Labs

Biomechanics

  • Active and Functional Soft Matter Laboratory
    • Through the Active and Functional Soft Materials lab, Professor Brian J. Love explores research interests that span the area of soft and condensed matter physics, with an emphasis on active materials and biological materials as well as structural polymeric materials. The lab combines the use of in-situ rheology, as well as synchroton small angle x-ray scattering techniques (SAXS), to probe the physics of these systems. Current efforts developing imaging methods are also underway to better visualize the changes occurring in these dynamic soft matter systems.
  • Baker Laboratory
    • The Engineered Microenvironments and Mechanobiology Lab, led by Professor Brendon Baker, focuses on the understanding of how structure and mechanics of the cellular microenvironment influence fundamental cell processes such as migration, proliferation, and extracellular matrix (ECM) synthesis. The lab develops novel, turnable biomaterials that mimic the 3D and fibrous nature of native ECMs, can be dynamically remodeled by cells, and have the potential to be scaled to implantable tissues directly. Combined with molecular tools, live imaging, microfabrication and microfluidic techniques, and multi-scale mechanical characterization, these materials allow the lab to study the physical interactions between cells and their surroundings.  Mechanistic understanding resulting from these studies provides insight into ECM-mediated diseases such as cancer and fibrosis, but can also be co-opted for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications.
  • Barald Lab 
  • Biofluid Mechanics Research Laboratory
    • The Biofluid Mechanics Research Laboratory, led by Professor James Grotberg, engages in a variety of scientific endeavors which have, as a common base, the underlying principles of fluid mechanics and transport processes. The lab investigates respiratory, cardiovascular, and ocular systems using both experimental and theoretical approaches.
  • Biomaterials and Biomechanics of Hard Tissues Laboratory
    • Dr. David Kohn’s research program focuses on two aspects of biomineralization: first, understanding how the organizational hierarchy of mineralized tissues results in mechanical competence, and, second, the ability to mimic aspects of nature’s biomineralization strategies. In regard to the first aspect of the program, the lab seeks to establish structure-function relations in mineralized tissues and study functional adaptation of these tissues in response to perturbations in the local microenvironment. Regarding the second aspect of the program, biomimetic strategies are used to develop model systems in which biological output can be quantitatively related to a well-controlled engineering input.
  • Biomaterials, Cell-Based Therapies, and Mechanobiology
    • Professor Jan Stegemann’s laboratory focuses on how cells interact with the 3D protein matrix around them, and how these interactions can be used to develop better materials and engineered tissues.The biologically-derived proteins collagen and fibrin are of particular interest, due to their role as structural proteins in tissues and the range of effects that these polymers can have on cell function. The lab is working to develop composite biomaterials that combine the structural and biochemical features of these polymers, and which also incorporate other proteins that direct cell function.
  • Biomechanics Research Laboratory
  • Biosciences Division of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute
  • Cell Adhesion & Drug Delivery Lab 
  • Cell Signaling in Engineered Tissues (CSET)
      • Under the direction of Professor Andrew Putnam, the CSET laboratory conducts both fundamental and applied research in the broads areas of cell and tissue engineering. The lab’s fundamental biological research addresses how the mechano-chemical properties of the extracellular matrix (ECM) influence both normal pathologic tissue morphogenesis, with a particular emphasis on identifying the signal transduction mechanisms that drive these processes in 3D. Engineering efforts then seek to leverage this fundamental knowledge to inspire the design of “instructive materials” for applications in regenerative medicine and as model systems in which to study disease.
  • Center for Ergonomics
  • Computational Vascular Biomechanics Laboratory
