the mold in water, leaving perfectly cast pillars of soft silicone.

The next day, Moraes was in the lab, perfecting a recipe for sacrificial sugar molds. The recipe was simple: sugar, water and corn syrup, cooked in the microwave to just the right consistency.

“It smelled great,” said biomedical engineering doctoral student Joe Labuz, who also works on the project. “The trick is to caramelize the sugar, hardening it enough so that it doesn’t deform as the silicone cures. Eventually, we got it just right and also drew a crowd of our colleagues who wondered where the great smell was coming from.”

The sugar molds turn out perfect soft silicone pillars every time.

 

Joseph Labuz, BME PhD Student, puts sugar molds in a water bath for the casting of soft silicone pillars in the NCRC. Photo by: Joseph Xu

 

The pillar-making process begins with a hard epoxy “negative mold” – a mirror image of the sugar mold used to cast the final pillars. The researchers pour in hard silicone to create an initial plastic mold. Next, the molten sugar mixture is poured into this initial plastic mold and left to cool, hardening into what looks a lot like a piece of hard candy. The hardened sugar is popped out of the initial plastic mold and the sugar is then used as a mold for the silicone. The researchers pour the silicone into the sugar mold and cure the concoction in an oven. Finally, the silicone and sugar mold are put into a water bath. The sugar dissolves, while the water-repellent silicone stays intact.

The team is using the new process to better understand how scar tissue forms inside the body. Internal scarring is a common occurrence in diseases like cancer and diabetes, where the body tries to repair organ damage done by the disease. The formation of scar tissue can cause further problems by preventing organs from working properly.

“Scarring happens when the body’s healing process goes too far,” Takayama said. “If we can prevent it from happening or even reverse it, we could reduce the impact of a lot of diseases and create better outcomes for patients.”

The candy molding process is detailed in a paper published in the journal Lab on a Chip. Labuz says it can also be used other researchers to create virtually any type of soft silicone structure. In the meantime, they’re in the lab enjoying the sweet smell of science.

The paper is titled “Supersoft lithography: candy-based fabrication of soft silicone microstructures.” The work was supported by the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Health (grant numbers CA 170198 and AI116482) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

This entry was posted by yjmoon on Monday, November 2nd, 2015 at 4:09 pm and is filed under .

Engineering Alum Bets on Millennials with $2M Gift

banner2

 

“Your teaching style will crash and burn with the millennials.” That’s what friends told University of Michigan alum Bill Hall in 2004 when he took on a teaching role at U-M for the first time in more than two decades. He had volunteered to teach an entrepreneurship course for MBAs at the Ross School of Business, his first foray into teaching since 1980, when he left his professorship at Ross to launch a successful career in business.

Some told him that his teaching style, which relies heavily on students to collaborate, debate and learn from each other, wouldn’t work with a generation of students that grew up interacting through text messages and social media.

“They were wrong,” he said. “When I got into the classroom, I realized that everything I’d read about the millennials was totally incorrect. I found that the kids had the same curiosity, the same respect for knowledge, authority and accountability that I remember from my first days as a professor.”

Hall, 71, did find that plenty had changed during nearly a quarter century away from the classroom. But his experience with today’s students was worlds apart from that of those who suggest that millennials aren’t up to the big challenges they’ll face in the years ahead.

“Today’s kids have a set of experiences that I could never even have imagined when I was growing up as a poor kid in Adrian, Michigan in the 1950s,” he said. “They’ve grown up in a more diverse world, they’ve travelled more, and I think computers and smartphones have given them a greater interest in knowledge and learning.”

He was so inspired by what he saw that he has returned to teach the same class every fall since 2004. He has also developed and co-instructed two more courses for the College of Engineering over the past ten years; one on entrepreneurial leadership and one on the emerging ethical issues in personalized medicine.

Bill Hall, Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies and M'69 Alumnus, chats with Rohit Maramraju, Lab Technician. Photo by: Joseph XuLate in 2014, he made an even bigger bet on the future with a $2 million chair endowment to the U-M Department of Biomedical Engineering, a joint department that spans both engineering and medicine. The William and Valerie Hall Chair of Biomedical Engineering will fund ongoing research in areas like cancer treatment and tissue engineering. Hall hopes it will also spark conversations that will take students out of their comfort zones and get them working across disciplines to tackle the challenges that will define the future.“In my experience, innovation happens when you put business leaders and scientists in the same room and get them to talk to each other,” Hall said. “That’s why I think joint departments like Biomedical Engineering are so important. We need people who can work across the boundaries of science, engineering, medicine and business more easily than in the past.”

 

It started with Sputnik

 

 

Crossing boundaries has been a prominent feature of Hall’s own career, the roots of which he can trace all the way back to a fateful evening in 1957, when he saw Sputnik streak through the dark sky over his mother’s back yard. Though he was only 12 years old, Hall says he saw his future in the Soviet satellite.

“I can still remember the odd mix of amazement and fear that Sputnik stirred in me,” he said. “It was incredible that people could put something into orbit. But back in 1957, it was also very unnerving that the Soviets had put this thing over our heads. I saw that and realized that I’d better go into aerospace engineering.”

Four years later, he turned up on the U-M engineering campus with a $150 scholarship (enough to cover his freshman tuition) and a job as a busboy in the West Quad dining hall. By the time he was a junior, he was already working in the aerospace industry, doing trajectory work for NASA’s Apollo program. His first brush with business came soon after when he signed up for a statistics class at the Ross School of Business. It was a course that changed the trajectory of his life.

“I fell in love with statistics, with commerce, with the power of business to bring technology from the laboratory to the marketplace,” he said. “I wanted to instill that passion into others, to teach students that jobs are important not just to make money but to add value to society. That’s why I started teaching and that’s why I came back to it.”

Hall taught from 1970 until 1980, when he left his professorship for a stint in the automotive components industry followed by a string of successful startups in capital goods and aerospace systems. Over the years, he has maintained an active relationship with the university, holding seats on a variety of U-M boards including the Zell Lurie Entrepreneurship Center, the College of Engineering Center for Entrepreneurship, the University of Michigan Health System’s Depression Center, the Life Science Institute and a co-chair position with the Victors for Michigan capital campaign in Chicago.

“The luckiest Wolverine alive”

Bill Hall has been many things since that first day of class in 1961: a student, professor, engineer, CEO, founder, venture capitalist, husband, father, and philanthropist. But he’ll tell you that there are only two labels that span the entire 55 years between then and now. First: a Wolverine. And second: Lucky. Very lucky.

“I consider myself to be the luckiest Wolverine alive,” he said. “I don’t know how else to describe it. I got to be a college professor, I worked in the aerospace industry when it was booming, I started and grew a bunch of companies, creating jobs and satisfied shareholders. And today, I get to work with students at the University of Michigan who are getting ready to lead us into the future. And if I hadn’t been fortunate enough to get a scholarship to U-M, none of this would have happened.”

Through his teaching and his gift to the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Hall says he hopes to create similar opportunities for the millennial generation and beyond. His involvement with U-M has convinced him that, while the world they inherit is even more challenging than the world he grew up in, it’s just as full of possibility and promise.

“I tell skeptics: go to a classroom and meet the millennials, watch how they think and see for yourself what a bright future we have,” he said. “I have full optimism that the next generation is going to solve whatever problems are put in front of them, and I can’t tell you what an honor it is to play a small role in it.”

This entry was posted by yjmoon on Friday, October 16th, 2015 at 2:34 pm and is filed under .

$3.46M to Combine Supercomputer Simulations with Big Data

banner

A new way of computing could lead to immediate advances in aerodynamics, climate science, cosmology, materials science and cardiovascular research. The National Science Foundation is providing $2.42 million to develop a unique facility for refining complex, physics-based computer models with big data techniques at the University of Michigan, with the university providing an additional $1.04 million.

The focal point of the project will be a new computing resource, called ConFlux, which is designed to enable supercomputer simulations to interface with large datasets while running. This capability will close a gap in the U.S. research computing infrastructure and place U-M at the forefront of the emerging field of data-driven physics. The new Center for Data-Driven Computational Physics will build and manage ConFlux.

Turbulence simulations for a vortex such as a tornado, a galaxy, or the swirls that form at the tips of airplane wings. Courtesy of Karthik Duraisamy, Aerospace Engineering.The project will add supercomputing nodes designed specifically to enable data-intensive operations. The nodes will be equipped with next-generation central and graphics processing units, large memories and ultra-fast interconnects.

A three petabyte hard drive will seamlessly handle both traditional and big data storage. Advanced Research Computing – Technology Services at University of Michigan provided critical support in defining the technical requirements of ConFlux. The project exemplifies the objectives of President Obama’s new National Strategic Computing Initiative, which has called for the use of vast data sets in addition to increasing brute force computing power.

The common challenge among the five main studies in the grant is a matter of scale. The processes of interest can be traced back to the behaviors of atoms and molecules, billions of times smaller than the human-scale or larger questions that researchers want to answer.

Even the most powerful computer in the world cannot handle these calculations without resorting to approximations, said Karthik Duraisamy, an assistant professor of aerospace engineering and director of the new center. “Such a disparity of scales exists in many problems of interest to scientists and engineers,” he said.

But approximate models often aren’t accurate enough to answer many important questions in science, engineering and medicine. “We need to leverage the availability of past and present data to refine and improve existing models,” Duraisamy explained.

Data from hospital scans, when fed into a computer model of blood flow, can become a powerful predictor of cardiovascular disease. Courtesy of Alberto Figueroa, Biomedical Engineering.This data could come from accurate simulations with a limited scope, small enough to be practical on existing supercomputers, as well as from experiments and measurements. The new computing nodes will be optimized for operations such as feeding data from the hard drive into algorithms that use the data to make predictions, a technique known as machine learning.

“Big data is typically associated with web analytics, social networks and online advertising. ConFlux will be a unique facility specifically designed for physical modeling using massive volumes of data,” said Barzan Mozafari, an assistant professor of computer science and engineering, who will oversee the implementation of the new computing technology.

The faculty members spearheading this project come from departments across the University, but all are members of the Michigan Institute for Computational Discovery and Engineering (MICDE), which was launched in 2013.

“MICDE is the home at U-M of the so-called third pillar of scientific discovery, computational science, which has taken its place alongside theory and experiment,” said Krishna Garikipati, MICDE’s associate director for research.

The following projects will be the first to utilize the new computing capabilities:

“It will enable a fundamentally new description of material behavior—guided by theory, but respectful of the cold facts of the data. Wholly new materials that transcend metals, polymers or ceramics can then be designed with applications ranging from tissue replacement to space travel,” said Garikipati, who is also a professor of mathematics.

This entry was posted by yjmoon on Friday, October 16th, 2015 at 2:34 pm and is filed under .

$3.46M to Combine Supercomputer Simulations with Big Data

banner

A new way of computing could lead to immediate advances in aerodynamics, climate science, cosmology, materials science and cardiovascular research. The National Science Foundation is providing $2.42 million to develop a unique facility for refining complex, physics-based computer models with big data techniques at the University of Michigan, with the university providing an additional $1.04 million.

The focal point of the project will be a new computing resource, called ConFlux, which is designed to enable supercomputer simulations to interface with large datasets while running. This capability will close a gap in the U.S. research computing infrastructure and place U-M at the forefront of the emerging field of data-driven physics. The new Center for Data-Driven Computational Physics will build and manage ConFlux.

Turbulence simulations for a vortex such as a tornado, a galaxy, or the swirls that form at the tips of airplane wings. Courtesy of Karthik Duraisamy, Aerospace Engineering.The project will add supercomputing nodes designed specifically to enable data-intensive operations. The nodes will be equipped with next-generation central and graphics processing units, large memories and ultra-fast interconnects.

A three petabyte hard drive will seamlessly handle both traditional and big data storage. Advanced Research Computing – Technology Services at University of Michigan provided critical support in defining the technical requirements of ConFlux. The project exemplifies the objectives of President Obama’s new National Strategic Computing Initiative, which has called for the use of vast data sets in addition to increasing brute force computing power.

The common challenge among the five main studies in the grant is a matter of scale. The processes of interest can be traced back to the behaviors of atoms and molecules, billions of times smaller than the human-scale or larger questions that researchers want to answer.

Even the most powerful computer in the world cannot handle these calculations without resorting to approximations, said Karthik Duraisamy, an assistant professor of aerospace engineering and director of the new center. “Such a disparity of scales exists in many problems of interest to scientists and engineers,” he said.

But approximate models often aren’t accurate enough to answer many important questions in science, engineering and medicine. “We need to leverage the availability of past and present data to refine and improve existing models,” Duraisamy explained.

Data from hospital scans, when fed into a computer model of blood flow, can become a powerful predictor of cardiovascular disease. Courtesy of Alberto Figueroa, Biomedical Engineering.This data could come from accurate simulations with a limited scope, small enough to be practical on existing supercomputers, as well as from experiments and measurements. The new computing nodes will be optimized for operations such as feeding data from the hard drive into algorithms that use the data to make predictions, a technique known as machine learning.

“Big data is typically associated with web analytics, social networks and online advertising. ConFlux will be a unique facility specifically designed for physical modeling using massive volumes of data,” said Barzan Mozafari, an assistant professor of computer science and engineering, who will oversee the implementation of the new computing technology.

The faculty members spearheading this project come from departments across the University, but all are members of the Michigan Institute for Computational Discovery and Engineering (MICDE), which was launched in 2013.

“MICDE is the home at U-M of the so-called third pillar of scientific discovery, computational science, which has taken its place alongside theory and experiment,” said Krishna Garikipati, MICDE’s associate director for research.

The following projects will be the first to utilize the new computing capabilities:

“It will enable a fundamentally new description of material behavior—guided by theory, but respectful of the cold facts of the data. Wholly new materials that transcend metals, polymers or ceramics can then be designed with applications ranging from tissue replacement to space travel,” said Garikipati, who is also a professor of mathematics.

This entry was posted by yjmoon on Friday, October 16th, 2015 at 2:33 pm and is filed under .

Engineering Alum Bets on Millennials with $2M Gift

banner2

“Your teaching style will crash and burn with the millennials.” That’s what friends told University of Michigan alum Bill Hall in 2004 when he took on a teaching role at U-M for the first time in more than two decades. He had volunteered to teach an entrepreneurship course for MBAs at the Ross School of Business, his first foray into teaching since 1980, when he left his professorship at Ross to launch a successful career in business.

Some told him that his teaching style, which relies heavily on students to collaborate, debate and learn from each other, wouldn’t work with a generation of students that grew up interacting through text messages and social media.

“They were wrong,” he said. “When I got into the classroom, I realized that everything I’d read about the millennials was totally incorrect. I found that the kids had the same curiosity, the same respect for knowledge, authority and accountability that I remember from my first days as a professor.”

Hall, 71, did find that plenty had changed during nearly a quarter century away from the classroom. But his experience with today’s students was worlds apart from that of those who suggest that millennials aren’t up to the big challenges they’ll face in the years ahead.

“Today’s kids have a set of experiences that I could never even have imagined when I was growing up as a poor kid in Adrian, Michigan in the 1950s,” he said. “They’ve grown up in a more diverse world, they’ve travelled more, and I think computers and smartphones have given them a greater interest in knowledge and learning.”

He was so inspired by what he saw that he has returned to teach the same class every fall since 2004. He has also developed and co-instructed two more courses for the College of Engineering over the past ten years; one on entrepreneurial leadership and one on the emerging ethical issues in personalized medicine.

 

 

 

Bill Hall, Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies and M'69 Alumnus, chats with Rohit Maramraju, Lab Technician. Photo by: Joseph XuLate in 2014, he made an even bigger bet on the future with a $2 million chair endowment to the U-M Department of Biomedical Engineering, a joint department that spans both engineering and medicine. The William and Valerie Hall Chair of Biomedical Engineering will fund ongoing research in areas like cancer treatment and tissue engineering. Hall hopes it will also spark conversations that will take students out of their comfort zones and get them working across disciplines to tackle the challenges that will define the future.“In my experience, innovation happens when you put business leaders and scientists in the same room and get them to talk to each other,” Hall said. “That’s why I think joint departments like Biomedical Engineering are so important. We need people who can work across the boundaries of science, engineering, medicine and business more easily than in the past.”It started with Sputnik

 

 

 

Crossing boundaries has been a prominent feature of Hall’s own career, the roots of which he can trace all the way back to a fateful evening in 1957, when he saw Sputnik streak through the dark sky over his mother’s back yard. Though he was only 12 years old, Hall says he saw his future in the Soviet satellite.

“I can still remember the odd mix of amazement and fear that Sputnik stirred in me,” he said. “It was incredible that people could put something into orbit. But back in 1957, it was also very unnerving that the Soviets had put this thing over our heads. I saw that and realized that I’d better go into aerospace engineering.”

Four years later, he turned up on the U-M engineering campus with a $150 scholarship (enough to cover his freshman tuition) and a job as a busboy in the West Quad dining hall. By the time he was a junior, he was already working in the aerospace industry, doing trajectory work for NASA’s Apollo program. His first brush with business came soon after when he signed up for a statistics class at the Ross School of Business. It was a course that changed the trajectory of his life.

“I fell in love with statistics, with commerce, with the power of business to bring technology from the laboratory to the marketplace,” he said. “I wanted to instill that passion into others, to teach students that jobs are important not just to make money but to add value to society. That’s why I started teaching and that’s why I came back to it.”

Hall taught from 1970 until 1980, when he left his professorship for a stint in the automotive components industry followed by a string of successful startups in capital goods and aerospace systems. Over the years, he has maintained an active relationship with the university, holding seats on a variety of U-M boards including the Zell Lurie Entrepreneurship Center, the College of Engineering Center for Entrepreneurship, the University of Michigan Health System’s Depression Center, the Life Science Institute and a co-chair position with the Victors for Michigan capital campaign in Chicago.

“The luckiest Wolverine alive”

Bill Hall has been many things since that first day of class in 1961: a student, professor, engineer, CEO, founder, venture capitalist, husband, father, and philanthropist. But he’ll tell you that there are only two labels that span the entire 55 years between then and now. First: a Wolverine. And second: Lucky. Very lucky.

“I consider myself to be the luckiest Wolverine alive,” he said. “I don’t know how else to describe it. I got to be a college professor, I worked in the aerospace industry when it was booming, I started and grew a bunch of companies, creating jobs and satisfied shareholders. And today, I get to work with students at the University of Michigan who are getting ready to lead us into the future. And if I hadn’t been fortunate enough to get a scholarship to U-M, none of this would have happened.”

Through his teaching and his gift to the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Hall says he hopes to create similar opportunities for the millennial generation and beyond. His involvement with U-M has convinced him that, while the world they inherit is even more challenging than the world he grew up in, it’s just as full of possibility and promise.

“I tell skeptics: go to a classroom and meet the millennials, watch how they think and see for yourself what a bright future we have,” he said. “I have full optimism that the next generation is going to solve whatever problems are put in front of them, and I can’t tell you what an honor it is to play a small role in it.”

This entry was posted by yjmoon on Friday, October 16th, 2015 at 2:31 pm and is filed under .

Engineering Alum Bets on Millennials with $2M Gift

banner2

“Your teaching style will crash and burn with the millennials.” That’s what friends told University of Michigan alum Bill Hall in 2004 when he took on a teaching role at U-M for the first time in more than two decades. He had volunteered to teach an entrepreneurship course for MBAs at the Ross School of Business, his first foray into teaching since 1980, when he left his professorship at Ross to launch a successful career in business.

Some told him that his teaching style, which relies heavily on students to collaborate, debate and learn from each other, wouldn’t work with a generation of students that grew up interacting through text messages and social media.

“They were wrong,” he said. “When I got into the classroom, I realized that everything I’d read about the millennials was totally incorrect. I found that the kids had the same curiosity, the same respect for knowledge, authority and accountability that I remember from my first days as a professor.”

Hall, 71, did find that plenty had changed during nearly a quarter century away from the classroom. But his experience with today’s students was worlds apart from that of those who suggest that millennials aren’t up to the big challenges they’ll face in the years ahead.

“Today’s kids have a set of experiences that I could never even have imagined when I was growing up as a poor kid in Adrian, Michigan in the 1950s,” he said. “They’ve grown up in a more diverse world, they’ve travelled more, and I think computers and smartphones have given them a greater interest in knowledge and learning.”

He was so inspired by what he saw that he has returned to teach the same class every fall since 2004. He has also developed and co-instructed two more courses for the College of Engineering over the past ten years; one on entrepreneurial leadership and one on the emerging ethical issues in personalized medicine.

 

 

Bill Hall, Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies and M'69 Alumnus, chats with Rohit Maramraju, Lab Technician. Photo by: Joseph XuLate in 2014, he made an even bigger bet on the future with a $2 million chair endowment to the U-M Department of Biomedical Engineering, a joint department that spans both engineering and medicine. The William and Valerie Hall Chair of Biomedical Engineering will fund ongoing research in areas like cancer treatment and tissue engineering. Hall hopes it will also spark conversations that will take students out of their comfort zones and get them working across disciplines to tackle the challenges that will define the future.“In my experience, innovation happens when you put business leaders and scientists in the same room and get them to talk to each other,” Hall said. “That’s why I think joint departments like Biomedical Engineering are so important. We need people who can work across the boundaries of science, engineering, medicine and business more easily than in the past.”

It started with Sputnik

 

 

Crossing boundaries has been a prominent feature of Hall’s own career, the roots of which he can trace all the way back to a fateful evening in 1957, when he saw Sputnik streak through the dark sky over his mother’s back yard. Though he was only 12 years old, Hall says he saw his future in the Soviet satellite.

“I can still remember the odd mix of amazement and fear that Sputnik stirred in me,” he said. “It was incredible that people could put something into orbit. But back in 1957, it was also very unnerving that the Soviets had put this thing over our heads. I saw that and realized that I’d better go into aerospace engineering.”

Four years later, he turned up on the U-M engineering campus with a $150 scholarship (enough to cover his freshman tuition) and a job as a busboy in the West Quad dining hall. By the time he was a junior, he was already working in the aerospace industry, doing trajectory work for NASA’s Apollo program. His first brush with business came soon after when he signed up for a statistics class at the Ross School of Business. It was a course that changed the trajectory of his life.

“I fell in love with statistics, with commerce, with the power of business to bring technology from the laboratory to the marketplace,” he said. “I wanted to instill that passion into others, to teach students that jobs are important not just to make money but to add value to society. That’s why I started teaching and that’s why I came back to it.”

Hall taught from 1970 until 1980, when he left his professorship for a stint in the automotive components industry followed by a string of successful startups in capital goods and aerospace systems. Over the years, he has maintained an active relationship with the university, holding seats on a variety of U-M boards including the Zell Lurie Entrepreneurship Center, the College of Engineering Center for Entrepreneurship, the University of Michigan Health System’s Depression Center, the Life Science Institute and a co-chair position with the Victors for Michigan capital campaign in Chicago.

“The luckiest Wolverine alive”

Bill Hall has been many things since that first day of class in 1961: a student, professor, engineer, CEO, founder, venture capitalist, husband, father, and philanthropist. But he’ll tell you that there are only two labels that span the entire 55 years between then and now. First: a Wolverine. And second: Lucky. Very lucky.

“I consider myself to be the luckiest Wolverine alive,” he said. “I don’t know how else to describe it. I got to be a college professor, I worked in the aerospace industry when it was booming, I started and grew a bunch of companies, creating jobs and satisfied shareholders. And today, I get to work with students at the University of Michigan who are getting ready to lead us into the future. And if I hadn’t been fortunate enough to get a scholarship to U-M, none of this would have happened.”

Through his teaching and his gift to the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Hall says he hopes to create similar opportunities for the millennial generation and beyond. His involvement with U-M has convinced him that, while the world they inherit is even more challenging than the world he grew up in, it’s just as full of possibility and promise.

“I tell skeptics: go to a classroom and meet the millennials, watch how they think and see for yourself what a bright future we have,” he said. “I have full optimism that the next generation is going to solve whatever problems are put in front of them, and I can’t tell you what an honor it is to play a small role in it.”

This entry was posted by yjmoon on Friday, October 16th, 2015 at 2:30 pm and is filed under .

$3.46M to Combine Supercomputer Simulations with Big Data

banner

A new way of computing could lead to immediate advances in aerodynamics, climate science, cosmology, materials science and cardiovascular research. The National Science Foundation is providing $2.42 million to develop a unique facility for refining complex, physics-based computer models with big data techniques at the University of Michigan, with the university providing an additional $1.04 million.

The focal point of the project will be a new computing resource, called ConFlux, which is designed to enable supercomputer simulations to interface with large datasets while running. This capability will close a gap in the U.S. research computing infrastructure and place U-M at the forefront of the emerging field of data-driven physics. The new Center for Data-Driven Computational Physics will build and manage ConFlux.

Turbulence simulations for a vortex such as a tornado, a galaxy, or the swirls that form at the tips of airplane wings. Courtesy of Karthik Duraisamy, Aerospace Engineering.The project will add supercomputing nodes designed specifically to enable data-intensive operations. The nodes will be equipped with next-generation central and graphics processing units, large memories and ultra-fast interconnects.

A three petabyte hard drive will seamlessly handle both traditional and big data storage. Advanced Research Computing – Technology Services at University of Michigan provided critical support in defining the technical requirements of ConFlux. The project exemplifies the objectives of President Obama’s new National Strategic Computing Initiative, which has called for the use of vast data sets in addition to increasing brute force computing power.

The common challenge among the five main studies in the grant is a matter of scale. The processes of interest can be traced back to the behaviors of atoms and molecules, billions of times smaller than the human-scale or larger questions that researchers want to answer.

Even the most powerful computer in the world cannot handle these calculations without resorting to approximations, said Karthik Duraisamy, an assistant professor of aerospace engineering and director of the new center. “Such a disparity of scales exists in many problems of interest to scientists and engineers,” he said.

But approximate models often aren’t accurate enough to answer many important questions in science, engineering and medicine. “We need to leverage the availability of past and present data to refine and improve existing models,” Duraisamy explained.

Data from hospital scans, when fed into a computer model of blood flow, can become a powerful predictor of cardiovascular disease. Courtesy of Alberto Figueroa, Biomedical Engineering.This data could come from accurate simulations with a limited scope, small enough to be practical on existing supercomputers, as well as from experiments and measurements. The new computing nodes will be optimized for operations such as feeding data from the hard drive into algorithms that use the data to make predictions, a technique known as machine learning.

“Big data is typically associated with web analytics, social networks and online advertising. ConFlux will be a unique facility specifically designed for physical modeling using massive volumes of data,” said Barzan Mozafari, an assistant professor of computer science and engineering, who will oversee the implementation of the new computing technology.

The faculty members spearheading this project come from departments across the University, but all are members of the Michigan Institute for Computational Discovery and Engineering (MICDE), which was launched in 2013.

“MICDE is the home at U-M of the so-called third pillar of scientific discovery, computational science, which has taken its place alongside theory and experiment,” said Krishna Garikipati, MICDE’s associate director for research.

The following projects will be the first to utilize the new computing capabilities:

“It will enable a fundamentally new description of material behavior—guided by theory, but respectful of the cold facts of the data. Wholly new materials that transcend metals, polymers or ceramics can then be designed with applications ranging from tissue replacement to space travel,” said Garikipati, who is also a professor of mathematics.

This entry was posted by yjmoon on Friday, October 16th, 2015 at 2:28 pm and is filed under .

$3.46M to Combine Supercomputer Simulations with Big Data

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A new way of computing could lead to immediate advances in aerodynamics, climate science, cosmology, materials science and cardiovascular research. The National Science Foundation is providing $2.42 million to develop a unique facility for refining complex, physics-based computer models with big data techniques at the University of Michigan, with the university providing an additional $1.04 million.

The focal point of the project will be a new computing resource, called ConFlux, which is designed to enable supercomputer simulations to interface with large datasets while running. This capability will close a gap in the U.S. research computing infrastructure and place U-M at the forefront of the emerging field of data-driven physics. The new Center for Data-Driven Computational Physics will build and manage ConFlux.

Turbulence simulations for a vortex such as a tornado, a galaxy, or the swirls that form at the tips of airplane wings. Courtesy of Karthik Duraisamy, Aerospace Engineering.The project will add supercomputing nodes designed specifically to enable data-intensive operations. The nodes will be equipped with next-generation central and graphics processing units, large memories and ultra-fast interconnects.

A three petabyte hard drive will seamlessly handle both traditional and big data storage. Advanced Research Computing – Technology Services at University of Michigan provided critical support in defining the technical requirements of ConFlux. The project exemplifies the objectives of President Obama’s new National Strategic Computing Initiative, which has called for the use of vast data sets in addition to increasing brute force computing power.

The common challenge among the five main studies in the grant is a matter of scale. The processes of interest can be traced back to the behaviors of atoms and molecules, billions of times smaller than the human-scale or larger questions that researchers want to answer.

Even the most powerful computer in the world cannot handle these calculations without resorting to approximations, said Karthik Duraisamy, an assistant professor of aerospace engineering and director of the new center. “Such a disparity of scales exists in many problems of interest to scientists and engineers,” he said.

But approximate models often aren’t accurate enough to answer many important questions in science, engineering and medicine. “We need to leverage the availability of past and present data to refine and improve existing models,” Duraisamy explained.

Data from hospital scans, when fed into a computer model of blood flow, can become a powerful predictor of cardiovascular disease. Courtesy of Alberto Figueroa, Biomedical Engineering.This data could come from accurate simulations with a limited scope, small enough to be practical on existing supercomputers, as well as from experiments and measurements. The new computing nodes will be optimized for operations such as feeding data from the hard drive into algorithms that use the data to make predictions, a technique known as machine learning.

“Big data is typically associated with web analytics, social networks and online advertising. ConFlux will be a unique facility specifically designed for physical modeling using massive volumes of data,” said Barzan Mozafari, an assistant professor of computer science and engineering, who will oversee the implementation of the new computing technology.

The faculty members spearheading this project come from departments across the University, but all are members of the Michigan Institute for Computational Discovery and Engineering (MICDE), which was launched in 2013.

“MICDE is the home at U-M of the so-called third pillar of scientific discovery, computational science, which has taken its place alongside theory and experiment,” said Krishna Garikipati, MICDE’s associate director for research.

The following projects will be the first to utilize the new computing capabilities:

“It will enable a fundamentally new description of material behavior—guided by theory, but respectful of the cold facts of the data. Wholly new materials that transcend metals, polymers or ceramics can then be designed with applications ranging from tissue replacement to space travel,” said Garikipati, who is also a professor of mathematics.

This entry was posted by yjmoon on Wednesday, October 14th, 2015 at 10:50 am and is filed under .

$3.46M to Combine Supercomputer Simulations with Big Data

banner

A new way of computing could lead to immediate advances in aerodynamics, climate science, cosmology, materials science and cardiovascular research. The National Science Foundation is providing $2.42 million to develop a unique facility for refining complex, physics-based computer models with big data techniques at the University of Michigan, with the university providing an additional $1.04 million.

The focal point of the project will be a new computing resource, called ConFlux, which is designed to enable supercomputer simulations to interface with large datasets while running. This capability will close a gap in the U.S. research computing infrastructure and place U-M at the forefront of the emerging field of data-driven physics. The new Center for Data-Driven Computational Physics will build and manage ConFlux.

Turbulence simulations for a vortex such as a tornado, a galaxy, or the swirls that form at the tips of airplane wings. Courtesy of Karthik Duraisamy, Aerospace Engineering.The project will add supercomputing nodes designed specifically to enable data-intensive operations. The nodes will be equipped with next-generation central and graphics processing units, large memories and ultra-fast interconnects.

A three petabyte hard drive will seamlessly handle both traditional and big data storage. Advanced Research Computing – Technology Services at University of Michigan provided critical support in defining the technical requirements of ConFlux. The project exemplifies the objectives of President Obama’s new National Strategic Computing Initiative, which has called for the use of vast data sets in addition to increasing brute force computing power.

The common challenge among the five main studies in the grant is a matter of scale. The processes of interest can be traced back to the behaviors of atoms and molecules, billions of times smaller than the human-scale or larger questions that researchers want to answer.

Even the most powerful computer in the world cannot handle these calculations without resorting to approximations, said Karthik Duraisamy, an assistant professor of aerospace engineering and director of the new center. “Such a disparity of scales exists in many problems of interest to scientists and engineers,” he said.

But approximate models often aren’t accurate enough to answer many important questions in science, engineering and medicine. “We need to leverage the availability of past and present data to refine and improve existing models,” Duraisamy explained.

Data from hospital scans, when fed into a computer model of blood flow, can become a powerful predictor of cardiovascular disease. Courtesy of Alberto Figueroa, Biomedical Engineering.This data could come from accurate simulations with a limited scope, small enough to be practical on existing supercomputers, as well as from experiments and measurements. The new computing nodes will be optimized for operations such as feeding data from the hard drive into algorithms that use the data to make predictions, a technique known as machine learning.

“Big data is typically associated with web analytics, social networks and online advertising. ConFlux will be a unique facility specifically designed for physical modeling using massive volumes of data,” said Barzan Mozafari, an assistant professor of computer science and engineering, who will oversee the implementation of the new computing technology.

The faculty members spearheading this project come from departments across the University, but all are members of the Michigan Institute for Computational Discovery and Engineering (MICDE), which was launched in 2013.

“MICDE is the home at U-M of the so-called third pillar of scientific discovery, computational science, which has taken its place alongside theory and experiment,” said Krishna Garikipati, MICDE’s associate director for research.

The following projects will be the first to utilize the new computing capabilities:

“It will enable a fundamentally new description of material behavior—guided by theory, but respectful of the cold facts of the data. Wholly new materials that transcend metals, polymers or ceramics can then be designed with applications ranging from tissue replacement to space travel,” said Garikipati, who is also a professor of mathematics.

This entry was posted by yjmoon on Wednesday, October 14th, 2015 at 10:44 am and is filed under All News, Spotlight.

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A new way of computing could lead to immediate advances in aerodynamics, climate science, cosmology, materials science and cardiovascular research. The National Science Foundation is providing $2.42 million to develop a unique facility for refining complex, physics-based computer models with big data techniques at the University of Michigan, with the university providing an additional $1.04 million.

The focal point of the project will be a new computing resource, called ConFlux, which is designed to enable supercomputer simulations to interface with large datasets while running. This capability will close a gap in the U.S. research computing infrastructure and place U-M at the forefront of the emerging field of data-driven physics. The new Center for Data-Driven Computational Physics will build and manage ConFlux.

Turbulence simulations for a vortex such as a tornado, a galaxy, or the swirls that form at the tips of airplane wings. Courtesy of Karthik Duraisamy, Aerospace Engineering.The project will add supercomputing nodes designed specifically to enable data-intensive operations. The nodes will be equipped with next-generation central and graphics processing units, large memories and ultra-fast interconnects.

A three petabyte hard drive will seamlessly handle both traditional and big data storage. Advanced Research Computing – Technology Services at University of Michigan provided critical support in defining the technical requirements of ConFlux. The project exemplifies the objectives of President Obama’s new National Strategic Computing Initiative, which has called for the use of vast data sets in addition to increasing brute force computing power.

The common challenge among the five main studies in the grant is a matter of scale. The processes of interest can be traced back to the behaviors of atoms and molecules, billions of times smaller than the human-scale or larger questions that researchers want to answer.

Even the most powerful computer in the world cannot handle these calculations without resorting to approximations, said Karthik Duraisamy, an assistant professor of aerospace engineering and director of the new center. “Such a disparity of scales exists in many problems of interest to scientists and engineers,” he said.

But approximate models often aren’t accurate enough to answer many important questions in science, engineering and medicine. “We need to leverage the availability of past and present data to refine and improve existing models,” Duraisamy explained.

Data from hospital scans, when fed into a computer model of blood flow, can become a powerful predictor of cardiovascular disease. Courtesy of Alberto Figueroa, Biomedical Engineering.This data could come from accurate simulations with a limited scope, small enough to be practical on existing supercomputers, as well as from experiments and measurements. The new computing nodes will be optimized for operations such as feeding data from the hard drive into algorithms that use the data to make predictions, a technique known as machine learning.

“Big data is typically associated with web analytics, social networks and online advertising. ConFlux will be a unique facility specifically designed for physical modeling using massive volumes of data,” said Barzan Mozafari, an assistant professor of computer science and engineering, who will oversee the implementation of the new computing technology.

The faculty members spearheading this project come from departments across the University, but all are members of the Michigan Institute for Computational Discovery and Engineering (MICDE), which was launched in 2013.

“MICDE is the home at U-M of the so-called third pillar of scientific discovery, computational science, which has taken its place alongside theory and experiment,” said Krishna Garikipati, MICDE’s associate director for research.

The following projects will be the first to utilize the new computing capabilities:

“It will enable a fundamentally new description of material behavior—guided by theory, but respectful of the cold facts of the data. Wholly new materials that transcend metals, polymers or ceramics can then be designed with applications ranging from tissue replacement to space travel,” said Garikipati, who is also a professor of mathematics.

This entry was posted by yjmoon on Wednesday, October 14th, 2015 at 10:44 am and is filed under .

Auto Draft

This entry was posted by yjmoon on Wednesday, October 14th, 2015 at 10:43 am and is filed under .

Engineering Alum Bets on Millennials with $2M Gift

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“Your teaching style will crash and burn with the millennials.” That’s what friends told University of Michigan alum Bill Hall in 2004 when he took on a teaching role at U-M for the first time in more than two decades. He had volunteered to teach an entrepreneurship course for MBAs at the Ross School of Business, his first foray into teaching since 1980, when he left his professorship at Ross to launch a successful career in business.

Some told him that his teaching style, which relies heavily on students to collaborate, debate and learn from each other, wouldn’t work with a generation of students that grew up interacting through text messages and social media.

“They were wrong,” he said. “When I got into the classroom, I realized that everything I’d read about the millennials was totally incorrect. I found that the kids had the same curiosity, the same respect for knowledge, authority and accountability that I remember from my first days as a professor.”

Hall, 71, did find that plenty had changed during nearly a quarter century away from the classroom. But his experience with today’s students was worlds apart from that of those who suggest that millennials aren’t up to the big challenges they’ll face in the years ahead.

“Today’s kids have a set of experiences that I could never even have imagined when I was growing up as a poor kid in Adrian, Michigan in the 1950s,” he said. “They’ve grown up in a more diverse world, they’ve travelled more, and I think computers and smartphones have given them a greater interest in knowledge and learning.”

He was so inspired by what he saw that he has returned to teach the same class every fall since 2004. He has also developed and co-instructed two more courses for the College of Engineering over the past ten years; one on entrepreneurial leadership and one on the emerging ethical issues in personalized medicine.

Bill Hall, Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies and M'69 Alumnus, chats with Rohit Maramraju, Lab Technician. Photo by: Joseph XuLate in 2014, he made an even bigger bet on the future with a $2 million chair endowment to the U-M Department of Biomedical Engineering, a joint department that spans both engineering and medicine. The William and Valerie Hall Chair of Biomedical Engineering will fund ongoing research in areas like cancer treatment and tissue engineering. Hall hopes it will also spark conversations that will take students out of their comfort zones and get them working across disciplines to tackle the challenges that will define the future.“In my experience, innovation happens when you put business leaders and scientists in the same room and get them to talk to each other,” Hall said. “That’s why I think joint departments like Biomedical Engineering are so important. We need people who can work across the boundaries of science, engineering, medicine and business more easily than in the past.”

It started with Sputnik

 

Crossing boundaries has been a prominent feature of Hall’s own career, the roots of which he can trace all the way back to a fateful evening in 1957, when he saw Sputnik streak through the dark sky over his mother’s back yard. Though he was only 12 years old, Hall says he saw his future in the Soviet satellite.

“I can still remember the odd mix of amazement and fear that Sputnik stirred in me,” he said. “It was incredible that people could put something into orbit. But back in 1957, it was also very unnerving that the Soviets had put this thing over our heads. I saw that and realized that I’d better go into aerospace engineering.”

Four years later, he turned up on the U-M engineering campus with a $150 scholarship (enough to cover his freshman tuition) and a job as a busboy in the West Quad dining hall. By the time he was a junior, he was already working in the aerospace industry, doing trajectory work for NASA’s Apollo program. His first brush with business came soon after when he signed up for a statistics class at the Ross School of Business. It was a course that changed the trajectory of his life.

“I fell in love with statistics, with commerce, with the power of business to bring technology from the laboratory to the marketplace,” he said. “I wanted to instill that passion into others, to teach students that jobs are important not just to make money but to add value to society. That’s why I started teaching and that’s why I came back to it.”

Hall taught from 1970 until 1980, when he left his professorship for a stint in the automotive components industry followed by a string of successful startups in capital goods and aerospace systems. Over the years, he has maintained an active relationship with the university, holding seats on a variety of U-M boards including the Zell Lurie Entrepreneurship Center, the College of Engineering Center for Entrepreneurship, the University of Michigan Health System’s Depression Center, the Life Science Institute and a co-chair position with the Victors for Michigan capital campaign in Chicago.

“The luckiest Wolverine alive”

Bill Hall has been many things since that first day of class in 1961: a student, professor, engineer, CEO, founder, venture capitalist, husband, father, and philanthropist. But he’ll tell you that there are only two labels that span the entire 55 years between then and now. First: a Wolverine. And second: Lucky. Very lucky.

“I consider myself to be the luckiest Wolverine alive,” he said. “I don’t know how else to describe it. I got to be a college professor, I worked in the aerospace industry when it was booming, I started and grew a bunch of companies, creating jobs and satisfied shareholders. And today, I get to work with students at the University of Michigan who are getting ready to lead us into the future. And if I hadn’t been fortunate enough to get a scholarship to U-M, none of this would have happened.”

Through his teaching and his gift to the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Hall says he hopes to create similar opportunities for the millennial generation and beyond. His involvement with U-M has convinced him that, while the world they inherit is even more challenging than the world he grew up in, it’s just as full of possibility and promise.

“I tell skeptics: go to a classroom and meet the millennials, watch how they think and see for yourself what a bright future we have,” he said. “I have full optimism that the next generation is going to solve whatever problems are put in front of them, and I can’t tell you what an honor it is to play a small role in it.”

This entry was posted by yjmoon on Wednesday, October 14th, 2015 at 10:43 am and is filed under All News, Faculty News, Spotlight.

Engineering Alum Bets on Millennials with $2M Gift

banner2

“Your teaching style will crash and burn with the millennials.” That’s what friends told University of Michigan alum Bill Hall in 2004 when he took on a teaching role at U-M for the first time in more than two decades. He had volunteered to teach an entrepreneurship course for MBAs at the Ross School of Business, his first foray into teaching since 1980, when he left his professorship at Ross to launch a successful career in business.

Some told him that his teaching style, which relies heavily on students to collaborate, debate and learn from each other, wouldn’t work with a generation of students that grew up interacting through text messages and social media.

“They were wrong,” he said. “When I got into the classroom, I realized that everything I’d read about the millennials was totally incorrect. I found that the kids had the same curiosity, the same respect for knowledge, authority and accountability that I remember from my first days as a professor.”

Hall, 71, did find that plenty had changed during nearly a quarter century away from the classroom. But his experience with today’s students was worlds apart from that of those who suggest that millennials aren’t up to the big challenges they’ll face in the years ahead.

“Today’s kids have a set of experiences that I could never even have imagined when I was growing up as a poor kid in Adrian, Michigan in the 1950s,” he said. “They’ve grown up in a more diverse world, they’ve travelled more, and I think computers and smartphones have given them a greater interest in knowledge and learning.”

He was so inspired by what he saw that he has returned to teach the same class every fall since 2004. He has also developed and co-instructed two more courses for the College of Engineering over the past ten years; one on entrepreneurial leadership and one on the emerging ethical issues in personalized medicine.

 

Bill Hall, Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies and M'69 Alumnus, chats with Rohit Maramraju, Lab Technician. Photo by: Joseph XuLate in 2014, he made an even bigger bet on the future with a $2 million chair endowment to the U-M Department of Biomedical Engineering, a joint department that spans both engineering and medicine. The William and Valerie Hall Chair of Biomedical Engineering will fund ongoing research in areas like cancer treatment and tissue engineering. Hall hopes it will also spark conversations that will take students out of their comfort zones and get them working across disciplines to tackle the challenges that will define the future. 

“In my experience, innovation happens when you put business leaders and scientists in the same room and get them to talk to each other,” Hall said. “That’s why I think joint departments like Biomedical Engineering are so important. We need people who can work across the boundaries of science, engineering, medicine and business more easily than in the past.”

It started with Sputnik

 

Crossing boundaries has been a prominent feature of Hall’s own career, the roots of which he can trace all the way back to a fateful evening in 1957, when he saw Sputnik streak through the dark sky over his mother’s back yard. Though he was only 12 years old, Hall says he saw his future in the Soviet satellite.

“I can still remember the odd mix of amazement and fear that Sputnik stirred in me,” he said. “It was incredible that people could put something into orbit. But back in 1957, it was also very unnerving that the Soviets had put this thing over our heads. I saw that and realized that I’d better go into aerospace engineering.”

Four years later, he turned up on the U-M engineering campus with a $150 scholarship (enough to cover his freshman tuition) and a job as a busboy in the West Quad dining hall. By the time he was a junior, he was already working in the aerospace industry, doing trajectory work for NASA’s Apollo program. His first brush with business came soon after when he signed up for a statistics class at the Ross School of Business. It was a course that changed the trajectory of his life.

“I fell in love with statistics, with commerce, with the power of business to bring technology from the laboratory to the marketplace,” he said. “I wanted to instill that passion into others, to teach students that jobs are important not just to make money but to add value to society. That’s why I started teaching and that’s why I came back to it.”

Hall taught from 1970 until 1980, when he left his professorship for a stint in the automotive components industry followed by a string of successful startups in capital goods and aerospace systems. Over the years, he has maintained an active relationship with the university, holding seats on a variety of U-M boards including the Zell Lurie Entrepreneurship Center, the College of Engineering Center for Entrepreneurship, the University of Michigan Health System’s Depression Center, the Life Science Institute and a co-chair position with the Victors for Michigan capital campaign in Chicago.

“The luckiest Wolverine alive”

Bill Hall has been many things since that first day of class in 1961: a student, professor, engineer, CEO, founder, venture capitalist, husband, father, and philanthropist. But he’ll tell you that there are only two labels that span the entire 55 years between then and now. First: a Wolverine. And second: Lucky. Very lucky.

“I consider myself to be the luckiest Wolverine alive,” he said. “I don’t know how else to describe it. I got to be a college professor, I worked in the aerospace industry when it was booming, I started and grew a bunch of companies, creating jobs and satisfied shareholders. And today, I get to work with students at the University of Michigan who are getting ready to lead us into the future. And if I hadn’t been fortunate enough to get a scholarship to U-M, none of this would have happened.”

Through his teaching and his gift to the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Hall says he hopes to create similar opportunities for the millennial generation and beyond. His involvement with U-M has convinced him that, while the world they inherit is even more challenging than the world he grew up in, it’s just as full of possibility and promise.

“I tell skeptics: go to a classroom and meet the millennials, watch how they think and see for yourself what a bright future we have,” he said. “I have full optimism that the next generation is going to solve whatever problems are put in front of them, and I can’t tell you what an honor it is to play a small role in it.”

This entry was posted by yjmoon on Wednesday, October 14th, 2015 at 10:43 am and is filed under .

banner2

“Your teaching style will crash and burn with the millennials.” That’s what friends told University of Michigan alum Bill Hall in 2004 when he took on a teaching role at U-M for the first time in more than two decades. He had volunteered to teach an entrepreneurship course for MBAs at the Ross School of Business, his first foray into teaching since 1980, when he left his professorship at Ross to launch a successful career in business.

Some told him that his teaching style, which relies heavily on students to collaborate, debate and learn from each other, wouldn’t work with a generation of students that grew up interacting through text messages and social media.

“They were wrong,” he said. “When I got into the classroom, I realized that everything I’d read about the millennials was totally incorrect. I found that the kids had the same curiosity, the same respect for knowledge, authority and accountability that I remember from my first days as a professor.”

Hall, 71, did find that plenty had changed during nearly a quarter century away from the classroom. But his experience with today’s students was worlds apart from that of those who suggest that millennials aren’t up to the big challenges they’ll face in the years ahead.

“Today’s kids have a set of experiences that I could never even have imagined when I was growing up as a poor kid in Adrian, Michigan in the 1950s,” he said. “They’ve grown up in a more diverse world, they’ve travelled more, and I think computers and smartphones have given them a greater interest in knowledge and learning.”

He was so inspired by what he saw that he has returned to teach the same class every fall since 2004. He has also developed and co-instructed two more courses for the College of Engineering over the past ten years; one on entrepreneurial leadership and one on the emerging ethical issues in personalized medicine.

 

Bill Hall, Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies and M'69 Alumnus, chats with Rohit Maramraju, Lab Technician. Photo by: Joseph XuLate in 2014, he made an even bigger bet on the future with a $2 million chair endowment to the U-M Department of Biomedical Engineering, a joint department that spans both engineering and medicine. The William and Valerie Hall Chair of Biomedical Engineering will fund ongoing research in areas like cancer treatment and tissue engineering. Hall hopes it will also spark conversations that will take students out of their comfort zones and get them working across disciplines to tackle the challenges that will define the future. 

“In my experience, innovation happens when you put business leaders and scientists in the same room and get them to talk to each other,” Hall said. “That’s why I think joint departments like Biomedical Engineering are so important. We need people who can work across the boundaries of science, engineering, medicine and business more easily than in the past.”

It started with Sputnik

 

Crossing boundaries has been a prominent feature of Hall’s own career, the roots of which he can trace all the way back to a fateful evening in 1957, when he saw Sputnik streak through the dark sky over his mother’s back yard. Though he was only 12 years old, Hall says he saw his future in the Soviet satellite.

“I can still remember the odd mix of amazement and fear that Sputnik stirred in me,” he said. “It was incredible that people could put something into orbit. But back in 1957, it was also very unnerving that the Soviets had put this thing over our heads. I saw that and realized that I’d better go into aerospace engineering.”

