In the news / Biomedical Engineering

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A respiratory-assist device (RAD) co-created by Dr. Sairam Parthasarathy, UArizona COM-T Pulmonary/Allergy division chief and BIO5 member, has been given a new use in light of the coronavirus pandemic. The device was originally developed for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients, but now Dr. Parthasarathy's team is working to get the invention to front-line workers battling COVID-19.
 
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Ricky Cordova, former student with the KEYS Research Internship and current research specialist in the lab of BIO5 director, Dr. Jennifer Barton, details how his experiences as a student shaped his career path and ambitions in research. The invaluable lessons about failure and perseverance Cordova learned throughout the internship ultimately led him back to UArizona where he now serves as a KEYS mentor.
 
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Dr. Urs Utzinger, the head of the UArizona Department of Biomedical Engineering undergraduate affairs and BIO5 member, sent 42 learning kits to his students during the Spring 2020 semester after COVID-19 concerns caused the University to move fully online. The kits contained micro controllers, motors, and other mechanical parts for the students to assemble, test, and calibrate from home. Dr. Utzinger sees that this experience of moving the course online prepared him for any future remote instruction.
 
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This semester the UArizona opened the new Peter and Nancy Salter Medical Device Design Lab for undergraduate students majoring in biomedical engineering and other engineering fields. Dr. Philipp Gutruf, a UArizona assistant professor of biomedical engineering and BIO5 member, discusses the educational value of giving students access to state of the art equipment that can help them manufacture and design circuit boards or custom enclosures for wearable devices.
 
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Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals across the world are running short on personal protective equipment, including N95 respirators – masks that, unlike surgical masks, fit tightly around the face and are capable of filtering out 95% of airborne particles. A group of UArizona researchers, including Dr. Doug Loy, a Department of Materials Science and Engineering professor and BIO5 member, is responding to the shortage by designing, 3D printing, and testing masks for health care workers.
 
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BIO5 director and UArizona Biomedical Engineering professor Dr. Jennifer Barton recently spoke with SPIE - the international society for optics and photonics, where she serves at the co-chair for their BiOS program. During their conversation, Dr. Barton gave a conceptual tour of the labs of Drs. Clara Curiel, Philipp Gutruf, D.K. Kang, and Judy Su, and discussed how their research is impacting bioscience fields.
 
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Reglagene, a biotech start-up led by BIO5 members Drs. Laurence Hurley and Vijay Gokhale, placed second in the RESI Innovation Challenge during JPM Week in San Francisco. The RESI Challenge featured 30 early stage life science companies from around the world and is designed to help startups refine their business plan, improve go-to-market strategies and increase investor readiness.
 
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Dr. John Szivek, BIO5 faculty member and UArizona professor of engineering, uses 3D printing to help broken bones regrow and heal. A group of students working on a 2020 Honeywell-sponsored senior capstone project will use similar 3D printing techniques to custom build a plate with temperature control capabilities to investigate how surface temperature impacts construction.
 
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UArizona Biomedical Engineering professor and director of the BIO5 Institute Dr. Jennifer Barton, gives a look into a day in her life. Dr. Barton discusses her academic and professional journey, how and why she began conducting her current research, and the importance of women becoming increasingly involved in engineering and STEM fields.
 
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With funds from the National Institute of Health, Dr. Nathan Cherrington, UArizona College of Pharmacy Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies and BIO5 member, has created a non-invasive diagnostic to determine if someone has Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH). NASH is a chronic liver disease that irregulates the function of the liver and affects an estimated 30 to 50 million patients, with only around 300,000 of them being properly diagnosed. Currently, the only diagnosis for NASH includes a painful liver biopsy, which can result in heavy blood loss.
 
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Dr. Jennifer Barton, University of Arizona professor of biomedical engineering and director of the BIO5 Institute, has been appointed to the National Advisory Council for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, part of the National Institutes of Health. The council advises the leadership of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, or NIBIB, on policies and priorities related to research, training and health information dissemination in the areas of biomedical imaging and engineering.
 
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People who suffer catastrophic breaks to their long leg bones usually face multiple surgeries, and all too often, amputation. UA COM-T Scientists, led by Orthopedic Surgery professor and BIO5 member Dr. John Szivek, have been working for more than 20 years to improve the treatment protocol by developing new ways to fix broken long bones. These bone healing methods include stem cell therapies, 3D printed scaffolds, and sensors that monitor exercise.
 
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New College of Engineering Dean, Dr. David Hahn is excited to work at the university to further his vision for engineering education. Hahn spent 20 years at the University of Florida before joining UA, where he will not only serve as the College of Engineering Dean, but also as an Assistant Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering.
 
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A team of researchers, including Dr. Philipp Gutruf, BIO5 member and Assistant Professor in the UA Biomedical Engineering Department, have developed an implantable device that can measure oxygen levels in a living animal, which has potential to pave a new avenue for research into physiological and pathological processes.
 
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A new implantable "teabag" could help children with Type 1 Diabetes. BIO5 member Dr. Klearchos Papas, Professor in the Departments of Surgery and Medical Imaging at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson, and his team have engineered an innovative new biomedical device that could deliver all the benefits of a transplant to resolve diabetes without drawbacks of anti-rejection drugs.
 
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UA researchers are building a quantum hub known as Inquire, which will be the world's first shared research and training instrument to help researchers in diverse fields benefit from quantum resources. The interdisicplinary research team includes Dr. Jennifer Barton, Director of the BIO5 Institute and UA Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Biosystems Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Dr. Marek Romanowski, BIO5 member and Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and Materials Science and Engineering.
 
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Arizona’s Orthopedic Research Lab is hoping to use the technology to help military veterans with bone injuries. Dr. John Szivek, who runs the University of Arizona Orthopaedic Research Lab, said the lab received a $2 million grant from the Department of Defense to create 3D bone printing to help military personnel.
 
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BIO5's Dr. Mohammed Hassan, UA Assistant Professor of Physics and Optical Sciences, wants the UA to be the first place where humans take a photo of an electron in motion. Thanks to $1.75M in grants, Hassan says he will make that happen in the coming years.