Biomedical Engineering Center (BEC)
The activities of the Center for Biomedical Engineering and Rehabilitation Science (CBERS) are conducted in a number of state-of the-art research facilities located on the Louisiana Tech campus and in the facilities of our partner institutions. These facilities include Tech's new Biomedical Engineering Center (BEC), the facilities of Tech's Center for Rehabilitation Engineering, Science and Technology (CREST), the world-class micromanufacturing capabilities of Tech's Institute for Micromanufacturing (IfM), Tech's Center for Entrepreneurship and Information Technology (CENIT) and the University's Technology Transfer Center.
CBERS members also have access to Louisiana's Optical Network Initiative (LONI), one of the most advanced optical networks in the country along with the the most powerful distributed supercomputer resource available to any academic community. Members also benefit from Tech's state-of-the-art computing and information infrastructure. Tech's Prescott Memorial Library provides the modern tools commonly used by researchers to retrieve scientific literature.
New Biomedical Engineering Center (BEC)
Many of the research laboratories and faculty offices for for CBERS members are located in the new 52,000 square foot Biomedical Engineering Center (BEC), shown in the figure above. The building was dedicated in May of 2007 and contains CBERS administrative offices, faculty offices for CBERS membership, an animal care facility, research laboratories, a conference room, rooms for research seminars and workshops, and a business incubator. The facility and equipment are valued at over $13M dollars. The Biomedical Engineering Center is physically adjoined to the Institute for Micromanufacturing, a modern micromechanical miniaturization design and manufacturing facility that complements the activities conducted in the Biomedical Engineering Center. Research activities within CBERS includes nanoscience, cellular modeling, biotransport, phenomena, neuroscience, neural engineering, rehabilitation engineering, biomaterials engineering, tissue engineering, biomicro/nanodevices and systems, and drug delivery.
Offices and Support Facilities
Many of CBERS's research faculty and staff have offices in the Biomedical Engineering Center or the adjoining Institute for Micromanufacturing. The Administrative support staff for CBERS are located on the first floor adjacent to the main entrances to the building. The 290 square foot office includes space for the program's administrative coordinator and our student workers. Near the program office is the Center's support area which includes a FAX machine, copying equipment, faculty mailboxes and office supplies. There is also an office in the area that is used for visiting researchers. The office of the CBERS Director (Dr. Eric J. Guilbeau) is located on the second floor.
BEC Conference Room
Seminars and Workshop Rooms
The following figure shows one of the rooms within the Biomedical Engineering Building that is available for seminars and workshops. It includes tables, to accommodate up to 40 attendees. The tables have rollers so that the furniture can be easily reconfigured depending upon the need. The facility includes a computer projection system, a combination VCR/DVD player, and wireless networking.
The Biomedical Engineering Classroom (BEC 157)
Most of CBERS's research laboratories are located in the Biomedical Engineering Center or in the Institute for Micromanufacturing. They include individual faculty research laboratories and core research support laboratories containing specialized research equipment that is available for use by all CBERS members.
Faculty Research Laboratories
The Biofluid Mechanics Laboratory (Steven Jones, BEC 233)
This laboratory is used to measure velocities and flows in models of arteries, to test methods of measuring flow velocity through new approaches to Doppler ultrasound, and to examine the effect of mechanical stress and chemical agents on platelet adhesion. The flow models may be three-dimensional representations of human artery bifurcations, or they may be more idealized models which are used to study specific responses of blood-borne cells. 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.
The NanoParticle Training and Manufacturing Laboratory (D. Patrick O'Neal, BEC 133A)
This laboratory focuses on biomedical optics and nanotechnology for detection, treatment, and management of cancer. A series of specialized instruments designed to work with small (<100 μL) sample sizes analyze and quantify many critical characteristics of nanoparticles designed for use with in vitro or in vivo applications. These same techniques have broad applicability in other disciplines of interest to Louisiana Tech's education and research. 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.
The Cellular Neuroscience Laboratory(Mark DeCoster, BEC 235)
This laboratory is a facility for biochemical and digital imaging analysis of cellular events in the brain. Areas of study include: brain cell inflammatory responses, apoptosis in normal and brain tumor cells, and the response of brain glial cells to injury. Major equipment in this lab includes four PC- or Mac-based imaging workstations and a motorized inverted fluorescence microscope with a Leica digital camera.
The Applied Biotechnology and Biosensors Laboratory (Eric J. Guilbeau, BEC 224)
This laboratory 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.
Core Research Support Laboratories
The Animal Care Facility (BEC 129 through 148)
This laboratory is a 4,430 square foot, controlled-access facility located in the Biomedical Engineering Center. The director's office and animal-related research laboratories occupy 1,700 square feet. 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 square feet 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 (BEC 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 Center. 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, sn AKTA Prime Protein Purification System, an Advanced Chemtech Apex 396 protein synthesizer, and an upright microscope.
The Tissue Engineering and Cell Culture Laboratory (BEC 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 CBERS and the School of Biological Sciences.
The Imaging and Nanopatterning Laboratory (BEC 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.
Center for Rehabilitation Engineering, Science and Technology (CREST)
CBERS Rehabilitation activities are primarily housed at the Center for Rehabilitation Engineering, Science and Technology facility, a 40,000 sq. ft. Center (see figure below) that is near the main campus. CREST maintains specialized service laboratories that provides assistive technology and training services in the areas of activities of daily living, augmentative and alternative communication, computer access, driver rehabilitation and transportation, rehabilitation engineering, and seating and wheeled mobility. The rehabilitation technology/services staff have a regional and national reputation for providing quality services to consumers and for providing education programs to service providers.