Four years later, he turned up on the U-M engineering campus with a $150 scholarship (enough to cover his freshman tuition) and a job as a busboy in the West Quad dining hall. By the time he was a junior, he was already working in the aerospace industry, doing trajectory work for NASA’s Apollo program. His first brush with business came soon after when he signed up for a statistics class at the Ross School of Business. It was a course that changed the trajectory of his life.

“I fell in love with statistics, with commerce, with the power of business to bring technology from the laboratory to the marketplace,” he said. “I wanted to instill that passion into others, to teach students that jobs are important not just to make money but to add value to society. That’s why I started teaching and that’s why I came back to it.”

Hall taught from 1970 until 1980, when he left his professorship for a stint in the automotive components industry followed by a string of successful startups in capital goods and aerospace systems. Over the years, he has maintained an active relationship with the university, holding seats on a variety of U-M boards including the Zell Lurie Entrepreneurship Center, the College of Engineering Center for Entrepreneurship, the University of Michigan Health System’s Depression Center, the Life Science Institute and a co-chair position with the Victors for Michigan capital campaign in Chicago.

“The luckiest Wolverine alive”

Bill Hall has been many things since that first day of class in 1961: a student, professor, engineer, CEO, founder, venture capitalist, husband, father, and philanthropist. But he’ll tell you that there are only two labels that span the entire 55 years between then and now. First: a Wolverine. And second: Lucky. Very lucky.

“I consider myself to be the luckiest Wolverine alive,” he said. “I don’t know how else to describe it. I got to be a college professor, I worked in the aerospace industry when it was booming, I started and grew a bunch of companies, creating jobs and satisfied shareholders. And today, I get to work with students at the University of Michigan who are getting ready to lead us into the future. And if I hadn’t been fortunate enough to get a scholarship to U-M, none of this would have happened.”

Through his teaching and his gift to the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Hall says he hopes to create similar opportunities for the millennial generation and beyond. His involvement with U-M has convinced him that, while the world they inherit is even more challenging than the world he grew up in, it’s just as full of possibility and promise.

“I tell skeptics: go to a classroom and meet the millennials, watch how they think and see for yourself what a bright future we have,” he said. “I have full optimism that the next generation is going to solve whatever problems are put in front of them, and I can’t tell you what an honor it is to play a small role in it.”

This entry was posted by yjmoon on Wednesday, October 14th, 2015 at 10:43 am and is filed under .

Lung simulation could improve respiratory failure treatment

Contact: Gabe Cherry, 734-763-2937, gcherry@umich.edu

ANN ARBOR – The first computer model that predicts the flow of liquid medication in human lungs is providing new insight into the treatment of respiratory failure. University of Michigan researchers are using the new technology to uncover why a treatment that saves the lives of premature babies has been largely unsuccessful in adults.

Acute respiratory distress syndrome, or ARDS, is a sudden failure of the respiratory system that kills 74,000 adults each year in the United States alone. It’s most common among the critically ill or those with major lung damage. The treatment, called surfactant replacement therapy, delivers a liquid medication into the lungs that makes it easier for them to inflate. It’s widely used to treat a similar condition in premature babies, who sometimes lack the surfactant necessary to expand their lungs. The treatment has contributed to a dramatic reduction in mortality rates of premature babies. But attempts to use it in adults have been largely unsuccessful despite nearly two decades of research.

“The medication needs to work its way from the trachea to tiny air sacs deep inside the lungs to be effective,” explains James Grotberg, the leader of the team that developed the technology. Grotberg is a professor of biomedical engineering in the U-M College of Engineering and a professor of surgery at the U-M Medical School. “This therapy is relatively straightforward in babies but more complex in adults, mostly because adult lungs are much bigger.”

A 1997 clinical study that administered the treatment to adults showed promise, cutting the mortality rate among those who received the medication from 40 percent to 20 percent. But two larger studies in 2004 and 2011 showed no improvement in mortality. As a result, the treatment is not used on adults today.

“Everyone walked away from this therapy after the 2011 study failed,” Grotberg said. “Adult surfactant replacement therapy has been a great disappointment and puzzlement to the community ever since. But now, we think we’ve discovered why the later studies didn’t improve mortality.”

Grotberg’s team brought an engineering perspective to the puzzle, building a mathematical computer model that provided a three-dimensional image of exactly how the surfactant medication flowed through the lungs of patients in all three trials. When the simulations were complete, the team quickly saw one detail that set the successful 1997 study apart: a less concentrated version of the medication.

“The medication used in the 1997 study delivered the same dose of medication as the later studies, but it was dissolved in up to four times more liquid,” Grotberg said. “The computer simulations showed that this additional liquid helped the medication reach the tiny air sacs in the lungs. So a possible route for success is to go back to the larger volumes used in the successful 1997 study.”

The simulations showed that the thickness, or viscosity, of the liquid matters too. This is a critical variable, since different types of surfactant medication can be manufactured with different viscosities. The team believes that doctors may be able to use the modeling technology to optimize the medication for individual patients. They could run personalized simulations of individual patients’ lungs, then alter variables like volume, viscosity, patient position and flow rate of the medication to account for different lung sizes and medical conditions.

“We created this model to be simple, so that it can provide results quickly without the need for specialized equipment,” said Cheng-Feng Tai, a former postdoctoral student in Grotberg’s lab who wrote the initial code for the model. “A physician could run it on a standard desktop PC to create a customized simulation for a critically ill patient in about an hour.”

Tai accomplished this by creating a model that provides similar results to traditional fluid dynamics modeling, but requires far less time and processing power.

“Fully three-dimensional fluid dynamics models require a specialized supercomputer and days or weeks of processing time,” he said. “But critically ill hospital patients don’t have that kind of time. So we streamlined the code to produce a simulated three-dimensional image with much less computing power and processing time.”

Grotberg says the modeling technology could be used in other types of research as well, including more precise targeting of other medications in the lungs and projecting results from animal research to humans.

The findings are detailed in a new paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The paper is titled “A three dimensional model of surfactant replacement therapy.” Funding was provided by the National Institutes of Health (grant numbers HL85156 and HL84370). The team also received assistance with anatomy, physiology, and further code development and support from M. Filoche, CNRS research director at Ecole Polytechnique and the French Agence Nationale de la Recherche.

More information:

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Tuesday, July 21st, 2015 at 12:11 pm and is filed under .

Lung simulation could improve respiratory failure treatment

Contact: Gabe Cherry, 734-763-2937, gcherry@umich.edu

ANN ARBOR – The first computer model that predicts the flow of liquid medication in human lungs is providing new insight into the treatment of respiratory failure. University of Michigan researchers are using the new technology to uncover why a treatment that saves the lives of premature babies has been largely unsuccessful in adults.

Acute respiratory distress syndrome, or ARDS, is a sudden failure of the respiratory system that kills 74,000 adults each year in the United States alone. It’s most common among the critically ill or those with major lung damage. The treatment, called surfactant replacement therapy, delivers a liquid medication into the lungs that makes it easier for them to inflate. It’s widely used to treat a similar condition in premature babies, who sometimes lack the surfactant necessary to expand their lungs. The treatment has contributed to a dramatic reduction in mortality rates of premature babies. But attempts to use it in adults have been largely unsuccessful despite nearly two decades of research.

“The medication needs to work its way from the trachea to tiny air sacs deep inside the lungs to be effective,” explains James Grotberg, the leader of the team that developed the technology. Grotberg is a professor of biomedical engineering in the U-M College of Engineering and a professor of surgery at the U-M Medical School. “This therapy is relatively straightforward in babies but more complex in adults, mostly because adult lungs are much bigger.”

A 1997 clinical study that administered the treatment to adults showed promise, cutting the mortality rate among those who received the medication from 40 percent to 20 percent. But two larger studies in 2004 and 2011 showed no improvement in mortality. As a result, the treatment is not used on adults today.

“Everyone walked away from this therapy after the 2011 study failed,” Grotberg said. “Adult surfactant replacement therapy has been a great disappointment and puzzlement to the community ever since. But now, we think we’ve discovered why the later studies didn’t improve mortality.”

Grotberg’s team brought an engineering perspective to the puzzle, building a mathematical computer model that provided a three-dimensional image of exactly how the surfactant medication flowed through the lungs of patients in all three trials. When the simulations were complete, the team quickly saw one detail that set the successful 1997 study apart: a less concentrated version of the medication.

“The medication used in the 1997 study delivered the same dose of medication as the later studies, but it was dissolved in up to four times more liquid,” Grotberg said. “The computer simulations showed that this additional liquid helped the medication reach the tiny air sacs in the lungs. So a possible route for success is to go back to the larger volumes used in the successful 1997 study.”

The simulations showed that the thickness, or viscosity, of the liquid matters too. This is a critical variable, since different types of surfactant medication can be manufactured with different viscosities. The team believes that doctors may be able to use the modeling technology to optimize the medication for individual patients. They could run personalized simulations of individual patients’ lungs, then alter variables like volume, viscosity, patient position and flow rate of the medication to account for different lung sizes and medical conditions.

“We created this model to be simple, so that it can provide results quickly without the need for specialized equipment,” said Cheng-Feng Tai, a former postdoctoral student in Grotberg’s lab who wrote the initial code for the model. “A physician could run it on a standard desktop PC to create a customized simulation for a critically ill patient in about an hour.”

Tai accomplished this by creating a model that provides similar results to traditional fluid dynamics modeling, but requires far less time and processing power.

“Fully three-dimensional fluid dynamics models require a specialized supercomputer and days or weeks of processing time,” he said. “But critically ill hospital patients don’t have that kind of time. So we streamlined the code to produce a simulated three-dimensional image with much less computing power and processing time.”

Grotberg says the modeling technology could be used in other types of research as well, including more precise targeting of other medications in the lungs and projecting results from animal research to humans.

The findings are detailed in a new paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The paper is titled “A three dimensional model of surfactant replacement therapy.” Funding was provided by the National Institutes of Health (grant numbers HL85156 and HL84370). The team also received assistance with anatomy, physiology, and further code development and support from M. Filoche, CNRS research director at Ecole Polytechnique and the French Agence Nationale de la Recherche.

More information:

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This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Tuesday, July 21st, 2015 at 12:06 pm and is filed under All News, Spotlight.

Lung simulation could improve respiratory failure treatment

Contact: Gabe Cherry, 734-763-2937, gcherry@umich.edu

ANN ARBOR – The first computer model that predicts the flow of liquid medication in human lungs is providing new insight into the treatment of respiratory failure. University of Michigan researchers are using the new technology to uncover why a treatment that saves the lives of premature babies has been largely unsuccessful in adults.

Acute respiratory distress syndrome, or ARDS, is a sudden failure of the respiratory system that kills 74,000 adults each year in the United States alone. It’s most common among the critically ill or those with major lung damage. The treatment, called surfactant replacement therapy, delivers a liquid medication into the lungs that makes it easier for them to inflate. It’s widely used to treat a similar condition in premature babies, who sometimes lack the surfactant necessary to expand their lungs. The treatment has contributed to a dramatic reduction in mortality rates of premature babies. But attempts to use it in adults have been largely unsuccessful despite nearly two decades of research.

“The medication needs to work its way from the trachea to tiny air sacs deep inside the lungs to be effective,” explains James Grotberg, the leader of the team that developed the technology. Grotberg is a professor of biomedical engineering in the U-M College of Engineering and a professor of surgery at the U-M Medical School. “This therapy is relatively straightforward in babies but more complex in adults, mostly because adult lungs are much bigger.”

A 1997 clinical study that administered the treatment to adults showed promise, cutting the mortality rate among those who received the medication from 40 percent to 20 percent. But two larger studies in 2004 and 2011 showed no improvement in mortality. As a result, the treatment is not used on adults today.

“Everyone walked away from this therapy after the 2011 study failed,” Grotberg said. “Adult surfactant replacement therapy has been a great disappointment and puzzlement to the community ever since. But now, we think we’ve discovered why the later studies didn’t improve mortality.”

Grotberg’s team brought an engineering perspective to the puzzle, building a mathematical computer model that provided a three-dimensional image of exactly how the surfactant medication flowed through the lungs of patients in all three trials. When the simulations were complete, the team quickly saw one detail that set the successful 1997 study apart: a less concentrated version of the medication.

“The medication used in the 1997 study delivered the same dose of medication as the later studies, but it was dissolved in up to four times more liquid,” Grotberg said. “The computer simulations showed that this additional liquid helped the medication reach the tiny air sacs in the lungs. So a possible route for success is to go back to the larger volumes used in the successful 1997 study.”

The simulations showed that the thickness, or viscosity, of the liquid matters too. This is a critical variable, since different types of surfactant medication can be manufactured with different viscosities. The team believes that doctors may be able to use the modeling technology to optimize the medication for individual patients. They could run personalized simulations of individual patients’ lungs, then alter variables like volume, viscosity, patient position and flow rate of the medication to account for different lung sizes and medical conditions.

“We created this model to be simple, so that it can provide results quickly without the need for specialized equipment,” said Cheng-Feng Tai, a former postdoctoral student in Grotberg’s lab who wrote the initial code for the model. “A physician could run it on a standard desktop PC to create a customized simulation for a critically ill patient in about an hour.”

Tai accomplished this by creating a model that provides similar results to traditional fluid dynamics modeling, but requires far less time and processing power.

“Fully three-dimensional fluid dynamics models require a specialized supercomputer and days or weeks of processing time,” he said. “But critically ill hospital patients don’t have that kind of time. So we streamlined the code to produce a simulated three-dimensional image with much less computing power and processing time.”

Grotberg says the modeling technology could be used in other types of research as well, including more precise targeting of other medications in the lungs and projecting results from animal research to humans.

The findings are detailed in a new paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The paper is titled “A three dimensional model of surfactant replacement therapy.” Funding was provided by the National Institutes of Health (grant numbers HL85156 and HL84370). The team also received assistance with anatomy, physiology, and further code development and support from M. Filoche, CNRS research director at Ecole Polytechnique and the French Agence Nationale de la Recherche.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Tuesday, July 21st, 2015 at 12:06 pm and is filed under .

banner-lung

banner-lung

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Tuesday, July 21st, 2015 at 12:02 pm and is filed under .

Lung simulation could improve respiratory failure treatment

ANN ARBOR – The first computer model that predicts the flow of liquid medication in human lungs is providing new insight into the treatment of respiratory failure. University of Michigan researchers are using the new technology to uncover why a treatment that saves the lives of premature babies has been largely unsuccessful in adults.

Acute respiratory distress syndrome, or ARDS, is a sudden failure of the respiratory system that kills 74,000 adults each year in the United States alone. It’s most common among the critically ill or those with major lung damage. The treatment, called surfactant replacement therapy, delivers a liquid medication into the lungs that makes it easier for them to inflate. It’s widely used to treat a similar condition in premature babies, who sometimes lack the surfactant necessary to expand their lungs. The treatment has contributed to a dramatic reduction in mortality rates of premature babies. But attempts to use it in adults have been largely unsuccessful despite nearly two decades of research.

“The medication needs to work its way from the trachea to tiny air sacs deep inside the lungs to be effective,” explains James Grotberg, the leader of the team that developed the technology. Grotberg is a professor of biomedical engineering in the U-M College of Engineering and a professor of surgery at the U-M Medical School. “This therapy is relatively straightforward in babies but more complex in adults, mostly because adult lungs are much bigger.”

A 1997 clinical study that administered the treatment to adults showed promise, cutting the mortality rate among those who received the medication from 40 percent to 20 percent. But two larger studies in 2004 and 2011 showed no improvement in mortality. As a result, the treatment is not used on adults today.

“Everyone walked away from this therapy after the 2011 study failed,” Grotberg said. “Adult surfactant replacement therapy has been a great disappointment and puzzlement to the community ever since. But now, we think we’ve discovered why the later studies didn’t improve mortality.”

Grotberg’s team brought an engineering perspective to the puzzle, building a mathematical computer model that provided a three-dimensional image of exactly how the surfactant medication flowed through the lungs of patients in all three trials. When the simulations were complete, the team quickly saw one detail that set the successful 1997 study apart: a less concentrated version of the medication.

“The medication used in the 1997 study delivered the same dose of medication as the later studies, but it was dissolved in up to four times more liquid,” Grotberg said. “The computer simulations showed that this additional liquid helped the medication reach the tiny air sacs in the lungs. So a possible route for success is to go back to the larger volumes used in the successful 1997 study.”

The simulations showed that the thickness, or viscosity, of the liquid matters too. This is a critical variable, since different types of surfactant medication can be manufactured with different viscosities. The team believes that doctors may be able to use the modeling technology to optimize the medication for individual patients. They could run personalized simulations of individual patients’ lungs, then alter variables like volume, viscosity, patient position and flow rate of the medication to account for different lung sizes and medical conditions.

“We created this model to be simple, so that it can provide results quickly without the need for specialized equipment,” said Cheng-Feng Tai, a former postdoctoral student in Grotberg’s lab who wrote the initial code for the model. “A physician could run it on a standard desktop PC to create a customized simulation for a critically ill patient in about an hour.”

Tai accomplished this by creating a model that provides similar results to traditional fluid dynamics modeling, but requires far less time and processing power.

“Fully three-dimensional fluid dynamics models require a specialized supercomputer and days or weeks of processing time,” he said. “But critically ill hospital patients don’t have that kind of time. So we streamlined the code to produce a simulated three-dimensional image with much less computing power and processing time.”

Grotberg says the modeling technology could be used in other types of research as well, including more precise targeting of other medications in the lungs and projecting results from animal research to humans.

The findings are detailed in a new paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The paper is titled “A three dimensional model of surfactant replacement therapy.” Funding was provided by the National Institutes of Health (grant numbers HL85156 and HL84370). The team also received assistance with anatomy, physiology, and further code development and support from M. Filoche, CNRS research director at Ecole Polytechnique and the French Agence Nationale de la Recherche.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Tuesday, July 21st, 2015 at 11:02 am and is filed under .

Lung simulation could improve respiratory failure treatment

ANN ARBOR – The first computer model that predicts the flow of liquid medication in human lungs is providing new insight into the treatment of respiratory failure. University of Michigan researchers are using the new technology to uncover why a treatment that saves the lives of premature babies has been largely unsuccessful in adults.

Acute respiratory distress syndrome, or ARDS, is a sudden failure of the respiratory system that kills 74,000 adults each year in the United States alone. It’s most common among the critically ill or those with major lung damage. The treatment, called surfactant replacement therapy, delivers a liquid medication into the lungs that makes it easier for them to inflate. It’s widely used to treat a similar condition in premature babies, who sometimes lack the surfactant necessary to expand their lungs. The treatment has contributed to a dramatic reduction in mortality rates of premature babies. But attempts to use it in adults have been largely unsuccessful despite nearly two decades of research.

“The medication needs to work its way from the trachea to tiny air sacs deep inside the lungs to be effective,” explains James Grotberg, the leader of the team that developed the technology. Grotberg is a professor of biomedical engineering in the U-M College of Engineering and a professor of surgery at the U-M Medical School. “This therapy is relatively straightforward in babies but more complex in adults, mostly because adult lungs are much bigger.”

A 1997 clinical study that administered the treatment to adults showed promise, cutting the mortality rate among those who received the medication from 40 percent to 20 percent. But two larger studies in 2004 and 2011 showed no improvement in mortality. As a result, the treatment is not used on adults today.

“Everyone walked away from this therapy after the 2011 study failed,” Grotberg said. “Adult surfactant replacement therapy has been a great disappointment and puzzlement to the community ever since. But now, we think we’ve discovered why the later studies didn’t improve mortality.”

Grotberg’s team brought an engineering perspective to the puzzle, building a mathematical computer model that provided a three-dimensional image of exactly how the surfactant medication flowed through the lungs of patients in all three trials. When the simulations were complete, the team quickly saw one detail that set the successful 1997 study apart: a less concentrated version of the medication.

“The medication used in the 1997 study delivered the same dose of medication as the later studies, but it was dissolved in up to four times more liquid,” Grotberg said. “The computer simulations showed that this additional liquid helped the medication reach the tiny air sacs in the lungs. So a possible route for success is to go back to the larger volumes used in the successful 1997 study.”

The simulations showed that the thickness, or viscosity, of the liquid matters too. This is a critical variable, since different types of surfactant medication can be manufactured with different viscosities. The team believes that doctors may be able to use the modeling technology to optimize the medication for individual patients. They could run personalized simulations of individual patients’ lungs, then alter variables like volume, viscosity, patient position and flow rate of the medication to account for different lung sizes and medical conditions.

“We created this model to be simple, so that it can provide results quickly without the need for specialized equipment,” said Cheng-Feng Tai, a former postdoctoral student in Grotberg’s lab who wrote the initial code for the model. “A physician could run it on a standard desktop PC to create a customized simulation for a critically ill patient in about an hour.”

Tai accomplished this by creating a model that provides similar results to traditional fluid dynamics modeling, but requires far less time and processing power.

“Fully three-dimensional fluid dynamics models require a specialized supercomputer and days or weeks of processing time,” he said. “But critically ill hospital patients don’t have that kind of time. So we streamlined the code to produce a simulated three-dimensional image with much less computing power and processing time.”

Grotberg says the modeling technology could be used in other types of research as well, including more precise targeting of other medications in the lungs and projecting results from animal research to humans.

The findings are detailed in a new paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The paper is titled “A three dimensional model of surfactant replacement therapy.” Funding was provided by the National Institutes of Health (grant numbers HL85156 and HL84370). The team also received assistance with anatomy, physiology, and further code development and support from M. Filoche, CNRS research director at Ecole Polytechnique and the French Agence Nationale de la Recherche.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Tuesday, July 21st, 2015 at 11:02 am and is filed under .

Lung simulation could improve respiratory failure treatment

ANN ARBOR – The first computer model that predicts the flow of liquid medication in human lungs is providing new insight into the treatment of respiratory failure. University of Michigan researchers are using the new technology to uncover why a treatment that saves the lives of premature babies has been largely unsuccessful in adults.

Acute respiratory distress syndrome, or ARDS, is a sudden failure of the respiratory system that kills 74,000 adults each year in the United States alone. It’s most common among the critically ill or those with major lung damage. The treatment, called surfactant replacement therapy, delivers a liquid medication into the lungs that makes it easier for them to inflate. It’s widely used to treat a similar condition in premature babies, who sometimes lack the surfactant necessary to expand their lungs. The treatment has contributed to a dramatic reduction in mortality rates of premature babies. But attempts to use it in adults have been largely unsuccessful despite nearly two decades of research.

“The medication needs to work its way from the trachea to tiny air sacs deep inside the lungs to be effective,” explains James Grotberg, the leader of the team that developed the technology. Grotberg is a professor of biomedical engineering in the U-M College of Engineering and a professor of surgery at the U-M Medical School. “This therapy is relatively straightforward in babies but more complex in adults, mostly because adult lungs are much bigger.”

A 1997 clinical study that administered the treatment to adults showed promise, cutting the mortality rate among those who received the medication from 40 percent to 20 percent. But two larger studies in 2004 and 2011 showed no improvement in mortality. As a result, the treatment is not used on adults today.

“Everyone walked away from this therapy after the 2011 study failed,” Grotberg said. “Adult surfactant replacement therapy has been a great disappointment and puzzlement to the community ever since. But now, we think we’ve discovered why the later studies didn’t improve mortality.”

Grotberg’s team brought an engineering perspective to the puzzle, building a mathematical computer model that provided a three-dimensional image of exactly how the surfactant medication flowed through the lungs of patients in all three trials. When the simulations were complete, the team quickly saw one detail that set the successful 1997 study apart: a less concentrated version of the medication.

“The medication used in the 1997 study delivered the same dose of medication as the later studies, but it was dissolved in up to four times more liquid,” Grotberg said. “The computer simulations showed that this additional liquid helped the medication reach the tiny air sacs in the lungs. So a possible route for success is to go back to the larger volumes used in the successful 1997 study.”

The simulations showed that the thickness, or viscosity, of the liquid matters too. This is a critical variable, since different types of surfactant medication can be manufactured with different viscosities. The team believes that doctors may be able to use the modeling technology to optimize the medication for individual patients. They could run personalized simulations of individual patients’ lungs, then alter variables like volume, viscosity, patient position and flow rate of the medication to account for different lung sizes and medical conditions.

“We created this model to be simple, so that it can provide results quickly without the need for specialized equipment,” said Cheng-Feng Tai, a former postdoctoral student in Grotberg’s lab who wrote the initial code for the model. “A physician could run it on a standard desktop PC to create a customized simulation for a critically ill patient in about an hour.”

Tai accomplished this by creating a model that provides similar results to traditional fluid dynamics modeling, but requires far less time and processing power.

“Fully three-dimensional fluid dynamics models require a specialized supercomputer and days or weeks of processing time,” he said. “But critically ill hospital patients don’t have that kind of time. So we streamlined the code to produce a simulated three-dimensional image with much less computing power and processing time.”

Grotberg says the modeling technology could be used in other types of research as well, including more precise targeting of other medications in the lungs and projecting results from animal research to humans.

The findings are detailed in a new paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The paper is titled “A three dimensional model of surfactant replacement therapy.” Funding was provided by the National Institutes of Health (grant numbers HL85156 and HL84370). The team also received assistance with anatomy, physiology, and further code development and support from M. Filoche, CNRS research director at Ecole Polytechnique and the French Agence Nationale de la Recherche.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Tuesday, July 21st, 2015 at 10:50 am and is filed under .

What makes cancer cells spread? New device offers clues

From: Nicole Fawcett
U-M Health System

Why do some cancer cells break away from a tumor and travel to distant parts of the body? A team of oncologists and engineers from the University of Michigan teamed up to help understand this crucial question.

In a paper published in Scientific Reports, researchers describe a new device that is able to sort cells based on their ability to move. The researchers were then able to take the sorted cells that were highly mobile and begin to analyze them on a molecular level.

“People have used microfluidic devices before to look at the movement of cells, but the story typically ended there. We developed a device that separates the mobile cells and allows us to determine the gene expression of those highly mobile cells in comparison to the less mobile ones. By studying these differences in live cells, we hope to gain an understanding of what makes some cancer cells able to spread to other areas of the body,” says study author Steven G. Allen, an M.D./Ph.D. student in the University of Michigan Medical School’s Medical Scientist Training Program.

The highly mobile cells are believed to be the more aggressive cells that cause metastases, the spread of cancer through the body. By understanding how those cells tick, researchers believe they can develop targeted treatments to try to prevent metastasis.

“Using advanced micro-fabrication technologies, we can create micro-structures comparable to the size of cells. Living cells can then be manipulated on-chip at single-cell resolution. Using this technology, we can investigate the differences among individual cancer cells, while conventional approaches can study only the collective average behaviors,” says study co-lead author Yu-Chih Chen, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

The differences in individual cancer cells are a key aspect of how cancer evolves, becomes resistant to current therapies or recurs.

“A primary tumor is not what kills patients. Metastases are what kill patients. Understanding which cells are likely to metastasize can help us direct more targeted therapies to patients,” says study author Sofia D. Merajver, M.D., Ph.D., scientific director of the breast oncology program at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center and a professor at the U-M Medical School and U-M School of Public Health.
The researchers believe this type of device might some day help doctors understand an individual patient’s cancer. Which cells in this patient’s tumor are really causing havoc? Is there a large population of aggressive cells? Are there specific markers or variants on those individual cells that could be targeted with treatment?

“This work demonstrates an elegant approach to the study of cancer cell metastasis by combining expertise in engineering and biology,” says study author Euisik Yoon, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science and of biomedical engineering and director of the Lurie Nanofabrication Facility.

“In past decades, engineers have developed biological tools with better resolution, higher sensitivity, selectivity and higher throughput,” Yoon adds. “However, without compelling applications, these engineering tools have little practical relevance. The goal of our lab is to develop tools that can be widely disseminated to the biology community to eventually impact clinical care for patients.”
In this work, extensive studies were performed on cell lines representing various types of cancer. The new device was designed to trace how cells move, sorting individual cells by their movement. It has a series of choke points that mimic the lymphatic systems in which cancer cells typically travel. Unlike other similar devices, in this case the captured and sorted cells can be harvested live for further study and analysis.
In a test using aggressive metastatic breast cancer cells, the researchers were able to sort the cells based on their motion, collect the sorted cells and send them through the device again. The cells maintained the same highly mobile characteristic upon repeated testing. The researchers also found that the more mobile cells had the characteristics and appearance under the microscope of metastatic cells and expressed significantly higher levels of markers associated with metastatic cancer.

“Understanding specific differences that lead some cancer cells to leave the primary tumor and seed metastases is of great benefit to develop and test anti-metastatic strategies,” Merajver says.
The device needs further testing and validation before it can begin to influence clinical care. Patients seeking more information about their options for cancer treatment can call the U-M Cancer AnswerLine at 800-865-1125.

Funding for the research is provided by the U.S. Department of Defense grant W81XWH-12-1-0325; National Institutes of Health grants R21 CA17585701, F30 CA173910-01A1; University of Michigan Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship; Breast Cancer Research Foundation; Avon Foundation; Metavivor Foundation

Article from: Michigan Engineering

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, June 17th, 2015 at 10:51 am and is filed under .

What makes cancer cells spread? New device offers clues

From: Nicole Fawcett
U-M Health System

Why do some cancer cells break away from a tumor and travel to distant parts of the body? A team of oncologists and engineers from the University of Michigan teamed up to help understand this crucial question.

In a paper published in Scientific Reports, researchers describe a new device that is able to sort cells based on their ability to move. The researchers were then able to take the sorted cells that were highly mobile and begin to analyze them on a molecular level.

“People have used microfluidic devices before to look at the movement of cells, but the story typically ended there. We developed a device that separates the mobile cells and allows us to determine the gene expression of those highly mobile cells in comparison to the less mobile ones. By studying these differences in live cells, we hope to gain an understanding of what makes some cancer cells able to spread to other areas of the body,” says study author Steven G. Allen, an M.D./Ph.D. student in the University of Michigan Medical School’s Medical Scientist Training Program.

The highly mobile cells are believed to be the more aggressive cells that cause metastases, the spread of cancer through the body. By understanding how those cells tick, researchers believe they can develop targeted treatments to try to prevent metastasis.

“Using advanced micro-fabrication technologies, we can create micro-structures comparable to the size of cells. Living cells can then be manipulated on-chip at single-cell resolution. Using this technology, we can investigate the differences among individual cancer cells, while conventional approaches can study only the collective average behaviors,” says study co-lead author Yu-Chih Chen, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

The differences in individual cancer cells are a key aspect of how cancer evolves, becomes resistant to current therapies or recurs.

“A primary tumor is not what kills patients. Metastases are what kill patients. Understanding which cells are likely to metastasize can help us direct more targeted therapies to patients,” says study author Sofia D. Merajver, M.D., Ph.D., scientific director of the breast oncology program at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center and a professor at the U-M Medical School and U-M School of Public Health.
The researchers believe this type of device might some day help doctors understand an individual patient’s cancer. Which cells in this patient’s tumor are really causing havoc? Is there a large population of aggressive cells? Are there specific markers or variants on those individual cells that could be targeted with treatment?

“This work demonstrates an elegant approach to the study of cancer cell metastasis by combining expertise in engineering and biology,” says study author Euisik Yoon, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science and of biomedical engineering and director of the Lurie Nanofabrication Facility.

“In past decades, engineers have developed biological tools with better resolution, higher sensitivity, selectivity and higher throughput,” Yoon adds. “However, without compelling applications, these engineering tools have little practical relevance. The goal of our lab is to develop tools that can be widely disseminated to the biology community to eventually impact clinical care for patients.”
In this work, extensive studies were performed on cell lines representing various types of cancer. The new device was designed to trace how cells move, sorting individual cells by their movement. It has a series of choke points that mimic the lymphatic systems in which cancer cells typically travel. Unlike other similar devices, in this case the captured and sorted cells can be harvested live for further study and analysis.
In a test using aggressive metastatic breast cancer cells, the researchers were able to sort the cells based on their motion, collect the sorted cells and send them through the device again. The cells maintained the same highly mobile characteristic upon repeated testing. The researchers also found that the more mobile cells had the characteristics and appearance under the microscope of metastatic cells and expressed significantly higher levels of markers associated with metastatic cancer.

“Understanding specific differences that lead some cancer cells to leave the primary tumor and seed metastases is of great benefit to develop and test anti-metastatic strategies,” Merajver says.
The device needs further testing and validation before it can begin to influence clinical care. Patients seeking more information about their options for cancer treatment can call the U-M Cancer AnswerLine at 800-865-1125.

Funding for the research is provided by the U.S. Department of Defense grant W81XWH-12-1-0325; National Institutes of Health grants R21 CA17585701, F30 CA173910-01A1; University of Michigan Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship; Breast Cancer Research Foundation; Avon Foundation; Metavivor Foundation

Article from: Michigan Engineering

Tags: , , ,

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, June 17th, 2015 at 10:49 am and is filed under All News, Faculty News.

What makes cancer cells spread? New device offers clues

From: Nicole Fawcett
U-M Health System

Why do some cancer cells break away from a tumor and travel to distant parts of the body? A team of oncologists and engineers from the University of Michigan teamed up to help understand this crucial question.

In a paper published in Scientific Reports, researchers describe a new device that is able to sort cells based on their ability to move. The researchers were then able to take the sorted cells that were highly mobile and begin to analyze them on a molecular level.

“People have used microfluidic devices before to look at the movement of cells, but the story typically ended there. We developed a device that separates the mobile cells and allows us to determine the gene expression of those highly mobile cells in comparison to the less mobile ones. By studying these differences in live cells, we hope to gain an understanding of what makes some cancer cells able to spread to other areas of the body,” says study author Steven G. Allen, an M.D./Ph.D. student in the University of Michigan Medical School’s Medical Scientist Training Program.

The highly mobile cells are believed to be the more aggressive cells that cause metastases, the spread of cancer through the body. By understanding how those cells tick, researchers believe they can develop targeted treatments to try to prevent metastasis.

“Using advanced micro-fabrication technologies, we can create micro-structures comparable to the size of cells. Living cells can then be manipulated on-chip at single-cell resolution. Using this technology, we can investigate the differences among individual cancer cells, while conventional approaches can study only the collective average behaviors,” says study co-lead author Yu-Chih Chen, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

The differences in individual cancer cells are a key aspect of how cancer evolves, becomes resistant to current therapies or recurs.

“A primary tumor is not what kills patients. Metastases are what kill patients. Understanding which cells are likely to metastasize can help us direct more targeted therapies to patients,” says study author Sofia D. Merajver, M.D., Ph.D., scientific director of the breast oncology program at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center and a professor at the U-M Medical School and U-M School of Public Health.
The researchers believe this type of device might some day help doctors understand an individual patient’s cancer. Which cells in this patient’s tumor are really causing havoc? Is there a large population of aggressive cells? Are there specific markers or variants on those individual cells that could be targeted with treatment?

“This work demonstrates an elegant approach to the study of cancer cell metastasis by combining expertise in engineering and biology,” says study author Euisik Yoon, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science and of biomedical engineering and director of the Lurie Nanofabrication Facility.

“In past decades, engineers have developed biological tools with better resolution, higher sensitivity, selectivity and higher throughput,” Yoon adds. “However, without compelling applications, these engineering tools have little practical relevance. The goal of our lab is to develop tools that can be widely disseminated to the biology community to eventually impact clinical care for patients.”
In this work, extensive studies were performed on cell lines representing various types of cancer. The new device was designed to trace how cells move, sorting individual cells by their movement. It has a series of choke points that mimic the lymphatic systems in which cancer cells typically travel. Unlike other similar devices, in this case the captured and sorted cells can be harvested live for further study and analysis.
In a test using aggressive metastatic breast cancer cells, the researchers were able to sort the cells based on their motion, collect the sorted cells and send them through the device again. The cells maintained the same highly mobile characteristic upon repeated testing. The researchers also found that the more mobile cells had the characteristics and appearance under the microscope of metastatic cells and expressed significantly higher levels of markers associated with metastatic cancer.

“Understanding specific differences that lead some cancer cells to leave the primary tumor and seed metastases is of great benefit to develop and test anti-metastatic strategies,” Merajver says.
The device needs further testing and validation before it can begin to influence clinical care. Patients seeking more information about their options for cancer treatment can call the U-M Cancer AnswerLine at 800-865-1125.

Funding for the research is provided by the U.S. Department of Defense grant W81XWH-12-1-0325; National Institutes of Health grants R21 CA17585701, F30 CA173910-01A1; University of Michigan Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship; Breast Cancer Research Foundation; Avon Foundation; Metavivor Foundation

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, June 17th, 2015 at 10:49 am and is filed under .

What makes cancer cells spread? New device offers clues

From: Nicole Fawcett
U-M Health System

Why do some cancer cells break away from a tumor and travel to distant parts of the body? A team of oncologists and engineers from the University of Michigan teamed up to help understand this crucial question.

In a paper published in Scientific Reports, researchers describe a new device that is able to sort cells based on their ability to move. The researchers were then able to take the sorted cells that were highly mobile and begin to analyze them on a molecular level.

“People have used microfluidic devices before to look at the movement of cells, but the story typically ended there. We developed a device that separates the mobile cells and allows us to determine the gene expression of those highly mobile cells in comparison to the less mobile ones. By studying these differences in live cells, we hope to gain an understanding of what makes some cancer cells able to spread to other areas of the body,” says study author Steven G. Allen, an M.D./Ph.D. student in the University of Michigan Medical School’s Medical Scientist Training Program.

The highly mobile cells are believed to be the more aggressive cells that cause metastases, the spread of cancer through the body. By understanding how those cells tick, researchers believe they can develop targeted treatments to try to prevent metastasis.

“Using advanced micro-fabrication technologies, we can create micro-structures comparable to the size of cells. Living cells can then be manipulated on-chip at single-cell resolution. Using this technology, we can investigate the differences among individual cancer cells, while conventional approaches can study only the collective average behaviors,” says study co-lead author Yu-Chih Chen, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

The differences in individual cancer cells are a key aspect of how cancer evolves, becomes resistant to current therapies or recurs.

“A primary tumor is not what kills patients. Metastases are what kill patients. Understanding which cells are likely to metastasize can help us direct more targeted therapies to patients,” says study author Sofia D. Merajver, M.D., Ph.D., scientific director of the breast oncology program at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center and a professor at the U-M Medical School and U-M School of Public Health.
The researchers believe this type of device might some day help doctors understand an individual patient’s cancer. Which cells in this patient’s tumor are really causing havoc? Is there a large population of aggressive cells? Are there specific markers or variants on those individual cells that could be targeted with treatment?

“This work demonstrates an elegant approach to the study of cancer cell metastasis by combining expertise in engineering and biology,” says study author Euisik Yoon, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science and of biomedical engineering and director of the Lurie Nanofabrication Facility.

“In past decades, engineers have developed biological tools with better resolution, higher sensitivity, selectivity and higher throughput,” Yoon adds. “However, without compelling applications, these engineering tools have little practical relevance. The goal of our lab is to develop tools that can be widely disseminated to the biology community to eventually impact clinical care for patients.”
In this work, extensive studies were performed on cell lines representing various types of cancer. The new device was designed to trace how cells move, sorting individual cells by their movement. It has a series of choke points that mimic the lymphatic systems in which cancer cells typically travel. Unlike other similar devices, in this case the captured and sorted cells can be harvested live for further study and analysis.
In a test using aggressive metastatic breast cancer cells, the researchers were able to sort the cells based on their motion, collect the sorted cells and send them through the device again. The cells maintained the same highly mobile characteristic upon repeated testing. The researchers also found that the more mobile cells had the characteristics and appearance under the microscope of metastatic cells and expressed significantly higher levels of markers associated with metastatic cancer.

“Understanding specific differences that lead some cancer cells to leave the primary tumor and seed metastases is of great benefit to develop and test anti-metastatic strategies,” Merajver says.
The device needs further testing and validation before it can begin to influence clinical care. Patients seeking more information about their options for cancer treatment can call the U-M Cancer AnswerLine at 800-865-1125.

Funding for the research is provided by the U.S. Department of Defense grant W81XWH-12-1-0325; National Institutes of Health grants R21 CA17585701, F30 CA173910-01A1; University of Michigan Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship; Breast Cancer Research Foundation; Avon Foundation; Metavivor Foundation

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, June 17th, 2015 at 10:48 am and is filed under .

What makes cancer cells spread? New device offers clues

From: Nicole Fawcett
U-M Health System

Why do some cancer cells break away from a tumor and travel to distant parts of the body? A team of oncologists and engineers from the University of Michigan teamed up to help understand this crucial question.
In a paper published in Scientific Reports, researchers describe a new device that is able to sort cells based on their ability to move. The researchers were then able to take the sorted cells that were highly mobile and begin to analyze them on a molecular level.

“People have used microfluidic devices before to look at the movement of cells, but the story typically ended there. We developed a device that separates the mobile cells and allows us to determine the gene expression of those highly mobile cells in comparison to the less mobile ones. By studying these differences in live cells, we hope to gain an understanding of what makes some cancer cells able to spread to other areas of the body,” says study author Steven G. Allen, an M.D./Ph.D. student in the University of Michigan Medical School’s Medical Scientist Training Program.

The highly mobile cells are believed to be the more aggressive cells that cause metastases, the spread of cancer through the body. By understanding how those cells tick, researchers believe they can develop targeted treatments to try to prevent metastasis.

“Using advanced micro-fabrication technologies, we can create micro-structures comparable to the size of cells. Living cells can then be manipulated on-chip at single-cell resolution. Using this technology, we can investigate the differences among individual cancer cells, while conventional approaches can study only the collective average behaviors,” says study co-lead author Yu-Chih Chen, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

The differences in individual cancer cells are a key aspect of how cancer evolves, becomes resistant to current therapies or recurs.

“A primary tumor is not what kills patients. Metastases are what kill patients. Understanding which cells are likely to metastasize can help us direct more targeted therapies to patients,” says study author Sofia D. Merajver, M.D., Ph.D., scientific director of the breast oncology program at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center and a professor at the U-M Medical School and U-M School of Public Health.
The researchers believe this type of device might some day help doctors understand an individual patient’s cancer. Which cells in this patient’s tumor are really causing havoc? Is there a large population of aggressive cells? Are there specific markers or variants on those individual cells that could be targeted with treatment?

“This work demonstrates an elegant approach to the study of cancer cell metastasis by combining expertise in engineering and biology,” says study author Euisik Yoon, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science and of biomedical engineering and director of the Lurie Nanofabrication Facility.

“In past decades, engineers have developed biological tools with better resolution, higher sensitivity, selectivity and higher throughput,” Yoon adds. “However, without compelling applications, these engineering tools have little practical relevance. The goal of our lab is to develop tools that can be widely disseminated to the biology community to eventually impact clinical care for patients.”
In this work, extensive studies were performed on cell lines representing various types of cancer. The new device was designed to trace how cells move, sorting individual cells by their movement. It has a series of choke points that mimic the lymphatic systems in which cancer cells typically travel. Unlike other similar devices, in this case the captured and sorted cells can be harvested live for further study and analysis.
In a test using aggressive metastatic breast cancer cells, the researchers were able to sort the cells based on their motion, collect the sorted cells and send them through the device again. The cells maintained the same highly mobile characteristic upon repeated testing. The researchers also found that the more mobile cells had the characteristics and appearance under the microscope of metastatic cells and expressed significantly higher levels of markers associated with metastatic cancer.

“Understanding specific differences that lead some cancer cells to leave the primary tumor and seed metastases is of great benefit to develop and test anti-metastatic strategies,” Merajver says.
The device needs further testing and validation before it can begin to influence clinical care. Patients seeking more information about their options for cancer treatment can call the U-M Cancer AnswerLine at 800-865-1125.

Funding for the research is provided by the U.S. Department of Defense grant W81XWH-12-1-0325; National Institutes of Health grants R21 CA17585701, F30 CA173910-01A1; University of Michigan Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship; Breast Cancer Research Foundation; Avon Foundation; Metavivor Foundation

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, June 17th, 2015 at 10:46 am and is filed under .

cancer-cell

cancer-cell

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, June 17th, 2015 at 10:46 am and is filed under .

What makes cancer cells spread? New device offers clues

 

From: Nicole Fawcett
U-M Health System

Why do some cancer cells break away from a tumor and travel to distant parts of the body? A team of oncologists and engineers from the University of Michigan teamed up to help understand this crucial question.
In a paper published in Scientific Reports, researchers describe a new device that is able to sort cells based on their ability to move. The researchers were then able to take the sorted cells that were highly mobile and begin to analyze them on a molecular level.

“People have used microfluidic devices before to look at the movement of cells, but the story typically ended there. We developed a device that separates the mobile cells and allows us to determine the gene expression of those highly mobile cells in comparison to the less mobile ones. By studying these differences in live cells, we hope to gain an understanding of what makes some cancer cells able to spread to other areas of the body,” says study author Steven G. Allen, an M.D./Ph.D. student in the University of Michigan Medical School’s Medical Scientist Training Program.

The highly mobile cells are believed to be the more aggressive cells that cause metastases, the spread of cancer through the body. By understanding how those cells tick, researchers believe they can develop targeted treatments to try to prevent metastasis.

“Using advanced micro-fabrication technologies, we can create micro-structures comparable to the size of cells. Living cells can then be manipulated on-chip at single-cell resolution. Using this technology, we can investigate the differences among individual cancer cells, while conventional approaches can study only the collective average behaviors,” says study co-lead author Yu-Chih Chen, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

The differences in individual cancer cells are a key aspect of how cancer evolves, becomes resistant to current therapies or recurs.

“A primary tumor is not what kills patients. Metastases are what kill patients. Understanding which cells are likely to metastasize can help us direct more targeted therapies to patients,” says study author Sofia D. Merajver, M.D., Ph.D., scientific director of the breast oncology program at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center and a professor at the U-M Medical School and U-M School of Public Health.
The researchers believe this type of device might some day help doctors understand an individual patient’s cancer. Which cells in this patient’s tumor are really causing havoc? Is there a large population of aggressive cells? Are there specific markers or variants on those individual cells that could be targeted with treatment?

“This work demonstrates an elegant approach to the study of cancer cell metastasis by combining expertise in engineering and biology,” says study author Euisik Yoon, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science and of biomedical engineering and director of the Lurie Nanofabrication Facility.

“In past decades, engineers have developed biological tools with better resolution, higher sensitivity, selectivity and higher throughput,” Yoon adds. “However, without compelling applications, these engineering tools have little practical relevance. The goal of our lab is to develop tools that can be widely disseminated to the biology community to eventually impact clinical care for patients.”
In this work, extensive studies were performed on cell lines representing various types of cancer. The new device was designed to trace how cells move, sorting individual cells by their movement. It has a series of choke points that mimic the lymphatic systems in which cancer cells typically travel. Unlike other similar devices, in this case the captured and sorted cells can be harvested live for further study and analysis.
In a test using aggressive metastatic breast cancer cells, the researchers were able to sort the cells based on their motion, collect the sorted cells and send them through the device again. The cells maintained the same highly mobile characteristic upon repeated testing. The researchers also found that the more mobile cells had the characteristics and appearance under the microscope of metastatic cells and expressed significantly higher levels of markers associated with metastatic cancer.

“Understanding specific differences that lead some cancer cells to leave the primary tumor and seed metastases is of great benefit to develop and test anti-metastatic strategies,” Merajver says.
The device needs further testing and validation before it can begin to influence clinical care. Patients seeking more information about their options for cancer treatment can call the U-M Cancer AnswerLine at 800-865-1125.

Funding for the research is provided by the U.S. Department of Defense grant W81XWH-12-1-0325; National Institutes of Health grants R21 CA17585701, F30 CA173910-01A1; University of Michigan Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship; Breast Cancer Research Foundation; Avon Foundation; Metavivor Foundation

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, June 17th, 2015 at 10:44 am and is filed under .

cancer cell

cancer cell

cancer cell made in 3d software

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, June 17th, 2015 at 10:43 am and is filed under .

What makes cancer cells spread? New device offers clues

Why do some cancer cells break away from a tumor and travel to distant parts of the body? A team of oncologists and engineers from the University of Michigan teamed up to help understand this crucial question.
In a paper published in Scientific Reports, researchers describe a new device that is able to sort cells based on their ability to move. The researchers were then able to take the sorted cells that were highly mobile and begin to analyze them on a molecular level.

“People have used microfluidic devices before to look at the movement of cells, but the story typically ended there. We developed a device that separates the mobile cells and allows us to determine the gene expression of those highly mobile cells in comparison to the less mobile ones. By studying these differences in live cells, we hope to gain an understanding of what makes some cancer cells able to spread to other areas of the body,” says study author Steven G. Allen, an M.D./Ph.D. student in the University of Michigan Medical School’s Medical Scientist Training Program.

The highly mobile cells are believed to be the more aggressive cells that cause metastases, the spread of cancer through the body. By understanding how those cells tick, researchers believe they can develop targeted treatments to try to prevent metastasis.

“Using advanced micro-fabrication technologies, we can create micro-structures comparable to the size of cells. Living cells can then be manipulated on-chip at single-cell resolution. Using this technology, we can investigate the differences among individual cancer cells, while conventional approaches can study only the collective average behaviors,” says study co-lead author Yu-Chih Chen, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

The differences in individual cancer cells are a key aspect of how cancer evolves, becomes resistant to current therapies or recurs.

“A primary tumor is not what kills patients. Metastases are what kill patients. Understanding which cells are likely to metastasize can help us direct more targeted therapies to patients,” says study author Sofia D. Merajver, M.D., Ph.D., scientific director of the breast oncology program at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center and a professor at the U-M Medical School and U-M School of Public Health.
The researchers believe this type of device might some day help doctors understand an individual patient’s cancer. Which cells in this patient’s tumor are really causing havoc? Is there a large population of aggressive cells? Are there specific markers or variants on those individual cells that could be targeted with treatment?

“This work demonstrates an elegant approach to the study of cancer cell metastasis by combining expertise in engineering and biology,” says study author Euisik Yoon, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science and of biomedical engineering and director of the Lurie Nanofabrication Facility.

