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Department Research Areas

Our faculty and staff work in a broad array of research areas, some of which are directly supported by graduate programs. For information on our graduate technical divisions, view our Graduate Handbook.



Bioengineers working in this area develop new algorithms and computational strategies to understand and support the design of biological and biomedical systems. BIOE researchers are using advanced computer simulations to explore how molecular behavior dictates macroscopic-scale properties of biological systems. 

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Biomolecular Engineering

BIOE researchers working in this area carry out the purposeful manipulation of biological molecules. These researchers integrate knowledge of biological processes with advanced understanding of chemical engineering to focus on molecular-level solutions to challenges related to cancer therapeutics, infectious disease diagnostics, and food production. 

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Biomaterials are highly valuable in human health research, as they can be utilized to mimic the 3D tissue microenvironment in areas such as asthma, cancer, diabetes, and orthopaedics. Our researchers are taking a highly interdisciplinary approach to create in vitro models of multiscale biological systems to understand disease pathogenesis.

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Biomechanics & Mechanobiology

Our biomechanics and mechanobiology research programs span molecular, cellular, and tissue levels. Our mechanobiology labs are investigating how physical cues of the microenvironment affect cell and extracellular matrix behaviors involved in tissue homeostasis, healing, and disease progression. 

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Drug Delivery

Drug delivery is the method or process of administering a pharmaceutical compound to achieve a therapeutic effect in humans or animals. BIOE researchers working in this area are developing new techniques to target therapeutics to hard-to-reach areas in the body, such as within the lymph node and beyond the blood-brain barrier.

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Medical Devices

A convergence of advanced optics, microfabrication, and bionanotechnology is redefining medical care in the United States. Fischell Department of Bioengineering researchers – along with researchers from the Robert E. Fischell Institute for Biomedical Devices – are working to transform basic research into medical devices that can be brought to market to advance human health. 

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Optical Technologies & Imaging

Researchers working in this area are developing multi-scale, multi-modality optical imaging technology with applications such as early cancer detection, neuroimaging, diagnosis of eye disease, and laparoscopic surgery. They are also developing novel techniques to map properties – such as cell elasticity and stiffness – that are difficult or impossible to measure with traditional techniques. Even more, they are building their own instruments to further advance biological research.

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Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine

Bioengineers working in these disciplines perform advanced human health research to replace or regenerate diseased or damaged tissues, organs, and cells. Bio-inspired materials and devices are created to repair injured or damaged tissues and organs. The multidisciplinary approaches in our department include utilizing biomaterials, 3D printing, stem cells, and bioreactors, with particular focus on bone, cartilage, tendon/ligament,  nerves, vasculature, retina, and skeletal muscle. 

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