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College of Engineering & Science - Louisiana Tech University

Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical Engineering Research

Eric Guilbeau, Ph.D., Professor of Biomedical Engineering The Applied Biotechnology and Biosensors Laboratory, Location: Biomedical Engineering Building 224 (WEB PAGE)

Dr. Guilbeau develops thermoelectric methods for applied biotechnology and biosensors. Activities include the development of microfluidic devices that utilize thermoelectric sequencing by incorporation methods to sequence DNA for SNP detection and to detect DNA hybridization events. He also uses thermoelectric methods to design novel biosensors for the detection of biologically active substances that are important for normal and abnormal biological and physiological function and to create gas sensors that can detect biologically important substances in the breath or toxic substances in the environment. Both experimental and modeling approaches are used as part of the design, development and characterization activities.

Stanley A. Napper, Ph.D., Vice President of Research and Development, and Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Location: Wyly Tower 1629

Dr. Napper's role as Dean of Engineering allows him to participate at various levels in Engineering Education research. Earlier research activities have included Biomedical Engineering applications of artificial intelligence and mathematical modeling of physiological systems.

Randal E. Null, Ph.D., Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Location: Institute for Micromanufacturing 203

Dr. Null provides leadership to Louisiana Tech University and the State of Louisiana by providing national quality higher education in research and development areas that improve energy systems, cyberspace security, medical technology, fundamental nanotechnology processes, biological/chemical/physical sensors and other cutting edge science and technology.

Steven Jones, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering
The Biofluid Mechanics Laboratory, Location: Biomedical Engineering Building 233

Dr. Jones' research interests stem from biomedical applications of fluid dynamics. Applications include the improvement of Doppler ultrasound instruments for velocity measurement, modeling of pressure-flow relationships in the vascular access grafts used for dialysis, and modeling of the effects of transport and flow on the positive feedback and negative feedback control mechanisms for platelet activation and adhesion. The laboratory includes laser Doppler velocimetry equipment, a cone-in plate viscometer, a data acquisition computer, various PC computers, ultrasonic equipment, an anti-vibration table, a spectrum analyzer, physiological pressure transducers, Carolina Medical electromagnetic flow meters, a transit time flow meter, model manufacturing facilities, a single syringe infusion pump and a 10-syringe infusion pump.

Niel Crews, Ph.D., Director of Institute for Micromanufacturing, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering
The Biological Microfluidics Laboratory, Location: Biomedical Engineering Building 234

Dr. Crews' research interests focus on the creation, development and proliferation of microfluidic technologies for biomedical use. This research integrates the disciplines of Mechanical, Electrical, and Chemical Engineering with Biology and Physics. Activities include the design, fabrication, and testing of the device components, as well as the integration of these elements into functional systems. These operations are supported by the core laboratory facilities of the Institute for Microfabrication and the Biomedical Engineering Program.

Shengnian Wang, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering
The Biomolecule Nanoengineering and Cell Therapy Laboratory, Location: Institute for Micromanufacturing 112

Dr. Wang's research interests involve cell therapy and the nanoengineering of biomolecules. Activities include single DNA dynamics, microrheology and flow-guided assembly using biopolymers along with development of nano particles and nanodevices for non-viral cell therapy. Microfluidics and nanofluidics are integrated to offer such studies excellent platforms. Major equipment includes a CNC mill, an electroporator, a fluorescence microscope, and an atomic force microscope.

Sven Eklund, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Location: Carson-Taylor Hall 305

Dr. Eklund's research interests involve biosensors for use in monitoring of extracellular cell metabolism in various environments. Sensors are based on electrochemical or fluorescent signals and can measure multiple analytes simultaneously in real-time (glucose, lactate, oxygen, pH, Ca2+, etc.) This work also examines miniature biofuel cells for implantation in vivo to power miniature silicon microdevices; and electrodeposition, the use of ionic liquids for the deposition of tantalum for coating of medical implants.