“In past decades, engineers have developed biological tools with better resolution, higher sensitivity, selectivity and higher throughput,” Yoon adds. “However, without compelling applications, these engineering tools have little practical relevance. The goal of our lab is to develop tools that can be widely disseminated to the biology community to eventually impact clinical care for patients.”
In this work, extensive studies were performed on cell lines representing various types of cancer. The new device was designed to trace how cells move, sorting individual cells by their movement. It has a series of choke points that mimic the lymphatic systems in which cancer cells typically travel. Unlike other similar devices, in this case the captured and sorted cells can be harvested live for further study and analysis.
In a test using aggressive metastatic breast cancer cells, the researchers were able to sort the cells based on their motion, collect the sorted cells and send them through the device again. The cells maintained the same highly mobile characteristic upon repeated testing. The researchers also found that the more mobile cells had the characteristics and appearance under the microscope of metastatic cells and expressed significantly higher levels of markers associated with metastatic cancer.

“Understanding specific differences that lead some cancer cells to leave the primary tumor and seed metastases is of great benefit to develop and test anti-metastatic strategies,” Merajver says.
The device needs further testing and validation before it can begin to influence clinical care. Patients seeking more information about their options for cancer treatment can call the U-M Cancer AnswerLine at 800-865-1125.

Funding for the research is provided by the U.S. Department of Defense grant W81XWH-12-1-0325; National Institutes of Health grants R21 CA17585701, F30 CA173910-01A1; University of Michigan Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship; Breast Cancer Research Foundation; Avon Foundation; Metavivor Foundation

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, June 17th, 2015 at 10:28 am and is filed under .

Heartbeat on a chip

From: Kelly O’Sullivan
MconneX

The ability to accurately test drugs and therapies for human use is a goal we desperately need to reach. Often animals are used to test drugs intended for human use, which not only puts them at risk but many times does not produce results helpful to making these remedies safer for us. At the same time drugs tested on human cells grown in a petri dish doesn’t exactly represent how those drugs will react in a living, breathing body.

Fortunately, a development made by Michigan engineers has taken a major step in drug testing by reproducing the heartbeat in a simplified gravity-driven microfluidic circuit. This new device performs operations that once required a large amount of peripheral equipment as well as a dedicated lab technician to run. Beyond that, the chip can execute multiple experiments at once as well as mimic a variety of heart rates. With the help of this microfluidic chip we could see the testing phases for new therapies drastically shortened, allowing newer, more effective medicines finding their way into patients much faster.

MichEpedia Page Link
Michigan Engineering YouTube Link

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, June 17th, 2015 at 9:50 am and is filed under .

Heartbeat on a chip

From: Kelly O’Sullivan
MconneX

The ability to accurately test drugs and therapies for human use is a goal we desperately need to reach. Often animals are used to test drugs intended for human use, which not only puts them at risk but many times does not produce results helpful to making these remedies safer for us. At the same time drugs tested on human cells grown in a petri dish doesn’t exactly represent how those drugs will react in a living, breathing body.

Fortunately, a development made by Michigan engineers has taken a major step in drug testing by reproducing the heartbeat in a simplified gravity-driven microfluidic circuit. This new device performs operations that once required a large amount of peripheral equipment as well as a dedicated lab technician to run. Beyond that, the chip can execute multiple experiments at once as well as mimic a variety of heart rates. With the help of this microfluidic chip we could see the testing phases for new therapies drastically shortened, allowing newer, more effective medicines finding their way into patients much faster.

MichEpedia Page Link
Michigan Engineering YouTube Link

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, June 17th, 2015 at 9:49 am and is filed under .

takayama

takayama

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, June 17th, 2015 at 9:48 am and is filed under .

Heartbeat on a chip

From: Kelly O’Sullivan
MconneX

The ability to accurately test drugs and therapies for human use is a goal we desperately need to reach. Often animals are used to test drugs intended for human use, which not only puts them at risk but many times does not produce results helpful to making these remedies safer for us. At the same time drugs tested on human cells grown in a petri dish doesn’t exactly represent how those drugs will react in a living, breathing body.

Fortunately, a development made by Michigan engineers has taken a major step in drug testing by reproducing the heartbeat in a simplified gravity-driven microfluidic circuit. This new device performs operations that once required a large amount of peripheral equipment as well as a dedicated lab technician to run. Beyond that, the chip can execute multiple experiments at once as well as mimic a variety of heart rates. With the help of this microfluidic chip we could see the testing phases for new therapies drastically shortened, allowing newer, more effective medicines finding their way into patients much faster.

MichEpedia Page Link
Michigan Engineering YouTube Link

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, June 17th, 2015 at 9:47 am and is filed under .

Heartbeat on a chip

From: Kelly O’Sullivan
MconneX

The ability to accurately test drugs and therapies for human use is a goal we desperately need to reach. Often animals are used to test drugs intended for human use, which not only puts them at risk but many times does not produce results helpful to making these remedies safer for us. At the same time drugs tested on human cells grown in a petri dish doesn’t exactly represent how those drugs will react in a living, breathing body.

Fortunately, a development made by Michigan engineers has taken a major step in drug testing by reproducing the heartbeat in a simplified gravity-driven microfluidic circuit. This new device performs operations that once required a large amount of peripheral equipment as well as a dedicated lab technician to run. Beyond that, the chip can execute multiple experiments at once as well as mimic a variety of heart rates. With the help of this microfluidic chip we could see the testing phases for new therapies drastically shortened, allowing newer, more effective medicines finding their way into patients much faster.

MichEpedia Page Link
Michigan Engineering YouTube Link

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, June 17th, 2015 at 9:46 am and is filed under .

Heartbeat on a chip

From: Kelly O’Sullivan
MconneX

The ability to accurately test drugs and therapies for human use is a goal we desperately need to reach. Often animals are used to test drugs intended for human use, which not only puts them at risk but many times does not produce results helpful to making these remedies safer for us. At the same time drugs tested on human cells grown in a petri dish doesn’t exactly represent how those drugs will react in a living, breathing body.

Fortunately, a development made by Michigan engineers has taken a major step in drug testing by reproducing the heartbeat in a simplified gravity-driven microfluidic circuit. This new device performs operations that once required a large amount of peripheral equipment as well as a dedicated lab technician to run. Beyond that, the chip can execute multiple experiments at once as well as mimic a variety of heart rates. With the help of this microfluidic chip we could see the testing phases for new therapies drastically shortened, allowing newer, more effective medicines finding their way into patients much faster.

MichEpedia Page Link
Michigan Engineering YouTube Link

Tags: , ,

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, June 17th, 2015 at 9:45 am and is filed under All News, Spotlight.

Heartbeat on a chip

From: Kelly O’Sullivan
MconneX

The ability to accurately test drugs and therapies for human use is a goal we desperately need to reach. Often animals are used to test drugs intended for human use, which not only puts them at risk but many times does not produce results helpful to making these remedies safer for us. At the same time drugs tested on human cells grown in a petri dish doesn’t exactly represent how those drugs will react in a living, breathing body.

Fortunately, a development made by Michigan engineers has taken a major step in drug testing by reproducing the heartbeat in a simplified gravity-driven microfluidic circuit. This new device performs operations that once required a large amount of peripheral equipment as well as a dedicated lab technician to run. Beyond that, the chip can execute multiple experiments at once as well as mimic a variety of heart rates. With the help of this microfluidic chip we could see the testing phases for new therapies drastically shortened, allowing newer, more effective medicines finding their way into patients much faster.

MichEpedia Page Link
Michigan Engineering YouTube Link

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, June 17th, 2015 at 9:45 am and is filed under .

Heartbeat on a chip

From: Kelly O’Sullivan
MconneX

The ability to accurately test drugs and therapies for human use is a goal we desperately need to reach. Often animals are used to test drugs intended for human use, which not only puts them at risk but many times does not produce results helpful to making these remedies safer for us. At the same time drugs tested on human cells grown in a petri dish doesn’t exactly represent how those drugs will react in a living, breathing body.

Fortunately, a development made by Michigan engineers has taken a major step in drug testing by reproducing the heartbeat in a simplified gravity-driven microfluidic circuit. This new device performs operations that once required a large amount of peripheral equipment as well as a dedicated lab technician to run. Beyond that, the chip can execute multiple experiments at once as well as mimic a variety of heart rates. With the help of this microfluidic chip we could see the testing phases for new therapies drastically shortened, allowing newer, more effective medicines finding their way into patients much faster.

MichEpedia Page Link
Michigan Engineering YouTube Link

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, June 17th, 2015 at 9:45 am and is filed under .

Heartbeat on a chip

From: Kelly O’Sullivan
MconneX

The ability to accurately test drugs and therapies for human use is a goal we desperately need to reach. Often animals are used to test drugs intended for human use, which not only puts them at risk but many times does not produce results helpful to making these remedies safer for us. At the same time drugs tested on human cells grown in a petri dish doesn’t exactly represent how those drugs will react in a living, breathing body.

Fortunately, a development made by Michigan engineers has taken a major step in drug testing by reproducing the heartbeat in a simplified gravity-driven microfluidic circuit. This new device performs operations that once required a large amount of peripheral equipment as well as a dedicated lab technician to run. Beyond that, the chip can execute multiple experiments at once as well as mimic a variety of heart rates. With the help of this microfluidic chip we could see the testing phases for new therapies drastically shortened, allowing newer, more effective medicines finding their way into patients much faster.

MichEpedia Page Link
Michigan Engineering YouTube Link

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, June 17th, 2015 at 9:45 am and is filed under .

Heartbeat on a chip

From: Kelly O’Sullivan
MconneX

The ability to accurately test drugs and therapies for human use is a goal we desperately need to reach. Often animals are used to test drugs intended for human use, which not only puts them at risk but many times does not produce results helpful to making these remedies safer for us. At the same time drugs tested on human cells grown in a petri dish doesn’t exactly represent how those drugs will react in a living, breathing body.

Heartbeat on a Chip | Michepedia | MconneX

Fortunately, a development made by Michigan engineers has taken a major step in drug testing by reproducing the heartbeat in a simplified gravity-driven microfluidic circuit. This new device performs operations that once required a large amount of peripheral equipment as well as a dedicated lab technician to run. Beyond that, the chip can execute multiple experiments at once as well as mimic a variety of heart rates. With the help of this microfluidic chip we could see the testing phases for new therapies drastically shortened, allowing newer, more effective medicines finding their way into patients much faster.

MichEpedia Page Link
Michigan Engineering YouTube Link

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, June 17th, 2015 at 9:43 am and is filed under .

Heartbeat on a chip

From: Kelly O’Sullivan
MconneX

The ability to accurately test drugs and therapies for human use is a goal we desperately need to reach. Often animals are used to test drugs intended for human use, which not only puts them at risk but many times does not produce results helpful to making these remedies safer for us. At the same time drugs tested on human cells grown in a petri dish doesn’t exactly represent how those drugs will react in a living, breathing body.

Heartbeat on a Chip | Michepedia | MconneX

Fortunately, a development made by Michigan engineers has taken a major step in drug testing by reproducing the heartbeat in a simplified gravity-driven microfluidic circuit. This new device performs operations that once required a large amount of peripheral equipment as well as a dedicated lab technician to run. Beyond that, the chip can execute multiple experiments at once as well as mimic a variety of heart rates. With the help of this microfluidic chip we could see the testing phases for new therapies drastically shortened, allowing newer, more effective medicines finding their way into patients much faster.

MichEpedia Page Link
Michigan Engineering YouTube Link

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, June 17th, 2015 at 9:43 am and is filed under .

Heartbeat on a chip

From: Kelly O’Sullivan
MconneX

The ability to accurately test drugs and therapies for human use is a goal we desperately need to reach. Often animals are used to test drugs intended for human use, which not only puts them at risk but many times does not produce results helpful to making these remedies safer for us. At the same time drugs tested on human cells grown in a petri dish doesn’t exactly represent how those drugs will react in a living, breathing body.

Heartbeat on a Chip | Michepedia | MconneX

Fortunately, a development made by Michigan engineers has taken a major step in drug testing by reproducing the heartbeat in a simplified gravity-driven microfluidic circuit. This new device performs operations that once required a large amount of peripheral equipment as well as a dedicated lab technician to run. Beyond that, the chip can execute multiple experiments at once as well as mimic a variety of heart rates. With the help of this microfluidic chip we could see the testing phases for new therapies drastically shortened, allowing newer, more effective medicines finding their way into patients much faster.

MichEpedia Page Link
Michigan Engineering YouTube Link

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, June 17th, 2015 at 9:41 am and is filed under .

Zhen Xu PhD Receives Lizzie Award From ISTU

Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Zhen Xu received the 2015 Frederic Lizzi Early Career Award from the International Society of Therapeutic Ultrasound (ISTU). Every year, Lizzi Award is given to a researcher at early stage of career who has achieved significant accomplishment and contribution to the field of therapeutic ultrasound.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Monday, May 18th, 2015 at 9:47 am and is filed under All News, Faculty News.

Zhen Xu PhD Receives Lizzie Award From ISTU

Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Zhen Xu received the 2015 Frederic Lizzi Early Career Award from the International Society of Therapeutic Ultrasound (ISTU). Every year, Lizzi Award is given to a researcher at early stage of career who has achieved significant accomplishment and contribution to the field of therapeutic ultrasound.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Monday, May 18th, 2015 at 9:45 am and is filed under .

Matthew Muckley Wins Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship

Matthew Muckley, Ph.D candidate, co-advised by Jeff Fessler and Doug Noll, in the Functional MRI lab, won a Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship. Matthew’s research focuses on advanced signal processing techniques for subsampled functional MRI. He is developing sparse models that would allow removal of physiological noise from functional MRI scans, which would then enable their use as biomarkers for diagnosing neurological disorders.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Monday, May 18th, 2015 at 9:40 am and is filed under .

David Lai wins ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award

Dr. David Lai (a recent PhD grad from Shu Takayama’s lab) is the recipient of one of the ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Awards from Rackham.This award, which includes an honorarium of $1,000, is given in recognition of the most exceptional scholarly work produced by doctoral students at the University of Michigan who completed their dissertations in 2014.

The awards and honoraria will be presented at a ceremony from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 in the Assembly Hall on the fourth floor of the Rackham Building.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Monday, May 18th, 2015 at 9:35 am and is filed under .

Startup PuffBarry Wins Seed Funding.

Allison Powell (BSE) and Kyle Bettinger (BSE) co-founded a startup called “PuffBarry” to develop a device aiding people living with ALS, multiple sclerosis, and muscular dystrophy. Born out of their BME 458 team project the PuffBarry device uses puffs of air as code that a computer can interpret and translate into speech as an alternative communication device for those who have lost the ability to speak. Their passion for helping those with ALS came after a family friend of Allison passed away during her college career. Allison and Kyle took their idea to the U-M Center for Entrepreneurship competition “The StartUp” and came away with $3000 in seed funding among 16 others in the field of 60 and eventually won the grand prize of $15,000 and entry into TechArb. They also received an additional $1000 by winning the TedXUofM prize. Allison will attend TedXTraverseCity in May as one of the invited speakers.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Monday, May 18th, 2015 at 9:32 am and is filed under .

Startup PuffBarry Wins Seed Funding.

Allison Powell (BSE) and Kyle Bettinger (BSE) co-founded a startup called “PuffBarry” to develop a device aiding people living with ALS, multiple sclerosis, and muscular dystrophy. Born out of their BME 458 team project the PuffBarry device uses puffs of air as code that a computer can interpret and translate into speech as an alternative communication device for those who have lost the ability to speak. Their passion for helping those with ALS came after a family friend of Allison passed away during her college career. Allison and Kyle took their idea to the U-M Center for Entrepreneurship competition “The StartUp” and came away with $3000 in seed funding among 16 others in the field of 60 and eventually won the grand prize of $15,000 and entry into TechArb. They also received an additional $1000 by winning the TedXUofM prize. Allison will attend TedXTraverseCity in May as one of the invited speakers.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Monday, May 18th, 2015 at 9:32 am and is filed under .

Startup PuffBarry Wins Seed Funding.

Allison Powell (BSE) and Kyle Bettinger (BSE) co-founded a startup called “PuffBarry” to develop a device aiding people living with ALS, multiple sclerosis, and muscular dystrophy. Born out of their BME 458 team project the PuffBarry device uses puffs of air as code that a computer can interpret and translate into speech as an alternative communication device for those who have lost the ability to speak. Their passion for helping those with ALS came after a family friend of Allison passed away during her college career. Allison and Kyle took their idea to the U-M Center for Entrepreneurship competition “The StartUp” and came away with $3000 in seed funding among 16 others in the field of 60 and eventually won the grand prize of $15,000 and entry into TechArb. They also received an additional $1000 by winning the TedXUofM prize. Allison will attend TedXTraverseCity in May as one of the invited speakers.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Monday, May 18th, 2015 at 9:32 am and is filed under All News, Student/Post-Doc News.

Startup PuffBarry Wins Seed Funding.

Allison Powell (BSE) and Kyle Bettinger (BSE) co-founded a startup called “PuffBarry” to develop a device aiding people living with ALS, multiple sclerosis, and muscular dystrophy. Born out of their BME 458 team project the PuffBarry device uses puffs of air as code that a computer can interpret and translate into speech as an alternative communication device for those who have lost the ability to speak. Their passion for helping those with ALS came after a family friend of Allison passed away during her college career. Allison and Kyle took their idea to the U-M Center for Entrepreneurship competition “The StartUp” and came away with $3000 in seed funding among 16 others in the field of 60 and eventually won the grand prize of $15,000 and entry into TechArb. They also received an additional $1000 by winning the TedXUofM prize. Allison will attend TedXTraverseCity in May as one of the invited speakers.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Monday, May 18th, 2015 at 9:32 am and is filed under .

Startup PuffBarry wins

Allison Powell (BSE) and Kyle Bettinger (BSE) co-founded a startup called “PuffBarry” to develop a device aiding people living with ALS, multiple sclerosis, and muscular dystrophy. Born out of their BME 458 team project the PuffBarry device uses puffs of air as code that a computer can interpret and translate into speech as an alternative communication device for those who have lost the ability to speak. Their passion for helping those with ALS came after a family friend of Allison passed away during her college career. Allison and Kyle took their idea to the U-M Center for Entrepreneurship competition “The StartUp” and came away with $3000 in seed funding among 16 others in the field of 60 and eventually won the grand prize of $15,000 and entry into TechArb. They also received an additional $1000 by winning the TedXUofM prize. Allison will attend TedXTraverseCity in May as one of the invited speakers.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Monday, May 18th, 2015 at 9:31 am and is filed under .

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11076847_10203793852835976_1094304010_n

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Monday, May 18th, 2015 at 9:29 am and is filed under .

New study shows how babies’ lives were saved by 3D printing

Media Contact: Beata Mostafavi 734-764-2220
Source Article Link

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Kaiba was just a newborn when he turned blue because his little lungs weren’t getting the oxygen they needed. Garrett spent the first year of his life in hospital beds tethered to a ventilator, being fed through his veins because his body was too sick to absorb food. Baby Ian’s heart stopped before he was even six months old.

Three babies all had the same life-threatening condition: a terminal form of tracheobronchomalacia, which causes the windpipe to periodically collapse and prevents normal breathing. There was no cure and life-expectancies were grim.

The three boys became the first in the world to benefit from groundbreaking 3D printed devices that helped keep their airways open, restored their breathing and saved their lives at the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. Researchers have closely followed their cases to see how well the bioresorable splints implanted in all three patients have worked, publishing the promising results in today’s issue of Science Translational Medicine.

“These cases broke new ground for us because we were able to use 3D printing to design a device that successfully restored patients’ breathing through a procedure that had never been done before,” says senior author Glenn Green, M.D., associate professor of pediatric otolaryngology at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

“Before this procedure, babies with severe tracheobronchomalacia had little chance of surviving. Today, our first patient Kaiba is an active, healthy 3-year-old in preschool with a bright future. The device worked better than we could have ever imagined. We have been able to successfully replicate this procedure and have been watching patients closely to see whether the device is doing what it was intended to do. We found that this treatment continues to prove to be a promising option for children facing this life-threatening condition that has no cure.”

The findings reported today suggest that early treatment of tracheobronchomalacia may prevent complications of conventional treatment such as a tracheostomy, prolonged hospitalization, mechanical ventilation, cardiac and respiratory arrest, food malabsorption and discomfort. None of the devices, which were implanted in then 3-month-old Kaiba, 5-month-old Ian and 16-month-old Garrett have caused any complications.

How to help 3D-printed airway splint research.

The findings also show that the patients were able to come off of ventilators and no longer needed paralytics, narcotics and sedation. Researchers noted improvements in multiple organ systems. Patients were relieved of immunodeficiency-causing proteins that prevented them from absorbing food so that they no longer needed intravenous therapy.

Kaiba Gionfriddo made national headlines after he became the first patient to benefit from the procedure in 2012, and the procedure was repeated with Garrett Peterson and Ian Orbich. Using 3D printing, Green and his colleague Scott Hollister, Ph.D., professor of biomedical engineering and mechanical engineering and associate professor of surgery at U-M, were able to create and implant customized tracheal splints for each patient. The device was created directly from CT scans of their tracheas, integrating an image-based computer model with laser-based 3D printing to produce the splint.

The specially- designed splints were placed in the three patients at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. The splint was sewn around their airways to expand the trachea and bronchus and give it a skeleton to aid proper growth. The splint is designed to be reabsorbed by the body over time. The growth of the airways were followed with CT and MRI scans, and the device was shown to open up to allow airway growth for all three patients.

Doctors received emergency clearance from the FDA to do the procedures.

“We were pleased to find that all of our cases so far have proven to improve these patients’ lives,” Green says. “The potential of 3D-printed medical devices to improve outcomes for patients is clear, but we need more data to implement this procedure in medical practice.”

Authors say the recent report was not designed for device safety and that rare potential complications of the therapy may not yet be evident. However, Richard G. Ohye, M.D., head of pediatric cardiovascular surgery at C.S. Mott who performed the surgeries, says the cases provide the groundwork to potentially explore a clinical trial that could help other children with less-severe forms of tracheobronchomalacia in the future.

Kaiba, now a curious, active 3-year-old who loves playing with his siblings and who recently saw his favorite character Mickey Mouse at Disney World thanks to the Make-a-Wish Foundation, was back at Mott in April for a follow-up appointment.

The splint is dissolving just how it’s supposed to and doctors expect that eventually, his trachea will reflect that of his peers with no signs of the tracheobronchomalacia that nearly killed him as a newborn.

“The first time he was hospitalized, doctors told us he may not make it out,” Kaiba’s mom April Gionfriddo remembers. “It was scary knowing he was the first child to ever have this procedure, but it was our only choice and it saved his life.”

Now an energetic 2-and-a-half-year-old with a contagious laugh, Garrett is able to breathe on his own and spend his days ventilator-free. Ian, now 17 months old, is known for his huge grins, enthusiastic high fives and love for playing with his big brother, Owen. Ian had the splint procedure done at Mott exactly one year ago this month.

“We were honestly terrified, just hoping that we were making the right decision,” his mother Meghan Orbich remembers. “I am thankful every single day that this splint was developed. It has meant our son’s life. I am certain that if we hadn’t had the opportunity to bring Ian to Mott, he would not be here with us today.”

To learn more:

Support this important research by making a gift to the 3D-Printed Airway Splint Fund.
Watch a video demonstrating 3D printing
Read blog post from Dr. Glenn Green that goes behind the scenes on what led to the 3D printed devices to restore breathing in babies with tracheobronchomalacia.
See more on Kaiba’s story
See more on Garrett’s story
Additional Authors: Robert J. Morrison, Scott J. Hollister, Matthew F. Niedner, Maryam Ghadimi Mahani and Richard G. Ohye, all of U-M. Albert H. Park, of University of Utah; Deepak K. Mehta, of the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Funding: This work was funded in part by the National Institutes of Health (grant R21 HD076370-01) Morrison is supported by NIH grant T32 DC005356-12.

Disclosure: Hollister and Green have filed a patent application related to the device.

Reference: “Mitigation of Tracheobronchomalacia with 3D-Printed Personalized Medical Devices in Pediatric Patients,” Science Translational Medicine, April 29, 2015.

Tags: ,

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Thursday, April 30th, 2015 at 11:36 am and is filed under All News, Spotlight.

New study shows how babies’ lives were saved by 3D printing

Media Contact: Beata Mostafavi 734-764-2220
Source Article Link

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Kaiba was just a newborn when he turned blue because his little lungs weren’t getting the oxygen they needed. Garrett spent the first year of his life in hospital beds tethered to a ventilator, being fed through his veins because his body was too sick to absorb food. Baby Ian’s heart stopped before he was even six months old.

Three babies all had the same life-threatening condition: a terminal form of tracheobronchomalacia, which causes the windpipe to periodically collapse and prevents normal breathing. There was no cure and life-expectancies were grim.

The three boys became the first in the world to benefit from groundbreaking 3D printed devices that helped keep their airways open, restored their breathing and saved their lives at the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. Researchers have closely followed their cases to see how well the bioresorable splints implanted in all three patients have worked, publishing the promising results in today’s issue of Science Translational Medicine.

“These cases broke new ground for us because we were able to use 3D printing to design a device that successfully restored patients’ breathing through a procedure that had never been done before,” says senior author Glenn Green, M.D., associate professor of pediatric otolaryngology at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

“Before this procedure, babies with severe tracheobronchomalacia had little chance of surviving. Today, our first patient Kaiba is an active, healthy 3-year-old in preschool with a bright future. The device worked better than we could have ever imagined. We have been able to successfully replicate this procedure and have been watching patients closely to see whether the device is doing what it was intended to do. We found that this treatment continues to prove to be a promising option for children facing this life-threatening condition that has no cure.”

The findings reported today suggest that early treatment of tracheobronchomalacia may prevent complications of conventional treatment such as a tracheostomy, prolonged hospitalization, mechanical ventilation, cardiac and respiratory arrest, food malabsorption and discomfort. None of the devices, which were implanted in then 3-month-old Kaiba, 5-month-old Ian and 16-month-old Garrett have caused any complications.

How to help 3D-printed airway splint research.

The findings also show that the patients were able to come off of ventilators and no longer needed paralytics, narcotics and sedation. Researchers noted improvements in multiple organ systems. Patients were relieved of immunodeficiency-causing proteins that prevented them from absorbing food so that they no longer needed intravenous therapy.

Kaiba Gionfriddo made national headlines after he became the first patient to benefit from the procedure in 2012, and the procedure was repeated with Garrett Peterson and Ian Orbich. Using 3D printing, Green and his colleague Scott Hollister, Ph.D., professor of biomedical engineering and mechanical engineering and associate professor of surgery at U-M, were able to create and implant customized tracheal splints for each patient. The device was created directly from CT scans of their tracheas, integrating an image-based computer model with laser-based 3D printing to produce the splint.

The specially- designed splints were placed in the three patients at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. The splint was sewn around their airways to expand the trachea and bronchus and give it a skeleton to aid proper growth. The splint is designed to be reabsorbed by the body over time. The growth of the airways were followed with CT and MRI scans, and the device was shown to open up to allow airway growth for all three patients.

Doctors received emergency clearance from the FDA to do the procedures.

“We were pleased to find that all of our cases so far have proven to improve these patients’ lives,” Green says. “The potential of 3D-printed medical devices to improve outcomes for patients is clear, but we need more data to implement this procedure in medical practice.”

Authors say the recent report was not designed for device safety and that rare potential complications of the therapy may not yet be evident. However, Richard G. Ohye, M.D., head of pediatric cardiovascular surgery at C.S. Mott who performed the surgeries, says the cases provide the groundwork to potentially explore a clinical trial that could help other children with less-severe forms of tracheobronchomalacia in the future.

Kaiba, now a curious, active 3-year-old who loves playing with his siblings and who recently saw his favorite character Mickey Mouse at Disney World thanks to the Make-a-Wish Foundation, was back at Mott in April for a follow-up appointment.

The splint is dissolving just how it’s supposed to and doctors expect that eventually, his trachea will reflect that of his peers with no signs of the tracheobronchomalacia that nearly killed him as a newborn.

“The first time he was hospitalized, doctors told us he may not make it out,” Kaiba’s mom April Gionfriddo remembers. “It was scary knowing he was the first child to ever have this procedure, but it was our only choice and it saved his life.”

Now an energetic 2-and-a-half-year-old with a contagious laugh, Garrett is able to breathe on his own and spend his days ventilator-free. Ian, now 17 months old, is known for his huge grins, enthusiastic high fives and love for playing with his big brother, Owen. Ian had the splint procedure done at Mott exactly one year ago this month.

“We were honestly terrified, just hoping that we were making the right decision,” his mother Meghan Orbich remembers. “I am thankful every single day that this splint was developed. It has meant our son’s life. I am certain that if we hadn’t had the opportunity to bring Ian to Mott, he would not be here with us today.”

To learn more:

Support this important research by making a gift to the 3D-Printed Airway Splint Fund.
Watch a video demonstrating 3D printing
Read blog post from Dr. Glenn Green that goes behind the scenes on what led to the 3D printed devices to restore breathing in babies with tracheobronchomalacia.
See more on Kaiba’s story
See more on Garrett’s story
Additional Authors: Robert J. Morrison, Scott J. Hollister, Matthew F. Niedner, Maryam Ghadimi Mahani and Richard G. Ohye, all of U-M. Albert H. Park, of University of Utah; Deepak K. Mehta, of the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Funding: This work was funded in part by the National Institutes of Health (grant R21 HD076370-01) Morrison is supported by NIH grant T32 DC005356-12.

Disclosure: Hollister and Green have filed a patent application related to the device.

Reference: “Mitigation of Tracheobronchomalacia with 3D-Printed Personalized Medical Devices in Pediatric Patients,” Science Translational Medicine, April 29, 2015.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Thursday, April 30th, 2015 at 11:35 am and is filed under .

KaibaHiRes001

KaibaHiRes001

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Thursday, April 30th, 2015 at 11:31 am and is filed under .

Lonnie Shea Wins 2015 Clemson Award

Lonnie SheaEach year, the Society For Biomaterials solicits nominations for outstanding work in the Clemson Award categories. The history of these awards reflects the strong traditional ties between the Society For Biomatierals and Clemson University since 1974.

Lonnie Shea, The William and Valerie Hall Chair and Professor of Biomedical Engineering, is the recipient of the 2015 Clemson Award for Contributions to the Literature for his significant contributions to the literature on the science and technology of biomaterials.

“Dr. Shea has a tremendous publication record for his career stage, and he publishes important papers. Dr. Shea has been actively involved in educational and service activities at many levels, and has made major contributions to the biomaterials field through these activities,” stated colleague David Mooney.

Dr. Shea has published over 168 papers in peer-review journals, and 11 book chapters in the biomaterials and tissue engineering fields. Dr. Shea’s awards and honors include the NSF New Century Scholar, NSF Career Award, and election as a Fellow to AIMBE in 2010.

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This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Tuesday, April 14th, 2015 at 3:51 pm and is filed under All News, Faculty News.

Lonnie Shea Wins 2015 Clemson Award

Lonnie SheaEach year, the Society For Biomaterials solicits nominations for outstanding work in the Clemson Award categories. The history of these awards reflects the strong traditional ties between the Society For Biomatierals and Clemson University since 1974.

Lonnie Shea, The William and Valerie Hall Chair and Professor of Biomedical Engineering, is the recipient of the 2015 Clemson Award for Contributions to the Literature for his significant contributions to the literature on the science and technology of biomaterials.

“Dr. Shea has a tremendous publication record for his career stage, and he publishes important papers. Dr. Shea has been actively involved in educational and service activities at many levels, and has made major contributions to the biomaterials field through these activities,” stated colleague David Mooney.

Dr. Shea has published over 168 papers in peer-review journals, and 11 book chapters in the biomaterials and tissue engineering fields. Dr. Shea’s awards and honors include the NSF New Century Scholar, NSF Career Award, and election as a Fellow to AIMBE in 2010.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Tuesday, April 14th, 2015 at 3:50 pm and is filed under .

Brittle bone disease: Drug research in mice offers hope

Contact: Gabe Cherry, 734-647-7085, gcherry@umich.edu

ANN ARBOR – New research in mice offers evidence that a drug being developed to treat osteoporosis may also be useful for treating osteogenesis imperfecta or brittle bone disease, a rare but potentially debilitating bone disorder that that is present from birth.

Previous studies have shown the drug to be effective at spurring new bone growth in mice and in humans with osteoporosis, and a University of Michigan research team believes that it may spur new growth in brittle bone disease patients as well. This would be a significant improvement over current treatments, which can only reduce the loss of existing bone.

The new drug is an antibody to a protein called sclerostin, which normally signals the body to stop producing new bone. Previous studies have shown that inhibiting sclerostin through antibody therapy is effective at increasing bone formation and strength.

The new U-M study focused on the effects of the antibody in very young and very old mice with genetic features that mimic brittle bone disease. Researchers were particularly interested in studying the effects of the drug on young mice, which are still growing new bone and have much lower levels of sclerostin.

“The dynamics of bone growth in young mice and in children are very different from those in adults,” explains Ken Kozloff, a U-M associate professor of orthopaedic surgery and biomedical engineering. “Their bone structures are still forming, so it’s important to understand how inhibiting sclerostin may affect that. We were also concerned that the benefits of the drug would reverse themselves after treatment stopped.”

The results of the study were encouraging, with no reduction in mid-shaft bone strength or mass in young mice six weeks after treatment stopped. While there was some loss in newly formed spongy bone, the researchers found that this could be remedied by using the sclerostin antibody in combination with other therapies.

Osteogenesis imperfecta is a genetic disease that affects an estimated 20,000 to 50,000 people in the United States, about 1 in 20,000 live births. It reduces the body’s ability to form new bone and weakens the bone that does form. This leads to bones that fracture easily in everyday activities, causing a cycle of repeated fractures and hospitalizations. There is no cure and current treatment options are limited. They include the use of bisphosphonate drugs to reduce the weakening of bone and the surgical implantation of steel rods in the bones to improve their strength.

“I envision a treatment that uses a precise combination of sclerostin antibodies to grow new bone, followed by bisphosphonates to lock in that bone growth. The rodent studies we’re doing right now are giving us a better understanding of how to optimize the timing and amounts of the two drugs,” said Michelle Caird, an associate professor of orthopaedic surgery at the U-M medical school who specializes in brittle bone disease. “We have years of hard work ahead of us, but I think this could really improve quality of life for kids with this disease.”

The research team still has an estimated two years of rodent studies to complete. They’re hopeful that patients may have a new treatment option within the next five to six years. Amgen, the manufacturer of the drug and the provider of the drugs used in the U-M study, is currently testing the drug on osteoporosis patients. Caird says the data gained from that testing may help a new treatment for brittle bone disease get through the testing and approval process more quickly. The team is also working on new study methods that may enable them to test the new drug in the lab on small samples of bone cells taken from patients.

“There are always special concerns about using drugs on young patients,” she said. “How will it affect long-term bone growth? Are there concerns about girls and childbearing? These are all questions that need to be addressed, but we’re optimistic.”

Researchers believe that the therapy may also be useful for treating children who suffer from disuse osteopenia, a bone disorder that can result when bones don’t bear normal amounts of weight. This is common among children who use wheelchairs as a result of diseases like cerebral palsy and spina bifida.

“Disuse osteopenia is the same disease that astronauts get when they’re in microgravity environments for long periods of time,” Caird said. “It affects many more children than brittle bone disease, so we’re very hopeful that sclerostin antibody therapy will be a useful treatment for them as well. But we’re focusing on brittle bone disease first because it’s particularly debilitating and because there are so few other options for those kids.”

An abstract titled “Single Dose of Bisphosphonate Preserves Long-term Gains in Bone Mass Following Cessation of Sclerostin Antibody in Osteogenesis Imperfecta Model” will be presented on March 31 at the annual meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society in Las Vegas, Nevada. The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health. Drugs for the study were provided by Amgen and UCB.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 at 9:58 am and is filed under .

Brittle bone disease: Drug research in mice offers hope

Contact: Gabe Cherry, 734-647-7085, gcherry@umich.edu

ANN ARBOR – New research in mice offers evidence that a drug being developed to treat osteoporosis may also be useful for treating osteogenesis imperfecta or brittle bone disease, a rare but potentially debilitating bone disorder that that is present from birth.

Previous studies have shown the drug to be effective at spurring new bone growth in mice and in humans with osteoporosis, and a University of Michigan research team believes that it may spur new growth in brittle bone disease patients as well. This would be a significant improvement over current treatments, which can only reduce the loss of existing bone.

The new drug is an antibody to a protein called sclerostin, which normally signals the body to stop producing new bone. Previous studies have shown that inhibiting sclerostin through antibody therapy is effective at increasing bone formation and strength.

The new U-M study focused on the effects of the antibody in very young and very old mice with genetic features that mimic brittle bone disease. Researchers were particularly interested in studying the effects of the drug on young mice, which are still growing new bone and have much lower levels of sclerostin.

“The dynamics of bone growth in young mice and in children are very different from those in adults,” explains Ken Kozloff, a U-M associate professor of orthopaedic surgery and biomedical engineering. “Their bone structures are still forming, so it’s important to understand how inhibiting sclerostin may affect that. We were also concerned that the benefits of the drug would reverse themselves after treatment stopped.”

The results of the study were encouraging, with no reduction in mid-shaft bone strength or mass in young mice six weeks after treatment stopped. While there was some loss in newly formed spongy bone, the researchers found that this could be remedied by using the sclerostin antibody in combination with other therapies.

Osteogenesis imperfecta is a genetic disease that affects an estimated 20,000 to 50,000 people in the United States, about 1 in 20,000 live births. It reduces the body’s ability to form new bone and weakens the bone that does form. This leads to bones that fracture easily in everyday activities, causing a cycle of repeated fractures and hospitalizations. There is no cure and current treatment options are limited. They include the use of bisphosphonate drugs to reduce the weakening of bone and the surgical implantation of steel rods in the bones to improve their strength.

“I envision a treatment that uses a precise combination of sclerostin antibodies to grow new bone, followed by bisphosphonates to lock in that bone growth. The rodent studies we’re doing right now are giving us a better understanding of how to optimize the timing and amounts of the two drugs,” said Michelle Caird, an associate professor of orthopaedic surgery at the U-M medical school who specializes in brittle bone disease. “We have years of hard work ahead of us, but I think this could really improve quality of life for kids with this disease.”

The research team still has an estimated two years of rodent studies to complete. They’re hopeful that patients may have a new treatment option within the next five to six years. Amgen, the manufacturer of the drug and the provider of the drugs used in the U-M study, is currently testing the drug on osteoporosis patients. Caird says the data gained from that testing may help a new treatment for brittle bone disease get through the testing and approval process more quickly. The team is also working on new study methods that may enable them to test the new drug in the lab on small samples of bone cells taken from patients.

“There are always special concerns about using drugs on young patients,” she said. “How will it affect long-term bone growth? Are there concerns about girls and childbearing? These are all questions that need to be addressed, but we’re optimistic.”

Researchers believe that the therapy may also be useful for treating children who suffer from disuse osteopenia, a bone disorder that can result when bones don’t bear normal amounts of weight. This is common among children who use wheelchairs as a result of diseases like cerebral palsy and spina bifida.

“Disuse osteopenia is the same disease that astronauts get when they’re in microgravity environments for long periods of time,” Caird said. “It affects many more children than brittle bone disease, so we’re very hopeful that sclerostin antibody therapy will be a useful treatment for them as well. But we’re focusing on brittle bone disease first because it’s particularly debilitating and because there are so few other options for those kids.”

An abstract titled “Single Dose of Bisphosphonate Preserves Long-term Gains in Bone Mass Following Cessation of Sclerostin Antibody in Osteogenesis Imperfecta Model” will be presented on March 31 at the annual meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society in Las Vegas, Nevada. The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health. Drugs for the study were provided by Amgen and UCB.

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This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 at 9:58 am and is filed under All News, Faculty News.

Brittle bone disease: Drug research in mice offers hope

Contact: Gabe Cherry, 734-647-7085, gcherry@umich.edu

ANN ARBOR – New research in mice offers evidence that a drug being developed to treat osteoporosis may also be useful for treating osteogenesis imperfecta or brittle bone disease, a rare but potentially debilitating bone disorder that that is present from birth.

Previous studies have shown the drug to be effective at spurring new bone growth in mice and in humans with osteoporosis, and a University of Michigan research team believes that it may spur new growth in brittle bone disease patients as well. This would be a significant improvement over current treatments, which can only reduce the loss of existing bone.

The new drug is an antibody to a protein called sclerostin, which normally signals the body to stop producing new bone. Previous studies have shown that inhibiting sclerostin through antibody therapy is effective at increasing bone formation and strength.

The new U-M study focused on the effects of the antibody in very young and very old mice with genetic features that mimic brittle bone disease. Researchers were particularly interested in studying the effects of the drug on young mice, which are still growing new bone and have much lower levels of sclerostin.

“The dynamics of bone growth in young mice and in children are very different from those in adults,” explains Ken Kozloff, a U-M associate professor of orthopaedic surgery and biomedical engineering. “Their bone structures are still forming, so it’s important to understand how inhibiting sclerostin may affect that. We were also concerned that the benefits of the drug would reverse themselves after treatment stopped.”

The results of the study were encouraging, with no reduction in mid-shaft bone strength or mass in young mice six weeks after treatment stopped. While there was some loss in newly formed spongy bone, the researchers found that this could be remedied by using the sclerostin antibody in combination with other therapies.

Osteogenesis imperfecta is a genetic disease that affects an estimated 20,000 to 50,000 people in the United States, about 1 in 20,000 live births. It reduces the body’s ability to form new bone and weakens the bone that does form. This leads to bones that fracture easily in everyday activities, causing a cycle of repeated fractures and hospitalizations. There is no cure and current treatment options are limited. They include the use of bisphosphonate drugs to reduce the weakening of bone and the surgical implantation of steel rods in the bones to improve their strength.

“I envision a treatment that uses a precise combination of sclerostin antibodies to grow new bone, followed by bisphosphonates to lock in that bone growth. The rodent studies we’re doing right now are giving us a better understanding of how to optimize the timing and amounts of the two drugs,” said Michelle Caird, an associate professor of orthopaedic surgery at the U-M medical school who specializes in brittle bone disease. “We have years of hard work ahead of us, but I think this could really improve quality of life for kids with this disease.”

The research team still has an estimated two years of rodent studies to complete. They’re hopeful that patients may have a new treatment option within the next five to six years. Amgen, the manufacturer of the drug and the provider of the drugs used in the U-M study, is currently testing the drug on osteoporosis patients. Caird says the data gained from that testing may help a new treatment for brittle bone disease get through the testing and approval process more quickly. The team is also working on new study methods that may enable them to test the new drug in the lab on small samples of bone cells taken from patients.

“There are always special concerns about using drugs on young patients,” she said. “How will it affect long-term bone growth? Are there concerns about girls and childbearing? These are all questions that need to be addressed, but we’re optimistic.”

Researchers believe that the therapy may also be useful for treating children who suffer from disuse osteopenia, a bone disorder that can result when bones don’t bear normal amounts of weight. This is common among children who use wheelchairs as a result of diseases like cerebral palsy and spina bifida.

“Disuse osteopenia is the same disease that astronauts get when they’re in microgravity environments for long periods of time,” Caird said. “It affects many more children than brittle bone disease, so we’re very hopeful that sclerostin antibody therapy will be a useful treatment for them as well. But we’re focusing on brittle bone disease first because it’s particularly debilitating and because there are so few other options for those kids.”

An abstract titled “Single Dose of Bisphosphonate Preserves Long-term Gains in Bone Mass Following Cessation of Sclerostin Antibody in Osteogenesis Imperfecta Model” will be presented on March 31 at the annual meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society in Las Vegas, Nevada. The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health. Drugs for the study were provided by Amgen and UCB.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 at 9:58 am and is filed under .

Brittle bone disease: Drug research in mice offers hope

Contact: Gabe Cherry, 734-647-7085, gcherry@umich.edu

ANN ARBOR – New research in mice offers evidence that a drug being developed to treat osteoporosis may also be useful for treating osteogenesis imperfecta or brittle bone disease, a rare but potentially debilitating bone disorder that that is present from birth.

Previous studies have shown the drug to be effective at spurring new bone growth in mice and in humans with osteoporosis, and a University of Michigan research team believes that it may spur new growth in brittle bone disease patients as well. This would be a significant improvement over current treatments, which can only reduce the loss of existing bone.

The new drug is an antibody to a protein called sclerostin, which normally signals the body to stop producing new bone. Previous studies have shown that inhibiting sclerostin through antibody therapy is effective at increasing bone formation and strength.

The new U-M study focused on the effects of the antibody in very young and very old mice with genetic features that mimic brittle bone disease. Researchers were particularly interested in studying the effects of the drug on young mice, which are still growing new bone and have much lower levels of sclerostin.

“The dynamics of bone growth in young mice and in children are very different from those in adults,” explains Ken Kozloff, a U-M associate professor of orthopaedic surgery and biomedical engineering. “Their bone structures are still forming, so it’s important to understand how inhibiting sclerostin may affect that. We were also concerned that the benefits of the drug would reverse themselves after treatment stopped.”

The results of the study were encouraging, with no reduction in mid-shaft bone strength or mass in young mice six weeks after treatment stopped. While there was some loss in newly formed spongy bone, the researchers found that this could be remedied by using the sclerostin antibody in combination with other therapies.

Osteogenesis imperfecta is a genetic disease that affects an estimated 20,000 to 50,000 people in the United States, about 1 in 20,000 live births. It reduces the body’s ability to form new bone and weakens the bone that does form. This leads to bones that fracture easily in everyday activities, causing a cycle of repeated fractures and hospitalizations. There is no cure and current treatment options are limited. They include the use of bisphosphonate drugs to reduce the weakening of bone and the surgical implantation of steel rods in the bones to improve their strength.

“I envision a treatment that uses a precise combination of sclerostin antibodies to grow new bone, followed by bisphosphonates to lock in that bone growth. The rodent studies we’re doing right now are giving us a better understanding of how to optimize the timing and amounts of the two drugs,” said Michelle Caird, an associate professor of orthopaedic surgery at the U-M medical school who specializes in brittle bone disease. “We have years of hard work ahead of us, but I think this could really improve quality of life for kids with this disease.”

The research team still has an estimated two years of rodent studies to complete. They’re hopeful that patients may have a new treatment option within the next five to six years. Amgen, the manufacturer of the drug and the provider of the drugs used in the U-M study, is currently testing the drug on osteoporosis patients. Caird says the data gained from that testing may help a new treatment for brittle bone disease get through the testing and approval process more quickly. The team is also working on new study methods that may enable them to test the new drug in the lab on small samples of bone cells taken from patients.

“There are always special concerns about using drugs on young patients,” she said. “How will it affect long-term bone growth? Are there concerns about girls and childbearing? These are all questions that need to be addressed, but we’re optimistic.”

Researchers believe that the therapy may also be useful for treating children who suffer from disuse osteopenia, a bone disorder that can result when bones don’t bear normal amounts of weight. This is common among children who use wheelchairs as a result of diseases like cerebral palsy and spina bifida.

“Disuse osteopenia is the same disease that astronauts get when they’re in microgravity environments for long periods of time,” Caird said. “It affects many more children than brittle bone disease, so we’re very hopeful that sclerostin antibody therapy will be a useful treatment for them as well. But we’re focusing on brittle bone disease first because it’s particularly debilitating and because there are so few other options for those kids.”

An abstract titled “Single Dose of Bisphosphonate Preserves Long-term Gains in Bone Mass Following Cessation of Sclerostin Antibody in Osteogenesis Imperfecta Model” will be presented on March 31 at the annual meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society in Las Vegas, Nevada. The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health. Drugs for the study were provided by Amgen and UCB.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 at 9:55 am and is filed under .

JF-fem-AP-right-healing-sof

JF-fem-AP-right-healing-sof

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 at 9:54 am and is filed under .

David Lai wins ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award

Dr. David Lai (a recent PhD grad from Shu Takayama’s lab) is the recipient of one of the ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Awards from Rackham.This award, which includes an honorarium of $1,000, is given in recognition of the most exceptional scholarly work produced by doctoral students at the University of Michigan who completed their dissertations in 2014.

The awards and honoraria will be presented at a ceremony from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 in the Assembly Hall on the fourth floor of the Rackham Building.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 at 9:34 am and is filed under All News, Student/Post-Doc News.

Matthew Muckley Wins Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship

Matthew Muckley, Ph.D candidate, co-advised by Jeff Fessler and Doug Noll, in the Functional MRI lab, won a Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship. Matthew’s research focuses on advanced signal processing techniques for subsampled functional MRI. He is developing sparse models that would allow removal of physiological noise from functional MRI scans, which would then enable their use as biomarkers for diagnosing neurological disorders.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Monday, March 30th, 2015 at 9:40 am and is filed under All News, Student/Post-Doc News.

“Cancer magnet” collaboration featured in Modern Healthcare

Lonnie SheaU-M BME’s William and Valerie Hall chair of biomedical engineering and professor of biomedical engineering, Lonnie Shea and his wife Dr. Jacqueline Jeruss, associate professor of surgical oncology at the U-M Medical School, were featured in an article on collaboration between doctors and engineers in Modern Healthcare. The feature focuses on their collaboration to develop a “cancer magnet” as a subdermally (under the skin) implantable device able to determine if cancer cells return following surgery or chemotherapy. The Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering created in 2012 aims to foster collaboration between doctors and engineers by linking the U-M College of Engineering and U-M Medical School through Biomedical Engineering. Read the full article titled, “Campus docs and engineers forge new path to innovation and profits” at the Modern Healthcare website.

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This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, March 27th, 2015 at 9:59 am and is filed under All News, Faculty News.

“Cancer magnet” collaboration featured in Modern Healthcare

Lonnie SheaU-M BME’s William and Valerie Hall chair of biomedical engineering and professor of biomedical engineering, Lonnie Shea and his wife Dr. Jacqueline Jeruss, associate professor of surgical oncology at the U-M Medical School, were featured in an article on collaboration between doctors and engineers in Modern Healthcare. The feature focuses on their collaboration to develop a “cancer magnet” as a subdermally (under the skin) implantable device able to determine if cancer cells return following surgery or chemotherapy. The Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering created in 2012 aims to foster collaboration between doctors and engineers by linking the U-M College of Engineering and U-M Medical School through Biomedical Engineering. Read the full article titled, “Campus docs and engineers forge new path to innovation and profits” at the Modern Healthcare website.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, March 27th, 2015 at 9:58 am and is filed under .

ldshea

ldshea

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, March 27th, 2015 at 9:56 am and is filed under .

