All posts by Sue Hill

A Critical Review of Microelectrode Arrays and Strategies for Improving Neural Interfaces

Interaction of neuronal cells with MEA shank.
Interaction of neuronal cells with MEA shank.

Given mankind’s limited ability to treat damage to the human nervous system, neural interface systems (NISs) have emerged as an attractive alternative to conventional therapies. For a NIS to work, a microelectrode array (MEA) must be surgically implanted into the brain to allow an external computer to read and interpret neuronal signals for various applications. Dr. Zhao’s Lab has recently published a review paper titled “A Critical Review of Microelectrode Arrays and Strategies for Improving Neural Interfaces” in Advanced Healthcare Materials.
https://doi.org/10.1002/adhm.201900558

This review article, authored by Morgan Ferguson (MS student), Dhavan Sharma (PhD candidate), David Ross (former MS student), and Dr. Feng Zhao, provides critical insight into the recent advances in strategies for improving NIS microelectrode array biocompatibility and neural interfacing capabilities, including alterations in microelectrode array surface properties (both surface chemistry and topography), surface geometry, and stiffness. Individually, each strategy provides varying degrees of success in altering microelectrode array biocompatibility, electrical conductivity, signal maintenance, and/or overall longevity along with the severity of foreign body response. By using a multiprong design for MEAs (one combining modifications to the surface, geometry, and hardness into one MEA) instead of using a lone modification, it could allow NISs to operate for a much longer period.


Invited Review of Scaffold Materials for Cardiac Tissue Engineering

Illustrations of of several kinds of scaffolds
Figure: Scaffold fabrication strategies for cardiac patch engineering

Cardiovascular diseases are the major causes of death worldwide. As a part of their ongoing project to construct a tissue engineered cardiac patch to repair damaged heart muscle, Dr. Zhao’s Lab team has recently reviewed contemporary techniques to fabricate heart-specific matrices for cardiac patch engineering. This invited review titled “Constructing biomimetic cardiac tissues: a review of scaffold materials for engineering cardiac patches” was published by Dhavan Sharma (PhD candidate), Morgan Ferguson (MS student), Dr. Timothy J. Kamp (collaborator at University of Wisconsin Madison), and Dr. Feng Zhao in Emergent Materials, Springer. (https://doi.org/10.1007/s42247-019-00046-4)

Engineered tissues are composed of two major components: cells and the extracellular matrix. This review focuses on the latter one, which holds the cells in a 3D space. Recent advances in scaffold fabrication techniques have enabled scientists to a generate heart-specific microenvironment within the engineered tissue constructs. These cardiac-specific scaffolds can be developed using synthetic polymers or native tissues as well as cell sheets. This article will provide readers with a timely review about different fabrication methods that have been employed to develop scaffold materials which ultimately have been used to engineer cardiac patches.


BME Represented at the Gordon Research Conference on the Science of Adhesion

Mount HolyokeBruce Lee (BioMed), Rattapol Pinnaratip, and Md. Saleh Akram Bhuiyan attended the 2019 Gordon Research Conference on the Science of Adhesion in South Hadley, MA.

Lee gave an invited talk entitled “Smart Bioadhesive Inspired by Mussel Adhesive Chemistry.” Pinnaratip gave an oral and a poster presentation entitled “Regulation of Hydrogen Peroxide Concentration from Mussel-inspired Adhesive via Surface-modified Silica Particle Incorporation,” a project directed by Lee. Bhuiyan gave a poster presentation entitled “Direct Deactivation of Catechol-Containing Adhesive using Electrochemistry,” a project directed by Lee.


Sangyoon Han Wins Best Poster Award for Cell Adhesion Research

Sangyoon Han Accepts Award
Sangyoon Han (left) accepts the poster prize. Image from Alessandra Cambi.

Sangyoon Han (biomedical engineering) was awarded the Dutch Society of Cell Biology’s Best Poster Award for his work on cell adhesion and migration in inflammation and cancer.

The title of his poster is “Talin-vinculin pre-complex formation dictates maturation of nascent adhesions by accelerated force transmission and vinculin recruitment.”

The 6th ZOO Meeting took place at Blijdorp Zoo, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, May 15-18, 2019.

The ZOO meeting series has become a landmark event in the field of cell adhesion and migration due to unique theme selection, high scientific profile with excellent speakers and limited number of attendees.



Invited Review of Multifunctional Biomedical Adhesives

Multifunctional Biomedical Adhesives passive design active design functionsAdvanced Health Materials published the article “Multifunctional Biomedical Adhesives,” by Bruce Lee, Rupak Rajachar, Rattapol Pinnaratip, Saleh Akram Bhuiyan, and Kaylee Meyers (Biomed). This article is an invited review that described recent advances in designing multifunctional bioadhesives for various biomedical applications.

https://doi.org/10.1002/adhm.201801568

This review discusses strategies for engineering multifunctional biomedical adhesives, which involve two general approaches: passive and active design. Passive adhesives contain inherent structural elements that can carry out additional functions without external influences, whereas active adhesives are designed to respond to environmental changes. These adhesives exhibit new functionality such as antimicrobial properties, self‐healing ability, and the capacity to release drugs.


Wireless Sensor Project Funding for Keat Ghee Ong

Keat Ghee Ong
Keat Ghee Ong

Keat Ghee Ong (BioMed) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $14,000 research and development grant from the University of Oregon.

The project is titled “Implementation of a Wireless Sensor System for Monitoring Mechanical Loadings at the Internal Fixation Plates of Rats with Segmented Bone Defects.”

This is the first year of a potential three year grant totaling $54,000.

By Sponsored Programs.


BME Students Place in 2019 World Water Day Poster Competition

Cholera Poster DetailThanks to all who participated in this year’s World Water Day. Thanks to all of the students who entered posters, the judges, our guest speaker, discussion facilitators,  panelists, artists and the committee who pulled it all together.

The keynote lecture, “Mapping the Water Crisis of Unaffordability,” was by Monica Lewis-Patrick from We the People of Detroit.

The 2019 World Water Day Poster Award winners:

Original Research Awards

Coursework/Informational Awards

World Water Day at Michigan Tech was sponsored by the Great Lakes Research Center, the Departments of Social Sciences and Civil and Environmental Engineering, the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, the Sustainable Futures Institute, Center for Diversity and Inclusion,  Department of Visual and Performing Arts and the Western Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Region.

By the Great Lakes Research Center.


DHH-NIH Funding for Jeremy Goldman

Jeremy Goldman (Bio Med) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $45,790 research and development grant from the Department of Health and Human Services-National Institutes of Health.

Jaroslaw Drelich (MSE) is the Co-PI on the project “Inhibition of Neointimal Hyperplasia by Zinc-Based Biodegradable Arterial Devices.”

This is the first year of a potential two-year project.

By Sponsored Programs.

Jeremy Goldman
Jeremy Goldman
Jarek Drelich
Jarek Drelich

DHH-NIH Funding for Feng Zhao

Feng Zhao (Bio Med) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $459,000 research and development grant from Department of Health and Human Services – National Institutes of Health. Jeremy Goldman (Bio Med) is Co-PI on the project, “Development of Off-the-Shelf Completely Biological Small-Diameter Blood Vessel with Human Stem Cells.”

The is the first year of a potential three-year project.

Feng Zhao
Feng Zhao
Jeremy Goldman
Jeremy Goldman