Center for Rehabilitation Engineering, Science and Technology
The laboratory provides a complete evaluation of an individual's potential to operate a motor vehicle. An individualized prescription includes recommendations for vehicle selection, appropriate adaptive aids and devices, and vehicle modifications.
Seating and Positioning Mobility
This laboratory addresses the seating and corrective postural needs of individuals with severe physical disabilities. Clinical staff can prescribe a wheelchair seating system to provide better body alignment, normalize muscle tone, and inhibit abnormal reflexes.
This laboratory provides comprehensive evaluations for persons who are unable to use speech and/or writing to fully meet their communication needs. The interdisciplinary team includes a speech pathologist, occupational therapist, and adaptive equipment specialist. The augmentative communication laboratory is equipped with numerous communication aids that reflect the most recent advances in technology.
Center staff maintains a current collection of catalogs, brochures and print material on special equipment for persons with physical challenges. Cost and purchasing information are provided as well as evaluative data, when available. The laboratory also has access to the ABLEDATA network and is a primary dissemination point for the CONET desktop database.
Activities of Daily Living
Clinical staff in this laboratory evaluate an individual's ability to perform activities of daily living while using adaptive equipment or compensatory techniques. Numerous assistive devices are used during the evaluation including aids for eating, cooking, dressing, bathing and controlling appliances.
Rehabilitation engineers on staff with the Center travel throughout the state visiting disabled clients in their homes, schools, or worksites. After a careful evaluation, the goal of the engineer is to provide practical and economical solutions to the client's problems.
The Institute for MicroManufacturing (IfM)
The Institute for Micromanufacturing includes 41,000 square feet of laboratory and office space dedicated to meet the research and development needs of academia and industry in the area of miniaturization and micromanufacturing. Laboratories occupy 20,000 sq. ft. of environmentally controlled workspace, containing 5,000 sq. ft. of modular clean rooms with fully certified class 1000 and class 100 working areas.
The laboratory facilities provide a full suite of micro and nanofabrication processing capabilities (e.g., e-beam, X-ray, and optical lithographies, bulk and surface micromachining, ion and laser processing), and measurement and characterization tools (e.g., SEM, AFM/STM, RST, etc.) and a complementary Micromachining Processes Laboratory (diamond, microdrilling/milling/EDM, laser, etc.). In addition, the laboratory area houses a laboratory-based teaching and training facility, electronics assembly/test laboratory, a hot embossing/ injection molding laboratory, a nine station plating laboratory. Scattered throughout the laboratory facility are offices and smaller laboratories where guest researchers from industry or academia may reside. The facility also has a dedicated area for the teaching and training of undergraduate and graduate students, industrial participants, visiting researchers, and IfM faculty and staff.
The Institute for MicroManufacturing (IfM)
Wired network connections are available in all offices and rooms and seamless secure wireless network access is available campus-wide. Most wired network connections are 100 Mb Ethernet and a limited number of gigabit Ethernet connections available. With the university having a class 'B' Internet address space, no network address translation (NAT) devices are needed. All connections in academic buildings have direct access to Internet 2 and Louisiana Optical Network Initiative (LONI) computers. Through LONI, faculty and other researchers have access to the National LambdaRail.
Louisiana Tech is one of five nodes on a statewide supercomputing grid consisting of five 112-processor IBM p5-575 supercomputers connected by the high-bandwidth (40 Gbps) LONI, which is in turn tied to the National Lambda Rail. In 2008, a 512-processor Dell cluster housed on campus will join five others around the state and a central 5,440-processor Dell system in Baton Rouge to form the most powerful distributed supercomputer resource available to any academic community. The LONI network provides primary access to the Internet. An additional AT&T DS-3 line (45 Mbps) serves as a backup connection.
Students have access to wireless internet throughout the Louisiana Tech campus. Recently, a requirement was established that all incoming students in COES have a laptop computer. The recommended minimum configuration for the computer is:
The Prescott Memorial Library provides a wide array of resources and services, including an increasing number of services that are delivered electronically. Traditional library resources include 400,000 books, 500,000 microforms, and 2700 periodical subscriptions. The library is a U.S. Government Documents Regional Depository, one of only 53 in the nation, a U.S. Map Depository, and a State of Louisiana Documents Depository. The library houses over 2,000,000 government documents. In addition to these traditional materials, the library has numerous electronic resources available.
Library services are available to provide access to additional resources in several ways. The Interlibrary Services department provides rapid response to requests by using a web request form, digital technologies are used to provide Internet document delivery, Carl Uncover provides fax document delivery, and a statewide courier service provides book delivery. The time between an Interlibrary Loan Request and receipt of material (including books) is often 24 hours.
The Louisiana Tech University Library subscribes to the American Library Association's Inter-Library Load Code which makes virtually every major College and University library available to Tech's faculty and graduate students. The library is a member of SOLINET/OCLC. Through this organization the library can request materials for interlibrary loan from over 2,000 libraries electronically.
The Louisiana Tech Library is a member of LaLINC, Louisiana Academic Library Information Network Consortium, representing the academic libraries of Louisiana. LaLINC is the sponsor of LOUIS, Louisiana Online University Information Systems, an online network of library catalogs. The Tech Library subscribes to and makes available through the campus and engineering computing networks CARL Uncover. Uncover provides through the Internet access to table of contents of over 14,000 periodicals. The Uncover database is updated daily. Faculty orders from CARL are underwritten by the University.
The library offers computer-assisted bibliographic retrieval through DIALOG. The computer service operates on a cost-recovery basis and is available to all member of the Louisiana Tech University community. The library provides bibliographic instruction, reserved book services, book ordering, special class assignment instruction, and thesis binding.