Spiky “hedgehog particles” for safer paints, fewer VOC emissions

Contact: Gabe Cherry, 734-647-7085, gcherry@umich.edu

ANN ARBOR – A new process that can sprout microscopic spikes on nearly any type of particle may lead to more environmentally friendly paints and a variety of other innovations.

Made by a team of University of Michigan engineers, the “hedgehog particles” are named for their bushy appearance under the microscope. Their development is detailed in a paper published in the Jan. 29 issue of Nature.

The new process modifies oily, or “hydrophobic” particles, enabling them to disperse easily in water. It can also modify water-soluble, or “hydrophilic” particles, enabling them to dissolve in oil or other oily chemicals.

The unusual behavior of the hedgehog particles came as something of a surprise to the research team, said Nicholas Kotov, the Joseph B. and Florence V. Cejka Professor of Engineering.

“We thought we’d made a mistake,” Kotov said. “We saw these particles that are supposed to ‘hate’ water dispersing in it and we thought maybe the particles weren’t hydrophobic, or maybe there was a chemical layer that was enabling them to disperse. But we double-checked everything and found that, in fact, these particles defy the conventional chemical wisdom that we all learned in high school.”

The team found that the tiny spikes made the particles repel each other more and attract each other less. The spikes also dramatically reduce the particles’ surface area, helping them to diffuse more easily.

One of the first applications for the particles is likely to be in paints and coatings, where toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like toluene are now used to dissolve pigment. Pigments made from hedgehog particles could potentially be dissolved in non-toxic carriers like water, the researchers say.

This would result in fewer VOC emissions from paints and coatings, which the EPA estimates at over eight million tons per year in the United States alone. VOCs can cause a variety of respiratory and other ailments and also contribute to smog and climate change. Reducing their use has become a priority for the Environmental Protection Agency and other regulatory bodies worldwide.

“VOC solvents are toxic, they’re flammable, they’re expensive to handle and dispose of safely,” Kotov said. “So if you can avoid using them, there’s a significant cost savings in addition to environmental benefits.”

While some low- and no-VOC coatings are already available, Kotov said hedgehog particles could provide a simpler, more versatile and less expensive way to manufacture them.

For the study, the team created hedgehog particles by growing zinc oxide spikes on polystyrene microbeads. The researchers say that a key advantage of the process is its flexibility; it can be performed on virtually any type of particle, and makers can vary the number and size of the spikes by adjusting the amount of time the particles sit in various solutions while the protrusions are growing. They can also make the spikes out of materials other than zinc oxide.

“I think one thing that’s really exciting about this is that we’re able to make such a wide variety of hedgehog particles,” said Joong Hwan Bahng, a chemical engineering doctoral student. “It’s very controllable and very versatile.”

The researchers say the process is also easily scalable, enabling hedgehog particles to be created “by the bucketful,” according to Kotov. Further down the road, Kotov envisions a variety of other applications, including better oil dispersants that could aid in the cleanup of oil spills and better ways to deliver non-water-soluble prescription medications.

“Anytime you need to dissolve an oily particle in water, there’s a potential application for hedgehog particles,” he said. “It’s really just a matter of finding the right commercial partners. We’re only just beginning to explore the uses for these particles, and I think we’re going to see a lot of applications in the future.”

Kotov is also a professor of chemical engineering, biomedical engineering, materials science and engineering and macromolecular science and engineering. The paper is titled “Anomalous Dispersions of Hedgehog Particles” and based upon work partially supported by the Center for Solar and Thermal Energy Conversion, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences. Support has also been provided by the NSF and the US Department of Defense.

NS Link: http://ns.umich.edu/new/releases/22646-spiky-hedgehog-particles-for-safer-paints-fewer-voc-emissions

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Thursday, January 29th, 2015 at 3:21 pm and is filed under .

Spiky “hedgehog particles” for safer paints, fewer VOC emissions

Contact: Gabe Cherry, 734-647-7085, gcherry@umich.edu

ANN ARBOR – A new process that can sprout microscopic spikes on nearly any type of particle may lead to more environmentally friendly paints and a variety of other innovations.

Made by a team of University of Michigan engineers, the “hedgehog particles” are named for their bushy appearance under the microscope. Their development is detailed in a paper published in the Jan. 29 issue of Nature.

The new process modifies oily, or “hydrophobic” particles, enabling them to disperse easily in water. It can also modify water-soluble, or “hydrophilic” particles, enabling them to dissolve in oil or other oily chemicals.

The unusual behavior of the hedgehog particles came as something of a surprise to the research team, said Nicholas Kotov, the Joseph B. and Florence V. Cejka Professor of Engineering.

“We thought we’d made a mistake,” Kotov said. “We saw these particles that are supposed to ‘hate’ water dispersing in it and we thought maybe the particles weren’t hydrophobic, or maybe there was a chemical layer that was enabling them to disperse. But we double-checked everything and found that, in fact, these particles defy the conventional chemical wisdom that we all learned in high school.”

The team found that the tiny spikes made the particles repel each other more and attract each other less. The spikes also dramatically reduce the particles’ surface area, helping them to diffuse more easily.

One of the first applications for the particles is likely to be in paints and coatings, where toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like toluene are now used to dissolve pigment. Pigments made from hedgehog particles could potentially be dissolved in non-toxic carriers like water, the researchers say.

This would result in fewer VOC emissions from paints and coatings, which the EPA estimates at over eight million tons per year in the United States alone. VOCs can cause a variety of respiratory and other ailments and also contribute to smog and climate change. Reducing their use has become a priority for the Environmental Protection Agency and other regulatory bodies worldwide.

“VOC solvents are toxic, they’re flammable, they’re expensive to handle and dispose of safely,” Kotov said. “So if you can avoid using them, there’s a significant cost savings in addition to environmental benefits.”

While some low- and no-VOC coatings are already available, Kotov said hedgehog particles could provide a simpler, more versatile and less expensive way to manufacture them.

For the study, the team created hedgehog particles by growing zinc oxide spikes on polystyrene microbeads. The researchers say that a key advantage of the process is its flexibility; it can be performed on virtually any type of particle, and makers can vary the number and size of the spikes by adjusting the amount of time the particles sit in various solutions while the protrusions are growing. They can also make the spikes out of materials other than zinc oxide.

“I think one thing that’s really exciting about this is that we’re able to make such a wide variety of hedgehog particles,” said Joong Hwan Bahng, a chemical engineering doctoral student. “It’s very controllable and very versatile.”

The researchers say the process is also easily scalable, enabling hedgehog particles to be created “by the bucketful,” according to Kotov. Further down the road, Kotov envisions a variety of other applications, including better oil dispersants that could aid in the cleanup of oil spills and better ways to deliver non-water-soluble prescription medications.

“Anytime you need to dissolve an oily particle in water, there’s a potential application for hedgehog particles,” he said. “It’s really just a matter of finding the right commercial partners. We’re only just beginning to explore the uses for these particles, and I think we’re going to see a lot of applications in the future.”

Kotov is also a professor of chemical engineering, biomedical engineering, materials science and engineering and macromolecular science and engineering. The paper is titled “Anomalous Dispersions of Hedgehog Particles” and based upon work partially supported by the Center for Solar and Thermal Energy Conversion, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences. Support has also been provided by the NSF and the US Department of Defense.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Thursday, January 29th, 2015 at 3:20 pm and is filed under .

Spiky “hedgehog particles” for safer paints, fewer VOC emissions

Contact: Gabe Cherry, 734-647-7085, gcherry@umich.edu

ANN ARBOR – A new process that can sprout microscopic spikes on nearly any type of particle may lead to more environmentally friendly paints and a variety of other innovations.

Made by a team of University of Michigan engineers, the “hedgehog particles” are named for their bushy appearance under the microscope. Their development is detailed in a paper published in the Jan. 29 issue of Nature.

The new process modifies oily, or “hydrophobic” particles, enabling them to disperse easily in water. It can also modify water-soluble, or “hydrophilic” particles, enabling them to dissolve in oil or other oily chemicals.

The unusual behavior of the hedgehog particles came as something of a surprise to the research team, said Nicholas Kotov, the Joseph B. and Florence V. Cejka Professor of Engineering.

“We thought we’d made a mistake,” Kotov said. “We saw these particles that are supposed to ‘hate’ water dispersing in it and we thought maybe the particles weren’t hydrophobic, or maybe there was a chemical layer that was enabling them to disperse. But we double-checked everything and found that, in fact, these particles defy the conventional chemical wisdom that we all learned in high school.”

The team found that the tiny spikes made the particles repel each other more and attract each other less. The spikes also dramatically reduce the particles’ surface area, helping them to diffuse more easily.

One of the first applications for the particles is likely to be in paints and coatings, where toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like toluene are now used to dissolve pigment. Pigments made from hedgehog particles could potentially be dissolved in non-toxic carriers like water, the researchers say.

This would result in fewer VOC emissions from paints and coatings, which the EPA estimates at over eight million tons per year in the United States alone. VOCs can cause a variety of respiratory and other ailments and also contribute to smog and climate change. Reducing their use has become a priority for the Environmental Protection Agency and other regulatory bodies worldwide.

“VOC solvents are toxic, they’re flammable, they’re expensive to handle and dispose of safely,” Kotov said. “So if you can avoid using them, there’s a significant cost savings in addition to environmental benefits.”

While some low- and no-VOC coatings are already available, Kotov said hedgehog particles could provide a simpler, more versatile and less expensive way to manufacture them.

For the study, the team created hedgehog particles by growing zinc oxide spikes on polystyrene microbeads. The researchers say that a key advantage of the process is its flexibility; it can be performed on virtually any type of particle, and makers can vary the number and size of the spikes by adjusting the amount of time the particles sit in various solutions while the protrusions are growing. They can also make the spikes out of materials other than zinc oxide.

“I think one thing that’s really exciting about this is that we’re able to make such a wide variety of hedgehog particles,” said Joong Hwan Bahng, a chemical engineering doctoral student. “It’s very controllable and very versatile.”

The researchers say the process is also easily scalable, enabling hedgehog particles to be created “by the bucketful,” according to Kotov. Further down the road, Kotov envisions a variety of other applications, including better oil dispersants that could aid in the cleanup of oil spills and better ways to deliver non-water-soluble prescription medications.

“Anytime you need to dissolve an oily particle in water, there’s a potential application for hedgehog particles,” he said. “It’s really just a matter of finding the right commercial partners. We’re only just beginning to explore the uses for these particles, and I think we’re going to see a lot of applications in the future.”

Kotov is also a professor of chemical engineering, biomedical engineering, materials science and engineering and macromolecular science and engineering. The paper is titled “Anomalous Dispersions of Hedgehog Particles” and based upon work partially supported by the Center for Solar and Thermal Energy Conversion, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences. Support has also been provided by the NSF and the US Department of Defense.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Thursday, January 29th, 2015 at 3:20 pm and is filed under .

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15675756383_e798e15d47_m

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Thursday, January 29th, 2015 at 3:17 pm and is filed under .

Spiky “hedgehog particles” for safer paints, fewer VOC emissions

Contact: Gabe Cherry, 734-647-7085, gcherry@umich.edu

ANN ARBOR – A new process that can sprout microscopic spikes on nearly any type of particle may lead to more environmentally friendly paints and a variety of other innovations.

Made by a team of University of Michigan engineers, the “hedgehog particles” are named for their bushy appearance under the microscope. Their development is detailed in a paper published in the Jan. 29 issue of Nature.

The new process modifies oily, or “hydrophobic” particles, enabling them to disperse easily in water. It can also modify water-soluble, or “hydrophilic” particles, enabling them to dissolve in oil or other oily chemicals.

The unusual behavior of the hedgehog particles came as something of a surprise to the research team, said Nicholas Kotov, the Joseph B. and Florence V. Cejka Professor of Engineering.

“We thought we’d made a mistake,” Kotov said. “We saw these particles that are supposed to ‘hate’ water dispersing in it and we thought maybe the particles weren’t hydrophobic, or maybe there was a chemical layer that was enabling them to disperse. But we double-checked everything and found that, in fact, these particles defy the conventional chemical wisdom that we all learned in high school.”

The team found that the tiny spikes made the particles repel each other more and attract each other less. The spikes also dramatically reduce the particles’ surface area, helping them to diffuse more easily.

One of the first applications for the particles is likely to be in paints and coatings, where toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like toluene are now used to dissolve pigment. Pigments made from hedgehog particles could potentially be dissolved in non-toxic carriers like water, the researchers say.

This would result in fewer VOC emissions from paints and coatings, which the EPA estimates at over eight million tons per year in the United States alone. VOCs can cause a variety of respiratory and other ailments and also contribute to smog and climate change. Reducing their use has become a priority for the Environmental Protection Agency and other regulatory bodies worldwide.

“VOC solvents are toxic, they’re flammable, they’re expensive to handle and dispose of safely,” Kotov said. “So if you can avoid using them, there’s a significant cost savings in addition to environmental benefits.”

While some low- and no-VOC coatings are already available, Kotov said hedgehog particles could provide a simpler, more versatile and less expensive way to manufacture them.

For the study, the team created hedgehog particles by growing zinc oxide spikes on polystyrene microbeads. The researchers say that a key advantage of the process is its flexibility; it can be performed on virtually any type of particle, and makers can vary the number and size of the spikes by adjusting the amount of time the particles sit in various solutions while the protrusions are growing. They can also make the spikes out of materials other than zinc oxide.

“I think one thing that’s really exciting about this is that we’re able to make such a wide variety of hedgehog particles,” said Joong Hwan Bahng, a chemical engineering doctoral student. “It’s very controllable and very versatile.”

The researchers say the process is also easily scalable, enabling hedgehog particles to be created “by the bucketful,” according to Kotov. Further down the road, Kotov envisions a variety of other applications, including better oil dispersants that could aid in the cleanup of oil spills and better ways to deliver non-water-soluble prescription medications.

“Anytime you need to dissolve an oily particle in water, there’s a potential application for hedgehog particles,” he said. “It’s really just a matter of finding the right commercial partners. We’re only just beginning to explore the uses for these particles, and I think we’re going to see a lot of applications in the future.”

Kotov is also a professor of chemical engineering, biomedical engineering, materials science and engineering and macromolecular science and engineering. The paper is titled “Anomalous Dispersions of Hedgehog Particles” and based upon work partially supported by the Center for Solar and Thermal Energy Conversion, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences. Support has also been provided by the NSF and the US Department of Defense.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Thursday, January 29th, 2015 at 3:15 pm and is filed under .

Spiky “hedgehog particles” for safer paints, fewer VOC emissions

Contact: Gabe Cherry, 734-647-7085, gcherry@umich.edu

ANN ARBOR – A new process that can sprout microscopic spikes on nearly any type of particle may lead to more environmentally friendly paints and a variety of other innovations.

Made by a team of University of Michigan engineers, the “hedgehog particles” are named for their bushy appearance under the microscope. Their development is detailed in a paper published in the Jan. 29 issue of Nature.

The new process modifies oily, or “hydrophobic” particles, enabling them to disperse easily in water. It can also modify water-soluble, or “hydrophilic” particles, enabling them to dissolve in oil or other oily chemicals.

The unusual behavior of the hedgehog particles came as something of a surprise to the research team, said Nicholas Kotov, the Joseph B. and Florence V. Cejka Professor of Engineering.

“We thought we’d made a mistake,” Kotov said. “We saw these particles that are supposed to ‘hate’ water dispersing in it and we thought maybe the particles weren’t hydrophobic, or maybe there was a chemical layer that was enabling them to disperse. But we double-checked everything and found that, in fact, these particles defy the conventional chemical wisdom that we all learned in high school.”

The team found that the tiny spikes made the particles repel each other more and attract each other less. The spikes also dramatically reduce the particles’ surface area, helping them to diffuse more easily.

One of the first applications for the particles is likely to be in paints and coatings, where toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like toluene are now used to dissolve pigment. Pigments made from hedgehog particles could potentially be dissolved in non-toxic carriers like water, the researchers say.

This would result in fewer VOC emissions from paints and coatings, which the EPA estimates at over eight million tons per year in the United States alone. VOCs can cause a variety of respiratory and other ailments and also contribute to smog and climate change. Reducing their use has become a priority for the Environmental Protection Agency and other regulatory bodies worldwide.

“VOC solvents are toxic, they’re flammable, they’re expensive to handle and dispose of safely,” Kotov said. “So if you can avoid using them, there’s a significant cost savings in addition to environmental benefits.”

While some low- and no-VOC coatings are already available, Kotov said hedgehog particles could provide a simpler, more versatile and less expensive way to manufacture them.

For the study, the team created hedgehog particles by growing zinc oxide spikes on polystyrene microbeads. The researchers say that a key advantage of the process is its flexibility; it can be performed on virtually any type of particle, and makers can vary the number and size of the spikes by adjusting the amount of time the particles sit in various solutions while the protrusions are growing. They can also make the spikes out of materials other than zinc oxide.

“I think one thing that’s really exciting about this is that we’re able to make such a wide variety of hedgehog particles,” said Joong Hwan Bahng, a chemical engineering doctoral student. “It’s very controllable and very versatile.”

The researchers say the process is also easily scalable, enabling hedgehog particles to be created “by the bucketful,” according to Kotov. Further down the road, Kotov envisions a variety of other applications, including better oil dispersants that could aid in the cleanup of oil spills and better ways to deliver non-water-soluble prescription medications.

“Anytime you need to dissolve an oily particle in water, there’s a potential application for hedgehog particles,” he said. “It’s really just a matter of finding the right commercial partners. We’re only just beginning to explore the uses for these particles, and I think we’re going to see a lot of applications in the future.”

Kotov is also a professor of chemical engineering, biomedical engineering, materials science and engineering and macromolecular science and engineering. The paper is titled “Anomalous Dispersions of Hedgehog Particles” and based upon work partially supported by the Center for Solar and Thermal Energy Conversion, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences. Support has also been provided by the NSF and the US Department of Defense.

NS Link: http://ns.umich.edu/new/releases/22646-spiky-hedgehog-particles-for-safer-paints-fewer-voc-emissions

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Thursday, January 29th, 2015 at 3:13 pm and is filed under All News, Faculty News.

Spiky “hedgehog particles” for safer paints, fewer VOC emissions

Contact: Gabe Cherry, 734-647-7085, gcherry@umich.edu

ANN ARBOR – A new process that can sprout microscopic spikes on nearly any type of particle may lead to more environmentally friendly paints and a variety of other innovations.

Made by a team of University of Michigan engineers, the “hedgehog particles” are named for their bushy appearance under the microscope. Their development is detailed in a paper published in the Jan. 29 issue of Nature.

The new process modifies oily, or “hydrophobic” particles, enabling them to disperse easily in water. It can also modify water-soluble, or “hydrophilic” particles, enabling them to dissolve in oil or other oily chemicals.

The unusual behavior of the hedgehog particles came as something of a surprise to the research team, said Nicholas Kotov, the Joseph B. and Florence V. Cejka Professor of Engineering.

“We thought we’d made a mistake,” Kotov said. “We saw these particles that are supposed to ‘hate’ water dispersing in it and we thought maybe the particles weren’t hydrophobic, or maybe there was a chemical layer that was enabling them to disperse. But we double-checked everything and found that, in fact, these particles defy the conventional chemical wisdom that we all learned in high school.”

The team found that the tiny spikes made the particles repel each other more and attract each other less. The spikes also dramatically reduce the particles’ surface area, helping them to diffuse more easily.

One of the first applications for the particles is likely to be in paints and coatings, where toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like toluene are now used to dissolve pigment. Pigments made from hedgehog particles could potentially be dissolved in non-toxic carriers like water, the researchers say.

This would result in fewer VOC emissions from paints and coatings, which the EPA estimates at over eight million tons per year in the United States alone. VOCs can cause a variety of respiratory and other ailments and also contribute to smog and climate change. Reducing their use has become a priority for the Environmental Protection Agency and other regulatory bodies worldwide.

“VOC solvents are toxic, they’re flammable, they’re expensive to handle and dispose of safely,” Kotov said. “So if you can avoid using them, there’s a significant cost savings in addition to environmental benefits.”

While some low- and no-VOC coatings are already available, Kotov said hedgehog particles could provide a simpler, more versatile and less expensive way to manufacture them.

For the study, the team created hedgehog particles by growing zinc oxide spikes on polystyrene microbeads. The researchers say that a key advantage of the process is its flexibility; it can be performed on virtually any type of particle, and makers can vary the number and size of the spikes by adjusting the amount of time the particles sit in various solutions while the protrusions are growing. They can also make the spikes out of materials other than zinc oxide.

“I think one thing that’s really exciting about this is that we’re able to make such a wide variety of hedgehog particles,” said Joong Hwan Bahng, a chemical engineering doctoral student. “It’s very controllable and very versatile.”

The researchers say the process is also easily scalable, enabling hedgehog particles to be created “by the bucketful,” according to Kotov. Further down the road, Kotov envisions a variety of other applications, including better oil dispersants that could aid in the cleanup of oil spills and better ways to deliver non-water-soluble prescription medications.

“Anytime you need to dissolve an oily particle in water, there’s a potential application for hedgehog particles,” he said. “It’s really just a matter of finding the right commercial partners. We’re only just beginning to explore the uses for these particles, and I think we’re going to see a lot of applications in the future.”

Kotov is also a professor of chemical engineering, biomedical engineering, materials science and engineering and macromolecular science and engineering. The paper is titled “Anomalous Dispersions of Hedgehog Particles” and based upon work partially supported by the Center for Solar and Thermal Energy Conversion, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences. Support has also been provided by the NSF and the US Department of Defense.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Thursday, January 29th, 2015 at 3:13 pm and is filed under .

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This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Thursday, January 29th, 2015 at 3:13 pm and is filed under .

Spiky “hedgehog particles” for safer paints, fewer VOC emissions

ANN ARBOR – A new process that can sprout microscopic spikes on nearly any type of particle may lead to more environmentally friendly paints and a variety of other innovations.

Made by a team of University of Michigan engineers, the “hedgehog particles” are named for their bushy appearance under the microscope. Their development is detailed in a paper published in the Jan. 29 issue of Nature.

The new process modifies oily, or “hydrophobic” particles, enabling them to disperse easily in water. It can also modify water-soluble, or “hydrophilic” particles, enabling them to dissolve in oil or other oily chemicals.

The unusual behavior of the hedgehog particles came as something of a surprise to the research team, said Nicholas Kotov, the Joseph B. and Florence V. Cejka Professor of Engineering.

“We thought we’d made a mistake,” Kotov said. “We saw these particles that are supposed to ‘hate’ water dispersing in it and we thought maybe the particles weren’t hydrophobic, or maybe there was a chemical layer that was enabling them to disperse. But we double-checked everything and found that, in fact, these particles defy the conventional chemical wisdom that we all learned in high school.”

The team found that the tiny spikes made the particles repel each other more and attract each other less. The spikes also dramatically reduce the particles’ surface area, helping them to diffuse more easily.

One of the first applications for the particles is likely to be in paints and coatings, where toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like toluene are now used to dissolve pigment. Pigments made from hedgehog particles could potentially be dissolved in non-toxic carriers like water, the researchers say.

This would result in fewer VOC emissions from paints and coatings, which the EPA estimates at over eight million tons per year in the United States alone. VOCs can cause a variety of respiratory and other ailments and also contribute to smog and climate change. Reducing their use has become a priority for the Environmental Protection Agency and other regulatory bodies worldwide.

“VOC solvents are toxic, they’re flammable, they’re expensive to handle and dispose of safely,” Kotov said. “So if you can avoid using them, there’s a significant cost savings in addition to environmental benefits.”

While some low- and no-VOC coatings are already available, Kotov said hedgehog particles could provide a simpler, more versatile and less expensive way to manufacture them.

For the study, the team created hedgehog particles by growing zinc oxide spikes on polystyrene microbeads. The researchers say that a key advantage of the process is its flexibility; it can be performed on virtually any type of particle, and makers can vary the number and size of the spikes by adjusting the amount of time the particles sit in various solutions while the protrusions are growing. They can also make the spikes out of materials other than zinc oxide.

“I think one thing that’s really exciting about this is that we’re able to make such a wide variety of hedgehog particles,” said Joong Hwan Bahng, a chemical engineering doctoral student. “It’s very controllable and very versatile.”

The researchers say the process is also easily scalable, enabling hedgehog particles to be created “by the bucketful,” according to Kotov. Further down the road, Kotov envisions a variety of other applications, including better oil dispersants that could aid in the cleanup of oil spills and better ways to deliver non-water-soluble prescription medications.

“Anytime you need to dissolve an oily particle in water, there’s a potential application for hedgehog particles,” he said. “It’s really just a matter of finding the right commercial partners. We’re only just beginning to explore the uses for these particles, and I think we’re going to see a lot of applications in the future.”

Kotov is also a professor of chemical engineering, biomedical engineering, materials science and engineering and macromolecular science and engineering. The paper is titled “Anomalous Dispersions of Hedgehog Particles” and based upon work partially supported by the Center for Solar and Thermal Energy Conversion, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences. Support has also been provided by the NSF and the US Department of Defense.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Thursday, January 29th, 2015 at 3:12 pm and is filed under .

2014 Engineering Graduate Symposium Winners

Several BME students earned awards at the Engineering Graduate Symposium held on November 14, 2014.

Eli Vlaisavljevich earned the Richard and Eleanor Towner Prize for Outstanding PhD Research. Eli is a PhD student in Professor Zhen Xu’s Image-Guided Ultrasound Therapy Laboratory.

In the poster presentation Sahar Rahmani earned first place in the Medicine and Translational Research (MTR) category.

The Engineering Graduate Symposium is a college-wide event focusing on graduate student research. This program is open to all College of Engineering current undergraduate and graduate students as well as prospective graduate engineering students from other institutions.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, December 19th, 2014 at 9:23 am and is filed under All News, Student/Post-Doc News.

2014 Engineering Graduate Symposium Winners

Several BME students earned awards at the Engineering Graduate Symposium held on November 14, 2014.

Eli Vlaisavljevich earned the Richard and Eleanor Towner Prize for Outstanding PhD Research. Eli is a PhD student in Professor Zhen Xu’s Image-Guided Ultrasound Therapy Laboratory.

In the poster presentation Sahar Rahmani earned first place in the Medicine and Translational Research (MTR) category.

The Engineering Graduate Symposium is a college-wide event focusing on graduate student research. This program is open to all College of Engineering current undergraduate and graduate students as well as prospective graduate engineering students from other institutions.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, December 19th, 2014 at 9:23 am and is filed under .

2014 Engineering Graduate Symposium Winners

Several BME students earned awards at the Engineering Graduate Symposium held on November 14, 2014.

Eli Vlaisavljevich earned the Richard and Eleanor Towner Prize for Outstanding PhD Research. Eli is a PhD student in Professor Zhen Xu’s Image-Guided Ultrasound Therapy Laboratory.

In the poster presentation Sahar Rahmani earned first place in the Medicine and Translational Research (MTR) category.

The Engineering Graduate Symposium is a college-wide event focusing on graduate student research. This program is open to all College of Engineering current undergraduate and graduate students as well as prospective graduate engineering students from other institutions.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, December 19th, 2014 at 9:23 am and is filed under .

HistoSonics and Coulter Partnership featured in The Wall Street Journal

U-M Biomedical Engineering and U-M Coulter partnership program spinout HistoSonics Inc. is featured by The Wall Street Journal in an article highlighting the growing trend of universities pushing into the realm of startups. The article is available online.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, December 19th, 2014 at 9:09 am and is filed under .

HistoSonics and Coulter Partnership featured in The Wall Street Journal

U-M Biomedical Engineering and U-M Coulter partnership program spinout HistoSonics Inc. is featured by The Wall Street Journal in an article highlighting the growing trend of universities pushing into the realm of startups. The article is available online at the Wall Street Journal’s website.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, December 19th, 2014 at 9:09 am and is filed under .

HistoSonics and Coulter Partnership featured in The Wall Street Journal

U-M Biomedical Engineering and U-M Coulter partnership program spinout HistoSonics Inc. is featured by The Wall Street Journal in an article highlighting the growing trend of universities pushing into the realm of startups. The article is available online at the Wall Street Journal’s website.

More about the U-M Coulter Translational Research Partnership: http://www.bme.umich.edu/research/coulter.php

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, December 19th, 2014 at 9:08 am and is filed under .

HistoSonics and Coulter Partnership Featured in The Wall Street Journal

U-M Biomedical Engineering and U-M Coulter partnership program spinout HistoSonics Inc. is featured by The Wall Street Journal in an article highlighting the growing trend of universities pushing into the realm of startups. The article is available online.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, December 19th, 2014 at 9:08 am and is filed under All News, Faculty News.

HistoSonics and Coulter Partnership featured in The Wall Street Journal

U-M Biomedical Engineering and U-M Coulter partnership program spinout HistoSonics Inc. is featured by The Wall Street Journal in an article highlighting the growing trend of universities pushing into the realm of startups. The article is available online at the Wall Street Journal’s website.

More about the U-M Coulter Translational Research Partnership: http://www.bme.umich.edu/research/coulter.php

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, December 19th, 2014 at 9:08 am and is filed under .

HistoSonics and Coulter Partnership featured in The Wall Street Journal

U-M Biomedical Engineering and U-M Coulter partnership program spinout HistoSonics Inc. is featured by The Wall Street Journal in an article highlighting the growing trend of universities pushing into the realm of startups. The article is available online at the Wall Street Journal’s website.

More about the U-M Coulter Translational Research Partnership: http://www.bme.umich.edu/research/coulter.php

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, December 19th, 2014 at 9:07 am and is filed under .

BME Fall 2014 News

UMBME Fall 2014 MagazineIn our fall issue of the U-M Biomedical Engineering Magazine, we introduce incoming chair Lonnie Shea and explore the very personal roots of his vision for the department’s future. We survey the world of miniaturized, even wearable, sensors to detect anything from cancer to chemical weapons. Our 2014 Alumni Merit Award winner, Scott Merz, reflects on a career in translation, while our globe-trotting students spend their summers learning and improving lives around the world.

READ MORE…

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, December 5th, 2014 at 2:57 pm and is filed under All News, Spotlight.

BME Fall 2014 News

UMBME Fall 2014 MagazineIn our fall issue of the U-M Biomedical Engineering Magazine, we introduce incoming chair Lonnie Shea and explore the very personal roots of his vision for the department’s future. We survey the world of miniaturized, even wearable, sensors to detect anything from cancer to chemical weapons. Our 2014 Alumni Merit Award winner, Scott Merz, reflects on a career in translation, while our globe-trotting students spend their summers learning and improving lives around the world.

READ MORE…

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, December 5th, 2014 at 2:57 pm and is filed under .

BME Fall 2014 News

UMBME Fall 2014 MagazineIn our fall issue of the U-M Biomedical Engineering Magazine, we introduce incoming chair Lonnie Shea and explore the very personal roots of his vision for the department’s future. We survey the world of miniaturized, even wearable, sensors to detect anything from cancer to chemical weapons. Our 2014 Alumni Merit Award winner, Scott Merz, reflects on a career in translation, while our globe-trotting students spend their summers learning and improving lives around the world.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, December 5th, 2014 at 2:56 pm and is filed under .

UMBME Fall 2014 Magazine

UMBME Fall 2014 Magazine

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, December 5th, 2014 at 2:54 pm and is filed under .

U-M BME Community Mourns the Loss of Derek Tat

Derek Tat, who was a Ph.D. student in Prof. Cindy Chestek’s lab, passed away late last week in a vehicle accident. Derek was a brilliant student and close friend to the Chestek lab as well as the greater Michigan community. The entire U-M BME family is deeply saddened by the news of his tragic death.

Services for Derek will be held on Thursday, October 23, 2014 from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm at the Muehlig Funeral Chapel in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Derek’s family welcomes all to attend his funeral services. The Chapel’s address is:

Meuhlig Funeral Chapel
403 S 4th Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

If you would like to donate or share a memory about Derek, please visit this page:
http://www.youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/derek-tat-memorial-fund/251477

All proceeds donated to the fund will be sent to the Tat family on November 1st.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 at 10:56 am and is filed under .

U-M BME Community Mourns the Loss of Derek Tat

Derek Tat, who was a Ph.D. student in Prof. Cindy Chestek’s lab, passed away late last week in a vehicle accident. Derek was a brilliant student and close friend to the Chestek lab as well as the greater Michigan community. The entire U-M BME family is deeply saddened by the news of his tragic death.

Services for Derek will be held on Thursday, October 23, 2014 from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm at the Mehlig Funeral Chapel in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Derek’s family welcomes all to attend his funeral services. The Chapel’s address is:

Mehlig Funeral Chapel
403 S 4th Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

If you would like to donate or share a memory about Derek, please visit this page:
http://www.youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/derek-tat-memorial-fund/251477

All proceeds donated to the fund will be sent to the Tat family on November 1st.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 at 10:55 am and is filed under .

U-M BME Community Mourns the Loss of Derek Tat

Derek Tat, who was a Ph.D. student in Prof. Cindy Chestek’s lab, passed away late last week in a vehicle accident. Derek was a brilliant student and close friend to the Chestek lab as well as the greater Michigan community. The entire U-M BME family is deeply saddened by the news of his tragic death.

Services for Derek will be held on Thursday, October 23, 2014 from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm at the Mehlig Funeral Chapel in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Derek’s family welcomes all to attend his funeral services. The Chapel’s address is:

Muehlig Funeral Chapel
403 S 4th Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

If you would like to donate or share a memory about Derek, please visit this page:
http://www.youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/derek-tat-memorial-fund/251477

All proceeds donated to the fund will be sent to the Tat family on November 1st.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 at 10:37 am and is filed under .

U-M BME Community Mourns the Loss of Derek Tat

Derek Tat, who was a Ph.D. student in Prof. Cindy Chestek’s lab, passed away late last week in a vehicle accident. Derek was a brilliant student and close friend to the Chestek lab as well as the greater Michigan community. The entire U-M BME family is deeply saddened by the news of his tragic death.

Services for Derek will be held on Thursday, October 23, 2014 from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm at the Mehlig Funeral Chapel in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Derek’s family welcomes all to attend his funeral services. The Chapel’s address is:

Muehlig Funeral Chapel
403 S 4th Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

If you would like to donate or share a memory about Derek, please visit this page:
http://www.youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/derek-tat-memorial-fund/251477

All proceeds donated to the fund will be sent to the Tat family on November 1st.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 at 10:37 am and is filed under .

U-M BME Community Mourns the Loss of Derek Tat

Derek Tat, who was a Ph.D. student in Prof. Cindy Chestek’s lab, passed away late last week in a vehicle accident. Derek was a brilliant student and close friend to the Chestek lab as well as the greater Michigan community. The entire U-M BME family is deeply saddened by the news of his tragic death.

Services for Derek will be held on Thursday, October 23, 2014 from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm at the Mehlig Funeral Chapel in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Derek’s family welcomes all to attend his funeral services. The Chapel’s address is:

Muehlig Funeral Chapel
403 S 4th Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

If you would like to donate or share a memory about Derek, please visit this page:
http://www.youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/derek-tat-memorial-fund/251477

All proceeds donated to the fund will be sent to the Tat family on November 1st.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 at 10:36 am and is filed under .

U-M BME Community Mourns the Loss of Derek Tat

Derek Tat, who was a Ph.D. student in Prof. Cindy Chestek’s lab, passed away late last week in a vehicle accident. Derek was a brilliant student and close friend to the Chestek lab as well as the greater Michigan community. The entire U-M BME family is deeply saddened by the news of his tragic death.

Services for Derek will be held on Thursday, October 23, 2014 from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm at the Mehlig Funeral Chapel in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Derek’s family welcomes all to attend his funeral services. The Chapel’s address is:

Muehlig Funeral Chapel
403 S 4th Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

If you would like to donate or share a memory about Derek, please visit this page:
http://www.youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/derek-tat-memorial-fund/251448

All proceeds donated to the fund will be sent to the Tat family on November 1st.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 at 9:54 am and is filed under .

U-M BME Community Mourns the Loss of Derek Tat

Derek Tat, who was a Ph.D. student in Prof. Cindy Chestek’s lab, passed away late last week in a vehicle accident. Derek was a brilliant student and close friend to the Chestek lab as well as the greater Michigan community. The entire U-M BME family is deeply saddened by the news of his tragic death.

Services for Derek will be held on Thursday, October 23, 2014 from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm at the Muehlig Funeral Chapel in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Derek’s family welcomes all to attend his funeral services. The Chapel’s address is:

Muehlig Funeral Chapel
403 S 4th Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

If you would like to donate or share a memory about Derek, please visit this page:
http://www.youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/derek-tat-memorial-fund/251477

All proceeds donated to the fund will be sent to the Tat family on November 1st.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 at 9:23 am and is filed under All News, Student/Post-Doc News.

U-M BME Community Mourns the Loss of Derek Tat

Derek Tat, who was a Ph.D. student in Prof. Cindy Chestek’s lab, passed away late last week in a vehicle accident. Derek was a brilliant student and close friend to the Chestek lab as well as the greater Michigan community. The entire U-M BME family is deeply saddened by the news of his tragic death.

Services for Derek will be held on Thursday, October 23, 2014 from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm at the Mehlig Funeral Chapel in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Derek’s family welcomes all to attend his funeral services. The Chapel’s address is:

Muehlig Funeral Chapel
403 S 4th Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

If you would like to donate or share a memory about Derek, please visit this page:
http://www.youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/derek-tat-memorial-fund/251448

All proceeds donated to the fund will be sent to the Tat family on November 1st.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 at 9:23 am and is filed under .

U-M BME Community Mourns the Loss of Derek Tat

Derek Tat, who was a Ph.D. student in Prof. Cindy Chestek’s lab, passed away late last week in a vehicle accident. Derek was a brilliant student and close friend to the Chestek lab as well as the greater Michigan community. The entire U-M BME family is deeply saddened by the news of his tragic death.

Services for Derek will be held on Thursday, October 23, 2014 from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm at the Mehlig Funeral Chapel in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Derek’s family welcomes all to attend his funeral services. The Chapel’s address is:

Muehlig Funeral Chapel
403 S 4th Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

If you would like to donate or share a memory about Derek, please visit this page:

http://www.youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/derek-tat-memorial-fund/251448

All proceeds donated to the fund will be sent to the Tat family on November 1st.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 at 9:22 am and is filed under .

$2M for lasers to map the brain

Individual parts of the brain can be activated and de-activated by shining light on the neurons, and researchers are using this ability to chart how different areas of the brain function. To zoom in on individual neuron circuits within the brain, more precise light sources are needed. Euisik Yoon, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at U-M, is leading a team that will design and build these new light sources with a variety of lasers.
The $2 million grant is part of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) initiative, a program championed by the White House and administered by the National Institutes of Health. Kensall Wise, the William Gould Dow Distinguished University Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at U-M, and György Buzsáki, the Biggs Professor of Neural Sciences at the New York University School of Medicine are co-investigators.
The project is called “Modular high-density optoelectrodes for local circuit analysis.” Yoon is also a professor of biomedical engineering. Wise is also the J. Reid and Polly Anderson Professor of Manufacturing Technology, a professor of biomedical engineering, and a professor of atmospheric, oceanic and space sciences.

From: Kate McAlpine
Michigan Engineering
Original Story

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Monday, October 13th, 2014 at 12:56 pm and is filed under All News, Faculty News.

$2M for lasers to map the brain

Individual parts of the brain can be activated and de-activated by shining light on the neurons, and researchers are using this ability to chart how different areas of the brain function. To zoom in on individual neuron circuits within the brain, more precise light sources are needed. Euisik Yoon, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at U-M, is leading a team that will design and build these new light sources with a variety of lasers.
The $2 million grant is part of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) initiative, a program championed by the White House and administered by the National Institutes of Health. Kensall Wise, the William Gould Dow Distinguished University Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at U-M, and György Buzsáki, the Biggs Professor of Neural Sciences at the New York University School of Medicine are co-investigators.
The project is called “Modular high-density optoelectrodes for local circuit analysis.” Yoon is also a professor of biomedical engineering. Wise is also the J. Reid and Polly Anderson Professor of Manufacturing Technology, a professor of biomedical engineering, and a professor of atmospheric, oceanic and space sciences.

From: Kate McAlpine
Michigan Engineering
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This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Monday, October 13th, 2014 at 12:56 pm and is filed under .

Shea Named Chair of U-M BME

August 25, 2014 Contact: Brandon Baier, 734-647-6109, bbaier@umich.edu

Ann Arbor, MI – Lonnie D. Shea has been named professor and chair of the University of Michigan Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME), effective September 1, 2014.

Shea, who earned his PhD from U-M in 1997, was recruited from Northwestern University’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, where he has served on the faculty since 1999. He is an internationally recognized researcher at the interface of regenerative medicine, drug and gene delivery, and immune tolerance, whose focus is controlling the local microenvironment for directing tissue growth or regeneration. His projects include ovarian follicle maturation for treating infertility, islet transplantation for diabetes therapies, nerve regeneration for treating paralysis, autoimmune diseases and allogeneic cell transplantation, and cancer diagnostics. He is also developing and applying systems biology approaches to molecularly dissect tissue formation and identify key drivers of normal and abnormal growth.

Shea has received funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF) and multiple foundations; has published more than 150 manuscripts on his research; and has numerous inventions to his credit, among them a cellular assay with which he can measure the activity of numerous transcription factors within the cell that reveal key signaling pathways as cells differentiate and develop in his customized 3D cultures.

In addition to his research and teaching responsibilities at Northwestern, Shea served as director of its NIH Biotechnology Training Grant and was a member of its Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine. He is a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), a standing member of the Biomaterials and Bionterfaces study section at NIH, and a member of the editorial boards for Molecular Therapy, Biotechnology and Bioengineering, and Drug Delivery and Translational Research.

Shea completed his BS and MS degrees in chemical engineering at Case Western Reserve University. He received his PhD in chemical engineering and scientific computing from U-M in 1997, working with BME and Chemical Engineering Professor Jennifer Linderman. He then served as a postdoctoral fellow with Professor David Mooney in the Department of Biologic and Materials Science in the U-M Dental School. In 2000, Shea received a CAREER Award, the NSF’s most prestigious award in support of junior faculty who exemplify outstanding research and teaching.

Shea is enthusiastic about returning to his alma mater and continuing the momentum of the BME department, which underwent significant growth under former Chair Douglas C. Noll. When Noll stepped down in late 2013, the department had doubled its faculty from 11 to 22, received a $20 million endowment through the U-M Coulter Partnership for Translational Biomedical Engineering Research, and been restructured into a joint department of the College of Engineering and medical school.

Shea, who will have the opportunity to hire another 10 faculty, says he is eager to continue on this trajectory. Among his goals are “inspiring students toward accomplishments they never imagined possible” and “fostering research that doesn’t focus on publishing the next paper but on changing the way researchers and clinicians approach the problem.”

Interim Chair Ronald G. Larson feels Shea is more than up to the challenge. He says, “Lonnie is exceptionally talented at working at the interface between engineering and medicine. I believe he will be a superb role model for the department and will help vault it into the top ranks of national and international leadership in biomedical engineering.”

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Monday, October 13th, 2014 at 11:24 am and is filed under .

Shea Named Chair of U-M BME

August 25, 2014 Contact: Brandon Baier, 734-647-6109, bbaier@umich.edu

Ann Arbor, MI – Lonnie D. Shea has been named professor and chair of the University of Michigan Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME), effective September 1, 2014.

Shea, who earned his PhD from U-M in 1997, was recruited from Northwestern University’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, where he has served on the faculty since 1999. He is an internationally recognized researcher at the interface of regenerative medicine, drug and gene delivery, and immune tolerance, whose focus is controlling the local microenvironment for directing tissue growth or regeneration. His projects include ovarian follicle maturation for treating infertility, islet transplantation for diabetes therapies, nerve regeneration for treating paralysis, autoimmune diseases and allogeneic cell transplantation, and cancer diagnostics. He is also developing and applying systems biology approaches to molecularly dissect tissue formation and identify key drivers of normal and abnormal growth.

Shea has received funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF) and multiple foundations; has published more than 150 manuscripts on his research; and has numerous inventions to his credit, among them a cellular assay with which he can measure the activity of numerous transcription factors within the cell that reveal key signaling pathways as cells differentiate and develop in his customized 3D cultures.

In addition to his research and teaching responsibilities at Northwestern, Shea served as director of its NIH Biotechnology Training Grant and was a member of its Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine. He is a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), a standing member of the Biomaterials and Bionterfaces study section at NIH, and a member of the editorial boards for Molecular Therapy, Biotechnology and Bioengineering, and Drug Delivery and Translational Research.

Shea completed his BS and MS degrees in chemical engineering at Case Western Reserve University. He received his PhD in chemical engineering and scientific computing from U-M in 1997, working with BME and Chemical Engineering Professor Jennifer Linderman. He then served as a postdoctoral fellow with Professor David Mooney in the Department of Biologic and Materials Science in the U-M Dental School. In 2000, Shea received a CAREER Award, the NSF’s most prestigious award in support of junior faculty who exemplify outstanding research and teaching.

Shea is enthusiastic about returning to his alma mater and continuing the momentum of the BME department, which underwent significant growth under former Chair Douglas C. Noll. When Noll stepped down in late 2013, the department had doubled its faculty from 11 to 22, received a $20 million endowment through the U-M Coulter Partnership for Translational Biomedical Engineering Research, and been restructured into a joint department of the College of Engineering and medical school.

Shea, who will have the opportunity to hire another 10 faculty, says he is eager to continue on this trajectory. Among his goals are “inspiring students toward accomplishments they never imagined possible” and “fostering research that doesn’t focus on publishing the next paper but on changing the way researchers and clinicians approach the problem.”

Interim Chair Ronald G. Larson feels Shea is more than up to the challenge. He says, “Lonnie is exceptionally talented at working at the interface between engineering and medicine. I believe he will be a superb role model for the department and will help vault it into the top ranks of national and international leadership in biomedical engineering.”

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Monday, September 8th, 2014 at 3:33 pm and is filed under .

Shea Named Chair of U-M BME

August 25, 2014 Contact: Brandon Baier, 734-647-6109, bbaier@umich.edu

Ann Arbor, MI – Lonnie D. Shea has been named professor and chair of the University of Michigan Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME), effective September 1, 2014.

Shea, who earned his PhD from U-M in 1997, was recruited from Northwestern University’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, where he has served on the faculty since 1999. He is an internationally recognized researcher at the interface of regenerative medicine, drug and gene delivery, and immune tolerance, whose focus is controlling the local microenvironment for directing tissue growth or regeneration. His projects include ovarian follicle maturation for treating infertility, islet transplantation for diabetes therapies, nerve regeneration for treating paralysis, autoimmune diseases and allogeneic cell transplantation, and cancer diagnostics. He is also developing and applying systems biology approaches to molecularly dissect tissue formation and identify key drivers of normal and abnormal growth.

Shea has received funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF) and multiple foundations; has published more than 150 manuscripts on his research; and has numerous inventions to his credit, among them a cellular assay with which he can measure the activity of numerous transcription factors within the cell that reveal key signaling pathways as cells differentiate and develop in his customized 3D cultures.

In addition to his research and teaching responsibilities at Northwestern, Shea served as director of its NIH Biotechnology Training Grant and was a member of its Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine. He is a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), a standing member of the Biomaterials and Bionterfaces study section at NIH, and a member of the editorial boards for Molecular Therapy, Biotechnology and Bioengineering, and Drug Delivery and Translational Research.

Shea completed his BS and MS degrees in chemical engineering at Case Western Reserve University. He received his PhD in chemical engineering and scientific computing from U-M in 1997, working with BME and Chemical Engineering Professor Jennifer Linderman. He then served as a postdoctoral fellow with Professor David Mooney in the Department of Biologic and Materials Science in the U-M Dental School. In 2000, Shea received a CAREER Award, the NSF’s most prestigious award in support of junior faculty who exemplify outstanding research and teaching.

Shea is enthusiastic about returning to his alma mater and continuing the momentum of the BME department, which underwent significant growth under former Chair Douglas C. Noll. When Noll stepped down in late 2013, the department had doubled its faculty from 11 to 22, received a $20 million endowment through the U-M Coulter Partnership for Translational Biomedical Engineering Research, and been restructured into a joint department of the College of Engineering and medical school.

Shea, who will have the opportunity to hire another 10 faculty, says he is eager to continue on this trajectory. Among his goals are “inspiring students toward accomplishments they never imagined possible” and “fostering research that doesn’t focus on publishing the next paper but on changing the way researchers and clinicians approach the problem.”

Interim Chair Ronald G. Larson feels Shea is more than up to the challenge. He says, “Lonnie is exceptionally talented at working at the interface between engineering and medicine. I believe he will be a superb role model for the department and will help vault it into the top ranks of national and international leadership in biomedical engineering.”

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Monday, September 8th, 2014 at 3:33 pm and is filed under .

Shea Named Chair of U-M BME

August 25, 2014 Contact: Brandon Baier, 734-647-6109, bbaier@umich.edu

Ann Arbor, MI – Lonnie D. Shea has been named professor and chair of the University of Michigan Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME), effective September 1, 2014.

Shea, who earned his PhD from U-M in 1997, was recruited from Northwestern University’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, where he has served on the faculty since 1999. He is an internationally recognized researcher at the interface of regenerative medicine, drug and gene delivery, and immune tolerance, whose focus is controlling the local microenvironment for directing tissue growth or regeneration. His projects include ovarian follicle maturation for treating infertility, islet transplantation for diabetes therapies, nerve regeneration for treating paralysis, autoimmune diseases and allogeneic cell transplantation, and cancer diagnostics. He is also developing and applying systems biology approaches to molecularly dissect tissue formation and identify key drivers of normal and abnormal growth.