Sumeet Dua, Ph.D., Upchurch Endowed Professor and Coordinator of IT Research, Location: Nethken Hall 235

Dr. Dua's research specialization is Data Mining, Computational Decision Support, Structural Bioinformatics Biological System Modeling, Multi-modality Fusion, and Biomedical Imaging. Dr. Dua’s laboratory designs and implements high-performance algorithms and software “Cybertools” for data mining and computerized learning. These algorithmic tools discover, classify, and exploit trends, patterns, and anomalies in large volumes of data. The laboratory also develops unsupervised and supervised algorithmic routines for sequential, temporal, and associative pattern discovery in spatio-temporal spaces. These algorithmic routines have applications in gene expression and protein sequence/structure datasets based analytics (supported by NIH). Recent efforts have focused on extracting and isolating protein structural features that sustain invariance in evolutionary-related proteins through the integrated and localized analysis of hydrophobicity and other physico-chemical properties. Dr. Dua’s team is currently investigating such methods (for NASA) to computationally characterize biological resistance to freezing, desiccation, and radiation, to improve technologies for the detection and sampling of microorganisms under conditions similar to those found on the surface of Mars. Other applications of such data-mining methods include automated detection, identification, and tracking of patterns of (hostile) “targets” using multi-sensor satellite imagery and network data (for the U.S. Air Force).

Mark DeCoster, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering
The Cellular Neuroscience Lab, Location: Biomedical Engineering Building 235

Dr. DeCoster's laboratory is designed for biochemical and digital imaging analysis of cellular events in the brain. Current planned activities include brain cell inflammatory responses, digital imaging of apoptosis in normal and brain tumor cells and response of brain glial cells to injury. Major equipment includes PC- and Mac-based imaging workstations (4); motorized inverted fluorescence microscope with digital camera (Leica).

Yuri Voziyanov, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of the School of Biological Sciences/Institute for Micromanufacturing, Location: Carson-Taylor Hall 121

Dr. Voziyanov's research interests include advanced genome engineering, DNA recombination: Protein-DNA Interactions. There are two main directions of our current research: advanced genome engineering using tailor-made sit-specific DNA recombinases and cell replacement in tissues using genetically modified adult stem cells.

Long Que, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering/Institute for Micromanufacturing
The Micro-Nano-Systems Laboratory, Location: Institute for Micromanufacturing L-8

Dr. Que's laboratory seeks to utilize and synthesize micro and nanoscale materials, develop novel micro and nanodevices, and micro and nanosystems to advance the research in life science, biomedical engineering, medicine, and environment energy harvesting.

Jim Spaulding, Ph.D., Director of Biological Support Services, Professor Emeritus of the School of Biological Sciences The Molecular Signaling Laboratory, Location: Biomedical Engineering Building 133

This laboratory focus is on the use of naturally occurring, biologically active molecules to control the activities of specific cells or functional groups of cells in the treatment of disease processes. Work is carried out in conjunction with the Institute for Therapeutic Discovery, Delanson, New York.

Yuri Lvov, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry

The Nanoassembly Laboratory, Location: Institute for Micromanufacturing L-7, Biomedical Engineering Building 236

Dr. Lvov's laboratory focus is on developing nanotechnology including nanoassembly of ultrathin organized films, bio/nanocomposites, nano/construction of ordered shells on tiny templates (drug nanocapsules, shells on microbes and viruses), clay nanotubes for controlled release of bioactive agents. Yuri Lvov was among the pioneers of the polyelectrolyte layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly, a nanotechnology method which, after the first papers in 1993, was followed by many thousands of publications by researchers from all over the world. LbL nanoassembly has already been used in industrial applications for eye lens modification, improvement of cellulose fiber for better fabric and paper, microcapsules for insulin sustained release, cancer drug nanocapsules, and others. The basic principle of our research is nanoarchitectonic, and we develop: 1) nanoassembly approach in biomimetic engineering; 2) smart nanocontainers, nanocapsules and nanotubes for drug targeted and controlled delivery; stem cell and microbe encapsulation; 3) integrated nano/micro/macro-organized tissue scaffolds (in collaboration with Mark DeCoster and David Mills).

Daniela Mainardi, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering/Nanosystems Engineering/Institute for Micromanufacturing The Nano/BioTechnology Modeling Laboratory, Location: Institute for Micromanufacturing 103

Dr. Mainardi's laboratory uses a theory-guided computational approach to get insight into critical areas in nano/bio technology for energy applications. Among them are the study of complex metal hydrides as hydrogen storage materials and enzyme reactions for environmental catalysis applications. Modeling and simulation capabilities available in the lab include a 16-node Xeon cluster of 3.06 GHz dual Xeon workstations, a 10 nodes-cluster of 800MHz dual alpha workstations and 8 Mini-Tower Dual Core Xeon Proc 5130 2.00 GHz dual workstations. Nanotechnology and biotechnology modeling and simulation software includes a campus wide license for Gaussian 03 and GaussView, Linda parallel library with license for the Xeon cluster and the Alpha cluster, Materials Studio for Quantum Mechanical calculations (DMOL3), Molecular mechanics and Dynamics (Forcite Plus and Discover), CASTEP and CPMD for Ab Initio Molecular Dynamics, NWCHEM, NAMD for molecular dynamics with VMD for visualization, MPI parallel libraries, DLPoly 3.0 (for molecular dynamics) and Carlos 4.0 for kinetic Monte Carlo studies.