    • The Computational Vascular Biomechanics Laboratory, led by Professor C. Alberto Figueroa, is driven by the ultimate goal to perform state-of-the-art blood flow simulation. Modeling the cardiovascular system is a challenge that can only be addressed by a deep understanding of physiology, imaging, mathematics, and computation. The lab’s research is focused on the areas of surgical planning, disease research and medical device design and evaluation.
  • Direct Brain Interface Laboratory 
  • Engineered Cellular Microenvironments (ECM) Laboratory
    • The overall goal of the Engineered Cellular Microenvironments (ECM) Lab, led by Professor Geeta Mehta,  is to understand how intercellular interactions and mechanical stimulation impact cellular phenotypes in carcinogenesis and homeostasis of tissue specific cells, by creating and utilizing specific engineered microenvironments.  The group’s research focuses on various implications of biochemical intercellular interactions (cell-cell or cell-matrix interactions) and mechanical stimuli (via matrix stiffness and applied mechanical forces such as tension, compression and shear stress), in pathophysiology (ovarian and breast cancer carcinogenesis) and homeostasis. The lab uses biomaterials and microtechnology as tools to create engineered microenvironments in order to study biological problems in the areas of ovarian cancer, breast cancer, and bone marrow stem cells.
  • Heemskerk Laboratory 
  • Integrated Biosystems and Biomechanics Laboratory 
  • Laboratory for Optimization and Computation in Orthopaedic Surgery (LOCOS)
  • Lei Lei Laboratory 
  • Nano-omic-Bio-Engineering-Laboratory (NOBEL)
    • The long-term goal of the NOBEL, led by Professor Carlos Aguilar, is to make breakthroughs in medicine and biology that instill hope and inspire others. To accomplish this feat, NOBEL lab develops, optimizes and applies innovative technologies such as integrative genomic assays and high-throughput sequencing, micro/nanofabricated devices, genome editing and computational modeling to skeletal muscle. Skeletal muscle is the primary organ system that defines our complex movements and to a degree our life and joy (“joy’s soul lies in the doing” – W. Shakespeare). This dynamic tissue is composed of a constellation of cell types, consumes significant amounts of metabolic energy, grows and adapts its structure and function based on its environment and uniquely repairs and regenerates when damaged. Generating fundamental insights into the basic processes of muscle (development, proliferation and differentiation, migration and fusion, responses to stimuli) could be exploited to prevent dysfunction (muscular dystrophy, aging, and disabilities resulting from severe trauma) as well as enhance rehabilitation and exercise performance (warfighters, athletes). The main research thrusts of the laboratory are in 1) muscle stem cell biology and muscle regeneration (myogenic lineage progression, cellular communication networks, adaptation to stimuli), 2) cellular reprogramming and cell-fate plasticity (transcriptional and epigenetic factors, microenvironment interactions, chromatin memory), 3) regenerative medicine (rehabilitation, cell-based therapies and artificial scaffolds) and 4) micro/nanodevices for interacting with and manipulating single cells and molecules. The lab has strong collaborative efforts with clinicians and translational scientists to develop and utilize tools for a broad impact in musculoskeletal regenerative applications.
  • Neuromuscular and Rehabilitation Robotics Laboratory (NeuRRo Lab)
  • Orthopaedic Research Laboratories
  • Rams Laboratory 
  • Rehabilitation Biomechanics Laboratory 
  • Shea Laboratory
    • The Shea Lab, led by Professor Lonnie Shea, works at the interface of regenerative medicine, biomaterials, and gene and drug delivery. The central theme for the various projects is the creation of synthetic environments which can be employed to molecularly dissect tissue formation or promote regeneration. Of particular emphasis in the lab is: identifying the fundamental design parameters for delivery of gene therapy vectors from biomaterials, applying the controllable microenvironments to in vitro and in vivo models of tissue formation, and developing diagnostic assays for cancer research using the fundamental tools of gene delivery from biomaterials. 
  • Soft Tissue Mechanics Laboratory