Shea has received funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF) and multiple foundations; has published more than 150 manuscripts on his research; and has numerous inventions to his credit, among them a cellular assay with which he can measure the activity of numerous transcription factors within the cell that reveal key signaling pathways as cells differentiate and develop in his customized 3D cultures.
In addition to his research and teaching responsibilities at Northwestern, Shea served as director of its NIH Biotechnology Training Grant and was a member of its Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine. He is a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), a standing member of the Biomaterials and Bionterfaces study section at NIH, and a member of the editorial boards for Molecular Therapy, Biotechnology and Bioengineering, and Drug Delivery and Translational Research.

Shea completed his BS and MS degrees in chemical engineering at Case Western Reserve University. He received his PhD in chemical engineering and scientific computing from U-M in 1997, working with BME and Chemical Engineering Professor Jennifer Linderman. He then served as a postdoctoral fellow with Professor David Mooney in the Department of Biologic and Materials Science in the U-M Dental School. In 2000, Shea received a CAREER Award, the NSF’s most prestigious award in support of junior faculty who exemplify outstanding research and teaching.
Shea is enthusiastic about returning to his alma mater and continuing the momentum of the BME department, which underwent significant growth under former Chair Douglas C. Noll. When Noll stepped down in late 2013, the department had doubled its faculty from 11 to 22, received a $20 million endowment through the U-M Coulter Partnership for Translational Biomedical Engineering Research, and been restructured into a joint department of the College of Engineering and medical school.
Shea, who will have the opportunity to hire another 10 faculty, says he is eager to continue on this trajectory. Among his goals are “inspiring students toward accomplishments they never imagined possible” and “fostering research that doesn’t focus on publishing the next paper but on changing the way researchers and clinicians approach the problem.”
Interim Chair Ronald G. Larson feels Shea is more than up to the challenge. He says, “Lonnie is exceptionally talented at working at the interface between engineering and medicine. I believe he will be a superb role model for the department and will help vault it into the top ranks of national and international leadership in biomedical engineering.”

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Monday, September 8th, 2014 at 3:32 pm and is filed under .

Shea Named Chair of U-M BME

August 25, 2014 Contact: Brandon Baier, 734-647-6109, bbaier@umich.edu

Ann Arbor, MI – Lonnie D. Shea has been named professor and chair of the University of Michigan Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME), effective September 1, 2014.

Shea, who earned his PhD from U-M in 1997, was recruited from Northwestern University’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, where he has served on the faculty since 1999. He is an internationally recognized researcher at the interface of regenerative medicine, drug and gene delivery, and immune tolerance, whose focus is controlling the local microenvironment for directing tissue growth or regeneration. His projects include ovarian follicle maturation for treating infertility, islet transplantation for diabetes therapies, nerve regeneration for treating paralysis, autoimmune diseases and allogeneic cell transplantation, and cancer diagnostics. He is also developing and applying systems biology approaches to molecularly dissect tissue formation and identify key drivers of normal and abnormal growth.

Shea has received funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF) and multiple foundations; has published more than 150 manuscripts on his research; and has numerous inventions to his credit, among them a cellular assay with which he can measure the activity of numerous transcription factors within the cell that reveal key signaling pathways as cells differentiate and develop in his customized 3D cultures.
In addition to his research and teaching responsibilities at Northwestern, Shea served as director of its NIH Biotechnology Training Grant and was a member of its Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine. He is a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), a standing member of the Biomaterials and Bionterfaces study section at NIH, and a member of the editorial boards for Molecular Therapy, Biotechnology and Bioengineering, and Drug Delivery and Translational Research.

Shea completed his BS and MS degrees in chemical engineering at Case Western Reserve University. He received his PhD in chemical engineering and scientific computing from U-M in 1997, working with BME and Chemical Engineering Professor Jennifer Linderman. He then served as a postdoctoral fellow with Professor David Mooney in the Department of Biologic and Materials Science in the U-M Dental School. In 2000, Shea received a CAREER Award, the NSF’s most prestigious award in support of junior faculty who exemplify outstanding research and teaching.
Shea is enthusiastic about returning to his alma mater and continuing the momentum of the BME department, which underwent significant growth under former Chair Douglas C. Noll. When Noll stepped down in late 2013, the department had doubled its faculty from 11 to 22, received a $20 million endowment through the U-M Coulter Partnership for Translational Biomedical Engineering Research, and been restructured into a joint department of the College of Engineering and medical school.
Shea, who will have the opportunity to hire another 10 faculty, says he is eager to continue on this trajectory. Among his goals are “inspiring students toward accomplishments they never imagined possible” and “fostering research that doesn’t focus on publishing the next paper but on changing the way researchers and clinicians approach the problem.”
Interim Chair Ronald G. Larson feels Shea is more than up to the challenge. He says, “Lonnie is exceptionally talented at working at the interface between engineering and medicine. I believe he will be a superb role model for the department and will help vault it into the top ranks of national and international leadership in biomedical engineering.”

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Monday, September 8th, 2014 at 3:32 pm and is filed under .

Shea Named Chair of U-M BME

August 25, 2014 Contact: Brandon Baier, 734-647-6109, bbaier@umich.edu

Ann Arbor, MI – Lonnie D. Shea has been named professor and chair of the University of Michigan Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME), effective September 1, 2014.

Shea, who earned his PhD from U-M in 1997, was recruited from Northwestern University’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, where he has served on the faculty since 1999. He is an internationally recognized researcher at the interface of regenerative medicine, drug and gene delivery, and immune tolerance, whose focus is controlling the local microenvironment for directing tissue growth or regeneration. His projects include ovarian follicle maturation for treating infertility, islet transplantation for diabetes therapies, nerve regeneration for treating paralysis, autoimmune diseases and allogeneic cell transplantation, and cancer diagnostics. He is also developing and applying systems biology approaches to molecularly dissect tissue formation and identify key drivers of normal and abnormal growth.

Shea has received funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF) and multiple foundations; has published more than 150 manuscripts on his research; and has numerous inventions to his credit, among them a cellular assay with which he can measure the activity of numerous transcription factors within the cell that reveal key signaling pathways as cells differentiate and develop in his customized 3D cultures.

In addition to his research and teaching responsibilities at Northwestern, Shea served as director of its NIH Biotechnology Training Grant and was a member of its Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine. He is a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), a standing member of the Biomaterials and Bionterfaces study section at NIH, and a member of the editorial boards for Molecular Therapy, Biotechnology and Bioengineering, and Drug Delivery and Translational Research.

Shea completed his BS and MS degrees in chemical engineering at Case Western Reserve University. He received his PhD in chemical engineering and scientific computing from U-M in 1997, working with BME and Chemical Engineering Professor Jennifer Linderman. He then served as a postdoctoral fellow with Professor David Mooney in the Department of Biologic and Materials Science in the U-M Dental School. In 2000, Shea received a CAREER Award, the NSF’s most prestigious award in support of junior faculty who exemplify outstanding research and teaching.

Shea is enthusiastic about returning to his alma mater and continuing the momentum of the BME department, which underwent significant growth under former Chair Douglas C. Noll. When Noll stepped down in late 2013, the department had doubled its faculty from 11 to 22, received a $20 million endowment through the U-M Coulter Partnership for Translational Biomedical Engineering Research, and been restructured into a joint department of the College of Engineering and medical school.

Shea, who will have the opportunity to hire another 10 faculty, says he is eager to continue on this trajectory. Among his goals are “inspiring students toward accomplishments they never imagined possible” and “fostering research that doesn’t focus on publishing the next paper but on changing the way researchers and clinicians approach the problem.”

Interim Chair Ronald G. Larson feels Shea is more than up to the challenge. He says, “Lonnie is exceptionally talented at working at the interface between engineering and medicine. I believe he will be a superb role model for the department and will help vault it into the top ranks of national and international leadership in biomedical engineering.”

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This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Monday, September 8th, 2014 at 3:30 pm and is filed under All News, Faculty News, Spotlight.

Shea Named Chair of U-M BME

August 25, 2014 Contact: Brandon Baier, 734-647-6109, bbaier@umich.edu

Ann Arbor, MI – Lonnie D. Shea has been named professor and chair of the University of Michigan Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME), effective September 1, 2014.
Shea, who earned his PhD from U-M in 1997, was recruited from Northwestern University’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, where he has served on the faculty since 1999. He is an internationally recognized researcher at the interface of regenerative medicine, drug and gene delivery, and immune tolerance, whose focus is controlling the local microenvironment for directing tissue growth or regeneration. His projects include ovarian follicle maturation for treating infertility, islet transplantation for diabetes therapies, nerve regeneration for treating paralysis, autoimmune diseases and allogeneic cell transplantation, and cancer diagnostics. He is also developing and applying systems biology approaches to molecularly dissect tissue formation and identify key drivers of normal and abnormal growth.
Shea has received funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF) and multiple foundations; has published more than 150 manuscripts on his research; and has numerous inventions to his credit, among them a cellular assay with which he can measure the activity of numerous transcription factors within the cell that reveal key signaling pathways as cells differentiate and develop in his customized 3D cultures.
In addition to his research and teaching responsibilities at Northwestern, Shea served as director of its NIH Biotechnology Training Grant and was a member of its Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine. He is a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), a standing member of the Biomaterials and Bionterfaces study section at NIH, and a member of the editorial boards for Molecular Therapy, Biotechnology and Bioengineering, and Drug Delivery and Translational Research.
Shea completed his BS and MS degrees in chemical engineering at Case Western Reserve University. He received his PhD in chemical engineering and scientific computing from U-M in 1997, working with BME and Chemical Engineering Professor Jennifer Linderman. He then served as a postdoctoral fellow with Professor David Mooney in the Department of Biologic and Materials Science in the U-M Dental School. In 2000, Shea received a CAREER Award, the NSF’s most prestigious award in support of junior faculty who exemplify outstanding research and teaching.
Shea is enthusiastic about returning to his alma mater and continuing the momentum of the BME department, which underwent significant growth under former Chair Douglas C. Noll. When Noll stepped down in late 2013, the department had doubled its faculty from 11 to 22, received a $20 million endowment through the U-M Coulter Partnership for Translational Biomedical Engineering Research, and been restructured into a joint department of the College of Engineering and medical school.
Shea, who will have the opportunity to hire another 10 faculty, says he is eager to continue on this trajectory. Among his goals are “inspiring students toward accomplishments they never imagined possible” and “fostering research that doesn’t focus on publishing the next paper but on changing the way researchers and clinicians approach the problem.”
Interim Chair Ronald G. Larson feels Shea is more than up to the challenge. He says, “Lonnie is exceptionally talented at working at the interface between engineering and medicine. I believe he will be a superb role model for the department and will help vault it into the top ranks of national and international leadership in biomedical engineering.”

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Monday, September 8th, 2014 at 3:30 pm and is filed under .

Shea Named Chair of U-M BME

August 25, 2014 Contact: Brandon Baier, 734-647-6109, bbaier@umich.edu

Ann Arbor, MI – Lonnie D. Shea has been named professor and chair of the University of Michigan Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME), effective September 1, 2014.
Shea, who earned his PhD from U-M in 1997, was recruited from Northwestern University’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, where he has served on the faculty since 1999. He is an internationally recognized researcher at the interface of regenerative medicine, drug and gene delivery, and immune tolerance, whose focus is controlling the local microenvironment for directing tissue growth or regeneration. His projects include ovarian follicle maturation for treating infertility, islet transplantation for diabetes therapies, nerve regeneration for treating paralysis, autoimmune diseases and allogeneic cell transplantation, and cancer diagnostics. He is also developing and applying systems biology approaches to molecularly dissect tissue formation and identify key drivers of normal and abnormal growth.
Shea has received funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF) and multiple foundations; has published more than 150 manuscripts on his research; and has numerous inventions to his credit, among them a cellular assay with which he can measure the activity of numerous transcription factors within the cell that reveal key signaling pathways as cells differentiate and develop in his customized 3D cultures.
In addition to his research and teaching responsibilities at Northwestern, Shea served as director of its NIH Biotechnology Training Grant and was a member of its Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine. He is a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), a standing member of the Biomaterials and Bionterfaces study section at NIH, and a member of the editorial boards for Molecular Therapy, Biotechnology and Bioengineering, and Drug Delivery and Translational Research.
Shea completed his BS and MS degrees in chemical engineering at Case Western Reserve University. He received his PhD in chemical engineering and scientific computing from U-M in 1997, working with BME and Chemical Engineering Professor Jennifer Linderman. He then served as a postdoctoral fellow with Professor David Mooney in the Department of Biologic and Materials Science in the U-M Dental School. In 2000, Shea received a CAREER Award, the NSF’s most prestigious award in support of junior faculty who exemplify outstanding research and teaching.
Shea is enthusiastic about returning to his alma mater and continuing the momentum of the BME department, which underwent significant growth under former Chair Douglas C. Noll. When Noll stepped down in late 2013, the department had doubled its faculty from 11 to 22, received a $20 million endowment through the U-M Coulter Partnership for Translational Biomedical Engineering Research, and been restructured into a joint department of the College of Engineering and medical school.
Shea, who will have the opportunity to hire another 10 faculty, says he is eager to continue on this trajectory. Among his goals are “inspiring students toward accomplishments they never imagined possible” and “fostering research that doesn’t focus on publishing the next paper but on changing the way researchers and clinicians approach the problem.”
Interim Chair Ronald G. Larson feels Shea is more than up to the challenge. He says, “Lonnie is exceptionally talented at working at the interface between engineering and medicine. I believe he will be a superb role model for the department and will help vault it into the top ranks of national and international leadership in biomedical engineering.”

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Monday, September 8th, 2014 at 3:29 pm and is filed under .

ldshea

ldshea

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Monday, September 8th, 2014 at 3:27 pm and is filed under .

BME Spring / Summer News Publication

It’s a little bit later than usual, but we are excited to share with you the spring/summer 2014 edition of the University of Michigan Biomedical Engineering News. This issue provides an in-depth look at our cutting edge research and the people challenging conventions throughout our discipline.

We are pleased to offer our publication in a digital edition for simple viewing from a desktop browser or your favorite mobile device.

Click here to see more!

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This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 at 11:48 am and is filed under All News, Faculty News, Spotlight.

BME Spring / Summer News Publication

It’s a little bit later than usual, but we are excited to share with you the spring/summer 2014 edition of the University of Michigan Biomedical Engineering News. This issue provides an in-depth look at our cutting edge research and the people challenging conventions throughout our discipline.

We are pleased to offer our publication in a digital edition for simple viewing from a desktop browser or your favorite mobile device.

Click here to see more!

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 at 11:47 am and is filed under .

bme_spring_summer

bme_spring_summer

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 at 11:42 am and is filed under .

Engineers row in royal regatta

ROW BLUE! From July 2-6, a squad of Michigan rowers will represent the Block M on the River Thames, an hour west of London. Recent U-M BME grad Alex Crawford and six more of the other twelve U-M oarsmen competing are engineering majors! More than 100,000 spectators, including much of the Royal Family, will be in attendance. To read the full Michigan Engineering article see: http://umicheng.in/1iQLDL9

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 at 11:16 am and is filed under .

Engineers row in royal regatta

ROW BLUE! From July 2-6, a squad of Michigan rowers will represent the Block M on the River Thames, an hour west of London. Recent U-M BME grad Alex Crawford and six more of the other twelve U-M oarsmen competing are engineering majors! More than 100,000 spectators, including much of the Royal Family, will be in attendance. To read the full Michigan Engineering article see:http://umicheng.in/1iQLDL9

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 at 11:15 am and is filed under .

Engineers row in royal regatta

ROW BLUE! From July 2-6, a squad of Michigan rowers will represent the Block M on the River Thames, an hour west of London. Recent U-M BME grad Alex Crawford and six more of the other twelve U-M oarsmen competing are engineering majors! More than 100,000 spectators, including much of the Royal Family, will be in attendance. To read the full Michigan Engineering article see:http://umicheng.in/1iQLDL9

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 at 11:15 am and is filed under .

Engineers row in royal regatta

ROW BLUE! From July 2-6, a squad of Michigan rowers will represent the Block M on the River Thames, an hour west of London. Recent U-M BME grad Alex Crawford and six more of the other twelve U-M oarsmen competing are engineering majors! More than 100,000 spectators, including much of the Royal Family, will be in attendance. To read the full Michigan Engineering article see: http://umicheng.in/1iQLDL9

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 at 11:14 am and is filed under All News, Student/Post-Doc News.

Engineers row in royal regatta

ROW BLUE! From July 2-6, a squad of Michigan rowers will represent the Block M on the River Thames, an hour west of London. Recent U-M BME grad Alex Crawford and six more of the other twelve U-M oarsmen competing are engineering majors! More than 100,000 spectators, including much of the Royal Family, will be in attendance. To read the full Michigan Engineering article see:http://umicheng.in/1iQLDL9

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 at 11:14 am and is filed under .

Engineers row in royal regatta

ROW BLUE! From July 2-6, a squad of Michigan rowers will represent the Block M on the River Thames, an hour west of London. Recent U-M BME grad Alex Crawford and six more of the other twelve U-M oarsmen competing are engineering majors! More than 100,000 spectators, including much of the Royal Family, will be in attendance. To read the full Michigan Engineering article see:http://umicheng.in/1iQLDL9

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 at 11:14 am and is filed under .

HenleyFull

HenleyFull

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 at 11:12 am and is filed under .

Sept Article Named Paper of the Year

An article that BME Associate Professor David Sept authored with Ron Bose and other collaborators from Washington University in St. Louis was selected as a 2013 paper of the year in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.  It won in the signal transduction category for providing the first structural characterization of HER2-HER3 heterodimers used in cancer therapy. The paper is titled Carboxyl Group Footprinting Mass Spectrometry and Molecular Dynamics Identify Key Interactions in the HER2-HER3 Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Interface. It can be accessed at www.jbc.org/site/bestoftheyear/.

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This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Monday, March 17th, 2014 at 9:32 am and is filed under All News, Faculty News.

Sept Article Named Paper of the Year

An article that BME Associate Professor David Sept authored with Ron Bose and other collaborators from Washington University in St. Louis was selected as a 2013 paper of the year in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.  It won in the signal transduction category for providing the first structural characterization of HER2-HER3 heterodimers used in cancer therapy. The paper is titled Carboxyl Group Footprinting Mass Spectrometry and Molecular Dynamics Identify Key Interactions in the HER2-HER3 Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Interface. It can be accessed at www.jbc.org/site/bestoftheyear/.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Monday, March 17th, 2014 at 9:32 am and is filed under .

Sept Article Named Paper of the Year

An article that BME Associate Professor David Sept authored with Ron Bose and other collaborators from Washington University in St. Louis was selected as a 2013 paper of the year in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.  It won in the signal transduction category for providing the first structural characterization of HER2-HER3 heterodimers used in cancer therapy. The paper is titled Carboxyl Group Footprinting Mass Spectrometry and Molecular Dynamics Identify Key Interactions in the HER2-HER3 Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Interface. It can be accessed at www.jbc.org/site/bestoftheyear/.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Monday, March 17th, 2014 at 9:30 am and is filed under .

ABP

ABP

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Monday, March 17th, 2014 at 9:29 am and is filed under .

Hollister and Green use 3-D splint to save another life

U-M BME Professor Scott Hollister and U-M Mott Dr. Glenn Green have done it again by teaming up to design and implant a 3-D printed tracheal splint, saving another child’s life. Garrett Peterson, only 18 months old, out of Layton, Utah, underwent an emergency surgery that would install two pieces of flexible tubing around his trachea to keep the airways open as he grows and develops. Eventually they will dissolve as Garrett’s own windpipe becomes stronger. Hollister and Green had to seek an emergency waiver from the FDA to perform the surgery. NPR has done a story on their website and “Morning Edition,” titled “Doctors Use 3-D Printing To Help A Baby Breathe“ with more information on this amazing accomplishment.

Image by: Nicole Haley/University of Michigan Health System

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This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Monday, March 17th, 2014 at 9:09 am and is filed under All News, Spotlight.

Hollister and Green use 3-D splint to save another life

U-M BME Professor Scott Hollister and U-M Mott Dr. Glenn Green have done it again by teaming up to design and implant a 3-D printed tracheal splint, saving another child’s life. Garrett Peterson, only 18 months old, out of Salt Lake City, Utah, underwent an emergency surgery that would install two pieces of flexible tubing around his trachea to keep the airways open as he grows and develops. Eventually they will dissolve as Garrett’s own windpipe becomes stronger. Hollister and Green had to seek an emergency waiver from the FDA to perform the surgery. NPR has done a story on their website and “Morning Edition,” titled “Doctors Use 3-D Printing To Help A Baby Breathe“ with more information on this amazing accomplishment.

Image by: Nicole Haley/University of Michigan Health System

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Monday, March 17th, 2014 at 9:07 am and is filed under .

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mottnhp01-3106278890-o_new_wide-1576e809c76293ddab5eb7aba428275014e5f17a-s40-c85

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Monday, March 17th, 2014 at 9:04 am and is filed under .

BME Fall 2013 News Publication

We are delighted to share with you the fall 2013 edition of the University of Michigan Biomedical Engineering Magazine. This issue provides an in-depth look at our cutting edge research and the people challenging conventions throughout our discipline.

We are pleased to offer our publication in an all new digital edition for simple viewing from a desktop browser or your favorite mobile device.

Click here to see more!

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, December 20th, 2013 at 1:59 pm and is filed under .

2013 BME Alumni Merit Award Recipient

Timothy J. Kriewall (BSE EE '67, PhD Bioeng '74)TIMOTHY J. KRIEWALL

Dr. Kriewall’s first career centered around biomedical engineering. After receiving his doctorate through a NIH Special Fellowship, he joined our faculty, focusing on both perinatal medicine and ultrasound technology. He then moved to 3M, where he held positions of increasing responsibility. Chief among his accomplishments there, he was the director of the group responsible for developing a cochlear implant. It was the first to receive FDA approval. He was also a co-inventor of an advanced perfusion system. Perfusion is the injection of fluid into a blood vessel in order to reach an organ or tissues.

He later joined Medtronic, a global leader in medical devices, where he ultimately became Vice President of R&D. Then, Dr. Kriewall was tapped to become the president of Wisconsin Lutheran College. After a five-year term there, he retired.

He was recruited out of retirement to run the Kern Family Foundation’s Engineering Entrepreneurship Network. This is a group of more than 25 engineering colleges that emphasized an entrepreneurial approach as part of a comprehensive engineering education.

He now runs Adsum, a consulting service for engineering schools and administrators.

See a video of his award presentation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8VTdMK574w

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, December 20th, 2013 at 1:58 pm and is filed under .

2013 BME Alumni Merit Award Recipient

Timothy J. Kriewall (BSE EE '67, PhD Bioeng '74)TIMOTHY J. KRIEWALL

Dr. Kriewall’s first career centered around biomedical engineering. After receiving his doctorate through a NIH Special Fellowship, he joined our faculty, focusing on both perinatal medicine and ultrasound technology. He then moved to 3M, where he held positions of increasing responsibility. Chief among his accomplishments there, he was the director of the group responsible for developing a cochlear implant. It was the first to receive FDA approval. He was also a co-inventor of an advanced perfusion system. Perfusion is the injection of fluid into a blood vessel in order to reach an organ or tissues.

He later joined Medtronic, a global leader in medical devices, where he ultimately became Vice President of R&D. Then, Dr. Kriewall was tapped to become the president of Wisconsin Lutheran College. After a five-year term there, he retired.

He was recruited out of retirement to run the Kern Family Foundation’s Engineering Entrepreneurship Network. This is a group of more than 25 engineering colleges that emphasized an entrepreneurial approach as part of a comprehensive engineering education.

He now runs Adsum, a consulting service for engineering schools and administrators.

See a video of his award presentation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8VTdMK574w

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, December 20th, 2013 at 1:57 pm and is filed under .

2013 BME Alumni Merit Award Recipient

Timothy J. Kriewall (BSE EE '67, PhD Bioeng '74)TIMOTHY J. KRIEWALL

Dr. Kriewall’s first career centered around biomedical engineering. After receiving his doctorate through a NIH Special Fellowship, he joined our faculty, focusing on both perinatal medicine and ultrasound technology. He then moved to 3M, where he held positions of increasing responsibility. Chief among his accomplishments there, he was the director of the group responsible for developing a cochlear implant. It was the first to receive FDA approval. He was also a co-inventor of an advanced perfusion system. Perfusion is the injection of fluid into a blood vessel in order to reach an organ or tissues.

He later joined Medtronic, a global leader in medical devices, where he ultimately became Vice President of R&D. Then, Dr. Kriewall was tapped to become the president of Wisconsin Lutheran College. After a five-year term there, he retired.

He was recruited out of retirement to run the Kern Family Foundation’s Engineering Entrepreneurship Network. This is a group of more than 25 engineering colleges that emphasized an entrepreneurial approach as part of a comprehensive engineering education.

He now runs Adsum, a consulting service for engineering schools and administrators.

See a video of his award presentation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8VTdMK574w

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This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, December 20th, 2013 at 1:56 pm and is filed under All News, Faculty News, Spotlight.

2013 BME Alumni Merit Award Recipient

Timothy J. Kriewall (BSE EE '67, PhD Bioeng '74)TIMOTHY J. KRIEWALL

Dr. Kriewall’s first career centered around biomedical engineering. After receiving his doctorate through a NIH Special Fellowship, he joined our faculty, focusing on both perinatal medicine and ultrasound technology. He then moved to 3M, where he held positions of increasing responsibility. Chief among his accomplishments there, he was the director of the group responsible for developing a cochlear implant. It was the first to receive FDA approval. He was also a co-inventor of an advanced perfusion system. Perfusion is the injection of fluid into a blood vessel in order to reach an organ or tissues.

He later joined Medtronic, a global leader in medical devices, where he ultimately became Vice President of R&D. Then, Dr. Kriewall was tapped to become the president of Wisconsin Lutheran College. After a five-year term there, he retired.

He was recruited out of retirement to run the Kern Family Foundation’s Engineering Entrepreneurship Network. This is a group of more than 25 engineering colleges that emphasized an entrepreneurial approach as part of a comprehensive engineering education.

He now runs Adsum, a consulting service for engineering schools and administrators.

See a video of his award presentation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8VTdMK574w

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, December 20th, 2013 at 1:56 pm and is filed under .

2013 BME Alumni Merit Award Recipient

Timothy J. Kriewall (BSE EE '67, PhD Bioeng '74)TIMOTHY J. KRIEWALL

Dr. Kriewall’s first career centered around biomedical engineering. After receiving his doctorate through a NIH Special Fellowship, he joined our faculty, focusing on both perinatal medicine and ultrasound technology. He then moved to 3M, where he held positions of increasing responsibility. Chief among his accomplishments there, he was the director of the group responsible for developing a cochlear implant. It was the first to receive FDA approval. He was also a co-inventor of an advanced perfusion system. Perfusion is the injection of fluid into a blood vessel in order to reach an organ or tissues.

He later joined Medtronic, a global leader in medical devices, where he ultimately became Vice President of R&D. Then, Dr. Kriewall was tapped to become the president of Wisconsin Lutheran College. After a five-year term there, he retired.

He was recruited out of retirement to run the Kern Family Foundation’s Engineering Entrepreneurship Network. This is a group of more than 25 engineering colleges that emphasized an entrepreneurial approach as part of a comprehensive engineering education.

He now runs Adsum, a consulting service for engineering schools and administrators.

See a video of his award presentation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8VTdMK574w

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, December 20th, 2013 at 1:56 pm and is filed under .

2013 Engineering Graduate Symposium Award Recipients

David Lai at the 2013 Engineering Graduate Symposium


Richard and Eleanor Towner Prize for Outstanding Ph.D. Research Award
David Lai, BME PhD student working with Shuichi Takayama

BME: Biomedical Engineering Poster Award – 2nd place

Sriram Vaidyanathan, BME PhD student working with Mark Banaszak Holl

CHEB: Nanotechnology & Microfabricated Systems Poster Award- 2nd place

Joong Hwan Bahng, BME PhD student working with Nicholas Kotov

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Thursday, December 12th, 2013 at 2:49 pm and is filed under .

2013 Engineering Graduate Symposium Award Recipients

David Lai at the 2013 Engineering Graduate Symposium


Richard and Eleanor Towner Prize for Outstanding Ph.D. Research Award
David Lai, BME PhD student working with Shuichi Takayama

BME: Biomedical Engineering Poster Award – 2nd place

Sriram Vaidyanathan, BME PhD student working with Mark Banaszak Holl

CHEB: Nanotechnology & Microfabricated Systems Poster Award- 2nd place

Joong Hwan Bahng, BME PhD student working with Nicholas Kotov

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Thursday, December 12th, 2013 at 2:49 pm and is filed under .

2013 Engineering Graduate Symposium Award Recipients

David Lai at the 2013 Engineering Graduate Symposium


Richard and Eleanor Towner Prize for Outstanding Ph.D. Research Award
David Lai, BME PhD student working with Shuichi Takayama

BME: Biomedical Engineering Poster Award – 2nd place

Sriram Vaidyanathan, BME PhD student working with Mark Banaszak Holl

CHEB: Nanotechnology & Microfabricated Systems Poster Award- 2nd place

Joong Hwan Bahng, BME PhD student working with Nicholas Kotov

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Thursday, December 12th, 2013 at 2:49 pm and is filed under .

2013 Engineering Graduate Symposium Award Recipients

David Lai at the 2013 Engineering Graduate Symposium


Richard and Eleanor Towner Prize for Outstanding Ph.D. Research Award
David Lai, BME PhD student working with Shuichi Takayama

BME: Biomedical Engineering Poster Award – 2nd place

Sriram Vaidyanathan, BME PhD student working with Mark Banaszak Holl

CHEB: Nanotechnology & Microfabricated Systems Poster Award- 2nd place

Joong Hwan Bahng, BME PhD student working with Nicholas Kotov

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This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Thursday, December 12th, 2013 at 2:48 pm and is filed under All News, Student/Post-Doc News.

2013 Engineering Graduate Symposium Award Recipients

David Lai at the 2013 Engineering Graduate Symposium


Richard and Eleanor Towner Prize for Outstanding Ph.D. Research Award
David Lai, BME PhD student working with Shuichi Takayama

The Richard and Eleanor Towner Prize for Outstanding Ph.D. Research Award recipients receive:

This information is available at http://gradsymposium.engin.umich.edu/home/award-competitions.

BME: Biomedical Engineering Poster Award – 2nd place

Sriram Vaidyanathan, BME PhD student working with Mark Banaszak Holl

CHEB: Nanotechnology & Microfabricated Systems Poster Award- 2nd place

Joong Hwan Bahng, BME PhD student working with Nicholas Kotov

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Thursday, December 12th, 2013 at 2:48 pm and is filed under .

2013 Engineering Graduate Symposium Award Recipients

David Lai at the 2013 Engineering Graduate Symposium


Richard and Eleanor Towner Prize for Outstanding Ph.D. Research Award
David Lai, BME PhD student working with Shuichi Takayama

The Richard and Eleanor Towner Prize for Outstanding Ph.D. Research Award recipients receive:

This information is available at http://gradsymposium.engin.umich.edu/home/award-competitions.

BME: Biomedical Engineering Poster Award – 2nd place

Sriram Vaidyanathan, BME PhD student working with Mark Banaszak Holl

CHEB: Nanotechnology & Microfabricated Systems Poster Award- 2nd place

Joong Hwan Bahng, BME PhD student working with Nicholas Kotov

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Thursday, December 12th, 2013 at 2:45 pm and is filed under .

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IMG_5011

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Thursday, December 12th, 2013 at 2:42 pm and is filed under .

BME Fall 2013 News Publication

We are delighted to share with you the fall 2013 edition of the University of Michigan Biomedical Engineering Magazine. This issue provides an in-depth look at our cutting edge research and the people challenging conventions throughout our discipline.

We are pleased to offer our publication in an all new digital edition for simple viewing from a desktop browser or your favorite mobile device.

Click here to see more!

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, November 27th, 2013 at 3:17 pm and is filed under .

BME Fall 2013 News Publication

We are pleased to offer our publication in an all new digital edition for simple viewing from a desktop browser or your favorite mobile device.

Click here to see more!

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, November 27th, 2013 at 3:17 pm and is filed under .

BME Fall 2013 News Publication

We are delighted to share with you the fall 2013 edition of the University of Michigan Biomedical Engineering Magazine. This issue provides an in-depth look at our cutting edge research and the people challenging conventions throughout our discipline.

We are pleased to offer our publication in an all new digital edition for simple viewing from a desktop browser or your favorite mobile device.

Click here to see more!

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This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, November 27th, 2013 at 3:16 pm and is filed under All News, Faculty News.

BME Fall 2013 News Publication

We are delighted to share with you the fall 2013 edition of the University of Michigan Biomedical Engineering Magazine. This issue provides an in-depth look at our cutting edge research and the people challenging conventions throughout our discipline.

We are pleased to offer our publication in an all new digital edition for simple viewing from a desktop browser or your favorite mobile device.

Click here to see more!

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, November 27th, 2013 at 3:16 pm and is filed under .

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This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, November 27th, 2013 at 3:13 pm and is filed under .

BME Fall 2013 News Publication

We are delighted to share with you the fall 2013 edition of the University of Michigan Biomedical Engineering Magazine. This issue provides an in-depth look at our cutting edge research and the people challenging conventions throughout our discipline.

We are pleased to offer our publication in an all new digital edition for simple viewing from a desktop browser or your favorite mobile device.

Click here to view the

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, November 27th, 2013 at 3:00 pm and is filed under .

BME Professor’s Bioresorbable Splint Saves Baby’s Life

A custom-designed and -fabricated bioresorbable tracheal splint made by BME Professor Scott Hollister, PhD, and Otolaryngology Associate Professor Glenn Green, MD, was used in a patient for the first time last February to save the life of a baby suffering with severe tracheomalacia. Despite the best medical treatment, the baby’s windpipe continued to collapse and he was requiring resuscitation daily. Hollister and Green obtained emergency clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to create and implant a device they’d been developing. Computer-designed from a CT scan of the baby’s trachea and created from polycaprolactone using 3D printing techniques, the splint is sewn on top of the bronchus and provides a “skeleton” to help the windpipe grow into a healthy state. This takes about two to three years, during which the material dissolves naturally into the body. The patient was off ventilator support 21 days after the procedure and has not had breathing trouble since. Hollister called the experience the highlight of his career. The case is featured in the May 23 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The team has received Humanitarian Use Device (HUD) designation from the FDA and is applying to begin a clinical trial.

A press release and video on the splint are available at: http://umhealth.me/kaiba

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This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, May 29th, 2013 at 10:53 am and is filed under All News, Faculty News, Spotlight.

BME Professor’s Bioresorbable Splint Saves Baby’s Life

A custom-designed and -fabricated bioresorbable tracheal splint made by BME Professor Scott Hollister, PhD, and Otolaryngology Associate Professor Glenn Green, MD, was used in a patient for the first time last February to save the life of a baby suffering with severe tracheomalacia. Despite the best medical treatment, the baby’s windpipe continued to collapse and he was requiring resuscitation daily. Hollister and Green obtained emergency clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to create and implant a device they’d been developing. Computer-designed from a CT scan of the baby’s trachea and created from polycaprolactone using 3D printing techniques, the splint is sewn on top of the bronchus and provides a “skeleton” to help the windpipe grow into a healthy state. This takes about two to three years, during which the material dissolves naturally into the body. The patient was off ventilator support 21 days after the procedure and has not had breathing trouble since. Hollister called the experience the highlight of his career. The case is featured in the May 23 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The team has received Humanitarian Use Device (HUD) designation from the FDA and is applying to begin a clinical trial.

A press release and video on the splint are available at: http://umhealth.me/kaiba

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, May 29th, 2013 at 10:50 am and is filed under .

Kaiba1

Kaiba1

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, May 29th, 2013 at 10:49 am and is filed under .

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GandH2

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, May 29th, 2013 at 10:46 am and is filed under .

GandH2

GandH2

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, May 29th, 2013 at 10:46 am and is filed under .

Ram Rao honored as 2013 RPM Ventures Student Entrepreneur of the Year

2013 RPM Ventures Student Entrepreneur of the Year award winners Carolyn Yarina and Ram Rao

BME Ph.D. candidate Ram Rao is one of two recipients of the 2013 RPM Ventures Student Entrepreneur of the Year award! In 2010, Rao co-founded STIgma Free Diagnostics, a medical device company dedicated to developing a rapid at-home test for the detection of common sexually transmitted diseases. Ram is a member of BME Professor Jan Stegemann’s CMITE lab. Congratulations, Ram and keep up the great work!

Read more about the award and Ram here: http://bit.ly/Y8otjF

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This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Thursday, April 11th, 2013 at 2:09 pm and is filed under All News, Student/Post-Doc News.

Ram Rao honored as 2013 RPM Ventures Student Entrepreneur of the Year

2013 RPM Ventures Student Entrepreneur of the Year award winners Carolyn Yarina and Ram Rao

BME Ph.D. candidate Ram Rao is one of two recipients of the 2013 RPM Ventures Student Entrepreneur of the Year award! In 2010, Rao co-founded STIgma Free Diagnostics, a medical device company dedicated to developing a rapid at-home test for the detection of common sexually transmitted diseases. Ram is a member of BME Professor Jan Stegemann’s CMITE lab. Congratulations, Ram and keep up the great work!

Read more about the award and Ram here: http://bit.ly/Y8otjF

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Thursday, April 11th, 2013 at 2:09 pm and is filed under .

Ram Rao honored as 2013 RPM Ventures Student Entrepreneur of the Year

2013 RPM Ventures Student Entrepreneur of the Year award winners Carolyn Yarina and Ram Rao

BME Ph.D. candidate Ram Rao is one of two recipients of the 2013 RPM Ventures Student Entrepreneur of the Year award! In 2010, Rao co-founded STIgma Free Diagnostics, a medical device company dedicated to developing a rapid at-home test for the detection of common sexually transmitted diseases. Ram is a member of BME Professor Jan Stegemann’s CMITE lab. Congratulations, Ram and keep up the great work!

Read more about the award and Ram here: http://bit.ly/Y8otjF

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Thursday, April 11th, 2013 at 2:09 pm and is filed under .

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2013 RPM Ventures Student Entrepreneur of the Year award winners Carolyn Yarina and Ram Rao

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Thursday, April 11th, 2013 at 2:02 pm and is filed under .

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903847_10151437735614652_1371373518_o

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Thursday, April 11th, 2013 at 1:59 pm and is filed under .

Building better blood vessels could advance tissue engineering

ANN ARBOR—One of the major obstacles to growing new organs—replacement hearts, lungs and kidneys—is the difficulty researchers face in building blood vessels that keep the tissues alive, but new findings from the University of Michigan could help overcome this roadblock.

“It’s not just enough to make a piece of tissue that functions like your desired target,” said Andrew Putnam, U-M associate professor of biomedical engineering. “If you don’t nourish it with blood by vascularizing it, it’s only going to be as big as the head of a pen.

“But we need a heart that’s this big,” he added, holding up his fist.

More immediately, doctors and researchers believe figuring out how to grow working blood vessels might offer treatments for diseases that affect the circulatory system such as diabetes. Perhaps the right drug or injection could save patients’ feet from amputation.

Putnam and his colleagues have revealed why one of the leading approaches to building blood vessels isn’t consistently working: It’s making leaky tubes. They also demonstrated how adult stem cells could solve this problem. A paper on the findings is published online in Tissue Engineering Part A, and will appear in a forthcoming print edition.

Today, biomedical researchers are taking two main approaches to growing new capillaries, the smallest blood vessels and those responsible for exchanging oxygen, carbon dioxide and nutrients between blood and muscles or organs.

One group of researchers is developing drug compounds that would signal existing vessels to branch into new tributaries. These compounds—generally protein growth factors—mimic how cancerous tumor cells recruit blood vessels.

The other group, which includes the U-M team, is using a cell-based method. This technique involves injecting cells within a scaffolding carrier near the spot where you want new capillaries to materialize. In Putnam’s approach, they deliver endothelial cells, which make up the vessel lining and supporting cells. Their scaffolding carrier is fibrin, a protein in the human body that helps blood clot.

“The cells know what to do,” Putnam said. “You can take these things and mix them and put them in an animal. Literally, it’s as easy as a simple injection and over a few days, they spontaneously form new vessels and the animals’ own vasculature connects to them.”

But it turns out these vessels don’t always thrive. The U-M team aimed to figure out why. In reading previously published findings, Putnam noticed that researchers used “a mishmash of support cells,” and the field had paid little attention to which ones work best. So that’s where he and his colleagues focused.

In their experiments, they mixed three recipes of blood vessel starter solutions, each with a different commonly used supporting cell type: lung fibroblasts, adult stem cells from fat and adult stem cells from bone marrow. They also made a version with no supporting cells at all. They injected each solution under the skin of mice, and allowed the new blood vessels to form over a period of two weeks. At various points in time, they injected a tracer dye into the animals’ circulation to help them see how well the engineered capillaries held blood, and whether they were connected to the animals’ existing vessel networks.

The researchers found that the solution with no support cells and the one with the lung fibroblasts produced immature, misshapen human capillaries that leaked. They could tell because the tracer dye pooled in the tissue around the new vessels. On the other hand, the solutions with both types of adult stem cells gave rise to robust human capillaries that kept blood and dye inside them.

The paper notes that one popular method biomedical engineers use to check the success of their efforts—counting blood vessels—might not be an ideal measure. The adult stem cell solutions produced fewer blood vessels than the others, in one case less than half. But the vessels they did build were stronger. And upon further analysis, the researchers found evidence that the adult stem cells may be able to differentiate into the kind of mature, smooth muscle cells that support larger blood vessels.

“The adult stem cells from fat and bone marrow both work equally well,” Putnam said. “If we want to use this clinically in five to 10 years, I think it’s crucial for the field to focus on a support cell that actually has some stem cell characteristics.”

Down the road, Putnam envisions that doctors could get these support cells from individual patients themselves—either from their bone marrow or fat—and then inject them near the site where the new blood vessels are needed.

The paper is titled, “Stromal Cell Identity Influences the In Vivo Functionality of Engineered Capillary Networks Formed by Co-delivery of Endothelial Cells and Stromal Cells.” The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health (Grant Numbers R01-HL085339 and R01-HL085339-03).

Published on Apr 04, 2013
Contact Nicole Casal Moore

Related Links:
Original U-M News Service article: http://www.ns.umich.edu/new/multimedia/videos/21358-building-better-blood-vessels-could-advance-tissue-engineering
Full text of paper: http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/pdf/10.1089/ten.tea.2012.0281
Andrew Putnam: www.sitemaker.umich.edu/cset/home

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This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Thursday, April 4th, 2013 at 3:20 pm and is filed under All News, Faculty News, Spotlight.

Building better blood vessels could advance tissue engineering

ANN ARBOR—One of the major obstacles to growing new organs—replacement hearts, lungs and kidneys—is the difficulty researchers face in building blood vessels that keep the tissues alive, but new findings from the University of Michigan could help overcome this roadblock.

“It’s not just enough to make a piece of tissue that functions like your desired target,” said Andrew Putnam, U-M associate professor of biomedical engineering. “If you don’t nourish it with blood by vascularizing it, it’s only going to be as big as the head of a pen.

“But we need a heart that’s this big,” he added, holding up his fist.

More immediately, doctors and researchers believe figuring out how to grow working blood vessels might offer treatments for diseases that affect the circulatory system such as diabetes. Perhaps the right drug or injection could save patients’ feet from amputation.

Putnam and his colleagues have revealed why one of the leading approaches to building blood vessels isn’t consistently working: It’s making leaky tubes. They also demonstrated how adult stem cells could solve this problem. A paper on the findings is published online in Tissue Engineering Part A, and will appear in a forthcoming print edition.

Today, biomedical researchers are taking two main approaches to growing new capillaries, the smallest blood vessels and those responsible for exchanging oxygen, carbon dioxide and nutrients between blood and muscles or organs.

One group of researchers is developing drug compounds that would signal existing vessels to branch into new tributaries. These compounds—generally protein growth factors—mimic how cancerous tumor cells recruit blood vessels.

The other group, which includes the U-M team, is using a cell-based method. This technique involves injecting cells within a scaffolding carrier near the spot where you want new capillaries to materialize. In Putnam’s approach, they deliver endothelial cells, which make up the vessel lining and supporting cells. Their scaffolding carrier is fibrin, a protein in the human body that helps blood clot.

“The cells know what to do,” Putnam said. “You can take these things and mix them and put them in an animal. Literally, it’s as easy as a simple injection and over a few days, they spontaneously form new vessels and the animals’ own vasculature connects to them.”

But it turns out these vessels don’t always thrive. The U-M team aimed to figure out why. In reading previously published findings, Putnam noticed that researchers used “a mishmash of support cells,” and the field had paid little attention to which ones work best. So that’s where he and his colleagues focused.

In their experiments, they mixed three recipes of blood vessel starter solutions, each with a different commonly used supporting cell type: lung fibroblasts, adult stem cells from fat and adult stem cells from bone marrow. They also made a version with no supporting cells at all. They injected each solution under the skin of mice, and allowed the new blood vessels to form over a period of two weeks. At various points in time, they injected a tracer dye into the animals’ circulation to help them see how well the engineered capillaries held blood, and whether they were connected to the animals’ existing vessel networks.

The researchers found that the solution with no support cells and the one with the lung fibroblasts produced immature, misshapen human capillaries that leaked. They could tell because the tracer dye pooled in the tissue around the new vessels. On the other hand, the solutions with both types of adult stem cells gave rise to robust human capillaries that kept blood and dye inside them.

The paper notes that one popular method biomedical engineers use to check the success of their efforts—counting blood vessels—might not be an ideal measure. The adult stem cell solutions produced fewer blood vessels than the others, in one case less than half. But the vessels they did build were stronger. And upon further analysis, the researchers found evidence that the adult stem cells may be able to differentiate into the kind of mature, smooth muscle cells that support larger blood vessels.

“The adult stem cells from fat and bone marrow both work equally well,” Putnam said. “If we want to use this clinically in five to 10 years, I think it’s crucial for the field to focus on a support cell that actually has some stem cell characteristics.”

Down the road, Putnam envisions that doctors could get these support cells from individual patients themselves—either from their bone marrow or fat—and then inject them near the site where the new blood vessels are needed.

The paper is titled, “Stromal Cell Identity Influences the In Vivo Functionality of Engineered Capillary Networks Formed by Co-delivery of Endothelial Cells and Stromal Cells.” The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health (Grant Numbers R01-HL085339 and R01-HL085339-03).

Published on Apr 04, 2013
Contact Nicole Casal Moore

Related Links:
Original U-M News Service article: http://www.ns.umich.edu/new/multimedia/videos/21358-building-better-blood-vessels-could-advance-tissue-engineering
Full text of paper: http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/pdf/10.1089/ten.tea.2012.0281
Andrew Putnam: www.sitemaker.umich.edu/cset/home

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Thursday, April 4th, 2013 at 3:20 pm and is filed under .

Building better blood vessels could advance tissue engineering

ANN ARBOR—One of the major obstacles to growing new organs—replacement hearts, lungs and kidneys—is the difficulty researchers face in building blood vessels that keep the tissues alive, but new findings from the University of Michigan could help overcome this roadblock.

“It’s not just enough to make a piece of tissue that functions like your desired target,” said Andrew Putnam, U-M associate professor of biomedical engineering. “If you don’t nourish it with blood by vascularizing it, it’s only going to be as big as the head of a pen.

“But we need a heart that’s this big,” he added, holding up his fist.

More immediately, doctors and researchers believe figuring out how to grow working blood vessels might offer treatments for diseases that affect the circulatory system such as diabetes. Perhaps the right drug or injection could save patients’ feet from amputation.

Putnam and his colleagues have revealed why one of the leading approaches to building blood vessels isn’t consistently working: It’s making leaky tubes. They also demonstrated how adult stem cells could solve this problem. A paper on the findings is published online in Tissue Engineering Part A, and will appear in a forthcoming print edition.

Today, biomedical researchers are taking two main approaches to growing new capillaries, the smallest blood vessels and those responsible for exchanging oxygen, carbon dioxide and nutrients between blood and muscles or organs.

One group of researchers is developing drug compounds that would signal existing vessels to branch into new tributaries. These compounds—generally protein growth factors—mimic how cancerous tumor cells recruit blood vessels.

The other group, which includes the U-M team, is using a cell-based method. This technique involves injecting cells within a scaffolding carrier near the spot where you want new capillaries to materialize. In Putnam’s approach, they deliver endothelial cells, which make up the vessel lining and supporting cells. Their scaffolding carrier is fibrin, a protein in the human body that helps blood clot.

“The cells know what to do,” Putnam said. “You can take these things and mix them and put them in an animal. Literally, it’s as easy as a simple injection and over a few days, they spontaneously form new vessels and the animals’ own vasculature connects to them.”

But it turns out these vessels don’t always thrive. The U-M team aimed to figure out why. In reading previously published findings, Putnam noticed that researchers used “a mishmash of support cells,” and the field had paid little attention to which ones work best. So that’s where he and his colleagues focused.

In their experiments, they mixed three recipes of blood vessel starter solutions, each with a different commonly used supporting cell type: lung fibroblasts, adult stem cells from fat and adult stem cells from bone marrow. They also made a version with no supporting cells at all. They injected each solution under the skin of mice, and allowed the new blood vessels to form over a period of two weeks. At various points in time, they injected a tracer dye into the animals’ circulation to help them see how well the engineered capillaries held blood, and whether they were connected to the animals’ existing vessel networks.

The researchers found that the solution with no support cells and the one with the lung fibroblasts produced immature, misshapen human capillaries that leaked. They could tell because the tracer dye pooled in the tissue around the new vessels. On the other hand, the solutions with both types of adult stem cells gave rise to robust human capillaries that kept blood and dye inside them.

The paper notes that one popular method biomedical engineers use to check the success of their efforts—counting blood vessels—might not be an ideal measure. The adult stem cell solutions produced fewer blood vessels than the others, in one case less than half. But the vessels they did build were stronger. And upon further analysis, the researchers found evidence that the adult stem cells may be able to differentiate into the kind of mature, smooth muscle cells that support larger blood vessels.

