Making a Difference
Michigan has been pushing forward the field of biomedical engineering for over 50 years, with incredible technological contributions like ECMO, the silicon neural probe, and the spherocentric knee, to the world-class education of today’s top biomedical engineering minds.
From an engineered scaffold to aid in the early detection of breast cancer metastasis, to a controlled form of ultrasound to non-invasively destroy bad tissue in the body, to a determined mission to enable neural control of prosthetics, Michigan Biomedical Engineering is developing incredible solutions to the worlds most pressing biological and medical challenges.
Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan is poised to make incredible impact in the fields of engineering, biology and medicine in the years and decades ahead, from innovations in undergraduate and graduate education to groundbreaking research.
When reconstructive surgeons repair a breast after mastectomy or a severely injured leg after a car accident, they often move tissue harvested from one part of the body to another using microsurgical techniques. A new device developed at U-M and supported by the Coulter Translational Research Partnership Program will make it possible to connect arteries in the transferred tissue to those at the repair site in just minutes with a few easy steps. The device, called the Arterial Everter, looks like a thin silicone pen with a flexible steel spine. It was developed as an accessory for the market’s leading product for connecting vessels, the GEM Microvascular Anastomotic Coupler from Synovis Micro Companies Alliance, enabling it to work as well on arteries as it currently does on veins.
Read more »
Some of the earliest neural engineering work in the field was – pun unintended – conducted at U-M, including the invention of the first silicon neural electrode by Kensall Wise, professor emeritus of BME and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Today a cluster of innovative, accomplished faculty is driving the field forward, working side-by-side with clinicians in the U-M Medical School to focus on translational applications to improve the lives of patients.
Read more »
The 1990s saw the rise of a new term that would reshape biomedical engineering and academic medicine in the years to come — “translational” research.
Driven by funders’ desire to bridge a gap between basic research and clinical application, it encouraged biomedical scientists to more directly impact human health by taking their work “bench to bedside.” In doing so, it suggested that the end-game for academics could just as reasonably be a high-impact journal article as a medical product poised for commercialization.
Read more »