Biomedical Computation and Modeling

  • Arnold Lab
    • The Arnold Lab, led by Professor Kelly Arnold, combines experimental and computational systems biology to unveil systems-level properties of immune cell communication networks and inflammatory tissue environments relevant to disease states.  We are especially interested in understanding how the complex balance of cytokine and growth factor cues known generally as “inflammation” underpin both productive physiological processes and also problematic pathologic tissue remodeling. Our research program focuses on using theory- and data-driven computational approaches to infer cytokine networks driving cell behavior, tissue phenotype and disease progression.  We collaborate closely with clinicians to apply these approaches to human disease states, where they can provide new diagnostic biomarkers and give insight into complex mechanisms driving pathogenic processes.
  • Computational Protein Biophysics Laboratory
  • Gliske Laboratory
  • Heemskerk Laboratory
  • Image Computing Laboratory
  • Laboratory for Optimization and Computation in Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Laboratory of Cancer Systems Biology and Pharmacology
      • Research in the Laboratory of Cancer Systems Biology and Pharmacology, led by Professor Mohammad Fallahi-Sichani, aims at designing, building and utilizing new experimental and computational tools to analyze and interpret multi-scale processes that regulate the behavior of human cells and tissues in response to perturbations such as cytokines, stress, cytotoxic and targeted drugs. The lab works at the interface of bioengineering, systems biology and quantitative pharmacology, and relies on new technologies such as multiplex proteomic and genomic measurements, high-throughput microscopy, single-cell analysis, and multi-scale modeling. Our long-term goal is to define, at a single-cell level, molecular mechanisms that underlie adaptive cell fate decisions in the presence of cell-autonomous, microenvironment, and therapy-induced selective pressures, and elucidate how they vary under unhealthy conditions, e.g. in cancer cells. A detailed and network-level understanding of these mechanisms will provide a rational basis for choosing the optimal molecular targets to: (i) maximize therapeutic response, (ii) prevent therapeutic resistance, and (iii) reduce therapy-induced adverse effects.
  • Multiscale Computational Nanoscience Laboratory
  • Nano-omic-Bio-Engineering-Lab (NOBEL)
  • Neural Circuits and Memory Laboratory
  • Neuromodulation Laboratory
    • Professor Scott Lempka and his lab are interested in the innovation of electrical stimulation therapies for neurological disorders (a.k.a. neuromodulation), specifically for chronic pain management. The overall goal of our group is to develop a patient-specific approach using computer models and clinical measurements. We believe this research will help optimize current technologies and innovate new therapies to improve patient outcomes. Electrical stimulation therapies for chronic pain management, such as spinal cord stimulation, represent a multi-billion dollar per year medical device market. Although these technologies have existed for decades and are currently used to treat thousands of patients a year, they have a relatively limited success rate. These limited outcomes can largely be attributed to the simple fact that we don’t know how they work.The goal of the Neuromodulation Lab is to transform the field of neuromodulation for chronic pain by designing the tools necessary to carry out systematic, controlled, and well-powered studies, driven by scientifically-based computational models.
  • Omar Lab
  • Rajapakse Laboratory
  • Restorative Neuroengineering Group
  • Sept Lab
    • Our lab is interested in understanding the dynamics, function and organization of the cytoskeleton, in particular the molecular details underlying cell motility, and the structure, dynamics and interaction of microtubules. In order to determine how actin filaments, microtubules, and their associated proteins work within the cell, we feel it is important to first understand the interactions that occur at the molecular level. We also perform work in the area of drug/inhibitor design, nanoparticle pharmacokinetics and ligand gating in potassium channels. What makes all this research possible is the combination of advances in the fields of computer science and structural biology/biochemistry.
  • Shea Lab
  • Stacey Laboratory
  • Systems Biology and Drug Discovery Laboratory
      • The Systems Biology and Drug Discovery Lab, led by Professor Sriram Chandrasekaran, develops computer models for drug discovery and understanding cellular metabolism. Our recent research includes designing drug combinations for antibiotic resistant bacteria, developing a computer model of M. tuberculosis metabolism, and discovering a new mechanism of pathogen clearance by killer T-cells. We are also developing new methods to simulate the metabolism of microbes, cancer-and stem-cells.
  • Systems Biology of Human Diseases
      • The Systems Biology of Human Diseases Laboratory, under the direction of Professor Deepak Nagrath, is focused on both experimental and theoretical aspects of Cellular and Molecular Tissue Engineering, Metabolic Engineering, and Biomedicine with emphasis on clinical applications. Our research interests lie in the systems biology of metabolic diseases, specifically cancer. Our aim is to understand the role of metabolism in cancer progression, growth and metastasis. We use genetic and metabolic design principles to analyze healthy and diseased biological states. We are working to uncover the metabolic interactions between cancer cells and cells in neighboring tissue that support cancer growth and metastasis. Our research integrates both experimental and computational tools to develop a recipe for maintaining normal function of various organs. Our lab also makes a concerted effort to use engineering principles, such as multi-objective optimality and non-equilibrium thermodynamics to develop mathematical models for analyzing and understanding complex diseased states. The outcome of our work is to discover potential therapies that exploit metabolic vulnerabilities in cancer.
    • Thurber Laboratory 
    • The Violi Group
    • Watson Laboratory