“The adult stem cells from fat and bone marrow both work equally well,” Putnam said. “If we want to use this clinically in five to 10 years, I think it’s crucial for the field to focus on a support cell that actually has some stem cell characteristics.”

Down the road, Putnam envisions that doctors could get these support cells from individual patients themselves—either from their bone marrow or fat—and then inject them near the site where the new blood vessels are needed.

The paper is titled, “Stromal Cell Identity Influences the In Vivo Functionality of Engineered Capillary Networks Formed by Co-delivery of Endothelial Cells and Stromal Cells.” The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health (Grant Numbers R01-HL085339 and R01-HL085339-03).

Published on Apr 04, 2013
Contact Nicole Casal Moore

Related Links:
Original U-M News Service article: http://www.ns.umich.edu/new/multimedia/videos/21358-building-better-blood-vessels-could-advance-tissue-engineering
Full text of paper: http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/pdf/10.1089/ten.tea.2012.0281
Andrew Putnam: www.sitemaker.umich.edu/cset/home

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Thursday, April 4th, 2013 at 3:17 pm and is filed under .

Sakib Elahi and William Lloyd Receive 2013 Outstanding GSI Award

Two Biomedical Engineering graduate students were among the the 2013 recipients of the Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Awards sponsored by the Rackham Graduate School. Sakib Elahi and William Lloyd, both took home the 2013 Outstanding GSI award. Sakib has been the GSI for BME 231, 241, and 458 and Bill was GSI for BME 450, 499, and 241. Sakib and Bill are both members of BME Professor Mary-Ann Mycek’s Biomedical Optics Laser Laboratory. The awards ceremony that will honor these talented teachers will be held on Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. in the Rackham Amphitheater with a public reception to follow.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, February 20th, 2013 at 3:36 pm and is filed under .

Sakib Elahi and William Lloyd Receive 2013 Outstanding GSI Award

Two Biomedical Engineering graduate students were among the the 2013 recipients of the Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Awards sponsored by the Rackham Graduate School. Sakib Elahi and William Lloyd, both took home the 2013 Outstanding GSI award. Sakib has been the GSI for BME 231, 241, and 458 and Bill was GSI for BME 450, 499, and 241. Sakib and Bill are both members of BME Professor Mary-Ann Mycek’s Biomedical Optics Laser Laboratory. The awards ceremony that will honor these talented teachers will be held on Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. in the Rackham Amphitheater with a public reception to follow.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, February 20th, 2013 at 3:36 pm and is filed under .

Sakib Elahi and William Lloyd Receive 2013 Outstanding GSI Award

Two Biomedical Engineering graduate students were among the the 2013 recipients of the Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Awards sponsored by the Rackham Graduate School. Sakib Elahi and William Lloyd, both took home the 2013 Outstanding GSI award. Sakib and Bill are both members of BME Professor Mary-Ann Mycek’s Biomedical Optics Laser Laboratory. The awards ceremony that will honor these talented teachers will be held on Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. in the Rackham Amphitheater with a public reception to follow.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, February 20th, 2013 at 3:32 pm and is filed under .

sakib_bill

sakib_bill

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, February 20th, 2013 at 3:31 pm and is filed under .

Sakib Elahi and William Lloyd Receive 2013 Outstanding GSI Award


Two Biomedical Engineering graduate students were among the the 2013 recipients of the Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Awards sponsored by the Rackham Graduate School. Sakib Elahi and William Lloyd, both took home the 2013 Outstanding GSI award. Sakib has been the GSI for BME 231, 241, and 458 and Bill was GSI for BME 450, 499, and 241. Sakib and Bill are both members of BME Professor Mary-Ann Mycek’s Biomedical Optics Laser Laboratory. The awards ceremony that will honor these talented teachers will be held on Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. in the Rackham Amphitheater with a public reception to follow.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Tuesday, February 19th, 2013 at 2:56 pm and is filed under All News, Student/Post-Doc News.

Sakib Elahi and William Lloyd Receive 2013 Outstanding GSI Award

Two Biomedical Engineering graduate students were among the the 2013 recipients of the Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Awards sponsored by the Rackham Graduate School. Sakib Elahi and William Lloyd, both took home the 2013 Outstanding GSI award. Sakib and Bill are both members of BME Professor Mary-Ann Mycek’s Biomedical Optics Laser Laboratory. The awards ceremony that will honor these talented teachers will be held on Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. in the Rackham Amphitheater with a public reception to follow.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Tuesday, February 19th, 2013 at 2:56 pm and is filed under .

Sakib Elahi and William Lloyd Receive 2013 Outstanding GSI Award

Two Biomedical Engineering students were among the the 2013 recipients of the Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Awards sponsored by the Rackham Graduate School. Sakib Elahi and William Lloyd, both took home the 2013 Outstanding GSI award. Sakib and Bill are both members of BME Professor Mary-Ann Mycek’s Biomedical Optics Laser Laboratory. The awards ceremony that will honor these talented teachers will be held on Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. in the Rackham Amphitheater with a public reception to follow.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Tuesday, February 19th, 2013 at 2:54 pm and is filed under .

Targeting Disease With Nanoparticles

“Nanoparticles, which are popular candidates for ferrying drugs to target locations in the human body, have been shown to evade the immune system and infiltrate tissues and cells. This makes them effective in delivering medication for conditions such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.

But, Michigan Engineering Professor Lola Eniola-Adefeso and her team has discovered they’re no good at leaving the bloodstream, getting trapped instead by red blood cells. To combat that, researchers are exploring the possibility of different shapes for these nanoparticles, to help them more effectively navigate to their targets.”

Professor Lola Eniola-Adefeso, who also holds a joint appointment in the Department of Biomedical Engineering along with her position in Chemical Engineering, is featured in the latest MconneX MichEpedia video. Check it out here!

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This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Tuesday, February 12th, 2013 at 10:50 am and is filed under All News, Faculty News, Spotlight.

Targeting Disease With Nanoparticles

“Nanoparticles, which are popular candidates for ferrying drugs to target locations in the human body, have been shown to evade the immune system and infiltrate tissues and cells. This makes them effective in delivering medication for conditions such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.

But, Michigan Engineering Professor Lola Eniola-Adefeso and her team has discovered they’re no good at leaving the bloodstream, getting trapped instead by red blood cells. To combat that, researchers are exploring the possibility of different shapes for these nanoparticles, to help them more effectively navigate to their targets.”

Professor Lola Eniola-Adefeso, who also holds a joint appointment in the Department of Biomedical Engineering along with her position in Chemical Engineering, is featured in the latest MconneX MichEpedia video. Check it out here!

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Tuesday, February 12th, 2013 at 10:50 am and is filed under .

Targeting Disease With Nanoparticles

“Nanoparticles, which are popular candidates for ferrying drugs to target locations in the human body, have been shown to evade the immune system and infiltrate tissues and cells. This makes them effective in delivering medication for conditions such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.

But, Michigan Engineering Professor Lola Eniola-Adefeso and her team has discovered they’re no good at leaving the bloodstream, getting trapped instead by red blood cells. To combat that, researchers are exploring the possibility of different shapes for these nanoparticles, to help them more effectively navigate to their targets.”

Professor Lola Eniola-Adefeso, who also holds a joint appointment in the Department of Biomedical Engineering along with her position in Chemical Engineering, is featured in the latest MconneX MichEpedia video. Check it out here!

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Tuesday, February 12th, 2013 at 10:48 am and is filed under .

lolaa

lolaa

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Tuesday, February 12th, 2013 at 10:47 am and is filed under .

Professor Alan Hunt Memorial

Alan Hunt

It is with profound sadness that U-M BME shares news of the death of Alan J. Hunt, professor of biomedical engineering in the College of Engineering.  Professor Hunt died on October 28, 2012 at the age of 49, after a courageous battle with cancer.

Professor Hunt received his B.A. degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology in 1986 from the University of California, San Diego and his Ph.D. in Biophysics in 1993 from the University of Washington.  He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Colorado from 1994 through 1998.  He began his career in Ann Arbor as an assistant professor in 1998, was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2004 and was promoted to professor in 2010.

Professor Hunt was a truly talented and inspiring teacher.  He helped to design a modern biomedical engineering curriculum with a strong focus on principles of cellular and molecular engineering. Among the courses he has developed and taught are “Molecular and Cellular Biomechanics” (graduate), and “Quantitative Cell Biology” (undergraduate). These courses will have a lasting and significant impact on the biomedical engineering education at the University of Michigan and beyond.  He served as caring and supportive mentor to 10 Ph.D. students who have gone on to distinguished careers in academia and industry.

Professor Hunt has made numerous outstanding scientific contributions with significant impact in three main areas: 1) microtubule self-assembly and mitosis, 2) nanofabrication via ultrafast laser machining, and 3) asymmetric stem cell division. In the area of microtubule self-assembly and mitosis, he published the first computational model of mitosis, the process by which a replicated genome is segregated into two complete sets of chromosomes during cell division.  This article stands as possibly the best description of the molecular mechanical basis of mitosis.  Professor Hunt’s group has pioneered the use of optical tweezers to measure single microtubule self-assembly at the nanometer-scale, giving molecular mechanistic framework with which to understand how microtubule-directed anticancer drugs exert their therapeutic influence.  In the area of nanofabrication via ultrafast laser machining, Professor Hunt’s group applied femtosecond laser pulsing to create nanoscale features that can be created with high precision and accuracy, for example, the development of liquid glass electrodes where electrical current through a nanofluidic channel is controlled by reversibly inducing dielectric breakdown in a glass wall within the channel. Related to asymmetric stem cell division, Professor Hunt in collaboration with stem cell biologists, found that centrosome mis-orientation reduces the ability of stem cells to divide.  Professor Hunt’s expertise in the dynamics of microtubules, which are anchored to and nucleated from centrosomes, was vital in establishing this important link between the cytoskeleton and stem cell division.   Professor Hunt was a highly respected scientist and was selected as associate editor of the journal Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering.

Professor Hunt is survived by his wife Karen, daughters Sarah and Deanna, parents Mary Lou and Earl, brothers Bob and Steve, sister Susan, and many loving relatives and friends.  His friendship and inspiring intellect will be missed by his colleagues, friends and family.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Monday, February 11th, 2013 at 4:18 pm and is filed under .

A better brain implant: Slim electrode cozies up to single neurons

An artist's rendering of individual neurons. A new electrode developed at the University of Michigan can focus on the electrical signals of just one neuron. It may help researchers understand how electrical signals move through neural networks in the brain. Because this electrode is so small and unobtrusive, it may be able to stay in the brain for long periods without upsetting the immune system, perhaps picking up signals to send to prosthetic limbs. Image credit: Takashi Kozai

ANN ARBOR—A thin, flexible electrode developed at the University of Michigan is 10 times smaller than the nearest competition and could make long-term measurements of neural activity practical at last.

This kind of technology could eventually be used to send signals to prosthetic limbs, overcoming inflammation larger electrodes cause that damages both the brain and the electrodes.

The main problem that neurons have with electrodes is that they make terrible neighbors. In addition to being enormous compared to the neurons, they are stiff and tend to rub nearby cells the wrong way. The resident immune cells spot the foreigner and attack, inflaming the brain tissue and blocking communication between the electrode and the cells.

The new electrode developed by the teams of Daryl Kipke, a professor of biomedical engineering, Joerg Lahann, a professor of chemical engineering, and Nicholas Kotov, the Joseph B. and Florence V. Cejka Professor of Engineering, is unobtrusive and even friendly in comparison. It is a thread of highly conductive carbon fiber, coated in plastic to block out signals from other neurons. The conductive gel pad at the end cozies up to soft cell membranes, and that close connection means the signals from brain cells come in much clearer.

“It’s a huge step forward,” Kotov said. “This electrode is about seven microns in diameter, or 0.007 millimeters, and its closest competitor is about 25 to 100 microns.”

The gel even speaks the cell’s language, he said. Electrical impulses travel through the brain by movements of ions, or atoms with electric charges, and the signals move through the gel in the same way. On the other side, the carbon fiber responds to the ions by moving electrons, effectively translating the brain’s signal into the language of electronic devices.

To demonstrate how well the electrode listens in on real neurons, Kipke’s team implanted it into the brains of rats. The electrode’s narrow profile allows it to focus on just one neuron, and the team saw this in the sharp electrical signals coming through the fiber. They weren’t getting a muddle of multiple neurons in conversation. In addition to picking up specific signals to send to prosthetics, listening to single neurons could help tease out many of the brain’s big puzzles.

“How neurons are communicating with each other? What are the pathways for information processing in the brain? These are the questions that can be answered in the future with this kind of technique,” Kotov said.

“Because these devices are so small, we can combine them with emerging optical techniques to visually observe what the cells are doing in the brain while listening to their electrical signals,” said Takashi Kozai, who led the project as a student in Kipke’s lab and has since earned his Ph.D. “This will unlock new understanding of how the brain works on the cellular and network level.”

Kipke stressed that the electrode that the team tested is not a clinical trial-ready device, but it shows that efforts to shrink electrodes toward the size of brain cells are paying off.

“The results strongly suggest that creating feasible electrode arrays at these small dimensions is a viable path forward for making longer-lasting devices,” he said.

In order to listen to a neuron for long, or help people control a prosthetic as they do a natural limb, the electrodes need to be able to survive for years in the brain without doing significant damage. With only six weeks of testing, the team couldn’t say for sure how the electrode would fare in the long term, but the results were promising.

“Typically, we saw a peak in immune response at two weeks, then by three weeks it subsided, and by six weeks it had already stabilized,” Kotov said. “That stabilization is the important observation.”

The rat’s neurons and immune system got used to the electrodes, suggesting that the electronic invaders might be able to stay for the long term.

While we won’t see bionic arms or Iron Man-style suits on the market next year, Kipke is optimistic that prosthetic devices could start linking up with the brain in a decade or so.

“The surrounding work of developing very fine robotic control and clinical training protocols—that work is progressing along its own trajectory,” Kipke said.

Kipke, director of the Center for Neural Communication Technology, is a professor of biomedical engineering. Kotov, the Joseph B. and Florence V. Cejka Professor of Engineering, is a professor of biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, biomaterials science and engineering, and macromolecular science and engineering. Lahann, director of the Biointerfaces Institute, is a professor of chemical engineering, materials science and engineering, biomedical engineering, and macromolecular science and engineering.

A paper on the research, “Ultra-small implantable composite microelectrodes with bioactive surfaces for chronic neural interfaces,” is published in the current edition of Nature Materials. The work is funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Center for Neural Communication Technology, an NIH-funded biotechnology research center.

Contact Kate McAlpine, (734) 763-4386, kmca@umich.edu or Nicole Casal Moore, (734) 647-7087, ncmoore@umich.edu

Original article: http://www.ns.umich.edu/new/releases/20970-a-better-brain-implant-slim-electrode-cozies-up-to-single-neurons

Daryl Kipke: http://sitemaker.umich.edu/daryl.kipke/home

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, December 19th, 2012 at 1:49 pm and is filed under .

A better brain implant: Slim electrode cozies up to single neurons

An artist's rendering of individual neurons. A new electrode developed at the University of Michigan can focus on the electrical signals of just one neuron. It may help researchers understand how electrical signals move through neural networks in the brain. Because this electrode is so small and unobtrusive, it may be able to stay in the brain for long periods without upsetting the immune system, perhaps picking up signals to send to prosthetic limbs. Image credit: Takashi Kozai

ANN ARBOR—A thin, flexible electrode developed at the University of Michigan is 10 times smaller than the nearest competition and could make long-term measurements of neural activity practical at last.

This kind of technology could eventually be used to send signals to prosthetic limbs, overcoming inflammation larger electrodes cause that damages both the brain and the electrodes.

The main problem that neurons have with electrodes is that they make terrible neighbors. In addition to being enormous compared to the neurons, they are stiff and tend to rub nearby cells the wrong way. The resident immune cells spot the foreigner and attack, inflaming the brain tissue and blocking communication between the electrode and the cells.

The new electrode developed by the teams of Daryl Kipke, a professor of biomedical engineering, Joerg Lahann, a professor of chemical engineering, and Nicholas Kotov, the Joseph B. and Florence V. Cejka Professor of Engineering, is unobtrusive and even friendly in comparison. It is a thread of highly conductive carbon fiber, coated in plastic to block out signals from other neurons. The conductive gel pad at the end cozies up to soft cell membranes, and that close connection means the signals from brain cells come in much clearer.

“It’s a huge step forward,” Kotov said. “This electrode is about seven microns in diameter, or 0.007 millimeters, and its closest competitor is about 25 to 100 microns.”

The gel even speaks the cell’s language, he said. Electrical impulses travel through the brain by movements of ions, or atoms with electric charges, and the signals move through the gel in the same way. On the other side, the carbon fiber responds to the ions by moving electrons, effectively translating the brain’s signal into the language of electronic devices.

To demonstrate how well the electrode listens in on real neurons, Kipke’s team implanted it into the brains of rats. The electrode’s narrow profile allows it to focus on just one neuron, and the team saw this in the sharp electrical signals coming through the fiber. They weren’t getting a muddle of multiple neurons in conversation. In addition to picking up specific signals to send to prosthetics, listening to single neurons could help tease out many of the brain’s big puzzles.

“How neurons are communicating with each other? What are the pathways for information processing in the brain? These are the questions that can be answered in the future with this kind of technique,” Kotov said.

“Because these devices are so small, we can combine them with emerging optical techniques to visually observe what the cells are doing in the brain while listening to their electrical signals,” said Takashi Kozai, who led the project as a student in Kipke’s lab and has since earned his Ph.D. “This will unlock new understanding of how the brain works on the cellular and network level.”

Kipke stressed that the electrode that the team tested is not a clinical trial-ready device, but it shows that efforts to shrink electrodes toward the size of brain cells are paying off.

“The results strongly suggest that creating feasible electrode arrays at these small dimensions is a viable path forward for making longer-lasting devices,” he said.

In order to listen to a neuron for long, or help people control a prosthetic as they do a natural limb, the electrodes need to be able to survive for years in the brain without doing significant damage. With only six weeks of testing, the team couldn’t say for sure how the electrode would fare in the long term, but the results were promising.

“Typically, we saw a peak in immune response at two weeks, then by three weeks it subsided, and by six weeks it had already stabilized,” Kotov said. “That stabilization is the important observation.”

The rat’s neurons and immune system got used to the electrodes, suggesting that the electronic invaders might be able to stay for the long term.

While we won’t see bionic arms or Iron Man-style suits on the market next year, Kipke is optimistic that prosthetic devices could start linking up with the brain in a decade or so.

“The surrounding work of developing very fine robotic control and clinical training protocols—that work is progressing along its own trajectory,” Kipke said.

Kipke, director of the Center for Neural Communication Technology, is a professor of biomedical engineering. Kotov, the Joseph B. and Florence V. Cejka Professor of Engineering, is a professor of biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, biomaterials science and engineering, and macromolecular science and engineering. Lahann, director of the Biointerfaces Institute, is a professor of chemical engineering, materials science and engineering, biomedical engineering, and macromolecular science and engineering.

A paper on the research, “Ultra-small implantable composite microelectrodes with bioactive surfaces for chronic neural interfaces,” is published in the current edition of Nature Materials. The work is funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Center for Neural Communication Technology, an NIH-funded biotechnology research center.

Contact Kate McAlpine, (734) 763-4386, kmca@umich.edu or Nicole Casal Moore, (734) 647-7087, ncmoore@umich.edu

Original article: http://www.ns.umich.edu/new/releases/20970-a-better-brain-implant-slim-electrode-cozies-up-to-single-neurons

Daryl Kipke: http://sitemaker.umich.edu/daryl.kipke/home

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, December 19th, 2012 at 1:47 pm and is filed under All News, Faculty News.

A better brain implant: Slim electrode cozies up to single neurons

An artist's rendering of individual neurons. A new electrode developed at the University of Michigan can focus on the electrical signals of just one neuron. It may help researchers understand how electrical signals move through neural networks in the brain. Because this electrode is so small and unobtrusive, it may be able to stay in the brain for long periods without upsetting the immune system, perhaps picking up signals to send to prosthetic limbs. Image credit: Takashi Kozai

ANN ARBOR—A thin, flexible electrode developed at the University of Michigan is 10 times smaller than the nearest competition and could make long-term measurements of neural activity practical at last.

This kind of technology could eventually be used to send signals to prosthetic limbs, overcoming inflammation larger electrodes cause that damages both the brain and the electrodes.

The main problem that neurons have with electrodes is that they make terrible neighbors. In addition to being enormous compared to the neurons, they are stiff and tend to rub nearby cells the wrong way. The resident immune cells spot the foreigner and attack, inflaming the brain tissue and blocking communication between the electrode and the cells.

The new electrode developed by the teams of Daryl Kipke, a professor of biomedical engineering, Joerg Lahann, a professor of chemical engineering, and Nicholas Kotov, the Joseph B. and Florence V. Cejka Professor of Engineering, is unobtrusive and even friendly in comparison. It is a thread of highly conductive carbon fiber, coated in plastic to block out signals from other neurons. The conductive gel pad at the end cozies up to soft cell membranes, and that close connection means the signals from brain cells come in much clearer.

“It’s a huge step forward,” Kotov said. “This electrode is about seven microns in diameter, or 0.007 millimeters, and its closest competitor is about 25 to 100 microns.”

The gel even speaks the cell’s language, he said. Electrical impulses travel through the brain by movements of ions, or atoms with electric charges, and the signals move through the gel in the same way. On the other side, the carbon fiber responds to the ions by moving electrons, effectively translating the brain’s signal into the language of electronic devices.

To demonstrate how well the electrode listens in on real neurons, Kipke’s team implanted it into the brains of rats. The electrode’s narrow profile allows it to focus on just one neuron, and the team saw this in the sharp electrical signals coming through the fiber. They weren’t getting a muddle of multiple neurons in conversation. In addition to picking up specific signals to send to prosthetics, listening to single neurons could help tease out many of the brain’s big puzzles.

“How neurons are communicating with each other? What are the pathways for information processing in the brain? These are the questions that can be answered in the future with this kind of technique,” Kotov said.

“Because these devices are so small, we can combine them with emerging optical techniques to visually observe what the cells are doing in the brain while listening to their electrical signals,” said Takashi Kozai, who led the project as a student in Kipke’s lab and has since earned his Ph.D. “This will unlock new understanding of how the brain works on the cellular and network level.”

Kipke stressed that the electrode that the team tested is not a clinical trial-ready device, but it shows that efforts to shrink electrodes toward the size of brain cells are paying off.

“The results strongly suggest that creating feasible electrode arrays at these small dimensions is a viable path forward for making longer-lasting devices,” he said.

In order to listen to a neuron for long, or help people control a prosthetic as they do a natural limb, the electrodes need to be able to survive for years in the brain without doing significant damage. With only six weeks of testing, the team couldn’t say for sure how the electrode would fare in the long term, but the results were promising.

“Typically, we saw a peak in immune response at two weeks, then by three weeks it subsided, and by six weeks it had already stabilized,” Kotov said. “That stabilization is the important observation.”

The rat’s neurons and immune system got used to the electrodes, suggesting that the electronic invaders might be able to stay for the long term.

While we won’t see bionic arms or Iron Man-style suits on the market next year, Kipke is optimistic that prosthetic devices could start linking up with the brain in a decade or so.

“The surrounding work of developing very fine robotic control and clinical training protocols—that work is progressing along its own trajectory,” Kipke said.

Kipke, director of the Center for Neural Communication Technology, is a professor of biomedical engineering. Kotov, the Joseph B. and Florence V. Cejka Professor of Engineering, is a professor of biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, biomaterials science and engineering, and macromolecular science and engineering. Lahann, director of the Biointerfaces Institute, is a professor of chemical engineering, materials science and engineering, biomedical engineering, and macromolecular science and engineering.

A paper on the research, “Ultra-small implantable composite microelectrodes with bioactive surfaces for chronic neural interfaces,” is published in the current edition of Nature Materials. The work is funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Center for Neural Communication Technology, an NIH-funded biotechnology research center.

Contact Kate McAlpine, (734) 763-4386, kmca@umich.edu or Nicole Casal Moore, (734) 647-7087, ncmoore@umich.edu

Original article: http://www.ns.umich.edu/new/releases/20970-a-better-brain-implant-slim-electrode-cozies-up-to-single-neurons

Daryl Kipke: http://sitemaker.umich.edu/daryl.kipke/home

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, December 19th, 2012 at 1:47 pm and is filed under .

A better brain implant: Slim electrode cozies up to single neurons

An artist's rendering of individual neurons. A new electrode developed at the University of Michigan can focus on the electrical signals of just one neuron. It may help researchers understand how electrical signals move through neural networks in the brain. Because this electrode is so small and unobtrusive, it may be able to stay in the brain for long periods without upsetting the immune system, perhaps picking up signals to send to prosthetic limbs. Image credit: Takashi Kozai

ANN ARBOR—A thin, flexible electrode developed at the University of Michigan is 10 times smaller than the nearest competition and could make long-term measurements of neural activity practical at last.

This kind of technology could eventually be used to send signals to prosthetic limbs, overcoming inflammation larger electrodes cause that damages both the brain and the electrodes.

The main problem that neurons have with electrodes is that they make terrible neighbors. In addition to being enormous compared to the neurons, they are stiff and tend to rub nearby cells the wrong way. The resident immune cells spot the foreigner and attack, inflaming the brain tissue and blocking communication between the electrode and the cells.

The new electrode developed by the teams of Daryl Kipke, a professor of biomedical engineering, Joerg Lahann, a professor of chemical engineering, and Nicholas Kotov, the Joseph B. and Florence V. Cejka Professor of Engineering, is unobtrusive and even friendly in comparison. It is a thread of highly conductive carbon fiber, coated in plastic to block out signals from other neurons. The conductive gel pad at the end cozies up to soft cell membranes, and that close connection means the signals from brain cells come in much clearer.

“It’s a huge step forward,” Kotov said. “This electrode is about seven microns in diameter, or 0.007 millimeters, and its closest competitor is about 25 to 100 microns.”

The gel even speaks the cell’s language, he said. Electrical impulses travel through the brain by movements of ions, or atoms with electric charges, and the signals move through the gel in the same way. On the other side, the carbon fiber responds to the ions by moving electrons, effectively translating the brain’s signal into the language of electronic devices.

To demonstrate how well the electrode listens in on real neurons, Kipke’s team implanted it into the brains of rats. The electrode’s narrow profile allows it to focus on just one neuron, and the team saw this in the sharp electrical signals coming through the fiber. They weren’t getting a muddle of multiple neurons in conversation. In addition to picking up specific signals to send to prosthetics, listening to single neurons could help tease out many of the brain’s big puzzles.

“How neurons are communicating with each other? What are the pathways for information processing in the brain? These are the questions that can be answered in the future with this kind of technique,” Kotov said.

“Because these devices are so small, we can combine them with emerging optical techniques to visually observe what the cells are doing in the brain while listening to their electrical signals,” said Takashi Kozai, who led the project as a student in Kipke’s lab and has since earned his Ph.D. “This will unlock new understanding of how the brain works on the cellular and network level.”

Kipke stressed that the electrode that the team tested is not a clinical trial-ready device, but it shows that efforts to shrink electrodes toward the size of brain cells are paying off.

“The results strongly suggest that creating feasible electrode arrays at these small dimensions is a viable path forward for making longer-lasting devices,” he said.

In order to listen to a neuron for long, or help people control a prosthetic as they do a natural limb, the electrodes need to be able to survive for years in the brain without doing significant damage. With only six weeks of testing, the team couldn’t say for sure how the electrode would fare in the long term, but the results were promising.

“Typically, we saw a peak in immune response at two weeks, then by three weeks it subsided, and by six weeks it had already stabilized,” Kotov said. “That stabilization is the important observation.”

The rat’s neurons and immune system got used to the electrodes, suggesting that the electronic invaders might be able to stay for the long term.

While we won’t see bionic arms or Iron Man-style suits on the market next year, Kipke is optimistic that prosthetic devices could start linking up with the brain in a decade or so.

“The surrounding work of developing very fine robotic control and clinical training protocols—that work is progressing along its own trajectory,” Kipke said.

Kipke, director of the Center for Neural Communication Technology, is a professor of biomedical engineering. Kotov, the Joseph B. and Florence V. Cejka Professor of Engineering, is a professor of biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, biomaterials science and engineering, and macromolecular science and engineering. Lahann, director of the Biointerfaces Institute, is a professor of chemical engineering, materials science and engineering, biomedical engineering, and macromolecular science and engineering.

A paper on the research, “Ultra-small implantable composite microelectrodes with bioactive surfaces for chronic neural interfaces,” is published in the current edition of Nature Materials. The work is funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Center for Neural Communication Technology, an NIH-funded biotechnology research center.

Contact Kate McAlpine, (734) 763-4386, kmca@umich.edu or Nicole Casal Moore, (734) 647-7087, ncmoore@umich.edu

Original article: http://www.ns.umich.edu/new/releases/20970-a-better-brain-implant-slim-electrode-cozies-up-to-single-neurons

Daryl Kipke: http://sitemaker.umich.edu/daryl.kipke/home

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, December 19th, 2012 at 1:46 pm and is filed under .

A better brain implant: Slim electrode cozies up to single neurons

An artist's rendering of individual neurons. A new electrode developed at the University of Michigan can focus on the electrical signals of just one neuron. It may help researchers understand how electrical signals move through neural networks in the brain. Because this electrode is so small and unobtrusive, it may be able to stay in the brain for long periods without upsetting the immune system, perhaps picking up signals to send to prosthetic limbs. Image credit: Takashi Kozai

ANN ARBOR—A thin, flexible electrode developed at the University of Michigan is 10 times smaller than the nearest competition and could make long-term measurements of neural activity practical at last.

This kind of technology could eventually be used to send signals to prosthetic limbs, overcoming inflammation larger electrodes cause that damages both the brain and the electrodes.

The main problem that neurons have with electrodes is that they make terrible neighbors. In addition to being enormous compared to the neurons, they are stiff and tend to rub nearby cells the wrong way. The resident immune cells spot the foreigner and attack, inflaming the brain tissue and blocking communication between the electrode and the cells.

The new electrode developed by the teams of Daryl Kipke, a professor of biomedical engineering, Joerg Lahann, a professor of chemical engineering, and Nicholas Kotov, the Joseph B. and Florence V. Cejka Professor of Engineering, is unobtrusive and even friendly in comparison. It is a thread of highly conductive carbon fiber, coated in plastic to block out signals from other neurons. The conductive gel pad at the end cozies up to soft cell membranes, and that close connection means the signals from brain cells come in much clearer.

“It’s a huge step forward,” Kotov said. “This electrode is about seven microns in diameter, or 0.007 millimeters, and its closest competitor is about 25 to 100 microns.”

The gel even speaks the cell’s language, he said. Electrical impulses travel through the brain by movements of ions, or atoms with electric charges, and the signals move through the gel in the same way. On the other side, the carbon fiber responds to the ions by moving electrons, effectively translating the brain’s signal into the language of electronic devices.

To demonstrate how well the electrode listens in on real neurons, Kipke’s team implanted it into the brains of rats. The electrode’s narrow profile allows it to focus on just one neuron, and the team saw this in the sharp electrical signals coming through the fiber. They weren’t getting a muddle of multiple neurons in conversation. In addition to picking up specific signals to send to prosthetics, listening to single neurons could help tease out many of the brain’s big puzzles.

“How neurons are communicating with each other? What are the pathways for information processing in the brain? These are the questions that can be answered in the future with this kind of technique,” Kotov said.

“Because these devices are so small, we can combine them with emerging optical techniques to visually observe what the cells are doing in the brain while listening to their electrical signals,” said Takashi Kozai, who led the project as a student in Kipke’s lab and has since earned his Ph.D. “This will unlock new understanding of how the brain works on the cellular and network level.”

Kipke stressed that the electrode that the team tested is not a clinical trial-ready device, but it shows that efforts to shrink electrodes toward the size of brain cells are paying off.

“The results strongly suggest that creating feasible electrode arrays at these small dimensions is a viable path forward for making longer-lasting devices,” he said.

In order to listen to a neuron for long, or help people control a prosthetic as they do a natural limb, the electrodes need to be able to survive for years in the brain without doing significant damage. With only six weeks of testing, the team couldn’t say for sure how the electrode would fare in the long term, but the results were promising.

“Typically, we saw a peak in immune response at two weeks, then by three weeks it subsided, and by six weeks it had already stabilized,” Kotov said. “That stabilization is the important observation.”

The rat’s neurons and immune system got used to the electrodes, suggesting that the electronic invaders might be able to stay for the long term.

While we won’t see bionic arms or Iron Man-style suits on the market next year, Kipke is optimistic that prosthetic devices could start linking up with the brain in a decade or so.

“The surrounding work of developing very fine robotic control and clinical training protocols—that work is progressing along its own trajectory,” Kipke said.

Kipke, director of the Center for Neural Communication Technology, is a professor of biomedical engineering. Kotov, the Joseph B. and Florence V. Cejka Professor of Engineering, is a professor of biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, biomaterials science and engineering, and macromolecular science and engineering. Lahann, director of the Biointerfaces Institute, is a professor of chemical engineering, materials science and engineering, biomedical engineering, and macromolecular science and engineering.

A paper on the research, “Ultra-small implantable composite microelectrodes with bioactive surfaces for chronic neural interfaces,” is published in the current edition of Nature Materials. The work is funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Center for Neural Communication Technology, an NIH-funded biotechnology research center.

Contact Kate McAlpine, (734) 763-4386, kmca@umich.edu or Nicole Casal Moore, (734) 647-7087, ncmoore@umich.edu

Original article: http://www.ns.umich.edu/new/releases/20970-a-better-brain-implant-slim-electrode-cozies-up-to-single-neurons

Daryl Kipke: http://sitemaker.umich.edu/daryl.kipke/home

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, December 19th, 2012 at 1:43 pm and is filed under .

better-brain-implant-pyramidal-neuron-orig-2012-11-09

An artist's rendering of individual neurons. A new electrode developed at the University of Michigan can focus on the electrical signals of just one neuron. It may help researchers understand how electrical signals move through neural networks in the brain. Because this electrode is so small and unobtrusive, it may be able to stay in the brain for long periods without upsetting the immune system, perhaps picking up signals to send to prosthetic limbs. Image credit: Takashi Kozai

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, December 19th, 2012 at 1:36 pm and is filed under .

Capturing circulating cancer cells could provide insights into how disease spreads

ANN ARBOR—A glass plate with a nanoscale roughness could be a simple way for scientists to capture and study the circulating tumor cells that carry cancer around the body through the bloodstream.

Engineering and medical researchers at the University of Michigan have devised such a set-up, which they say takes advantage of cancer cells’ stronger drive to settle and bind compared with normal blood cells.

Circulating tumor cells are believed to contribute to cancer metastasis, the grim process of the disease spreading from its original site to distant tissues. Blood tests that count these cells can help doctors predict how long a patient with widespread cancer will live.

As important as the castaway cells are, scientists don’t know a lot about them. They’re rare, at about one per billion blood cells. And they are not all identical, even if they come from the same tumor. Existing tools for isolating them only catch certain types of cells—those that express specific surface proteins or are larger than normal blood cells.

For example, the commonly used, FDA-approved CellSearch system uses antibody- coated magnetic beads to seek out tumor cells and bind to them. But not all circulating tumor cells express the proteins these antibodies recognize. It is possible that the most dangerous ones, known as cancer stem or progenitor cells, may have shed that tell-tale coat, thereby evading approaches that rely on antibodies.

The researchers say their system could likely trap these stealth cancer stem cells—a feat no research team has accomplished yet.

“Our system can capture the majority of circulating tumor cells regardless of their surface proteins or their physical sizes, and this could include cancer progenitor or initiating cells,” said Jianping Fu, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering and a senior author of a paper on the technique published online in ACS Nano.

Fu and his engineering colleagues teamed up with U-M senior cancer researcher and breast cancer clinician Dr. Sofia Merajver and her team. This multidisciplinary group believes that while the device could one day improve cancer diagnosis and prognosis, its first uses would be for researchers to isolate live circulating tumor cells from blood specimens and study their biological and physical properties.

“Understanding the physical behavior and nature of these circulating tumor cells will certainly help us understand better one of the most difficult questions in cancer biology—the metastatic cascade, that is, how the disease spreads,” Fu said. “Our system could provide an efficient and powerful way to capture the live circulating tumor cells and use them as a surrogate to study the metastatic process.”

But capturing them, as challenging as it has proven to be, is only the beginning, said Merajver, who has spent the last 18 years studying cell signaling and the physical properties of highly aggressive cancer cells.

“The application of integrative biology is necessary to put together the story of how these cells behave in time to achieve successful metastases and thereby discover the routes to suppressing this deadly development,” Merajver said. “Our collaboration with the Fu lab exemplifies the innovation needed for the war against cancer—team science from the lab all the way to the clinic.”

In their experiments, the researchers used a standard and inexpensive microfabrication technique called “reactive ion etching” to roughen glass slides with a nanoscale resolution. Then, they spiked different blood samples with cancer cells derived from human breast, cervical and prostate tissues. When they poured the samples over the glass plates, the nanorough glass surfaces captured an average of 88 percent to 95 percent of the cancer cells.

Fu suggests why.

“Blood cells are intrinsically floating,” Fu said. “Cancer cells including circulating tumor cells derived from solid tumors are presumably adherent cells. They can escape from the primary tumor while maintaining certain adhesion properties that allow them to attach and establish another tumor.”

In other studies, researchers have noticed that circulating tumor cells tend to stick to rough surfaces. But the rough surfaces in those studies were coated with capture antibodies. These new nanorough surfaces do not require capture antibodies.

“Our method presents a significant improvement as it can be applied in principle to any cancer cell that comes from solid tumors,” Fu said.

The paper is titled “Nanoroughened Surfaces for Efficient Capture of Circulating Tumor Cells without Using Capture Antibodies.” The university is pursuing patent protection for the intellectual property and is seeking commercialization partners to help bring the technology to market.

The first author is Weiqiang Chen, a doctoral student in the U-M Department of Mechanical Engineering. Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai and the City University of Hong Kong also contributed, along with others in the U-M College of Engineering and the U-M Medical School. The research was supported by the National Science Foundation, the UM-SJTU Collaboration on Biomedical Technologies, the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research and the U-M Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Contact Nicole Casal Moore, (734) 647-7087, ncmoore@umich.edu or Nicole Fawcett, (734) 764-2220, nfawcett@umich.edu

Related Links:

Original Article: http://www.ns.umich.edu/new/releases/21031-capturing-circulating-cancer-cells-could-provide-insights-into-how-disease-spreads

Jianping Fu: https://me-web2.engin.umich.edu/pub/directory/bio?uniqname=jpfu

Sofia Merajver: http://www.med.umich.edu/merajverlab

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 at 10:01 am and is filed under .

Capturing circulating cancer cells could provide insights into how disease spreads

ANN ARBOR—A glass plate with a nanoscale roughness could be a simple way for scientists to capture and study the circulating tumor cells that carry cancer around the body through the bloodstream.

Engineering and medical researchers at the University of Michigan have devised such a set-up, which they say takes advantage of cancer cells’ stronger drive to settle and bind compared with normal blood cells.

Circulating tumor cells are believed to contribute to cancer metastasis, the grim process of the disease spreading from its original site to distant tissues. Blood tests that count these cells can help doctors predict how long a patient with widespread cancer will live.

As important as the castaway cells are, scientists don’t know a lot about them. They’re rare, at about one per billion blood cells. And they are not all identical, even if they come from the same tumor. Existing tools for isolating them only catch certain types of cells—those that express specific surface proteins or are larger than normal blood cells.

For example, the commonly used, FDA-approved CellSearch system uses antibody- coated magnetic beads to seek out tumor cells and bind to them. But not all circulating tumor cells express the proteins these antibodies recognize. It is possible that the most dangerous ones, known as cancer stem or progenitor cells, may have shed that tell-tale coat, thereby evading approaches that rely on antibodies.

The researchers say their system could likely trap these stealth cancer stem cells—a feat no research team has accomplished yet.

“Our system can capture the majority of circulating tumor cells regardless of their surface proteins or their physical sizes, and this could include cancer progenitor or initiating cells,” said Jianping Fu, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering and a senior author of a paper on the technique published online in ACS Nano.

Fu and his engineering colleagues teamed up with U-M senior cancer researcher and breast cancer clinician Dr. Sofia Merajver and her team. This multidisciplinary group believes that while the device could one day improve cancer diagnosis and prognosis, its first uses would be for researchers to isolate live circulating tumor cells from blood specimens and study their biological and physical properties.

“Understanding the physical behavior and nature of these circulating tumor cells will certainly help us understand better one of the most difficult questions in cancer biology—the metastatic cascade, that is, how the disease spreads,” Fu said. “Our system could provide an efficient and powerful way to capture the live circulating tumor cells and use them as a surrogate to study the metastatic process.”

But capturing them, as challenging as it has proven to be, is only the beginning, said Merajver, who has spent the last 18 years studying cell signaling and the physical properties of highly aggressive cancer cells.

“The application of integrative biology is necessary to put together the story of how these cells behave in time to achieve successful metastases and thereby discover the routes to suppressing this deadly development,” Merajver said. “Our collaboration with the Fu lab exemplifies the innovation needed for the war against cancer—team science from the lab all the way to the clinic.”

In their experiments, the researchers used a standard and inexpensive microfabrication technique called “reactive ion etching” to roughen glass slides with a nanoscale resolution. Then, they spiked different blood samples with cancer cells derived from human breast, cervical and prostate tissues. When they poured the samples over the glass plates, the nanorough glass surfaces captured an average of 88 percent to 95 percent of the cancer cells.

Fu suggests why.

“Blood cells are intrinsically floating,” Fu said. “Cancer cells including circulating tumor cells derived from solid tumors are presumably adherent cells. They can escape from the primary tumor while maintaining certain adhesion properties that allow them to attach and establish another tumor.”

In other studies, researchers have noticed that circulating tumor cells tend to stick to rough surfaces. But the rough surfaces in those studies were coated with capture antibodies. These new nanorough surfaces do not require capture antibodies.

“Our method presents a significant improvement as it can be applied in principle to any cancer cell that comes from solid tumors,” Fu said.

The paper is titled “Nanoroughened Surfaces for Efficient Capture of Circulating Tumor Cells without Using Capture Antibodies.” The university is pursuing patent protection for the intellectual property and is seeking commercialization partners to help bring the technology to market.

The first author is Weiqiang Chen, a doctoral student in the U-M Department of Mechanical Engineering. Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai and the City University of Hong Kong also contributed, along with others in the U-M College of Engineering and the U-M Medical School. The research was supported by the National Science Foundation, the UM-SJTU Collaboration on Biomedical Technologies, the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research and the U-M Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Contact Nicole Casal Moore, (734) 647-7087, ncmoore@umich.edu or Nicole Fawcett, (734) 764-2220, nfawcett@umich.edu

Related Links:

Original Article: http://www.ns.umich.edu/new/releases/21031-capturing-circulating-cancer-cells-could-provide-insights-into-how-disease-spreads

Jianping Fu: https://me-web2.engin.umich.edu/pub/directory/bio?uniqname=jpfu

Sofia Merajver: http://www.med.umich.edu/merajverlab

Tags: , , , ,

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 at 10:01 am and is filed under All News, Faculty News.

Capturing circulating cancer cells could provide insights into how disease spreads

ANN ARBOR—A glass plate with a nanoscale roughness could be a simple way for scientists to capture and study the circulating tumor cells that carry cancer around the body through the bloodstream.

Engineering and medical researchers at the University of Michigan have devised such a set-up, which they say takes advantage of cancer cells’ stronger drive to settle and bind compared with normal blood cells.

Circulating tumor cells are believed to contribute to cancer metastasis, the grim process of the disease spreading from its original site to distant tissues. Blood tests that count these cells can help doctors predict how long a patient with widespread cancer will live.

As important as the castaway cells are, scientists don’t know a lot about them. They’re rare, at about one per billion blood cells. And they are not all identical, even if they come from the same tumor. Existing tools for isolating them only catch certain types of cells—those that express specific surface proteins or are larger than normal blood cells.

For example, the commonly used, FDA-approved CellSearch system uses antibody- coated magnetic beads to seek out tumor cells and bind to them. But not all circulating tumor cells express the proteins these antibodies recognize. It is possible that the most dangerous ones, known as cancer stem or progenitor cells, may have shed that tell-tale coat, thereby evading approaches that rely on antibodies.

The researchers say their system could likely trap these stealth cancer stem cells—a feat no research team has accomplished yet.

“Our system can capture the majority of circulating tumor cells regardless of their surface proteins or their physical sizes, and this could include cancer progenitor or initiating cells,” said Jianping Fu, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering and a senior author of a paper on the technique published online in ACS Nano.

Fu and his engineering colleagues teamed up with U-M senior cancer researcher and breast cancer clinician Dr. Sofia Merajver and her team. This multidisciplinary group believes that while the device could one day improve cancer diagnosis and prognosis, its first uses would be for researchers to isolate live circulating tumor cells from blood specimens and study their biological and physical properties.

“Understanding the physical behavior and nature of these circulating tumor cells will certainly help us understand better one of the most difficult questions in cancer biology—the metastatic cascade, that is, how the disease spreads,” Fu said. “Our system could provide an efficient and powerful way to capture the live circulating tumor cells and use them as a surrogate to study the metastatic process.”

But capturing them, as challenging as it has proven to be, is only the beginning, said Merajver, who has spent the last 18 years studying cell signaling and the physical properties of highly aggressive cancer cells.

“The application of integrative biology is necessary to put together the story of how these cells behave in time to achieve successful metastases and thereby discover the routes to suppressing this deadly development,” Merajver said. “Our collaboration with the Fu lab exemplifies the innovation needed for the war against cancer—team science from the lab all the way to the clinic.”

In their experiments, the researchers used a standard and inexpensive microfabrication technique called “reactive ion etching” to roughen glass slides with a nanoscale resolution. Then, they spiked different blood samples with cancer cells derived from human breast, cervical and prostate tissues. When they poured the samples over the glass plates, the nanorough glass surfaces captured an average of 88 percent to 95 percent of the cancer cells.

Fu suggests why.

“Blood cells are intrinsically floating,” Fu said. “Cancer cells including circulating tumor cells derived from solid tumors are presumably adherent cells. They can escape from the primary tumor while maintaining certain adhesion properties that allow them to attach and establish another tumor.”

In other studies, researchers have noticed that circulating tumor cells tend to stick to rough surfaces. But the rough surfaces in those studies were coated with capture antibodies. These new nanorough surfaces do not require capture antibodies.

“Our method presents a significant improvement as it can be applied in principle to any cancer cell that comes from solid tumors,” Fu said.

The paper is titled “Nanoroughened Surfaces for Efficient Capture of Circulating Tumor Cells without Using Capture Antibodies.” The university is pursuing patent protection for the intellectual property and is seeking commercialization partners to help bring the technology to market.

The first author is Weiqiang Chen, a doctoral student in the U-M Department of Mechanical Engineering. Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai and the City University of Hong Kong also contributed, along with others in the U-M College of Engineering and the U-M Medical School. The research was supported by the National Science Foundation, the UM-SJTU Collaboration on Biomedical Technologies, the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research and the U-M Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Contact Nicole Casal Moore, (734) 647-7087, ncmoore@umich.edu or Nicole Fawcett, (734) 764-2220, nfawcett@umich.edu

Related Links:

Original Article: http://www.ns.umich.edu/new/releases/21031-capturing-circulating-cancer-cells-could-provide-insights-into-how-disease-spreads

Jianping Fu: https://me-web2.engin.umich.edu/pub/directory/bio?uniqname=jpfu

Sofia Merajver: http://www.med.umich.edu/merajverlab

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 at 10:01 am and is filed under .

Capturing circulating cancer cells could provide insights into how disease spreads

ANN ARBOR—A glass plate with a nanoscale roughness could be a simple way for scientists to capture and study the circulating tumor cells that carry cancer around the body through the bloodstream.

Engineering and medical researchers at the University of Michigan have devised such a set-up, which they say takes advantage of cancer cells’ stronger drive to settle and bind compared with normal blood cells.

Circulating tumor cells are believed to contribute to cancer metastasis, the grim process of the disease spreading from its original site to distant tissues. Blood tests that count these cells can help doctors predict how long a patient with widespread cancer will live.

As important as the castaway cells are, scientists don’t know a lot about them. They’re rare, at about one per billion blood cells. And they are not all identical, even if they come from the same tumor. Existing tools for isolating them only catch certain types of cells—those that express specific surface proteins or are larger than normal blood cells.

For example, the commonly used, FDA-approved CellSearch system uses antibody- coated magnetic beads to seek out tumor cells and bind to them. But not all circulating tumor cells express the proteins these antibodies recognize. It is possible that the most dangerous ones, known as cancer stem or progenitor cells, may have shed that tell-tale coat, thereby evading approaches that rely on antibodies.

The researchers say their system could likely trap these stealth cancer stem cells—a feat no research team has accomplished yet.

“Our system can capture the majority of circulating tumor cells regardless of their surface proteins or their physical sizes, and this could include cancer progenitor or initiating cells,” said Jianping Fu, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering and a senior author of a paper on the technique published online in ACS Nano.

Fu and his engineering colleagues teamed up with U-M senior cancer researcher and breast cancer clinician Dr. Sofia Merajver and her team. This multidisciplinary group believes that while the device could one day improve cancer diagnosis and prognosis, its first uses would be for researchers to isolate live circulating tumor cells from blood specimens and study their biological and physical properties.

“Understanding the physical behavior and nature of these circulating tumor cells will certainly help us understand better one of the most difficult questions in cancer biology—the metastatic cascade, that is, how the disease spreads,” Fu said. “Our system could provide an efficient and powerful way to capture the live circulating tumor cells and use them as a surrogate to study the metastatic process.”

But capturing them, as challenging as it has proven to be, is only the beginning, said Merajver, who has spent the last 18 years studying cell signaling and the physical properties of highly aggressive cancer cells.