D. Patrick O'Neal, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering
The Nano Particle Training and Manufacturing Laboratory, Location: Biomedical Engineering Building 136

Dr. O'Neal's laboratory focuses on biomedical optics and nanotechnology for the support of cancer detection, treatment, and management. Current activities include optical sensing and imaging, development of optically-active nanoparticles for detection, imaging, and drug delivery, surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy for bio-assays, and nanomaterial toxicity assessment. Major equipment includes a PTI Dual Monochromator Fluorescence Spectrometer, fiber optic equipment (Thor Labs), a Beckman Coulter DU-800 UV-Vis Spectrophotometer, and a Raman Systems R3000-HR Raman Spectrometer: portable system with 785nm laser.

Teresa Murray, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering Research The Integrated Neuroscience Imaging Laboratory, Location: Biomedical Engineering Building 132 

Dr. Murray’s research goals are to expand the reach and functionality of micro-optics for neuroscience applications and to create living bio-optical systems using molecular and cellular engineering. She plans to incorporate electrodes for field potential recording into implantable micro-optic devices and perform time-course experiments. Her main aim is to connect receptor dynamics, neural circuit function and behavior through in vivo fluorescence imaging, neural recording and behavioral experiments. This concerted approach will streamline experiments, enable unparalleled comparative analysis and elucidate connections not possible using multiple, discrete experiments. Additionally, this system will facilitate studies of neural dynamics and behavior in drug addiction, neurodegeneration, and stem cell therapy. While her focus has been on neuroscience, the tools and techniques she has developed have broad applications for life sciences and translational research.

Support Laboratories

The Animal Care Facility (Biomedical Engineering Building 129 through 148)

The Animal Care Facility is a controlled-access facility located in the Biomedical Engineering building. These laboratories (Biomedical Engineering Building 129 through 148) occupy a total of 4,430 sq. ft., and the director's office and animal-related research laboratories occupy 1,700 sq. ft. A surgical suite, a cage washing area/autoclave room, storage, a necropsy laboratory, and nine individual animal housing rooms with ventilated cage racks that have individual electronic access control occupy 2,730 sq. ft. of space. The animals are monitored on a daily basis by the director or his designated employee. The university has a veterinarian on staff who is a member of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). He and the director provide training to research animal users. The University has an arrangement with the Licensed Laboratory Animal Veterinarian at Louisiana State University Medical Center in Shreveport for specialized assistance, when needed.

The Biomedical Engineering Building Common Laboratory (Biomedical Engineering Building 221)

This laboratory houses a set of shared equipment that is available to all of the faculty and students performing research in the Biomedical Engineering Building. Major pieces of equipment in this laboratory are a PC digital image analysis workstation, two refrigerator-freezers (to -20 ˚C), a chemical hood, a lyophilizer, a streaming potential instrument, a tensile strength instrument, a liquid scintillation counter, a centrifuge, a microbalance-scale, a pH meter, and an upright microscope.

The Tissue Engineering and Cell Culture Laboratory (Biomedical Engineering Building 220B and 240)

This laboratory has been designed to investigate the effects of hemodynamic phenomena on the behavior of vascular cells, (endothelial cells, platelets, smooth muscle cells, osteoblasts) as related to atherosclerosis, intimal hyperplasia, thrombosis, bone growth, and micromanufactured cell substrates. The laboratory includes a laminar fume hood, an environmentally-controlled flow chamber, an imaging microscope, an injection-flow apparatus (syringe pump), an incubator, a centrifuge, a refrigerator, and a plate reader. The laboratory is jointly funded by CyBERS and the School of Biological Sciences.

The Imaging and Nanopatterning Laboratory (Biomedical Engineering Building 239)

This laboratory contains a Bioforce Nanoscience Nano-Enabler for patterning biological substances with nanoscale precision onto substrates. The room also contains an Olympus MTV-3 stereo microscope with a Leica DFC500 camera, three Dell Precision imaging workstations, and a Suss MicroTek micropositioning station.