Biomedical Imaging and Optics

  • Antonuk Laboratory
  • BioElectronic Vision Laboratory (BEVL)
    • The mission of BioElectronic Vision Lab (BEVL), led by Professor James Weiland, is to create and translate technological solutions for visual dysfunction. We investigate the fundamental mechanisms through which implantable and wearable electronic systems interact with the visual system and other sensory modalities, and the long term consequences of such systems on the functional and anatomical organization of the visual system. Based on this understanding, we create and optimize medical devices designed to improve the quality of life for the visually impaired.  The main projects in the lab include the bioelectronic retinal prosthesis and wearable smart camera. BEVL is currently funded by the National Eye Institute and the National Science Foundation.
  • CUOS Medical Group
  • Digital Image Processing Laboratory
  • Deng Laboratory
    • The ultimate goal of the Deng Lab, led by Professor Cheri Deng, is to develop new and improved strategies utilizing ultrasound technologies for the diagnosis and treatment of human diseases. Our research focus is to increase the mechanistic understanding of ultrasound interaction with biological systems and to employ the ensuing insight to diagnose and possibly treat human diseases. Research projects funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other agencies include ultrasound mediated drug and gene delivery for cancer treatment and gene therapy, high intensity focused ultrasound ablation of cardiac arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation, as well as quantitative ultrasound imaging for pancreatic cancer detection and treatment monitoring. Our work has been published in a variety of professional journals including Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology, Radiology, Annals of Biomedical Engineering, Journal of Controlled Release, Journal of Bacteriology, Biophysical Journal, Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Applied Physics Letter, and Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.
  • Fan Lab
      • Professor Xudong Fan's lab focuses on the development of novel bio/chemical sensor platform based on opto-fluidic ring resonators. As compared to regular waveguide-based sensors, ring resonator sensors will potentially feature low detection limit, low sample consumption, and large integration density. Both label-free and fluorescence-labeled detection protocols are used in either planar or spherical ring resonators. In addition to the detection of large bio-entities such as protein molecules and bacteria, this lab is also interested in small molecule detection, which is useful for drug discovery. Since the intensity of the light in a ring resonator can greatly be enhanced, nonlinear optical detection becomes possible. Dr. Fan’s lab is also dedicated to developing nonlinear optical sensors that can open up a new avenue to sensing transduction mechanisms. Nanophotonics is another research area in Dr. Fan’s lab. Fluorescent semiconductor quantum dots and metal nanoparticles will be used in combination with ring resonator technology. One current project is to achieve enhanced Raman scattering through the hybrid system of ring resonator and gold nanoparticles. Another project is to achieve organized arrays of semiconductor quantum dots and gold nanoparticles on a silicon wafer through nanoporous templating or self-assembly. Students in Dr. Fan’s lab will learn the optical waveguide/fiber, nanotechnologies, and optical biosensor theory and gain hands-on experience through research projects that are mentioned previously. Additionally, students are expected to join interdisciplinary research endeavor in such areas as waveguide fabrication, surface characterization, nanoparticle fabrication and manipulation, and biomolecule synthesis and immobilization.
  • Functional MRI Research Facility
  • Greve Laboratory
      • Professor Joan Greve and her lab focus on optimizing or developing preclinical imaging techniques (primarily MRI) to study vascular biology in a number of organ systems, in health and disease, using preclinical models of the human condition. Where appropriate, we collaborate with experts in computational fluid dynamics modeling, to complement experimental data. Primary biological questions of interest related to vascular biology concentrate on the cardiovascular and central nervous systems
  • Histotripsy Group
    • Professors Charles Cain and Zhen Xu, along with the rest of the Histotripsy Group, focus their research on developing non-invasive therapeutic ultrasound procedures for non-invasive surgeries and drug delivery. In particular, we are interested in the mechanical bioeffects through ultrasound induced acoustic cavitation. Acoustic cavitation is a phenomenon where rapid cycling from compression to rarefaction results in formation of microbubbles within the tissue. These bubbles have been observed to oscillate and violently collapse releasing tremendous energy. The net effect of cavitation is localized stresses and pressures that can mechanically fragment and subdivide the tissue resulting in cellular destruction. Our recent studies have shown that mechanical tissue fractionation can be achieved using a number of short, high intensity ultrasound pulses. At a tissue-fluid interface, histotripsy results in localized tissue removal with sharp boundaries, which we use to removal cardiac tissue in treatment of congenital heart disease. In bulk tissue, histotripsy produces mechanical fragmentation of tissue resulting in a liquefied cored with very sharply demarcated boundaries. Histology demonstrates treated tissue within the lesion is fragmented to subcelluar level surrounded by an almost imperceptibly narrow margin of cellular injury. We have been using the bulk tissue fractionation to develop treatment for prostate cancer and breast cancer. Histotripsy has potential has vast medical applications where non-invasive precise tissue ablation, removal or remodeling is needed.
  • Image-Guided Ultrasound Therapy Laboratory
  • Image Computing Laboratory
  • Microfluidic and Nanophotonics Laboratory (Sherman Fan Lab)
  • Microscopy & Image Analysis Laboratory
  • Noll Laboratory
      • Professor Doug Noll’s research is focused on the data acquisition and processing for imaging brain function using magnetic resonance imaging (functional MRI or fMRI). Projects include development of rapid image acquisition techniques, post-processing and analysis methods, methods for elimination of movement and other artifacts, characterization and quantification of the fMRI response through physiological modeling, development of systems and methods for parallel excitation in MRI, and development of image reconstruction methods. We are also interested in combining fMRI with other brain mapping modalities, including functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), electroencephalography (EEG), and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). In addition to methodological work described above, I collaborate closely with cognitive neuroscientists and statisticians on the design of fMRI experiments and processing methods.
  • Omar Laboratory
  • Optical Imaging Laboratory
      • The Optical Imaging Laboratory, under the direction of Professor Xueding Wang, is interested in the development of novel optical and ultrasound based imaging and sensing technologies, and their applications to biomedicine. A topic we are particularly interested in is photo-acoustic imaging which is also referred to as opto-acoustic imaging. Combining the advantages of light and sound, photoacoustic imaging techniques can achieve high-sensitive imaging in deep biological samples with excellent spatial resolution.  Potential clinical applications include inflammatory arthritis, breast cancer, prostate cancer, liver conditions, eye conditions, bowel disease, bladder cancer, and brain disorders. We are also interested in developing and application of nanoparticle agents either as contrast enhancers for diagnostic imaging or as carriers for drug delivering or both. These nanoparticles can be based on non-organic metallic materials such as gold or organic hydrogel.  Besides imaging, our lab is also interested in novel treatment technologies involving light and ultrasound, e.g. ultrasound-enhanced photomechanical therapy.
  • Orthopaedic Research Laboratories
  • Restorative Neuroengineering Group
  • Tessier Laboratory
  • Therapeutic Ultrasound Group
  • TheoRetical and Applied Chemodynamics
  • Thurber Laboratory
  • Wang Molecular Imaging Laboratory