“The application of integrative biology is necessary to put together the story of how these cells behave in time to achieve successful metastases and thereby discover the routes to suppressing this deadly development,” Merajver said. “Our collaboration with the Fu lab exemplifies the innovation needed for the war against cancer—team science from the lab all the way to the clinic.”

In their experiments, the researchers used a standard and inexpensive microfabrication technique called “reactive ion etching” to roughen glass slides with a nanoscale resolution. Then, they spiked different blood samples with cancer cells derived from human breast, cervical and prostate tissues. When they poured the samples over the glass plates, the nanorough glass surfaces captured an average of 88 percent to 95 percent of the cancer cells.

Fu suggests why.

“Blood cells are intrinsically floating,” Fu said. “Cancer cells including circulating tumor cells derived from solid tumors are presumably adherent cells. They can escape from the primary tumor while maintaining certain adhesion properties that allow them to attach and establish another tumor.”

In other studies, researchers have noticed that circulating tumor cells tend to stick to rough surfaces. But the rough surfaces in those studies were coated with capture antibodies. These new nanorough surfaces do not require capture antibodies.

“Our method presents a significant improvement as it can be applied in principle to any cancer cell that comes from solid tumors,” Fu said.

The paper is titled “Nanoroughened Surfaces for Efficient Capture of Circulating Tumor Cells without Using Capture Antibodies.” The university is pursuing patent protection for the intellectual property and is seeking commercialization partners to help bring the technology to market.

The first author is Weiqiang Chen, a doctoral student in the U-M Department of Mechanical Engineering. Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai and the City University of Hong Kong also contributed, along with others in the U-M College of Engineering and the U-M Medical School. The research was supported by the National Science Foundation, the UM-SJTU Collaboration on Biomedical Technologies, the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research and the U-M Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Contact Nicole Casal Moore, (734) 647-7087, ncmoore@umich.edu or Nicole Fawcett, (734) 764-2220, nfawcett@umich.edu

Related Links:

Original Article: http://www.ns.umich.edu/new/releases/21031-capturing-circulating-cancer-cells-could-provide-insights-into-how-disease-spreads

Jianping Fu: https://me-web2.engin.umich.edu/pub/directory/bio?uniqname=jpfu

Sofia Merajver: http://www.med.umich.edu/merajverlab

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 at 9:56 am and is filed under .

ToC

ToC

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 at 9:53 am and is filed under .

Professor Alan Hunt Memorial

Alan Hunt

It is with profound sadness that U-M BME shares news of the death of Alan J. Hunt, professor of biomedical engineering in the College of Engineering.  Professor Hunt died on October 28, 2012 at the age of 49, after a courageous battle with cancer.

Professor Hunt received his B.A. degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology in 1986 from the University of California, San Diego and his Ph.D. in Biophysics in 1993 from the University of Washington.  He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Colorado from 1994 through 1998.  He began his career in Ann Arbor as an assistant professor in 1998, was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2004 and was promoted to professor in 2010.

Professor Hunt was a truly talented and inspiring teacher.  He helped to design a modern biomedical engineering curriculum with a strong focus on principles of cellular and molecular engineering. Among the courses he has developed and taught are “Molecular and Cellular Biomechanics” (graduate), and “Quantitative Cell Biology” (undergraduate). These courses will have a lasting and significant impact on the biomedical engineering education at the University of Michigan and beyond.  He served as caring and supportive mentor to 10 Ph.D. students who have gone on to distinguished careers in academia and industry.

Professor Hunt has made numerous outstanding scientific contributions with significant impact in three main areas: 1) microtubule self-assembly and mitosis, 2) nanofabrication via ultrafast laser machining, and 3) asymmetric stem cell division. In the area of microtubule self-assembly and mitosis, he published the first computational model of mitosis, the process by which a replicated genome is segregated into two complete sets of chromosomes during cell division.  This article stands as possibly the best description of the molecular mechanical basis of mitosis.  Professor Hunt’s group has pioneered the use of optical tweezers to measure single microtubule self-assembly at the nanometer-scale, giving molecular mechanistic framework with which to understand how microtubule-directed anticancer drugs exert their therapeutic influence.  In the area of nanofabrication via ultrafast laser machining, Professor Hunt’s group applied femtosecond laser pulsing to create nanoscale features that can be created with high precision and accuracy, for example, the development of liquid glass electrodes where electrical current through a nanofluidic channel is controlled by reversibly inducing dielectric breakdown in a glass wall within the channel. Related to asymmetric stem cell division, Professor Hunt in collaboration with stem cell biologists, found that centrosome mis-orientation reduces the ability of stem cells to divide.  Professor Hunt’s expertise in the dynamics of microtubules, which are anchored to and nucleated from centrosomes, was vital in establishing this important link between the cytoskeleton and stem cell division.   Professor Hunt was a highly respected scientist and was selected as associate editor of the journal Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering.

Professor Hunt is survived by his wife Karen, daughters Sarah and Deanna, parents Mary Lou and Earl, brothers Bob and Steve, sister Susan, and many loving relatives and friends.  His friendship and inspiring intellect will be missed by his colleagues, friends and family.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Tuesday, November 27th, 2012 at 2:59 pm and is filed under .

Professor Alan Hunt Memorial

Alan Hunt

It is with profound sadness that U-M BME shares news of the death of Alan J. Hunt, professor of biomedical engineering in the College of Engineering.  Professor Hunt died on October 28, 2012 at the age of 49, after a courageous battle with cancer.

Professor Hunt received his B.A. degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology in 1986 from the University of California, San Diego and his Ph.D. in Biophysics in 1993 from the University of Washington.  He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Colorado from 1994 through 1998.  He began his career in Ann Arbor as an assistant professor in 1998, was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2004 and was promoted to professor in 2010.

Professor Hunt was a truly talented and inspiring teacher.  He helped to design a modern biomedical engineering curriculum with a strong focus on principles of cellular and molecular engineering. Among the courses he has developed and taught are “Molecular and Cellular Biomechanics” (graduate), and “Quantitative Cell Biology” (undergraduate). These courses will have a lasting and significant impact on the biomedical engineering education at the University of Michigan and beyond.  He served as caring and supportive mentor to 10 Ph.D. students who have gone on to distinguished careers in academia and industry.

Professor Hunt has made numerous outstanding scientific contributions with significant impact in three main areas: 1) microtubule self-assembly and mitosis, 2) nanofabrication via ultrafast laser machining, and 3) asymmetric stem cell division. In the area of microtubule self-assembly and mitosis, he published the first computational model of mitosis, the process by which a replicated genome is segregated into two complete sets of chromosomes during cell division.  This article stands as possibly the best description of the molecular mechanical basis of mitosis.  Professor Hunt’s group has pioneered the use of optical tweezers to measure single microtubule self-assembly at the nanometer-scale, giving molecular mechanistic framework with which to understand how microtubule-directed anticancer drugs exert their therapeutic influence.  In the area of nanofabrication via ultrafast laser machining, Professor Hunt’s group applied femtosecond laser pulsing to create nanoscale features that can be created with high precision and accuracy, for example, the development of liquid glass electrodes where electrical current through a nanofluidic channel is controlled by reversibly inducing dielectric breakdown in a glass wall within the channel. Related to asymmetric stem cell division, Professor Hunt in collaboration with stem cell biologists, found that centrosome mis-orientation reduces the ability of stem cells to divide.  Professor Hunt’s expertise in the dynamics of microtubules, which are anchored to and nucleated from centrosomes, was vital in establishing this important link between the cytoskeleton and stem cell division.   Professor Hunt was a highly respected scientist and was selected as associate editor of the journal Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering.

Professor Hunt is survived by his wife Karen, daughters Sarah and Deanna, parents Mary Lou and Earl, brothers Bob and Steve, sister Susan, and many loving relatives and friends.  His friendship and inspiring intellect will be missed by his colleagues, friends and family.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Tuesday, November 27th, 2012 at 2:59 pm and is filed under .

Professor Alan Hunt Memorial

Alan Hunt

It is with profound sadness that U-M BME shares news of the death of Alan J. Hunt, professor of biomedical engineering in the College of Engineering.  Professor Hunt died on October 28, 2012 at the age of 49, after a courageous battle with cancer.

Professor Hunt received his B.A. degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology in 1986 from the University of California, San Diego and his Ph.D. in Biophysics in 1993 from the University of Washington.  He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Colorado from 1994 through 1998.  He began his career in Ann Arbor as an assistant professor in 1998, was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2004 and was promoted to professor in 2010.

Professor Hunt was a truly talented and inspiring teacher.  He helped to design a modern biomedical engineering curriculum with a strong focus on principles of cellular and molecular engineering. Among the courses he has developed and taught are “Molecular and Cellular Biomechanics” (graduate), and “Quantitative Cell Biology” (undergraduate). These courses will have a lasting and significant impact on the biomedical engineering education at the University of Michigan and beyond.  He served as caring and supportive mentor to 10 Ph.D. students who have gone on to distinguished careers in academia and industry.

Professor Hunt has made numerous outstanding scientific contributions with significant impact in three main areas: 1) microtubule self-assembly and mitosis, 2) nanofabrication via ultrafast laser machining, and 3) asymmetric stem cell division. In the area of microtubule self-assembly and mitosis, he published the first computational model of mitosis, the process by which a replicated genome is segregated into two complete sets of chromosomes during cell division.  This article stands as possibly the best description of the molecular mechanical basis of mitosis.  Professor Hunt’s group has pioneered the use of optical tweezers to measure single microtubule self-assembly at the nanometer-scale, giving molecular mechanistic framework with which to understand how microtubule-directed anticancer drugs exert their therapeutic influence.  In the area of nanofabrication via ultrafast laser machining, Professor Hunt’s group applied femtosecond laser pulsing to create nanoscale features that can be created with high precision and accuracy, for example, the development of liquid glass electrodes where electrical current through a nanofluidic channel is controlled by reversibly inducing dielectric breakdown in a glass wall within the channel. Related to asymmetric stem cell division, Professor Hunt in collaboration with stem cell biologists, found that centrosome mis-orientation reduces the ability of stem cells to divide.  Professor Hunt’s expertise in the dynamics of microtubules, which are anchored to and nucleated from centrosomes, was vital in establishing this important link between the cytoskeleton and stem cell division.   Professor Hunt was a highly respected scientist and was selected as associate editor of the journal Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering.

Professor Hunt is survived by his wife Karen, daughters Sarah and Deanna, parents Mary Lou and Earl, brothers Bob and Steve, sister Susan, and many loving relatives and friends.  His friendship and inspiring intellect will be missed by his colleagues, friends and family.

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This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Tuesday, November 27th, 2012 at 2:57 pm and is filed under All News, Faculty News, Spotlight.

Professor Alan Hunt Memorial

Alan HuntIt is with profound sadness that U-M BME shares news of the death of Alan J. Hunt, professor of biomedical engineering in the College of Engineering.  Professor Hunt died on October 28, 2012 at the age of 49, after a courageous battle with cancer.
Professor Hunt received his B.A. degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology in 1986 from the University of California, San Diego and his Ph.D. in Biophysics in 1993 from the University of Washington.  He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Colorado from 1994 through 1998.  He began his career in Ann Arbor as an assistant professor in 1998, was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2004 and was promoted to professor in 2010.

Professor Hunt was a truly talented and inspiring teacher.  He helped to design a modern biomedical engineering curriculum with a strong focus on principles of cellular and molecular engineering. Among the courses he has developed and taught are “Molecular and Cellular Biomechanics” (graduate), and “Quantitative Cell Biology” (undergraduate). These courses will have a lasting and significant impact on the biomedical engineering education at the University of Michigan and beyond.  He served as caring and supportive mentor to 10 Ph.D. students who have gone on to distinguished careers in academia and industry.

Professor Hunt has made numerous outstanding scientific contributions with significant impact in three main areas: 1) microtubule self-assembly and mitosis, 2) nanofabrication via ultrafast laser machining, and 3) asymmetric stem cell division. In the area of microtubule self-assembly and mitosis, he published the first computational model of mitosis, the process by which a replicated genome is segregated into two complete sets of chromosomes during cell division.  This article stands as possibly the best description of the molecular mechanical basis of mitosis.  Professor Hunt’s group has pioneered the use of optical tweezers to measure single microtubule self-assembly at the nanometer-scale, giving molecular mechanistic framework with which to understand how microtubule-directed anticancer drugs exert their therapeutic influence.  In the area of nanofabrication via ultrafast laser machining, Professor Hunt’s group applied femtosecond laser pulsing to create nanoscale features that can be created with high precision and accuracy, for example, the development of liquid glass electrodes where electrical current through a nanofluidic channel is controlled by reversibly inducing dielectric breakdown in a glass wall within the channel. Related to asymmetric stem cell division, Professor Hunt in collaboration with stem cell biologists, found that centrosome mis-orientation reduces the ability of stem cells to divide.  Professor Hunt’s expertise in the dynamics of microtubules, which are anchored to and nucleated from centrosomes, was vital in establishing this important link between the cytoskeleton and stem cell division.   Professor Hunt was a highly respected scientist and was selected as associate editor of the journal Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering.

Professor Hunt is survived by his wife Karen, daughters Sarah and Deanna, parents Mary Lou and Earl, brothers Bob and Steve, sister Susan, and many loving relatives and friends.  His friendship and inspiring intellect will be missed by his colleagues, friends and family.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Tuesday, November 27th, 2012 at 2:57 pm and is filed under .

Professor Alan Hunt Memorial

Alan HuntIt is with profound sadness that U-M BME shares news of the death of Alan J. Hunt, professor of biomedical engineering in the College of Engineering.  Professor Hunt died on October 28, 2012 at the age of 49, after a courageous battle with cancer.
Professor Hunt received his B.A. degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology in 1986 from the University of California, San Diego and his Ph.D. in Biophysics in 1993 from the University of Washington.  He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Colorado from 1994 through 1998.  He began his career in Ann Arbor as an assistant professor in 1998, was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2004 and was promoted to professor in 2010.

Professor Hunt was a truly talented and inspiring teacher.  He helped to design a modern biomedical engineering curriculum with a strong focus on principles of cellular and molecular engineering. Among the courses he has developed and taught are “Molecular and Cellular Biomechanics” (graduate), and “Quantitative Cell Biology” (undergraduate). These courses will have a lasting and significant impact on the biomedical engineering education at the University of Michigan and beyond.  He served as caring and supportive mentor to 10 Ph.D. students who have gone on to distinguished careers in academia and industry.

Professor Hunt has made numerous outstanding scientific contributions with significant impact in three main areas: 1) microtubule self-assembly and mitosis, 2) nanofabrication via ultrafast laser machining, and 3) asymmetric stem cell division. In the area of microtubule self-assembly and mitosis, he published the first computational model of mitosis, the process by which a replicated genome is segregated into two complete sets of chromosomes during cell division.  This article stands as possibly the best description of the molecular mechanical basis of mitosis.  Professor Hunt’s group has pioneered the use of optical tweezers to measure single microtubule self-assembly at the nanometer-scale, giving molecular mechanistic framework with which to understand how microtubule-directed anticancer drugs exert their therapeutic influence.  In the area of nanofabrication via ultrafast laser machining, Professor Hunt’s group applied femtosecond laser pulsing to create nanoscale features that can be created with high precision and accuracy, for example, the development of liquid glass electrodes where electrical current through a nanofluidic channel is controlled by reversibly inducing dielectric breakdown in a glass wall within the channel. Related to asymmetric stem cell division, Professor Hunt in collaboration with stem cell biologists, found that centrosome mis-orientation reduces the ability of stem cells to divide.  Professor Hunt’s expertise in the dynamics of microtubules, which are anchored to and nucleated from centrosomes, was vital in establishing this important link between the cytoskeleton and stem cell division.   Professor Hunt was a highly respected scientist and was selected as associate editor of the journal Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering.

Professor Hunt is survived by his wife Karen, daughters Sarah and Deanna, parents Mary Lou and Earl, brothers Bob and Steve, sister Susan, and many loving relatives and friends.  His friendship and inspiring intellect will be missed by his colleagues, friends and family.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Tuesday, November 27th, 2012 at 2:57 pm and is filed under .

Alan-hunt

Alan-hunt

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Tuesday, November 27th, 2012 at 2:53 pm and is filed under .

Stem cells + nanofibers = promising nerve research

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Every week in his clinic at the University of Michigan, neurologist Joseph Corey, M.D., Ph.D., treats patients whose nerves are dying or shrinking due to disease or injury. He sees the pain, the loss of ability and the other effects that nerve-destroying conditions cause – and wishes he could give patients more effective treatments than what’s available, or regenerate their nerves. Then he heads to his research lab at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, where his team is working toward that exact goal. In new research published in several recent papers, Corey and his colleagues from the U-M Medical SchoolVAAAHS and the University of California, San Francisco report success in developing polymer nanofiber technologies for understanding how nerves form, why they don’t reconnect after injury, and what can be done to prevent or slow damage. Using polymer nanofibers thinner than human hairs as scaffolds, researchers coaxed a particular type of brain cell to wrap around fibers that mimic the shape and size of nerves found in the body. They’ve even managed to encourage the process of myelination – the formation of a protective coating that guards larger nerve fibers from damage. They began to see multiple concentric layers of the protective substance called myelin start to form, just as they do in the body. Together with the laboratory team of their collaborator Jonah Chan at UCSF, the authors reported the findings in Nature Methods. The research involves oligodendrocytes, which are the supporting actors to neurons — the “stars” of the central nervous system. Without oligodendrocytes, central nervous system neurons can’t effectively transmit the electrical signals that control everything from muscle movement to brain function. Oligodendrocytes are the type of cells typically affected by multiple sclerosis, and loss of myelin is a hallmark of that debilitating disease.   The researchers have also determined the optimum diameter for the nanofibers to support this process – giving important new clues to answer the question of why some nerves are myelinated and some aren’t. While they haven’t yet created fully functioning “nerves in a dish,” the researchers believe their work offers a new way to study nerves and test treatment possibilities. Corey, an assistant professor of neurology and biomedical engineering at the U-M Medical School and researcher in the VA Geriatrics Research, Education and Clinical Center, explains that the thin fibers are crucial for the success of the work. “If it’s about the same length and diameter as a neuron, the nerve cells follow it and their shape and location conform to it,” he says. “Essentially, these fibers are the same size as a neuron.” The researchers used polystyrene, a common plastic, to make fibers through a technique called electrospinnning. In a recent paper in Materials Science and Engineering C, they discovered new techniques to optimize how fibers made from poly-L-lactide, a biodegradable polymer, can be better aligned to resemble neurons and to guide regenerating nerve cells. They’re also working to determine the factors that make oligodendrocytes attach to the long narrow axons of neurons, and perhaps to start forming myelin sheaths too. By attaching particular molecules to the nanofibers, Corey and his colleagues hope to learn more about what makes this process work — and what makes it go awry, as in diseases caused by poor nerve development. “What we need to do for multiple sclerosis is to encourage nerves to remyelinate,” he says. “For nerve damage caused by trauma, on the other hand, we need to encourage regeneration.” In addition to Corey, the research has been led by Chan, the Rachleff Professor of Neurology at UCSF, VAAAHS lab team member and U-M graduate Samuel J. Tuck, U-M biomedical engineering graduate student Michelle Leach, UCSF’s Stephanie Redmond, Seonook Lee, Synthia Mellon and S.Y. Christin Chong, and Zhang-Qi Feng of U-M Biomedical Engineering. Peripheral nerves, which have neurons at the center surrounded by cells called Schwann cells, can also be studied using the nanofiber technique. The system could also be used to study how different types of cells interact during and after nerve formation. Toward creating new nerves, Corey’s lab has collaborated with R. Keith Duncan, PhD, Associate Professor of Otolaryngology. Published in Biomacromolecules, they found that stem cells are more likely to develop into neurons when they are grown on aligned nanofibers produced in Corey’s lab.  They eventually hope to use this approach to build new nerves from stem cells and direct their connections to undamaged parts of the brain and to muscle. Eventually, Corey envisions, perhaps nerves could be grown along nanofibers in a lab setting and then transferred to patients’ bodies, where the fiber would safely degrade. The research was supported by a VA Merit funding grant, the US National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Harry Weaver Neuroscience Scholar Award, the Paralyzed Veterans of America and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NS062796-02). References:  Nature Methods 9, 917–922, (2012) doi:10.1038/nmeth.2105 Biomacromolecules, Article ASAP, DOI: 10.1021/bm301220k Materials Science and Engineering: C, Volume 32, Issue 7, 1 October 2012, Pages 1779–1784 Important note for patients: This research is still in the laboratory stages, and there are no immediate plans to perform studies in human patients. If you are interested in finding other opportunities to take part in medical research studies at U-M, please visit http://www.umclinicalstudies.org  .

Media Contact: Kara Gavin 734-764-2220

Original Link: http://www.uofmhealth.org/news/archive/201211/stem-cells-nanofibers-promising-nerve-research

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, November 16th, 2012 at 3:02 pm and is filed under .

Stem cells + nanofibers = promising nerve research

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Every week in his clinic at the University of Michigan, neurologist Joseph Corey, M.D., Ph.D., treats patients whose nerves are dying or shrinking due to disease or injury. He sees the pain, the loss of ability and the other effects that nerve-destroying conditions cause – and wishes he could give patients more effective treatments than what’s available, or regenerate their nerves. Then he heads to his research lab at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, where his team is working toward that exact goal. In new research published in several recent papers, Corey and his colleagues from the U-M Medical SchoolVAAAHS and the University of California, San Francisco report success in developing polymer nanofiber technologies for understanding how nerves form, why they don’t reconnect after injury, and what can be done to prevent or slow damage. Using polymer nanofibers thinner than human hairs as scaffolds, researchers coaxed a particular type of brain cell to wrap around fibers that mimic the shape and size of nerves found in the body. They’ve even managed to encourage the process of myelination – the formation of a protective coating that guards larger nerve fibers from damage. They began to see multiple concentric layers of the protective substance called myelin start to form, just as they do in the body. Together with the laboratory team of their collaborator Jonah Chan at UCSF, the authors reported the findings in Nature Methods. The research involves oligodendrocytes, which are the supporting actors to neurons — the “stars” of the central nervous system. Without oligodendrocytes, central nervous system neurons can’t effectively transmit the electrical signals that control everything from muscle movement to brain function. Oligodendrocytes are the type of cells typically affected by multiple sclerosis, and loss of myelin is a hallmark of that debilitating disease.   The researchers have also determined the optimum diameter for the nanofibers to support this process – giving important new clues to answer the question of why some nerves are myelinated and some aren’t. While they haven’t yet created fully functioning “nerves in a dish,” the researchers believe their work offers a new way to study nerves and test treatment possibilities. Corey, an assistant professor of neurology and biomedical engineering at the U-M Medical School and researcher in the VA Geriatrics Research, Education and Clinical Center, explains that the thin fibers are crucial for the success of the work. “If it’s about the same length and diameter as a neuron, the nerve cells follow it and their shape and location conform to it,” he says. “Essentially, these fibers are the same size as a neuron.” The researchers used polystyrene, a common plastic, to make fibers through a technique called electrospinnning. In a recent paper in Materials Science and Engineering C, they discovered new techniques to optimize how fibers made from poly-L-lactide, a biodegradable polymer, can be better aligned to resemble neurons and to guide regenerating nerve cells. They’re also working to determine the factors that make oligodendrocytes attach to the long narrow axons of neurons, and perhaps to start forming myelin sheaths too. By attaching particular molecules to the nanofibers, Corey and his colleagues hope to learn more about what makes this process work — and what makes it go awry, as in diseases caused by poor nerve development. “What we need to do for multiple sclerosis is to encourage nerves to remyelinate,” he says. “For nerve damage caused by trauma, on the other hand, we need to encourage regeneration.” In addition to Corey, the research has been led by Chan, the Rachleff Professor of Neurology at UCSF, VAAAHS lab team member and U-M graduate Samuel J. Tuck, U-M biomedical engineering graduate student Michelle Leach, UCSF’s Stephanie Redmond, Seonook Lee, Synthia Mellon and S.Y. Christin Chong, and Zhang-Qi Feng of U-M Biomedical Engineering. Peripheral nerves, which have neurons at the center surrounded by cells called Schwann cells, can also be studied using the nanofiber technique. The system could also be used to study how different types of cells interact during and after nerve formation. Toward creating new nerves, Corey’s lab has collaborated with R. Keith Duncan, PhD, Associate Professor of Otolaryngology. Published in Biomacromolecules, they found that stem cells are more likely to develop into neurons when they are grown on aligned nanofibers produced in Corey’s lab.  They eventually hope to use this approach to build new nerves from stem cells and direct their connections to undamaged parts of the brain and to muscle. Eventually, Corey envisions, perhaps nerves could be grown along nanofibers in a lab setting and then transferred to patients’ bodies, where the fiber would safely degrade. The research was supported by a VA Merit funding grant, the US National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Harry Weaver Neuroscience Scholar Award, the Paralyzed Veterans of America and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NS062796-02). References:  Nature Methods 9, 917–922, (2012) doi:10.1038/nmeth.2105 Biomacromolecules, Article ASAP, DOI: 10.1021/bm301220k Materials Science and Engineering: C, Volume 32, Issue 7, 1 October 2012, Pages 1779–1784 Important note for patients: This research is still in the laboratory stages, and there are no immediate plans to perform studies in human patients. If you are interested in finding other opportunities to take part in medical research studies at U-M, please visit http://www.umclinicalstudies.org  .

Media Contact: Kara Gavin 734-764-2220

Original Link: http://www.uofmhealth.org/news/archive/201211/stem-cells-nanofibers-promising-nerve-research

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This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, November 16th, 2012 at 3:01 pm and is filed under All News, Faculty News.

Stem cells + nanofibers = promising nerve research

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Every week in his clinic at the University of Michigan, neurologist Joseph Corey, M.D., Ph.D., treats patients whose nerves are dying or shrinking due to disease or injury. He sees the pain, the loss of ability and the other effects that nerve-destroying conditions cause – and wishes he could give patients more effective treatments than what’s available, or regenerate their nerves. Then he heads to his research lab at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, where his team is working toward that exact goal. In new research published in several recent papers, Corey and his colleagues from the U-M Medical SchoolVAAAHS and the University of California, San Francisco report success in developing polymer nanofiber technologies for understanding how nerves form, why they don’t reconnect after injury, and what can be done to prevent or slow damage. Using polymer nanofibers thinner than human hairs as scaffolds, researchers coaxed a particular type of brain cell to wrap around fibers that mimic the shape and size of nerves found in the body. They’ve even managed to encourage the process of myelination – the formation of a protective coating that guards larger nerve fibers from damage. They began to see multiple concentric layers of the protective substance called myelin start to form, just as they do in the body. Together with the laboratory team of their collaborator Jonah Chan at UCSF, the authors reported the findings in Nature Methods. The research involves oligodendrocytes, which are the supporting actors to neurons — the “stars” of the central nervous system. Without oligodendrocytes, central nervous system neurons can’t effectively transmit the electrical signals that control everything from muscle movement to brain function. Oligodendrocytes are the type of cells typically affected by multiple sclerosis, and loss of myelin is a hallmark of that debilitating disease.   The researchers have also determined the optimum diameter for the nanofibers to support this process – giving important new clues to answer the question of why some nerves are myelinated and some aren’t. While they haven’t yet created fully functioning “nerves in a dish,” the researchers believe their work offers a new way to study nerves and test treatment possibilities. Corey, an assistant professor of neurology and biomedical engineering at the U-M Medical School and researcher in the VA Geriatrics Research, Education and Clinical Center, explains that the thin fibers are crucial for the success of the work. “If it’s about the same length and diameter as a neuron, the nerve cells follow it and their shape and location conform to it,” he says. “Essentially, these fibers are the same size as a neuron.” The researchers used polystyrene, a common plastic, to make fibers through a technique called electrospinnning. In a recent paper in Materials Science and Engineering C, they discovered new techniques to optimize how fibers made from poly-L-lactide, a biodegradable polymer, can be better aligned to resemble neurons and to guide regenerating nerve cells. They’re also working to determine the factors that make oligodendrocytes attach to the long narrow axons of neurons, and perhaps to start forming myelin sheaths too. By attaching particular molecules to the nanofibers, Corey and his colleagues hope to learn more about what makes this process work — and what makes it go awry, as in diseases caused by poor nerve development. “What we need to do for multiple sclerosis is to encourage nerves to remyelinate,” he says. “For nerve damage caused by trauma, on the other hand, we need to encourage regeneration.” In addition to Corey, the research has been led by Chan, the Rachleff Professor of Neurology at UCSF, VAAAHS lab team member and U-M graduate Samuel J. Tuck, U-M biomedical engineering graduate student Michelle Leach, UCSF’s Stephanie Redmond, Seonook Lee, Synthia Mellon and S.Y. Christin Chong, and Zhang-Qi Feng of U-M Biomedical Engineering. Peripheral nerves, which have neurons at the center surrounded by cells called Schwann cells, can also be studied using the nanofiber technique. The system could also be used to study how different types of cells interact during and after nerve formation. Toward creating new nerves, Corey’s lab has collaborated with R. Keith Duncan, PhD, Associate Professor of Otolaryngology. Published in Biomacromolecules, they found that stem cells are more likely to develop into neurons when they are grown on aligned nanofibers produced in Corey’s lab.  They eventually hope to use this approach to build new nerves from stem cells and direct their connections to undamaged parts of the brain and to muscle. Eventually, Corey envisions, perhaps nerves could be grown along nanofibers in a lab setting and then transferred to patients’ bodies, where the fiber would safely degrade. The research was supported by a VA Merit funding grant, the US National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Harry Weaver Neuroscience Scholar Award, the Paralyzed Veterans of America and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NS062796-02). References:  Nature Methods 9, 917–922, (2012) doi:10.1038/nmeth.2105 Biomacromolecules, Article ASAP, DOI: 10.1021/bm301220k Materials Science and Engineering: C, Volume 32, Issue 7, 1 October 2012, Pages 1779–1784 Important note for patients: This research is still in the laboratory stages, and there are no immediate plans to perform studies in human patients. If you are interested in finding other opportunities to take part in medical research studies at U-M, please visit http://www.umclinicalstudies.org  .

Media Contact: Kara Gavin 734-764-2220

Original Link: http://www.uofmhealth.org/news/archive/201211/stem-cells-nanofibers-promising-nerve-research

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, November 16th, 2012 at 3:01 pm and is filed under .

Stem cells + nanofibers = promising nerve research

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Every week in his clinic at the University of Michigan, neurologist Joseph Corey, M.D., Ph.D., treats patients whose nerves are dying or shrinking due to disease or injury. He sees the pain, the loss of ability and the other effects that nerve-destroying conditions cause – and wishes he could give patients more effective treatments than what’s available, or regenerate their nerves. Then he heads to his research lab at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, where his team is working toward that exact goal. In new research published in several recent papers, Corey and his colleagues from the U-M Medical SchoolVAAAHS and the University of California, San Francisco report success in developing polymer nanofiber technologies for understanding how nerves form, why they don’t reconnect after injury, and what can be done to prevent or slow damage. Using polymer nanofibers thinner than human hairs as scaffolds, researchers coaxed a particular type of brain cell to wrap around fibers that mimic the shape and size of nerves found in the body. They’ve even managed to encourage the process of myelination – the formation of a protective coating that guards larger nerve fibers from damage. They began to see multiple concentric layers of the protective substance called myelin start to form, just as they do in the body. Together with the laboratory team of their collaborator Jonah Chan at UCSF, the authors reported the findings in Nature Methods. The research involves oligodendrocytes, which are the supporting actors to neurons — the “stars” of the central nervous system. Without oligodendrocytes, central nervous system neurons can’t effectively transmit the electrical signals that control everything from muscle movement to brain function. Oligodendrocytes are the type of cells typically affected by multiple sclerosis, and loss of myelin is a hallmark of that debilitating disease.   The researchers have also determined the optimum diameter for the nanofibers to support this process – giving important new clues to answer the question of why some nerves are myelinated and some aren’t. While they haven’t yet created fully functioning “nerves in a dish,” the researchers believe their work offers a new way to study nerves and test treatment possibilities. Corey, an assistant professor of neurology and biomedical engineering at the U-M Medical School and researcher in the VA Geriatrics Research, Education and Clinical Center, explains that the thin fibers are crucial for the success of the work. “If it’s about the same length and diameter as a neuron, the nerve cells follow it and their shape and location conform to it,” he says. “Essentially, these fibers are the same size as a neuron.” The researchers used polystyrene, a common plastic, to make fibers through a technique called electrospinnning. In a recent paper in Materials Science and Engineering C, they discovered new techniques to optimize how fibers made from poly-L-lactide, a biodegradable polymer, can be better aligned to resemble neurons and to guide regenerating nerve cells. They’re also working to determine the factors that make oligodendrocytes attach to the long narrow axons of neurons, and perhaps to start forming myelin sheaths too. By attaching particular molecules to the nanofibers, Corey and his colleagues hope to learn more about what makes this process work — and what makes it go awry, as in diseases caused by poor nerve development. “What we need to do for multiple sclerosis is to encourage nerves to remyelinate,” he says. “For nerve damage caused by trauma, on the other hand, we need to encourage regeneration.” In addition to Corey, the research has been led by Chan, the Rachleff Professor of Neurology at UCSF, VAAAHS lab team member and U-M graduate Samuel J. Tuck, U-M biomedical engineering graduate student Michelle Leach, UCSF’s Stephanie Redmond, Seonook Lee, Synthia Mellon and S.Y. Christin Chong, and Zhang-Qi Feng of U-M Biomedical Engineering. Peripheral nerves, which have neurons at the center surrounded by cells called Schwann cells, can also be studied using the nanofiber technique. The system could also be used to study how different types of cells interact during and after nerve formation. Toward creating new nerves, Corey’s lab has collaborated with R. Keith Duncan, PhD, Associate Professor of Otolaryngology. Published in Biomacromolecules, they found that stem cells are more likely to develop into neurons when they are grown on aligned nanofibers produced in Corey’s lab.  They eventually hope to use this approach to build new nerves from stem cells and direct their connections to undamaged parts of the brain and to muscle. Eventually, Corey envisions, perhaps nerves could be grown along nanofibers in a lab setting and then transferred to patients’ bodies, where the fiber would safely degrade. The research was supported by a VA Merit funding grant, the US National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Harry Weaver Neuroscience Scholar Award, the Paralyzed Veterans of America and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NS062796-02). References:  Nature Methods 9, 917–922, (2012) doi:10.1038/nmeth.2105 Biomacromolecules, Article ASAP, DOI: 10.1021/bm301220k Materials Science and Engineering: C, Volume 32, Issue 7, 1 October 2012, Pages 1779–1784 Important note for patients: This research is still in the laboratory stages, and there are no immediate plans to perform studies in human patients. If you are interested in finding other opportunities to take part in medical research studies at U-M, please visit http://www.umclinicalstudies.org  .

Media Contact: Kara Gavin 734-764-2220

Original Link: http://www.uofmhealth.org/news/archive/201211/stem-cells-nanofibers-promising-nerve-research

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, November 16th, 2012 at 2:59 pm and is filed under .

Understanding Alzheimer’s: Study gives insights into how disease kills brain cells

Article by: Nicole Casal Moore

ANN ARBOR—Exactly how Alzheimer’s disease kills brain cells is still somewhat of a mystery, but University of Michigan researchers have uncovered a clue that supports the idea that small proteins prick holes into neurons.

The team also found that a certain size range of clumps of these proteins are particularly toxic to cells, while smaller and larger aggregates of the protein appear to be benign.

The findings, which appear in the journal PLOS ONE, add important detail to the knowledge base regarding this disease that affects 5.4 million Americans in 2012 but remains incurable and largely untreatable. The results could potentially help pharmaceutical researchers target drugs to the right disease mechanisms.

The U-M findings strongly support the idea that amyloid peptides damage the membrane around nerve cells and lead to uncontrolled movement of calcium ions into them. Calcium signaling is an important way that cells communicate and healthy cells regulate its flow precisely. The toxic mechanism implicated in the new study could act on its own or together with the other proposed courses and ultimately lead to a loss of brain cells in patients, the researchers say.

“There’s a good chance Alzheimer’s is caused, at least in part, by four- to 13-peptide aggregates that punch holes in cells and kill them gradually after prolonged exposure,” said Michael Mayer, an associate professor of biomedical engineering and chemical engineering who led the research.

“The size range of amyloid clumps that we identified as the most pore-forming was also the most toxic. The correlation is staggering. In the conditions of the culture dish, these results strongly suggest that pore formation by amyloid-beta is responsible for neuronal cell death.”

Using observation and sophisticated statistical analysis, the team explored whether the peptides’ tendency to poke holes in cell membranes correlated with the death of actual cells under the same conditions.

To conduct the experiment, Panchika Prangkio, a Ph.D. student in Mayer’s lab, formed amyloid-beta aggregates in water over 0, 1, 2, 3, 10 and 20 days. She measured how well amyloid clumps of various sizes punched pores in a lipid bilayer that mimicked a cell membrane. And, separately, but with the same amyloid samples, the team observed how many cells died and determined which size amyloids were in the sample at each time point. The researchers used cells from a human nerve cell cancer line.

Their finding that mid-size amyloid clumps are most toxic supports recent theories that individual peptides as well as longer amyloid fibers might be protective, rather than harmful, the researchers say. The smallest and largest aggregates were negatively correlated with cell death, which suggests they may bind with the dangerous mid-length clumps and trap them in a nontoxic form.

The work could help advance the search for Alzheimer’s treatments that would work by blocking pore formation by mid-sized amyloid-beta clumps. And they could raise questions about the potential efficacy of drugs (such as Bapineuzumab) that aim to remove large aggregates of amyloid beta

“The better the research community understands how Alzheimer’s operates, the more likely we are to develop effective treatment,” Mayer said.

The paper is titled “Multivariate analyses of amyloid-beta oligomer populations indicate a connection between pore formation and cytotoxicity.” It is a collaborative effort with the research group of Jerry Yang, an associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of California, San Diego, and David Sept, an associate professor of biomedical engineering at U-M. Funding was provided by the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation with support from the Alzheimer’s Association, the National Science Foundation and the government of Thailand.

Related Links:

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This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Tuesday, October 16th, 2012 at 2:18 pm and is filed under All News, Faculty News, Spotlight.

Understanding Alzheimer’s: Study gives insights into how disease kills brain cells

Article by: Nicole Casal Moore

ANN ARBOR—Exactly how Alzheimer’s disease kills brain cells is still somewhat of a mystery, but University of Michigan researchers have uncovered a clue that supports the idea that small proteins prick holes into neurons.

The team also found that a certain size range of clumps of these proteins are particularly toxic to cells, while smaller and larger aggregates of the protein appear to be benign.

The findings, which appear in the journal PLOS ONE, add important detail to the knowledge base regarding this disease that affects 5.4 million Americans in 2012 but remains incurable and largely untreatable. The results could potentially help pharmaceutical researchers target drugs to the right disease mechanisms.

The U-M findings strongly support the idea that amyloid peptides damage the membrane around nerve cells and lead to uncontrolled movement of calcium ions into them. Calcium signaling is an important way that cells communicate and healthy cells regulate its flow precisely. The toxic mechanism implicated in the new study could act on its own or together with the other proposed courses and ultimately lead to a loss of brain cells in patients, the researchers say.

“There’s a good chance Alzheimer’s is caused, at least in part, by four- to 13-peptide aggregates that punch holes in cells and kill them gradually after prolonged exposure,” said Michael Mayer, an associate professor of biomedical engineering and chemical engineering who led the research.

“The size range of amyloid clumps that we identified as the most pore-forming was also the most toxic. The correlation is staggering. In the conditions of the culture dish, these results strongly suggest that pore formation by amyloid-beta is responsible for neuronal cell death.”

Using observation and sophisticated statistical analysis, the team explored whether the peptides’ tendency to poke holes in cell membranes correlated with the death of actual cells under the same conditions.

To conduct the experiment, Panchika Prangkio, a Ph.D. student in Mayer’s lab, formed amyloid-beta aggregates in water over 0, 1, 2, 3, 10 and 20 days. She measured how well amyloid clumps of various sizes punched pores in a lipid bilayer that mimicked a cell membrane. And, separately, but with the same amyloid samples, the team observed how many cells died and determined which size amyloids were in the sample at each time point. The researchers used cells from a human nerve cell cancer line.

Their finding that mid-size amyloid clumps are most toxic supports recent theories that individual peptides as well as longer amyloid fibers might be protective, rather than harmful, the researchers say. The smallest and largest aggregates were negatively correlated with cell death, which suggests they may bind with the dangerous mid-length clumps and trap them in a nontoxic form.

The work could help advance the search for Alzheimer’s treatments that would work by blocking pore formation by mid-sized amyloid-beta clumps. And they could raise questions about the potential efficacy of drugs (such as Bapineuzumab) that aim to remove large aggregates of amyloid beta

“The better the research community understands how Alzheimer’s operates, the more likely we are to develop effective treatment,” Mayer said.

The paper is titled “Multivariate analyses of amyloid-beta oligomer populations indicate a connection between pore formation and cytotoxicity.” It is a collaborative effort with the research group of Jerry Yang, an associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of California, San Diego, and David Sept, an associate professor of biomedical engineering at U-M. Funding was provided by the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation with support from the Alzheimer’s Association, the National Science Foundation and the government of Thailand.

Related Links:

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Tuesday, October 16th, 2012 at 2:18 pm and is filed under .

Understanding Alzheimer’s: Study gives insights into how disease kills brain cells

Article by: Nicole Casal Moore

ANN ARBOR—Exactly how Alzheimer’s disease kills brain cells is still somewhat of a mystery, but University of Michigan researchers have uncovered a clue that supports the idea that small proteins prick holes into neurons.

The team also found that a certain size range of clumps of these proteins are particularly toxic to cells, while smaller and larger aggregates of the protein appear to be benign.

The findings, which appear in the journal PLOS ONE, add important detail to the knowledge base regarding this disease that affects 5.4 million Americans in 2012 but remains incurable and largely untreatable. The results could potentially help pharmaceutical researchers target drugs to the right disease mechanisms.

The U-M findings strongly support the idea that amyloid peptides damage the membrane around nerve cells and lead to uncontrolled movement of calcium ions into them. Calcium signaling is an important way that cells communicate and healthy cells regulate its flow precisely. The toxic mechanism implicated in the new study could act on its own or together with the other proposed courses and ultimately lead to a loss of brain cells in patients, the researchers say.

“There’s a good chance Alzheimer’s is caused, at least in part, by four- to 13-peptide aggregates that punch holes in cells and kill them gradually after prolonged exposure,” said Michael Mayer, an associate professor of biomedical engineering and chemical engineering who led the research.

“The size range of amyloid clumps that we identified as the most pore-forming was also the most toxic. The correlation is staggering. In the conditions of the culture dish, these results strongly suggest that pore formation by amyloid-beta is responsible for neuronal cell death.”

Using observation and sophisticated statistical analysis, the team explored whether the peptides’ tendency to poke holes in cell membranes correlated with the death of actual cells under the same conditions.

To conduct the experiment, Panchika Prangkio, a Ph.D. student in Mayer’s lab, formed amyloid-beta aggregates in water over 0, 1, 2, 3, 10 and 20 days. She measured how well amyloid clumps of various sizes punched pores in a lipid bilayer that mimicked a cell membrane. And, separately, but with the same amyloid samples, the team observed how many cells died and determined which size amyloids were in the sample at each time point. The researchers used cells from a human nerve cell cancer line.

Their finding that mid-size amyloid clumps are most toxic supports recent theories that individual peptides as well as longer amyloid fibers might be protective, rather than harmful, the researchers say. The smallest and largest aggregates were negatively correlated with cell death, which suggests they may bind with the dangerous mid-length clumps and trap them in a nontoxic form.

The work could help advance the search for Alzheimer’s treatments that would work by blocking pore formation by mid-sized amyloid-beta clumps. And they could raise questions about the potential efficacy of drugs (such as Bapineuzumab) that aim to remove large aggregates of amyloid beta

“The better the research community understands how Alzheimer’s operates, the more likely we are to develop effective treatment,” Mayer said.

The paper is titled “Multivariate analyses of amyloid-beta oligomer populations indicate a connection between pore formation and cytotoxicity.” It is a collaborative effort with the research group of Jerry Yang, an associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of California, San Diego, and David Sept, an associate professor of biomedical engineering at U-M. Funding was provided by the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation with support from the Alzheimer’s Association, the National Science Foundation and the government of Thailand.

Related Links:

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Tuesday, October 16th, 2012 at 2:13 pm and is filed under .

understanding-Alzheimers-study-gives-insight-lead-2012-10-16

understanding-Alzheimers-study-gives-insight-lead-2012-10-16

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Tuesday, October 16th, 2012 at 2:08 pm and is filed under .

Meningitis: Preventing Future Contaminations

How can we take steps to prevent future meningitis contaminations? U-M Chemical and Biomedical Engineering Professors Henry Wang and Nicholas Kotov are working on things like 3D cell cultures and nano particle assemblies to answer that very question. In the latest MconneX MichEpedia video U-M researchers discuss how a recent fungal meningitis outbreak has brought to light quality control issues at compounding pharmacies. Professors Kotov and Wang explain how a combination of better oversight and easier testing methods could ultimately help prevent issues like this in the future. Check out this video and many more at the MconneX website: http://mconnex.engin.umich.edu/

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This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Thursday, October 11th, 2012 at 11:09 am and is filed under All News, Faculty News.

Meningitis: Preventing Future Contaminations

How can we take steps to prevent future meningitis contaminations? U-M Chemical and Biomedical Engineering Professors Henry Wang and Nicholas Kotov are working on things like 3D cell cultures and nano particle assemblies to answer that very question. In the latest MconneX MichEpedia video U-M researchers discuss how a recent fungal meningitis outbreak has brought to light quality control issues at compounding pharmacies. Professors Kotov and Wang explain how a combination of better oversight and easier testing methods could ultimately help prevent issues like this in the future. Check out this video and many more at the MconneX website: http://mconnex.engin.umich.edu/

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Thursday, October 11th, 2012 at 11:08 am and is filed under .

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This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Thursday, October 11th, 2012 at 11:05 am and is filed under .

New U-Mich joint biomedical department holds promise for better healthcare technologies

Bringing engineers and physicians together under new structure will accelerate discovery and improve training

ANN ARBOR, Mich.– In an effort to develop more technologies that improve health care, the University of Michigan will established a Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) with footholds in its top-ranked College of Engineering and Medical School, in an action approved by the U-M Board of Regents today. The change takes effect Sept. 1, 2012.

The department is currently housed in engineering, though its researchers regularly collaborate with medical doctors and a number of Medical School faculty hold joint appointments there. The change in academic structure is designed to bring biomedical engineering researchers closer to the patients their technologies aim to benefit, say leaders in both schools.

“As engineers, one of our goals is to invent and develop technologies that make a difference in society,” said Douglas Noll, the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Professor of Biomedical Engineering and current department chair. “By linking ourselves in the Medical School, we will establish closer connections for our faculty and students to practicing clinicians and the health care system, which will allow us to better identify and translate our discoveries to medical care and to offer new educational opportunities for our students.”

As part of this plan, BME will expand over the next five years from approximately 20 primary faculty members to 35 Most of the new hires will be Medical School appointments. The department will retain its space on North Campus in engineering and in the North Campus Research Complex. It will also open a space at the Medical School in the future. Already at the NCRC, a new biointerfaces laboratory has opened that allows medical, engineering and physics researchers to collaborate on projects.

“Patients everywhere already benefit from the work of engineers and physicians working together, but closer cooperation will bring even greater potential to develop new devices and technologies to improve human health, while training students in a collaborative environment that maximizes exposure to both fields,” said James O. Woolliscroft, M.D., dean of the Medical School and Lyle C. Roll Professor of Medicine.
U-M provost Phil Hanlon notes, “The new department will enhance partnerships between educational programs, laboratory research and clinical medicine, leveraging the strengths of both schools and accelerating technology development.”

Noll said U-M joins about 10 other institutions across the country with similar joint set-ups, though each case is unique. In some instances, two universities collaborate to form a joint department. At Michigan, the schools are across the road from one another, and they are both ranked in U.S. News & World Report’s top ten, as is the Biomedical Engineering Department.

For more information:
Department of Biomedical Engineering: http://www.bme.umich.edu/
College of Engineering: http://www.engin.umich.edu/
Medical School: http://www.med.umich.edu/medschool/

Contacts: Kara Gavin, 734-764-2220, kevagin@umich.edu
Nicole Casal Moore, 734-647-7087, ncmoore@umich.edu

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Saturday, July 21st, 2012 at 2:59 am and is filed under .

New U-Mich joint biomedical department holds promise for better healthcare technologies

Bringing engineers and physicians together under new structure will accelerate discovery and improve training

ANN ARBOR, Mich.– In an effort to develop more technologies that improve health care, the University of Michigan will established a Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) with footholds in its top-ranked College of Engineering and Medical School, in an action approved by the U-M Board of Regents today. The change takes effect Sept. 1, 2012.

The department is currently housed in engineering, though its researchers regularly collaborate with medical doctors and a number of Medical School faculty hold joint appointments there. The change in academic structure is designed to bring biomedical engineering researchers closer to the patients their technologies aim to benefit, say leaders in both schools.

“As engineers, one of our goals is to invent and develop technologies that make a difference in society,” said Douglas Noll, the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Professor of Biomedical Engineering and current department chair. “By linking ourselves in the Medical School, we will establish closer connections for our faculty and students to practicing clinicians and the health care system, which will allow us to better identify and translate our discoveries to medical care and to offer new educational opportunities for our students.”

As part of this plan, BME will expand over the next five years from approximately 20 primary faculty members to 35 Most of the new hires will be Medical School appointments. The department will retain its space on North Campus in engineering and in the North Campus Research Complex. It will also open a space at the Medical School in the future. Already at the NCRC, a new biointerfaces laboratory has opened that allows medical, engineering and physics researchers to collaborate on projects.

“Patients everywhere already benefit from the work of engineers and physicians working together, but closer cooperation will bring even greater potential to develop new devices and technologies to improve human health, while training students in a collaborative environment that maximizes exposure to both fields,” said James O. Woolliscroft, M.D., dean of the Medical School and Lyle C. Roll Professor of Medicine.
U-M provost Phil Hanlon notes, “The new department will enhance partnerships between educational programs, laboratory research and clinical medicine, leveraging the strengths of both schools and accelerating technology development.”

Noll said U-M joins about 10 other institutions across the country with similar joint set-ups, though each case is unique. In some instances, two universities collaborate to form a joint department. At Michigan, the schools are across the road from one another, and they are both ranked in U.S. News & World Report’s top ten, as is the Biomedical Engineering Department.

For more information:
Department of Biomedical Engineering: http://www.bme.umich.edu/
College of Engineering: http://www.engin.umich.edu/
Medical School: http://www.med.umich.edu/medschool/

Contacts: Kara Gavin, 734-764-2220, kevagin@umich.edu
Nicole Casal Moore, 734-647-7087, ncmoore@umich.edu

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Saturday, July 21st, 2012 at 2:58 am and is filed under .

New U-Mich joint biomedical department holds promise for better healthcare technologies

Bringing engineers and physicians together under new structure will accelerate discovery and improve training

ANN ARBOR, Mich.– In an effort to develop more technologies that improve health care, the University of Michigan will established a Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) with footholds in its top-ranked College of Engineering and Medical School, in an action approved by the U-M Board of Regents today. The change takes effect Sept. 1, 2012.

The department is currently housed in engineering, though its researchers regularly collaborate with medical doctors and a number of Medical School faculty hold joint appointments there. The change in academic structure is designed to bring biomedical engineering researchers closer to the patients their technologies aim to benefit, say leaders in both schools.

“As engineers, one of our goals is to invent and develop technologies that make a difference in society,” said Douglas Noll, the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Professor of Biomedical Engineering and current department chair. “By linking ourselves in the Medical School, we will establish closer connections for our faculty and students to practicing clinicians and the health care system, which will allow us to better identify and translate our discoveries to medical care and to offer new educational opportunities for our students.”

As part of this plan, BME will expand over the next five years from approximately 20 primary faculty members to 35 Most of the new hires will be Medical School appointments. The department will retain its space on North Campus in engineering and in the North Campus Research Complex. It will also open a space at the Medical School in the future. Already at the NCRC, a new biointerfaces laboratory has opened that allows medical, engineering and physics researchers to collaborate on projects.

“Patients everywhere already benefit from the work of engineers and physicians working together, but closer cooperation will bring even greater potential to develop new devices and technologies to improve human health, while training students in a collaborative environment that maximizes exposure to both fields,” said James O. Woolliscroft, M.D., dean of the Medical School and Lyle C. Roll Professor of Medicine.
U-M provost Phil Hanlon notes, “The new department will enhance partnerships between educational programs, laboratory research and clinical medicine, leveraging the strengths of both schools and accelerating technology development.”

Noll said U-M joins about 10 other institutions across the country with similar joint set-ups, though each case is unique. In some instances, two universities collaborate to form a joint department. At Michigan, the schools are across the road from one another, and they are both ranked in U.S. News & World Report’s top ten, as is the Biomedical Engineering Department.

For more information:
Department of Biomedical Engineering: http://www.bme.umich.edu/
College of Engineering: http://www.engin.umich.edu/
Medical School: http://www.med.umich.edu/medschool/

Contacts: Kara Gavin, 734-764-2220, kevagin@umich.edu
Nicole Casal Moore, 734-647-7087, ncmoore@umich.edu

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This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, July 20th, 2012 at 7:59 am and is filed under All News, Faculty News, Spotlight.

New U-Mich joint biomedical department holds promise for better healthcare technologies

Bringing engineers and physicians together under new structure will accelerate discovery and improve training

ANN ARBOR, Mich.– In an effort to develop more technologies that improve health care, the University of Michigan will established a Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) with footholds in its top-ranked College of Engineering and Medical School, in an action approved by the U-M Board of Regents today. The change takes effect Sept. 1, 2012.

The department is currently housed in engineering, though its researchers regularly collaborate with medical doctors and a number of Medical School faculty hold joint appointments there. The change in academic structure is designed to bring biomedical engineering researchers closer to the patients their technologies aim to benefit, say leaders in both schools.

“As engineers, one of our goals is to invent and develop technologies that make a difference in society,” said Douglas Noll, the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Professor of Biomedical Engineering and current department chair. “By linking ourselves in the Medical School, we will establish closer connections for our faculty and students to practicing clinicians and the health care system, which will allow us to better identify and translate our discoveries to medical care and to offer new educational opportunities for our students.”

As part of this plan, BME will expand over the next five years from approximately 20 primary faculty members to 35 Most of the new hires will be Medical School appointments. The department will retain its space on North Campus in engineering and in the North Campus Research Complex. It will also open a space at the Medical School in the future. Already at the NCRC, a new biointerfaces laboratory has opened that allows medical, engineering and physics researchers to collaborate on projects.

“Patients everywhere already benefit from the work of engineers and physicians working together, but closer cooperation will bring even greater potential to develop new devices and technologies to improve human health, while training students in a collaborative environment that maximizes exposure to both fields,” said James O. Woolliscroft, M.D., dean of the Medical School and Lyle C. Roll Professor of Medicine.
U-M provost Phil Hanlon notes, “The new department will enhance partnerships between educational programs, laboratory research and clinical medicine, leveraging the strengths of both schools and accelerating technology development.”

Noll said U-M joins about 10 other institutions across the country with similar joint set-ups, though each case is unique. In some instances, two universities collaborate to form a joint department. At Michigan, the schools are across the road from one another, and they are both ranked in U.S. News & World Report’s top ten, as is the Biomedical Engineering Department.

For more information:
Department of Biomedical Engineering: http://www.bme.umich.edu/
College of Engineering: http://www.engin.umich.edu/
Medical School: http://www.med.umich.edu/medschool/

Contacts: Kara Gavin, 734-764-2220, kevagin@umich.edu
Nicole Casal Moore, 734-647-7087, ncmoore@umich.edu

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, July 18th, 2012 at 2:37 am and is filed under .

New U-Mich joint biomedical department holds promise for better healthcare technologies

Bringing engineers and physicians together under new structure will accelerate discovery and improve training

ANN ARBOR, Mich.-- In an effort to develop more technologies that improve health care, the University of Michigan will established a Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) with footholds in its top-ranked College of Engineering and Medical School, in an action approved by the U-M Board of Regents today. The change takes effect Sept. 1, 2012.

The department is currently housed in engineering, though its researchers regularly collaborate with medical doctors and a number of Medical School faculty hold joint appointments there. The change in academic structure is designed to bring biomedical engineering researchers closer to the patients their technologies aim to benefit, say leaders in both schools.

“As engineers, one of our goals is to invent and develop technologies that make a difference in society,” said Douglas Noll, the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Professor of Biomedical Engineering and current department chair. “By linking ourselves in the Medical School, we will establish closer connections for our faculty and students to practicing clinicians and the health care system, which will allow us to better identify and translate our discoveries to medical care and to offer new educational opportunities for our students.”

As part of this plan, BME will expand over the next five years from approximately 20 primary faculty members to 35 Most of the new hires will be Medical School appointments. The department will retain its space on North Campus in engineering and in the North Campus Research Complex. It will also open a space at the Medical School in the future. Already at the NCRC, a new biointerfaces laboratory has opened that allows medical, engineering and physics researchers to collaborate on projects.

“Patients everywhere already benefit from the work of engineers and physicians working together, but closer cooperation will bring even greater potential to develop new devices and technologies to improve human health, while training students in a collaborative environment that maximizes exposure to both fields,” said James O. Woolliscroft, M.D., dean of the Medical School and Lyle C. Roll Professor of Medicine.
U-M provost Phil Hanlon notes, “The new department will enhance partnerships between educational programs, laboratory research and clinical medicine, leveraging the strengths of both schools and accelerating technology development.”

Noll said U-M joins about 10 other institutions across the country with similar joint set-ups, though each case is unique. In some instances, two universities collaborate to form a joint department. At Michigan, the schools are across the road from one another, and they are both ranked in U.S. News & World Report’s top ten, as is the Biomedical Engineering Department.

For more information:
Department of Biomedical Engineering: http://www.bme.umich.edu/
College of Engineering: http://www.engin.umich.edu/
Medical School: http://www.med.umich.edu/medschool/

Contacts: Kara Gavin, 734-764-2220, kevagin@umich.edu
Nicole Casal Moore, 734-647-7087, ncmoore@umich.edu

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, July 18th, 2012 at 2:36 am and is filed under .

New U-Mich joint biomedical department holds promise for better healthcare technologies

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—In an effort to develop more technologies that improve healthcare, the University of Michigan will established a Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) with footholds in its top-ranked College of Engineering and Medical School, the U-M Board of Regents approved today. The change takes effect Sept. 1, 2012.

The department is currently housed in engineering, though its researchers regularly collaborate with medical doctors. The change is designed to bring biomedical engineering researchers closer to the patients their technologies aim to benefit, say leaders in both schools.

“As engineers, one of our goals is to invent and develop technologies that make a difference in society,” said Douglas Noll, the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Professor of Biomedical Engineering and department chair. “By linking ourselves in the Medical School, we will establish closer connections for our faculty and students to practicing clinicians and the health care system, which will allows us to better identify and translate our discoveries to medical care and offer new educational opportunities for our students.”

As part of this plan, BME will expand over the next five years from approximately 20 primary faculty members to 35. Most of the new hires will be medical doctors. The department will retain its space on North Campus in engineering and in the North Campus Research Complex. It will also open a space at the Medical School in the future.

“Patients everywhere already benefit from the work of engineers and physicians working together, but closer cooperation will bring even greater potential to develop new devices and technologies to improve human health, while training students in a collaborative environment that maximizes exposure to both fields,” said James O. Woolliscroft, M.D., dean of the Medical School and Lyle C. Roll Professor of Medicine.

Noll said U-M joins about 10 other institutions across the country with similar joint set-ups, though each case is unique. In some instances, two universities collaborate to form a joint department. At Michigan, the schools are just across the street from one another, and they are both ranked in U.S. News & World Report’s top ten, as is the Biomedical Engineering Department.

For more information:
Department of Biomedical Engineering: http://www.bme.umich.edu/
College of Engineering: http://www.engin.umich.edu/
Medical School: http://www.med.umich.edu/medschool/

Contacts: Kara Gavin, 734-764-2220, kevagin@umich.edu
Nicole Casal Moore, 734-647-7087, ncmoore@umich.edu

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Sunday, July 15th, 2012 at 11:17 am and is filed under .

New U-Mich joint biomedical department holds promise for better healthcare technologies

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—In an effort to develop more technologies that improve healthcare, the University of Michigan will established a Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) with footholds in its top-ranked College of Engineering and Medical School, the U-M Board of Regents approved today. The change takes effect Sept. 1, 2012.

The department is currently housed in engineering, though its researchers regularly collaborate with medical doctors. The change is designed to bring biomedical engineering researchers closer to the patients their technologies aim to benefit, say leaders in both schools.

“As engineers, one of our goals is to invent and develop technologies that make a difference in society,” said Douglas Noll, the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Professor of Biomedical Engineering and department chair. “By linking ourselves in the Medical School, we will establish closer connections for our faculty and students to practicing clinicians and the health care system, which will allows us to better identify and translate our discoveries to medical care and offer new educational opportunities for our students.”

As part of this plan, BME will expand over the next five years from approximately 20 primary faculty members to 35. Most of the new hires will be medical doctors. The department will retain its space on North Campus in engineering and in the North Campus Research Complex. It will also open a space at the Medical School in the future.

“Patients everywhere already benefit from the work of engineers and physicians working together, but closer cooperation will bring even greater potential to develop new devices and technologies to improve human health, while training students in a collaborative environment that maximizes exposure to both fields,” said James O. Woolliscroft, M.D., dean of the Medical School and Lyle C. Roll Professor of Medicine.

Noll said U-M joins about 10 other institutions across the country with similar joint set-ups, though each case is unique. In some instances, two universities collaborate to form a joint department. At Michigan, the schools are just across the street from one another, and they are both ranked in U.S. News & World Report’s top ten, as is the Biomedical Engineering Department.

For more information:
Department of Biomedical Engineering: http://www.bme.umich.edu/
College of Engineering: http://www.engin.umich.edu/
Medical School: http://www.med.umich.edu/medschool/

Contacts: Kara Gavin, 734-764-2220, kevagin@umich.edu
Nicole Casal Moore, 734-647-7087, ncmoore@umich.edu

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Sunday, July 15th, 2012 at 11:16 am and is filed under .

New U-Mich joint biomedical department holds promise for better healthcare technologies

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—In an effort to develop more technologies that improve healthcare, the University of Michigan will established a Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) with footholds in its top-ranked College of Engineering and Medical School, the U-M Board of Regents approved today. The change takes effect Sept. 1, 2012.

The department is currently housed in engineering, though its researchers regularly collaborate with medical doctors. The change is designed to bring biomedical engineering researchers closer to the patients their technologies aim to benefit, say leaders in both schools.

“As engineers, one of our goals is to invent and develop technologies that make a difference in society,” said Douglas Noll, the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Professor of Biomedical Engineering and department chair. “By linking ourselves in the Medical School, we will establish closer connections for our faculty and students to practicing clinicians and the health care system, which will allows us to better identify and translate our discoveries to medical care and offer new educational opportunities for our students.”

As part of this plan, BME will expand over the next five years from approximately 20 primary faculty members to 35. Most of the new hires will be medical doctors. The department will retain its space on North Campus in engineering and in the North Campus Research Complex. It will also open a space at the Medical School in the future.

“Patients everywhere already benefit from the work of engineers and physicians working together, but closer cooperation will bring even greater potential to develop new devices and technologies to improve human health, while training students in a collaborative environment that maximizes exposure to both fields,” said James O. Woolliscroft, M.D., dean of the Medical School and Lyle C. Roll Professor of Medicine.

Noll said U-M joins about 10 other institutions across the country with similar joint set-ups, though each case is unique. In some instances, two universities collaborate to form a joint department. At Michigan, the schools are just across the street from one another, and they are both ranked in U.S. News & World Report’s top ten, as is the Biomedical Engineering Department.

For more information:
Department of Biomedical Engineering: http://www.bme.umich.edu/
College of Engineering: http://www.engin.umich.edu/
Medical School: http://www.med.umich.edu/medschool/

Contacts: Kara Gavin, 734-764-2220, kevagin@umich.edu
Nicole Casal Moore, 734-647-7087, ncmoore@umich.edu

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Sunday, July 15th, 2012 at 11:12 am and is filed under .

Dave Kohn Receives Distinguished Scientist Award

Dave Kohn

Biomedical Engineering professor and professor of dentistry in the Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences, Dave Kohn received the International Association for Dental Research’s Isaac Schour Memorial Award. Dr. Kohn was also named a Fellow of the International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering. Please check the U-M school of dentistry website for the full article.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, July 6th, 2012 at 8:27 am and is filed under .

Dave Kohn Receives Distinguished Scientist Award

Dave Kohn

Biomedical Engineering professor and professor of dentistry in the Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences, Dave Kohn received the International Association for Dental Research’s Isaac Schour Memorial Award. Dr. Kohn was also named a Fellow of the International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering. Please check the U-M school of dentistry website for the full article.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, July 6th, 2012 at 8:27 am and is filed under .

Dave Kohn Receives Distinguished Scientist Award

Dave Kohn

Biomedical Engineering professor and professor of dentistry in the Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences, Dave Kohn received the International Association for Dental Research’s Isaac Schour Memorial Award. Dr. Kohn was also named a Fellow of the International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering. Please check the U-M school of dentistry website for the full article.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, July 6th, 2012 at 8:27 am and is filed under .

Dave Kohn Receives Distinguished Scientist Award

Dave Kohn

Biomedical Engineering professor and professor of dentistry in the Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences, Dave Kohn received the International Association for Dental Research’s Isaac Schour Memorial Award. Dr. Kohn was also named a Fellow of the International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering. Please check the U-M school of dentistry website for the full article.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, July 6th, 2012 at 8:26 am and is filed under .

Dave Kohn Receives Distinguished Scientist Award

Dave Kohn

Biomedical Engineering professor and professor of dentistry in the Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences, Dave Kohn received the International Association for Dental Research’s Isaac Schour Memorial Award. Dr. Kohn was also named a Fellow of the International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering. Please check the U-M school of dentistry website for the full article.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, July 6th, 2012 at 8:25 am and is filed under .

Dave Kohn Receives Distinguished Scientist Award

Dave Kohn

Biomedical Engineering professor and professor of dentistry in the Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences, Dave Kohn received the International Association for Dental Research’s Isaac Schour Memorial Award. Dr. Kohn was also named a Fellow of the International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering. Please check the U-M school of dentistry website for the full article.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, July 6th, 2012 at 8:25 am and is filed under .

Dave Kohn Receives Distinguished Scientist Award

Dave Kohn

Biomedical Engineering professor and professor of dentistry in the Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences, Dave Kohn received the International Association for Dental Research’s Isaac Schour Memorial Award. Dr. Kohn was also named a Fellow of the International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering. Please check the U-M school of dentistry website for the full article.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, July 6th, 2012 at 8:25 am and is filed under .

Dave Kohn Receives Distinguished Scientist Award

Biomedical Engineering professor and professor of dentistry in the Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences, Dave Kohn received the International Association for Dental Research’s Isaac Schour Memorial Award. Dr. Kohn was also named a Fellow of the International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering. Please check the U-M school of dentistry website for the full article.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, July 6th, 2012 at 8:23 am and is filed under .

Dave Kohn Receives Distinguished Scientist Award

Biomedical engineering professor and professor of dentistry in the Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences, Dave Kohn received the International Association for Dental Research’s Isaac Schour Memorial Award. Dr. Kohn was also named a Fellow of the International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering. Please check the U-M school of dentistry website for the full article.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, July 6th, 2012 at 8:21 am and is filed under .

kohn

kohn

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, July 6th, 2012 at 8:21 am and is filed under .

Dave Kohn Receives Distinguished Scientist Award

Dave Kohn

Biomedical Engineering professor and professor of dentistry in the Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences, Dave Kohn received the International Association for Dental Research’s Isaac Schour Memorial Award. Dr. Kohn was also named a Fellow of the International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering. Please check the U-M school of dentistry website for the full article.

Tags: , , ,

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, July 6th, 2012 at 8:20 am and is filed under All News, Faculty News.

Dave Kohn Receives Distinguished Scientist Award

Biomedical engineering professor and professor of dentistry in the Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences, Dave Kohn received the International Association for Dental Research’s Isaac Schour Memorial Award. Dr. Kohn was also named a Fellow of the International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering. Please check the U-M school of dentistry website for the full article.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, July 6th, 2012 at 8:20 am and is filed under .

Dave Kohn Receives Distinguished Scientist Award

Biomedical engineering professor and professor of dentistry in the Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences, Dave Kohn received the International Association for Dental Research’s Isaac Schour Memorial Award. Dr. Kohn was also named a Fellow of the International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering. Please check the U-M school of dentistry website for the full article.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, July 6th, 2012 at 8:19 am and is filed under .

Dave Kohn

Dave Kohn

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, July 6th, 2012 at 8:18 am and is filed under .

Three New BME Ph.D. Student Awards and Fellowships

BME Ph.D. students at U-M BME have secured three new distinctions for 2012. Congratulations, Kelly, Aftin, and Shani, and keep up the great work!

Kelly Carnahan, BME Ph.D. Student working with Professor Jan Stegemann in the Cell-Matrix Interactions & Tissue Engineering (CMITE) Lab, won a 2012 NSF Fellowship as part of the Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP).

Aftin Ross, BME Ph.D. Student working with Professor Joerg Lahann, was selected as a scholar for the Whitaker Scholars Fellowship Program and will complete a 1 year postdoctoral appointment at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Karlsruhe, Germany.

Shani Ross, BME Ph.D. Student working with Professor J. Wayne Aldrige from the Department of Psychology, won the Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award sponsored by the University of Michigan – Rackham Graduate School. This award honors GSIs who have exceptional ability and creativity as teachers, exhibit continuous growth as a teacher, offer outstanding mentorship to their students, and show growth as scholars in the course of their graduate programs.

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This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, June 13th, 2012 at 2:27 pm and is filed under All News, Student/Post-Doc News.

Three New BME Ph.D. Student Awards and Fellowships

BME Ph.D. students at U-M BME have secured three new distinctions for 2012. Congratulations, Kelly, Aftin, and Shani, and keep up the great work!

Kelly Carnahan, BME Ph.D. Student working with Professor Jan Stegemann in the Cell-Matrix Interactions & Tissue Engineering (CMITE) Lab, won a 2012 NSF Fellowship as part of the Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP).

Aftin Ross, BME Ph.D. Student working with Professor Joerg Lahann, was selected as a scholar for the Whitaker Scholars Fellowship Program and will complete a 1 year postdoctoral appointment at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Karlsruhe, Germany.

Shani Ross, BME Ph.D. Student working with Professor J. Wayne Aldrige from the Department of Psychology, won the Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award sponsored by the University of Michigan – Rackham Graduate School. This award honors GSIs who have exceptional ability and creativity as teachers, exhibit continuous growth as a teacher, offer outstanding mentorship to their students, and show growth as scholars in the course of their graduate programs.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, June 13th, 2012 at 2:27 pm and is filed under .

Three New BME Ph.D. Student Awards and Fellowships

BME Ph.D. students at U-M BME have secured three new distinctions for 2012. Congratulations, Kelly, Aftin, and Shani, and keep up the great work!

Kelly Carnahan, BME Ph.D. Student working with Professor Jan Stegemann in the Cell-Matrix Interactions & Tissue Engineering (CMITE) Lab, won a 2012 NSF Fellowship as part of the Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP).

Aftin Ross, BME Ph.D. Student working with Professor Joerg Lahann, was selected as a scholar for the Whitaker Scholars Fellowship Program and will complete a 1 year postdoctoral appointment at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Karlsruhe, Germany.

Shani Ross, BME Ph.D. Student working with Professor J. Wayne Aldrige from the Department of Psychology, won the Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award sponsored by the University of Michigan – Rackham Graduate School. This award honors GSIs who have exceptional ability and creativity as teachers, exhibit continuous growth as a teacher, offer outstanding mentorship to their students, and show growth as scholars in the course of their graduate programs.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, June 13th, 2012 at 2:27 pm and is filed under .

Spring 2012 BME Newsletter

Spring 2012 Newsletter

This Spring’s Newsletter features:

Visit our newsletters page for links to this and other BME print publications.

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This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Thursday, May 31st, 2012 at 4:50 pm and is filed under All News, Faculty News, Spotlight.

Spring 2012 BME Newsletter

Spring 2012 Newsletter

This Spring’s Newsletter features:

Visit our newsletters page for links to this and other BME print publications.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Thursday, May 31st, 2012 at 4:50 pm and is filed under .

Spring 2012 BME Newsletter is Here

Spring 2012 Newsletter

This Spring’s Newsletter features:

Visit our newsletters page for links to this and other BME print publications.

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Thursday, May 31st, 2012 at 4:49 pm and is filed under .

Stem-cell-growing surface enables bone repair

Feature Story Main ImageUniversity of Michigan researchers have proven that a special surface, free of biological contaminants, allows adult-derived stem cells to thrive and transform into multiple cell types. Their success brings stem cell therapies another step closer. To prove the cells’ regenerative powers, bone cells grown on this surface were then transplanted into holes in the skulls of mice, producing four times as much new bone growth as in the mice without the extra bone cells.

An embryo’s cells really can be anything they want to be when they grow up: organs, nerves, skin, bone, any type of human cell. Adult-derived “induced” stem cells can do this and better. Because the source cells can come from the patient, they are perfectly compatible for medical treatments.

In order to make them, Paul Krebsbach, a professor of biological and materials sciences in the School of Dentistry, said, “We turn back the clock, in a way. We’re taking a specialized adult cell and genetically reprogramming it, so it behaves like a more primitive cell.”

Specifically, they turn human skin cells into stem cells. Less than five years after the discovery of this method, researchers still don’t know precisely how it works, but the process involves adding proteins that can turn genes on and off to the adult cells.

Before stem cells can be used to make repairs in the body, they must be grown and directed into becoming the desired cell type. Researchers typically use surfaces of animal cells and proteins for stem cell habitats, but these gels are expensive to make, and batches vary depending on the individual animal.

“You don’t really know what’s in there,” said Joerg Lahann, an associate professor of chemical engineering and biomedical engineering. For example, he said that human cells are often grown over mouse cells, but they can go a little native, beginning to produce some mouse proteins that may invite an attack by a patient’s immune system.

The polymer gel created by Lahann and his colleagues in 2010 avoids these problems because researchers are able to control all of the gel’s ingredients and how they combine. “It’s basically the ease of a plastic dish,” said Lahann. “There is no biological contamination that could potentially influence your human stem cells.”

Lahann and colleagues had shown that these surfaces could grow embryonic stem cells. Now, Lahann has teamed up with Krebsbach’s team to show that the polymer surface can also support the growth of the more medically-promising induced stem cells, keeping them in their high-potential state. To prove that the cells could transform into different types, the team turned them into fat, cartilage, and bone cells.

They then tested whether these cells could help the body to make repairs. Specifically, they attempted to repair 5-millimeter holes in the skulls of mice. The weak immune systems of the mice didn’t attack the human bone cells, allowing the cells to help fill in the hole.

After eight weeks, the mice that had received the bone cells had 4.2 times as much new bone, as well as the beginnings of marrow cavities. The team could prove that the extra bone growth came from the added cells because it was human bone.

“The concept is not specific to bone,” said Krebsbach. “If we truly develop ways to grow these cells without mouse or animal products, eventually other scientists around the world could generate their tissue of interest.”

In the future, Lahann’s team wants to explore using their gel to grow stem cells and specialized cells in different physical shapes, such as a bone-like structure or a nerve-like microfiber.

The paper reporting this work is titled “Derivation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells from Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Cultured on Synthetic Substrates” and it appears online as an article accepted to the journal Stem Cells, to be published in a future issue. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health. The university is pursuing patent protection for the intellectual property, and is seeking commercialization partners to help bring the technology to market.

Paul Krebsbach is also the Roy H. Roberts Professor of Dentistry and a professor of biomedical engineering. Joerg Lahann is also an associate professor of materials sciences and engineering, an associate professor of macromolecular sciences and engineering, and the director of the Biointerfaces Institute.

by Kate McAlpine

Original CoE article: http://www.engin.umich.edu/newscenter/feature/stem-cell-bone-repair

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, May 18th, 2012 at 3:32 pm and is filed under .

Stem-cell-growing surface enables bone repair

Feature Story Main ImageUniversity of Michigan researchers have proven that a special surface, free of biological contaminants, allows adult-derived stem cells to thrive and transform into multiple cell types. Their success brings stem cell therapies another step closer. To prove the cells’ regenerative powers, bone cells grown on this surface were then transplanted into holes in the skulls of mice, producing four times as much new bone growth as in the mice without the extra bone cells.

An embryo’s cells really can be anything they want to be when they grow up: organs, nerves, skin, bone, any type of human cell. Adult-derived “induced” stem cells can do this and better. Because the source cells can come from the patient, they are perfectly compatible for medical treatments.

In order to make them, Paul Krebsbach, a professor of biological and materials sciences in the School of Dentistry, said, “We turn back the clock, in a way. We’re taking a specialized adult cell and genetically reprogramming it, so it behaves like a more primitive cell.”

Specifically, they turn human skin cells into stem cells. Less than five years after the discovery of this method, researchers still don’t know precisely how it works, but the process involves adding proteins that can turn genes on and off to the adult cells.

Before stem cells can be used to make repairs in the body, they must be grown and directed into becoming the desired cell type. Researchers typically use surfaces of animal cells and proteins for stem cell habitats, but these gels are expensive to make, and batches vary depending on the individual animal.

“You don’t really know what’s in there,” said Joerg Lahann, an associate professor of chemical engineering and biomedical engineering. For example, he said that human cells are often grown over mouse cells, but they can go a little native, beginning to produce some mouse proteins that may invite an attack by a patient’s immune system.

The polymer gel created by Lahann and his colleagues in 2010 avoids these problems because researchers are able to control all of the gel’s ingredients and how they combine. “It’s basically the ease of a plastic dish,” said Lahann. “There is no biological contamination that could potentially influence your human stem cells.”

Lahann and colleagues had shown that these surfaces could grow embryonic stem cells. Now, Lahann has teamed up with Krebsbach’s team to show that the polymer surface can also support the growth of the more medically-promising induced stem cells, keeping them in their high-potential state. To prove that the cells could transform into different types, the team turned them into fat, cartilage, and bone cells.

They then tested whether these cells could help the body to make repairs. Specifically, they attempted to repair 5-millimeter holes in the skulls of mice. The weak immune systems of the mice didn’t attack the human bone cells, allowing the cells to help fill in the hole.

After eight weeks, the mice that had received the bone cells had 4.2 times as much new bone, as well as the beginnings of marrow cavities. The team could prove that the extra bone growth came from the added cells because it was human bone.

“The concept is not specific to bone,” said Krebsbach. “If we truly develop ways to grow these cells without mouse or animal products, eventually other scientists around the world could generate their tissue of interest.”

In the future, Lahann’s team wants to explore using their gel to grow stem cells and specialized cells in different physical shapes, such as a bone-like structure or a nerve-like microfiber.

The paper reporting this work is titled “Derivation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells from Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Cultured on Synthetic Substrates” and it appears online as an article accepted to the journal Stem Cells, to be published in a future issue. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health. The university is pursuing patent protection for the intellectual property, and is seeking commercialization partners to help bring the technology to market.

Paul Krebsbach is also the Roy H. Roberts Professor of Dentistry and a professor of biomedical engineering. Joerg Lahann is also an associate professor of materials sciences and engineering, an associate professor of macromolecular sciences and engineering, and the director of the Biointerfaces Institute.

by Kate McAlpine

Original CoE article: http://www.engin.umich.edu/newscenter/feature/stem-cell-bone-repair

Tags: ,

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, May 18th, 2012 at 3:31 pm and is filed under All News, Faculty News.

Stem-cell-growing surface enables bone repair

Feature Story Main ImageUniversity of Michigan researchers have proven that a special surface, free of biological contaminants, allows adult-derived stem cells to thrive and transform into multiple cell types. Their success brings stem cell therapies another step closer. To prove the cells’ regenerative powers, bone cells grown on this surface were then transplanted into holes in the skulls of mice, producing four times as much new bone growth as in the mice without the extra bone cells.

An embryo’s cells really can be anything they want to be when they grow up: organs, nerves, skin, bone, any type of human cell. Adult-derived “induced” stem cells can do this and better. Because the source cells can come from the patient, they are perfectly compatible for medical treatments.

In order to make them, Paul Krebsbach, a professor of biological and materials sciences in the School of Dentistry, said, “We turn back the clock, in a way. We’re taking a specialized adult cell and genetically reprogramming it, so it behaves like a more primitive cell.”

Specifically, they turn human skin cells into stem cells. Less than five years after the discovery of this method, researchers still don’t know precisely how it works, but the process involves adding proteins that can turn genes on and off to the adult cells.

Before stem cells can be used to make repairs in the body, they must be grown and directed into becoming the desired cell type. Researchers typically use surfaces of animal cells and proteins for stem cell habitats, but these gels are expensive to make, and batches vary depending on the individual animal.

“You don’t really know what’s in there,” said Joerg Lahann, an associate professor of chemical engineering and biomedical engineering. For example, he said that human cells are often grown over mouse cells, but they can go a little native, beginning to produce some mouse proteins that may invite an attack by a patient’s immune system.

The polymer gel created by Lahann and his colleagues in 2010 avoids these problems because researchers are able to control all of the gel’s ingredients and how they combine. “It’s basically the ease of a plastic dish,” said Lahann. “There is no biological contamination that could potentially influence your human stem cells.”

Lahann and colleagues had shown that these surfaces could grow embryonic stem cells. Now, Lahann has teamed up with Krebsbach’s team to show that the polymer surface can also support the growth of the more medically-promising induced stem cells, keeping them in their high-potential state. To prove that the cells could transform into different types, the team turned them into fat, cartilage, and bone cells.

They then tested whether these cells could help the body to make repairs. Specifically, they attempted to repair 5-millimeter holes in the skulls of mice. The weak immune systems of the mice didn’t attack the human bone cells, allowing the cells to help fill in the hole.

After eight weeks, the mice that had received the bone cells had 4.2 times as much new bone, as well as the beginnings of marrow cavities. The team could prove that the extra bone growth came from the added cells because it was human bone.

“The concept is not specific to bone,” said Krebsbach. “If we truly develop ways to grow these cells without mouse or animal products, eventually other scientists around the world could generate their tissue of interest.”

In the future, Lahann’s team wants to explore using their gel to grow stem cells and specialized cells in different physical shapes, such as a bone-like structure or a nerve-like microfiber.

The paper reporting this work is titled “Derivation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells from Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Cultured on Synthetic Substrates” and it appears online as an article accepted to the journal Stem Cells, to be published in a future issue. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health. The university is pursuing patent protection for the intellectual property, and is seeking commercialization partners to help bring the technology to market.

Paul Krebsbach is also the Roy H. Roberts Professor of Dentistry and a professor of biomedical engineering. Joerg Lahann is also an associate professor of materials sciences and engineering, an associate professor of macromolecular sciences and engineering, and the director of the Biointerfaces Institute.

by Kate McAlpine

Original CoE article: http://www.engin.umich.edu/newscenter/feature/stem-cell-bone-repair

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, May 18th, 2012 at 3:31 pm and is filed under .

Stem-cell-growing surface enables bone repair

Feature Story Main ImageUniversity of Michigan researchers have proven that a special surface, free of biological contaminants, allows adult-derived stem cells to thrive and transform into multiple cell types. Their success brings stem cell therapies another step closer. To prove the cells’ regenerative powers, bone cells grown on this surface were then transplanted into holes in the skulls of mice, producing four times as much new bone growth as in the mice without the extra bone cells.

An embryo’s cells really can be anything they want to be when they grow up: organs, nerves, skin, bone, any type of human cell. Adult-derived “induced” stem cells can do this and better. Because the source cells can come from the patient, they are perfectly compatible for medical treatments.

In order to make them, Paul Krebsbach, a professor of biological and materials sciences in the School of Dentistry, said, “We turn back the clock, in a way. We’re taking a specialized adult cell and genetically reprogramming it, so it behaves like a more primitive cell.”

Specifically, they turn human skin cells into stem cells. Less than five years after the discovery of this method, researchers still don’t know precisely how it works, but the process involves adding proteins that can turn genes on and off to the adult cells.

Before stem cells can be used to make repairs in the body, they must be grown and directed into becoming the desired cell type. Researchers typically use surfaces of animal cells and proteins for stem cell habitats, but these gels are expensive to make, and batches vary depending on the individual animal.

“You don’t really know what’s in there,” said Joerg Lahann, an associate professor of chemical engineering and biomedical engineering. For example, he said that human cells are often grown over mouse cells, but they can go a little native, beginning to produce some mouse proteins that may invite an attack by a patient’s immune system.

The polymer gel created by Lahann and his colleagues in 2010 avoids these problems because researchers are able to control all of the gel’s ingredients and how they combine. “It’s basically the ease of a plastic dish,” said Lahann. “There is no biological contamination that could potentially influence your human stem cells.”

Lahann and colleagues had shown that these surfaces could grow embryonic stem cells. Now, Lahann has teamed up with Krebsbach’s team to show that the polymer surface can also support the growth of the more medically-promising induced stem cells, keeping them in their high-potential state. To prove that the cells could transform into different types, the team turned them into fat, cartilage, and bone cells.

They then tested whether these cells could help the body to make repairs. Specifically, they attempted to repair 5-millimeter holes in the skulls of mice. The weak immune systems of the mice didn’t attack the human bone cells, allowing the cells to help fill in the hole.

After eight weeks, the mice that had received the bone cells had 4.2 times as much new bone, as well as the beginnings of marrow cavities. The team could prove that the extra bone growth came from the added cells because it was human bone.

“The concept is not specific to bone,” said Krebsbach. “If we truly develop ways to grow these cells without mouse or animal products, eventually other scientists around the world could generate their tissue of interest.”

In the future, Lahann’s team wants to explore using their gel to grow stem cells and specialized cells in different physical shapes, such as a bone-like structure or a nerve-like microfiber.

The paper reporting this work is titled “Derivation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells from Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Cultured on Synthetic Substrates” and it appears online as an article accepted to the journal Stem Cells, to be published in a future issue. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health. The university is pursuing patent protection for the intellectual property, and is seeking commercialization partners to help bring the technology to market.

Paul Krebsbach is also the Roy H. Roberts Professor of Dentistry and a professor of biomedical engineering. Joerg Lahann is also an associate professor of materials sciences and engineering, an associate professor of macromolecular sciences and engineering, and the director of the Biointerfaces Institute.

by Kate McAlpine

Original CoE article: http://www.engin.umich.edu/newscenter/feature/stem-cell-bone-repair

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Friday, May 18th, 2012 at 3:29 pm and is filed under .

Two New BME Graduate Student Fellowships Awarded for 2012

Ram Rao was recently selected to be a Fellow on the Frankel Commercialization Fund at the Ross School of Business. Ram is part of Professor Jan Stegemann’s Cell Matrix Interactions & Tissue Engineering (CMITE) Lab. “The Frankel Commercialization Fund (FCF) is a pre-seed investment fund established to identify and accelerate the commercialization of ideas generated within the University community and the surrounding area.”

Adrienne Alimasa, BME MS student working with Professor Ken Kozloff, received a Rackham Centennial Spring Summer Fellowship. Students will receive a stipend of $6,000 to work on research, scholarly, or creative projects in collaboration with faculty mentors during the Spring/Summer 2012 term to advance progress towards the degree and their future impact as “Michigan Graduate Students in the World.”

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This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, May 9th, 2012 at 9:40 am and is filed under All News, Student/Post-Doc News.

Two New BME Graduate Student Fellowships Awarded for 2012

Ram Rao was recently selected to be a Fellow on the Frankel Commercialization Fund at the Ross School of Business. Ram is part of Professor Jan Stegemann’s Cell Matrix Interactions & Tissue Engineering (CMITE) Lab. “The Frankel Commercialization Fund (FCF) is a pre-seed investment fund established to identify and accelerate the commercialization of ideas generated within the University community and the surrounding area.”

Adrienne Alimasa, BME MS student working with Professor Ken Kozloff, received a Rackham Centennial Spring Summer Fellowship. Students will receive a stipend of $6,000 to work on research, scholarly, or creative projects in collaboration with faculty mentors during the Spring/Summer 2012 term to advance progress towards the degree and their future impact as “Michigan Graduate Students in the World.”

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Wednesday, May 9th, 2012 at 9:39 am and is filed under .

Smart gas sensors for better chemical detection

Portable gas sensors can allow you to search for explosives, diagnose medical conditions through a patient’s breath, and decide whether it’s safe to stay in a mine. These devices do all this by identifying and measuring airborne chemicals, and a new, more sensitive, “smart” model is under development at the University of Michigan. The smart sensor could detect chemical weapon vapors or indicators of disease better than the current design. It also consumes less power, crucial for stretching battery life down a mineshaft or in isolated clinics.

In the “gold standard” method of gas detection, chemicals are separated before they are measured, said Xudong “Sherman” Fan, a professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

“In a vapor mixture, it’s very difficult to tell chemicals apart,” he said.

The main advance of the sensor designed by Fan and his colleagues at U-M and the University of Missouri, Columbia, is a better approach to divvying up the chemicals. The researchers have demonstrated their concept on a table-top set-up, and they hope to produce a hand-held device in the future.

You can think of the different chemical vapors as tiny clouds, all overlapping in the original gas. In most gas sensors today, researchers separate the chemicals into smaller clouds by sending the gas through two tubes in sequence. A polymer coating on the inside of the first tube slows down heavier molecules, roughly separating the chemicals according to weight. The time it takes to get through the tube is the first clue to a chemical’s identity, Fan explained.

A pump and compressor collect gas from the first tube and then send it into the second tube at regular intervals. The second tube is typically coated with polar polymers, which are positively charged at one end and negatively charged at the other. This coating slows down polar gas molecules, allowing the non-polar molecules to pass through more quickly. With this second clue, the researchers can identify the chemicals in the gas.

As an example, a simple gas mixture might contain eight different chemicals that divide into three or four distinct clouds in the first tube. Ideally, the device would grab whole clouds and push them into the second tube for further separation. Instead, the traditional system’s pump and compressor chop up the clouds indiscriminately, pushing the next chunk of gas into the second tube every one to five seconds.

“It’s not very efficient and sometimes cannot completely separate those gas molecules,” said Fan. “We call our device ‘smart’ because we put a decision-making module between the two tubes.”

The decision-maker added by Fan’s group consists of a detector and computer that watch for the beginnings and ends of partially separated chemical clouds. Under its direction, the compressor only runs when there is a complete cloud to send through. In addition to consuming one-tenth to one-hundredth of the energy expended by the compressor in typical systems, this approach makes data analysis easier by keeping all molecules of one type together, said Jing Liu, a graduate student in Fan’s group.

“It can save a lot of power, so our system can be used in remote areas,” she said.

Because no gas can enter the second tube until the previous chunk has gone all the way through, the smart system takes up to twice as long to fully analyze the gas. However, adding alternative tubes for the second leg of the journey can get the system up to speed. Then, the decision-maker acts like a telephone operator.

“It can tell if one tube is ‘busy’ and send the gas to another line,” Fan said.

This way, the device never stops the flow of the gas from the first tube. These second tubes can be customized for separating specific gasses, made to various lengths and with different coatings. As an example, Fan suggested that a dedicated tube for sensing specific molecules could serve as a “hotline.”

“If we have suspicion that there are chemical weapon vapors, then we send that particular batch of molecules to this hotline,” said Fan. “It could identify them with really high sensitivity.”

Fan’s team will study these sophisticated setups in the future. For now, they have proven that their decision-maker can distribute gas between two secondary tubes. Their smart sensors fully identified gasses containing up to 20 different chemicals, as well as compounds emitted by plants.

The paper is titled “Adaptive two-dimensional micro-gas chromatography” and it appears in today’s issue of the journal Analytical Chemistry. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (IOS 0946735) and the Center for Wireless Integrated Microsensing and Systems at the University of Michigan.

article by:
Kate McAlpine
Web Content Specialist
College of Engineering
(734) 763-4386
kmca@umich.edu

photos by:
Joseph Xu

Related Links:

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Thursday, May 3rd, 2012 at 2:27 pm and is filed under .

Smart gas sensors for better chemical detection

Portable gas sensors can allow you to search for explosives, diagnose medical conditions through a patient’s breath, and decide whether it’s safe to stay in a mine. These devices do all this by identifying and measuring airborne chemicals, and a new, more sensitive, “smart” model is under development at the University of Michigan. The smart sensor could detect chemical weapon vapors or indicators of disease better than the current design. It also consumes less power, crucial for stretching battery life down a mineshaft or in isolated clinics.

In the “gold standard” method of gas detection, chemicals are separated before they are measured, said Xudong “Sherman” Fan, a professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

“In a vapor mixture, it’s very difficult to tell chemicals apart,” he said.

The main advance of the sensor designed by Fan and his colleagues at U-M and the University of Missouri, Columbia, is a better approach to divvying up the chemicals. The researchers have demonstrated their concept on a table-top set-up, and they hope to produce a hand-held device in the future.

You can think of the different chemical vapors as tiny clouds, all overlapping in the original gas. In most gas sensors today, researchers separate the chemicals into smaller clouds by sending the gas through two tubes in sequence. A polymer coating on the inside of the first tube slows down heavier molecules, roughly separating the chemicals according to weight. The time it takes to get through the tube is the first clue to a chemical’s identity, Fan explained.

A pump and compressor collect gas from the first tube and then send it into the second tube at regular intervals. The second tube is typically coated with polar polymers, which are positively charged at one end and negatively charged at the other. This coating slows down polar gas molecules, allowing the non-polar molecules to pass through more quickly. With this second clue, the researchers can identify the chemicals in the gas.

As an example, a simple gas mixture might contain eight different chemicals that divide into three or four distinct clouds in the first tube. Ideally, the device would grab whole clouds and push them into the second tube for further separation. Instead, the traditional system’s pump and compressor chop up the clouds indiscriminately, pushing the next chunk of gas into the second tube every one to five seconds.

“It’s not very efficient and sometimes cannot completely separate those gas molecules,” said Fan. “We call our device ‘smart’ because we put a decision-making module between the two tubes.”

The decision-maker added by Fan’s group consists of a detector and computer that watch for the beginnings and ends of partially separated chemical clouds. Under its direction, the compressor only runs when there is a complete cloud to send through. In addition to consuming one-tenth to one-hundredth of the energy expended by the compressor in typical systems, this approach makes data analysis easier by keeping all molecules of one type together, said Jing Liu, a graduate student in Fan’s group.

“It can save a lot of power, so our system can be used in remote areas,” she said.

Because no gas can enter the second tube until the previous chunk has gone all the way through, the smart system takes up to twice as long to fully analyze the gas. However, adding alternative tubes for the second leg of the journey can get the system up to speed. Then, the decision-maker acts like a telephone operator.

“It can tell if one tube is ‘busy’ and send the gas to another line,” Fan said.

This way, the device never stops the flow of the gas from the first tube. These second tubes can be customized for separating specific gasses, made to various lengths and with different coatings. As an example, Fan suggested that a dedicated tube for sensing specific molecules could serve as a “hotline.”

“If we have suspicion that there are chemical weapon vapors, then we send that particular batch of molecules to this hotline,” said Fan. “It could identify them with really high sensitivity.”

Fan’s team will study these sophisticated setups in the future. For now, they have proven that their decision-maker can distribute gas between two secondary tubes. Their smart sensors fully identified gasses containing up to 20 different chemicals, as well as compounds emitted by plants.

The paper is titled “Adaptive two-dimensional micro-gas chromatography” and it appears in today’s issue of the journal Analytical Chemistry. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (IOS 0946735) and the Center for Wireless Integrated Microsensing and Systems at the University of Michigan.

article by:
Kate McAlpine
Web Content Specialist
College of Engineering
(734) 763-4386
kmca@umich.edu

photos by:

Related Links:

This entry was posted by Brandon Baier on Thursday, May 3rd, 2012 at 2:26 pm and is filed under .

Smart gas sensors for better chemical detection

Portable gas sensors can allow you to search for explosives, diagnose medical conditions through a patient’s breath, and decide whether it’s safe to stay in a mine. These devices do all this by identifying and measuring airborne chemicals, and a new, more sensitive, “smart” model is under development at the University of Michigan. The smart sensor could detect chemical weapon vapors or indicators of disease better than the current design. It also consumes less power, crucial for stretching battery life down a mineshaft or in isolated clinics.

In the “gold standard” method of gas detection, chemicals are separated before they are measured, said Xudong “Sherman” Fan, a professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

“In a vapor mixture, it’s very difficult to tell chemicals apart,” he said.

The main advance of the sensor designed by Fan and his colleagues at U-M and the University of Missouri, Columbia, is a better approach to divvying up the chemicals. The researchers have demonstrated their concept on a table-top set-up, and they hope to produce a hand-held device in the future.

You can think of the different chemical vapors as tiny clouds, all overlapping in the original gas. In most gas sensors today, researchers separate the chemicals into smaller clouds by sending the gas through two tubes in sequence. A polymer coating on the inside of the first tube slows down heavier molecules, roughly separating the chemicals according to weight. The time it takes to get through the tube is the first clue to a chemical’s identity, Fan explained.

A pump and compressor collect gas from the first tube and then send it into the second tube at regular intervals. The second tube is typically coated with polar polymers, which are positively charged at one end and negatively charged at the other. This coating slows down polar gas molecules, allowing the non-polar molecules to pass through more quickly. With this second clue, the researchers can identify the chemicals in the gas.

As an example, a simple gas mixture might contain eight different chemicals that divide into three or four distinct clouds in the first tube. Ideally, the device would grab whole clouds and push them into the second tube for further separation. Instead, the traditional system’s pump and compressor chop up the clouds indiscriminately, pushing the next chunk of gas into the second tube every one to five seconds.

“It’s not very efficient and sometimes cannot completely separate those gas molecules,” said Fan. “We call our device ‘smart’ because we put a decision-making module between the two tubes.”

The decision-maker added by Fan’s group consists of a detector and computer that watch for the beginnings and ends of partially separated chemical clouds. Under its direction, the compressor only runs when there is a complete cloud to send through. In addition to consuming one-tenth to one-hundredth of the energy expended by the compressor in typical systems, this approach makes data analysis easier by keeping all molecules of one type together, said Jing Liu, a graduate student in Fan’s group.

“It can save a lot of power, so our system can be used in remote areas,” she said.

Because no gas can enter the second tube until the previous chunk has gone all the way through, the smart system takes up to twice as long to fully analyze the gas. However, adding alternative tubes for the second leg of the journey can get the system up to speed. Then, the decision-maker acts like a telephone operator.

“It can tell if one tube is ‘busy’ and send the gas to another line,” Fan said.

This way, the device never stops the flow of the gas from the first tube. These second tubes can be customized for separating specific gasses, made to various lengths and with different coatings. As an example, Fan suggested that a dedicated tube for sensing specific molecules could serve as a “hotline.”

“If we have suspicion that there are chemical weapon vapors, then we send that particular batch of molecules to this hotline,” said Fan. “It could identify them with really high sensitivity.”

Fan’s team will study these sophisticated setups in the future. For now, they have proven that their decision-maker can distribute gas between two secondary tubes. Their smart sensors fully identified gasses containing up to 20 different chemicals, as well as compounds emitted by plants.

The paper is titled “Adaptive two-dimensional micro-gas chromatography” and it appears in today’s issue of the journal Analytical Chemistry. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (IOS 0946735) and the Center for Wireless Integrated Microsensing and Systems at the University of Michigan.

article by:
Kate McAlpine
Web Content Specialist
College of Engineering
(734) 763-4386
kmca@umich.edu

Related Links: