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Lawrence Tech wins $50,000 DENSO grant for new bio-robotics lab

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SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – The DENSO North America Foundation has awarded $50,000 to Lawrence Technological University (LTU) to help create a new multi-disciplinary bio-robotics lab that will benefit students in two growing bachelor’s degree programs in biomedical engineering and robotics engineering. Students in traditional programs in electrical and computer engineering and mechanical engineering will also benefit…

To read more about this exciting development, click this link: Lawrence Tech wins $50,000 DENSO grant for new bio-robotics lab.

In Pursuit of the Dream

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Bhavika Patel, Biomedical Engineering Senior

Bahavika Patel

This summer I had the wonderful opportunity of conducting neuro-engineering research at New Jersey Institute of Technology. This National Science Foundation-funded Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) program was one-of-a-kind research experience. My team and I had the pleasure of working under the direction of NJIT professor who is doing pioneering research in neuro-engineering, It’s burgeoning field that uses engineering to analyze, repair, or enhance the nervous system.

Neurite Outgrowth

Neurite Outgrowth

My team’s project is entitled “Encapsulation of Schwann cells for Neurite Outgrowth in a Microfluidic Device”. Our study explored the effectiveness of Schwann cell (SC) microencapsulation for Growth Fact or (GF) release using a microfluidic device for simplified analysis. SC surrounded in a polyelectrolyte membrane, Alginate-Poly-L-Lyine-Alginate (APA), were co-cultured with PC12 cells to model neurite formation. Results showed that microencapsulated SC elicited neurite outgrowth and neural cell differentiation in-vitro. This showed that microencapsulated Schwann cells secrete enough Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) to induce nerve growth. SC encapsulated in APA have yet to be studied in relation to how they differentiate neural cells. This study has showed that after encapsulating SC in APA spheres the SC were able to induce neurite outgrowth from PC12 cells. This concept can be applied to the treatment of nerve regeneration in patients affected by neuropathy.

NJIT’s REU

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program focused on introducing students to the research process and, at end, it provided a very satisfactory hand-on experience. It taught me to become more independent and intellectual thinkers, and helped me to excel in written, visual, and oral scientific communication.

“Encapsulation of Schwann Cells for Neurite Outgrowth in a Microfluidic Device”

 

BME Newsletter April 2013

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CompforApril17

Alumni Spotlight: Christopher Andrecovich (BSBME’10)

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Christopher Andrecovich with the helmet that he works on at Bioengineering Center at Wayne State University.

Christopher Andrecovich with the helmet that he works on at Bioengineering Center at Wayne State University.

What are you up to now?

I am currently employed as a full-time researcher in the Bioengineering Center at Wayne State University. I am also continuing my education by pursuing an MS in Bioengineering with a concentration in Injury Biomechanics.

What is a typical day like for you?

My lab is involved with the evaluation of injury mechanisms pertaining to ballistics, orthopaedics, automobile, sports, and blast environments. The research with which I am most involved relates to the fields of orthopaedic surgery, ballistics, and sports testing. There are rarely typical days in this type of work. One day you might find me working with orthopaedic surgeons on a new surgical procedure. Another day, I might be shooting specimens to evaluate properties of body armor. Still other days I may be involved in testing a new boxing glove or football helmet.

How did your time at Lawrence Tech prepare you for your career?

The diversity of classes at Lawrence Tech provided me with the means to not only survive in my field, but thrive. The engineering and science courses of the degree provided me with the theory. My involvement in my senior and QUEST projects provided me the opportunity to practice what I learned in real-world engineering problems.

What organizations and activities were you

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involved in at Lawrence Tech?

I was involved in the Biomedical Engineering Society, National Student Leadership Society, and club soccer. I also worked on a project with Tristan Maerz (BSBME’09) on an ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction study at Beaumont Hospital during my senior year.

What is your best memory of Lawrence Tech?

Picture2My best memory of Lawrence Tech has to be the relationships I formed with my friends and teachers. Their interaction and advice helped me to grow in the academic environment and propelled me into my current professional position.

What is one piece of advice you would give to the current BME student at LTU?