Bio-Micro/Nanotechnology and Molecular Engineering

Engineering Education

  • The Belmont Lab
      • The Belmont Lab, led by Dr. Barry Belmont, is a place where learning happens, is shared, examined, and, if we’re lucky, at least partially understood. I’ve got some sense of the way I’d like engineering education to go and this is my embodiment of that philosophy. In a sense, these are educational experiments that I’ve tried my best at in hopes of someone doing it better in the future.
  • Rajapakse Laboratory
  • Transforming Engineering Education Laboratory (TEEL)
    • The Transforming Engineering Education co-Laboratory (TEEL), under the direction of Professor Aileen Huang-Saad, is committed to bridging the gap between education research and engineering instruction to enhance student learning. Distinct from traditional engineering disciplines and education research, this research lies at the intersection of engineering, education, and the social sciences. Members of the laboratory, with a deep understanding of engineering, leverage qualitative and quantitative education research methods to explore innovative means of transforming engineering programs to meet the changing roles of engineers in the global economy. Biomedical engineering graduate students have the option of pursuing their primary research in engineering education while completing one of the BME graduate concentrations to satisfy the master’s degree requirements and the Rackham Certificate in Engineering Education Research to fulfill their PhD requirements.  Students pursuing their primary research in a traditional BME research group, but also interested in engineering education, can pursue a smaller education project as a portion of their thesis with TEEL and/or pursue a U-M Teacher Certificate.

Neural Engineering

Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials