Category Archives: Research

Superior Ideas: Biomedical Engineering

IMG_5897Biomedical Engineering Researchers Feng Zhao and Bruce Lee have separate Superior Ideas projects called “Making heart Bypass Grafts Safer” and “Soft Robotic Component with a Mussel Tone” respectively.

Superior Ideas helps bring university research and public service projects to life. Through Superior Ideas, researchers can spread the word of their projects—and gain funding along the way.

Superior Ideas operates using crowdfunding, a relatively new concept in which individuals join together through many small donations to help fund a large project. When donors give to a researcher’s project, they are helping fund technological advances, and showing their financial support and interest in the project’s goals. There is no shortage of sites taking advantage of this new venue for funding. However, Superior Ideas offers donors, researchers, and partner Universities two distinct advantages over other crowdfunding sites:

  • Superior Ideas is operated by Michigan Technological University, a public nonprofit university, enabling donors from the United States to claim a charitable donation for federal income tax purposes.
  • Superior Ideas verifies the validity of each project posted on our website; since we are run in conjunction with a leading research university, we can ensure that only the best-of-the-best projects are being offered to potential donors.
  • Superior Ideas exists to empower both researchers and donors by providing a platform for university researchers to describe their innovative and ambitious projects to the public, and donors can express their interest and support with just the click of a mouse to the project links listed below.

ZhaoZhao’s project:
Decription: “This research aims to provide solutions for problems associated with the regeneration of small-diameter vessels to be used in cardiovascular procedures. Supporting this project will move the crucial technology toward clinical trials, commercialization, and saving lives.”

URL: http://www.superiorideas.org/projects/safer-heart

Timeline: This project will expire on Sunday, September 6th.


LeeLee’s project:
Description: “By incorporating chemistry commonly utilized by marine mussels, this research plans to create soft robotic components which could better interface with biological systems.”

URL: http://www.superiorideas.org/projects/mussel-chemistry

Timeline: This project will expire on Sunday, August 30th.


Biomedical News Briefs

IMG_5897

Rupak Rajachar (Bio Med) is the primary investigator of a project that is the recipient of a $326,346 research and development grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – National Institutes of Health.
The project is Adhesive PEG-Fibrinogen Nitric Oxide Releasing Hydrogetls for use as a Wound Healing and Tissue Engineering Support. Also working the project is Bruce Lee (Bio Med, and Megan Frost (Bio Med).

Lake Superior Magazine’s June-July issue includes an article on several Michigan Tech biomedical researchers including Assistant Professor Feng Zhao, Associate Professor Mo Rastgaar, Professor Adrienne Minerick and several biomedical engineering students.

The Michigan Tech Vice President for Research Office announces the Research Execellence Fund Awards. Thanks to the volunteer review committees, as well as the deans and department chairs, for their time spent on this important internal research award process. Infrastructure Enhancement Grants: Sean Kirkpatrick, BRC/Biomed Eng. Repair and Upgrade Advanced Fluorescent Microscope; Research Seed Grants: Feng Zhao, Biomed Eng and Jingfeng Jiang, BRC/Biomed Eng; Link to full list

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Seeing is Believing

image90723-persIf seeing is believing, C.K. Choi (Adjunct Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering and Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering–Engineering Mechanics) has a passion for clarity—in a very tiny world. The assistant professor of mechanical engineering’s research lies at the micro-scale, in channels no thicker than a strand of hair.
Read more —

Biotechnology Research Center Research Forum Awards

Caleb Vogt
Caleb Vogt
The Eleventh Annual Research Forum sponsored by the Biotechnology Research Center was held on Wednesday, Oct. 22, and Thursday, Oct. 23. Forty-one graduate and undergraduate students conducting research in life science, biotechnology, human health and related areas presented posters. Oral presentations were also given. Speakers included Jeremy Goldman (Bio Med), Ashutosh Tiwari (Chem), Hairong Wei (SFRES), Justin Segula (SFRES graduate student), Jingtuo Zhang (Chem graduate student) and Caleb Vogt (Bio Med undergrad student).

Thank you to the participants, the judges and all who helped with another successful BRC Research Forum. A list of BRC award winners is below.

Graduate Grand Prize
Maria Gencoglu (ChE) “A New Virus Purification Process: Virus Flocculation in the Presence of Osmolytes”
Advisor: Caryn Heldt

Graduate Merit Awards
Emily Shearier (Bio Med) “Mesenchymal Stem Cell Spheroids for Therapy Following Axillary Lymph Node Dissection” Advisor: Feng Zhao

Yu Wang (Bio Med) “Building a Virtual Breast Elastography Phantom Lab Using Open Source Software”
Advisor: Jingfeng Jiang

Undergraduate Grand Prize
Caleb Vogt (Bio Med) “Human Mesenchymal Stem Cell Response to Nitric Oxide Relesasing Materials”
Advisors: Megan Frost and Feng Zhao

Undergraduate Merit Award
Mitchell Tahtinen (Bio Med) “Prevascularization of Natural Extracellular Matrix Scaffold”
Advisor: Feng Zhao