Above all else, do what you love. A career is too long to get stuck doing something that doesn’t interest you. So start looking into the various aspects of biomedical engineering as soon as possible. It’s easier to hunt for jobs when you know what you want to do. Get experience as soon as possible. Your professors are your most valuable asset when attempting to network, make professional connections, and find opportunities for experience.

 

Alumni Spotlight: Youssef Naim (BSBME ‘09)

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Youssef Naim

What are you up to now?

I am working as a Research Engineer at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, in the Department of Neurology. I design scaffolds for peripheral nerve regeneration. We are trying to develop a method to guide regenerating neurites across an injury gap.

What is a typical day like for you?

Every day is different, but I typically spend some time each day culturing cells on different materials, analyzing cells, and meeting with other lab members to discuss results. We also have some in vivo experiments on going, so there functional nerve conduction tests I perform on rats. I spend a lot of time conducting literature searches and planning experiments.

How are you currently involved in the BME program at Lawrece Tech?

I am currently

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working with senior students at LTU on a project. Basically, I prepare different scaffolds made from polymer fibers which the students are now analyzing. The students plan to use the fibers as a scaffold for ligament regeneration.

How did your time at Lawrence Tech prepare you for your career?

Lawrence Tech prepares students excellently for their future careers. The courses I took are directly applicable to my research. The small class sizes at LTU are also very helpful because they allow direct interaction with professors, which is uncommon at other universities. The courses teach useful information and techniques that you will use on a regular basis.

What organizations and activities were you involved in at Lawrence Tech?

I did a Quest project, an internship in the lab I currently work at. The project was about an automated system to analyze the developmental stage of motor neurons. My work resulted in a publication, and the method I developed is now routinely used in the lab.

What is your best memory of Lawrence Tech?

My best memory of LTU is working on my senior design project. Spending hours with my partners trying to finish the project was challenging and enjoyable at the same time. Also I still remember group studying, and I miss these days.

What is one piece of advice you would give to the current BME
students at LTU?

I think students should get involved in the current projects at LTU, or try to get an internship position to apply knowledge learned at school. Also students should enjoy their time while learning, and think about Lawrence tech as a place to gain knowledge and an education, instead of focusing on just passing classes to finish.

 

Order of the Engineer

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The Order of the Engineer was initiated in the United States to foster a spirit of pride and responsibility in the engineering profession, to bridge the gap between training and experience, and to present to the public a visible symbol identifying the engineer [Engineer’s Ring].

Eligibility – Graduating LTU Engineering Students [Spring/Fall 2012] & Practicing engineers with a degree from an ABET accredited institution or with a PE license.

Induction Ceremony: Friday April 20, 2012 at 7:00 PM
Deadline to register: March 19, 2012
Location: LTU Campus at the “Gallery Hall”
University Technology & Learning Center

$$$$: Registration fee of $28.00 includes stainless steel Order of the Engineer ring and certificate, as well as hors d’oeuvre for initiate and guests following the induction ceremony.

For more information and registration forms, click here, visit the Dean of Engineering Office [E98], or see Dr. Yuen [E22].

Alumni Spotlight: Danielle Beski (BSBME ‘11)

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The Mimics Innovation Suite interface. The bottom R window shows a 3D model of the lumbar spine (L2-L4). The other three windows show the axial, coronal, and sagittal views of the spine taken from an axial CT scan.

What are you up to now? I am working as an application engineer on the Biomedical Engineering Team at Materialise USA. I work specifically with university customers across the United States and Canada that are looking for software solutions for their research needs.

What is a typical day like for you? Each day is a little bit different. Most commonly, I work in presales of our 3D modeling software called the Mimics Innovation Suite. I give technical demonstrations and answer a variety of questions regarding the software. I also work directly with the Mimics Innovation Suite to provide engineering services to customers that don’t own our software.

How did your time at Lawrence Tech prepare you for your career? Lawrence Tech’s BME program prepared me for my career by giving me a strong knowledge and background in so many aspects of the biomedical field. It is necessary to have this knowledge to help customers that are concerned about how our software will incorporate into their research (by corner). I commonly use my anatomy skills to analyze CT and MRI scans to create 3D models with our software.

What organizations and activities were you involved in at Lawrence Tech? I was involved in the Biomedical Engineering Society at Lawrence Tech. Although not active for all four of my years at LTU, I was really excited to see BMES back up and running my senior year.

What is your best memory of Lawrence Tech? My best memory of LTU was made while working on my senior design project. My team and I spent months researching, designing, and building a bioreactor for ligament tissue engineering. I really enjoyed working in the lab to finish the project. I had a huge feeling of accomplishment when the bioreactor was finally constructed!

What is one piece of advice you would give to the current BME student at LTU? Have fun and enjoy school! You want to be able to look back on your college years and be proud of all of your accomplishments.

 

Alumni Spotlight: Tristan Maerz (BSBME ‘09)

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What are you up to now?  I’m working as a research engineer in Orthopedic Research at Beaumont Health System in Royal Oak.  I coordinate sports medicine and tissue engineering projects. I am now also working towards a PhD in Biomedical Engineering.

What is a typical day like for you? A day in research is never the same. I’m fortunate enough to coordinate about 10-12 multi-disciplinary projects, and I work with physicians, researchers, health care professionals, and administrators.  I frequently meet with residents and surgeons to discuss ongoing research. I am often running a biomechanical test, culturing cells on biomaterial scaffolds, or analyzing MRI data to develop new imaging techniques to detect the onset of orthopedic disease.

How are you currently involved at Lawrence Tech? I’m acting as a mentor for a BME senior project group. The students  aim to utilize synthetic polymer fibers as ligament tissue engineering scaffolds. In combination with human cells, growth factors, and the use of a custom-designed bioreactor, these scaffolds are a promising direction for the regeneration of ligaments.

How did your time at Lawrence Tech prepare you for your career? LTU was an excellent preparation for my career! The content of the course work is directly applicable to my work and I often find myself thinking “Wow, I’m actually applying that math from second year.” Also the interaction with my peers and professors, learning how to use technical communication, organization and analytical skills to solve an engineering problem were probably the most beneficial skill sets I acquired. With very small class sizes, direct interaction with peers and professors is possible every day, and I feel that this prepared me for my career in a way that massive universities cannot.

What organizations and activities were you involved in at Lawrence Tech? I took part in the LTU Quest program.  I worked with Dr. Timmons on a novel synthetic hydrogel for the use in intervertebral disc tissue engineering. The Quest program was an excellent way to get applicable experience and for personalized laboratory experience.

What is your best memory of Lawrence Tech? The close interaction with my professors and administrators! There was never a time where I felt that I could not approach a professor or even a dean about a specific issue.

What is one piece of advice you would give to the current BME students at Lawrence Tech?   Get to know your professors and administrators as they will always be part of your professional network. While it is important to focus on course work, I urge students not to treat classes simply as a means to an end, but rather as an opportunity to both learn and make connections. Whenever I am contacted about something from a professor, I make sure to do everything I can to give back.

 

Injury Biomechanics by Dr. Joseph Hassan

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The Biomedical Engineering Program includes the research area of Injury biomechanics (also called Biomechanics of trauma or Impact biomechanics). The new initiative studies the biomechanical behavior of the

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human body under extreme, injury producing, loading conditions. Students trained in injury biomechanics are especially skilled in trauma biomechanics and occupant kinematics. Using medical records, diagnostic images and the scientific literature, they combine medical and engineering knowledge to assess the causal relationship between diagnosed injuries and loads applied during an impact event. Particular interest is given to topics such as definition of impact injury mechanisms, the quantification of biomechanical response to impact, the determination of impact tolerance levels, and the development and use of injury assessment devices and techniques for evaluating injury prevention systems. The current status of knowledge and technology is emphasized for the head, cervical spine, thorax, abdomen, and lower extremity.

Graduates of such program are typically skilled in the impact of abnormal environments on normal anatomy. They study the effects of exposure to physical forces (e.g., localized and whole body impacts and repeated jolt) on the health and performance of human beings. These skills are accomplished through epidemiological research, computer modeling, laboratory simulation, use of crash dummies and human volunteers, investigation of mishaps and ground vehicular incidents.

BME graduates of such program develop biomechanically validated injury standards and recommend injury prevention strategies to equipment developers and major commands.

 

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