“Virtual Breast” Could Improve Cancer Detection

image113672-horizNext to lung cancer, breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in women, according to the American Cancer Society. That’s why so many medical professionals encourage women to get mammograms, even though the tests are imperfect at best: only a minority of suspicious mammograms actually leads to a cancer diagnosis.
That results in lots of needless worry for women and their families—not to mention the time, discomfort and expense of additional tests, including ultrasounds and biopsies.
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Feng Zhao Named an Academic Editor

image51532-persFeng Zhao, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, has been named an academic editor for PLOS ONE. PLOS ONE is the largest journal in the world, publishing well over 2000 articles per month. The underlying philosophy of PLOS ONE is that all research, if well-performed and well-reported, has something of value to offer the scientific community, and accordingly, PLOS ONE’s editorial criteria focuses on the technical quality of the work rather than any subjective judgments such as perceived novelty or limited relevance to a specialist field. Editorial Board members at PLOS ONE are given a high degree of editorial autonomy over the papers that they handle and are responsible for deciding whether a manuscript adheres to the journal’s criteria for publication.

Study of Key Biomolecule Earns Tolou Shokuhfar CAREER Award

Tolou Shokuhfar will be investigating the inner workings of a protein that plays a key role in human health with funding from a five-year, $400,000 Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award.

Shokuhfar,a faculty member of both departments of biomedical engineering and mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics at Michigan Technological University, will study the biomolecule ferritin, which stores iron in the body in a non-toxic, mineralized form and releases it safely. In humans, ferritin serves as a buffer between iron deficiency and iron overload, and when it malfunctions, it may be involved in a number of degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
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See previous article: A graphene water balloon may soon open up new vistas for scientists seeking to understand health and disease at the most fundamental level.
It’s the Water: Graphene Balloon Yields Unprecedented Images of Hydrated Protein Molecules

Biomed Students Earn Biotechnology Research Center Awards

Graduate Research:

$300 Grand Prizes

Biotechnology Research Center

Connor McCarthy (Biomedical Engineering) for “Native Elastin Scaffolds as Blood Contacting Surfaces Incorporating Nitric Oxide Release,” Advisors: Megan Frost and Jeremy Goldman

Ecosystem Science Center

Adam Coble (SFRES) for “Both Height and Light Influence Leaf Morphology in Sugar Maple Canopy,” Advisor: Molly Cavaleri

$100 Merit Awards

Biotechnolgy Research Center

Yiping Mao (Biological Sciences) for “Overexpression of microRNA-30d increases insulin biosynthesis and protects against high-fat diet induced glucose intolerances,” Advisor Xiaoqing Tang

Mu Yang (Chemistry) for Reduction of Porcine Parvovirus Infectivity in the Presence of Protecting Osmolytes,” Advisor: Ashutosh Tiwari

Ecosystem Science Center

Cameron Goble (Biological Sciences for “Assessment of Fish Communities in Tributary Streams of the Big Manistee,” Advisor: Nancy Auer

Mickey Jarvi (SFRES) for “Sugar Maple Fine-Root Respiration is Mechanistically Constrained by Adenylate Control,” Advisor: Andrew Burton

Alida Mau (SFRES) for “Variation in photosynthetic temperature responses across vertical forest canopy gradients: Comparisons between temperate and tropical trees,” Advisor: Molly Cavaleri.

Justina Silva (US Forest Service) for “Assessment of Spatial and Temporal Sedge Mediated Oxygen Dynamics,” Advisor: Erik Lilleskov

Undergraduate Research:

$150 Grand Prizes

Biotechnology Research Center

Keegan Yates (Biomedical Engineering) for “Decellularization of Fibroblast Cell Sheets for Natural Extracellular Matrix Scaffold Preparation)”, Advisor: Feng Zhao

Ecosystem Science Center

Brittany VanderWall (SFRES) for “Leaf Mass Per Area of Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) Varies Seasonally and Across a Vertical Gradient”, Advisor: Molly Cavaleri

$100 Undergrad Merit Award

Biotechnology Research Center

Michael Bostwick (Biomedical Engineering) for “Biomimetic Adhesive Containing Nanocomposite Hydrogels with Enhanced Mechanical Properties,” Advisor: Bruce Lee

Biomed Students Win 2014 MSGC Awards

2014 MSGC Awardees Announced: Michigan Tech faculty, staff members and students received awards tallying $71,175 in funding through the Michigan Space Grant Consortium (MSGC) sponsored by the NASA.

Undergraduates receiving $2,500 research fellowships are:

Laura Lynch (Biomed): “Prevention of Secondary Lymphedema with Biomaterial Hydrogels”

Roger Guillory (Biomed): “Characterization of the Biocompatibility of Zinc-Magnesium Alloys for Bioabsorable Coronary Stents”

NASA implemented the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program in 1989 to provide funding for research, education, and public outreach in space-related science and technology. The program has 52 university-based consortia in the United States and Puerto Rico. As an affiliate of the Michigan Consortium, Michigan Tech has been an active participant in MSGC for over fifteen years. For more information, please contact Robert Warrington or Paige Hackney in the Institute for Leadership and Innovation