New Assistant Professor of Bioengineering Gretchen Mahler uses cell culture models to examine drug toxicity and cell behavior during disease. She creates a "body on a chip" – that's just larger than a peanut – by putting living cells (e.g. liver, kidney, etc.) into chambers etched onto silicon – liquid substances introduced to the chip pass through very small channels and interact with these cells. Mahler then analyzes these cells to determine how different drugs are absorbed into the body and how they interact with tissues.
Recent advances in the fields of biology, mathematics and physics have resulted in the development of a new field of engineering, commonly referred to as bioengineering. It encompasses the areas of biological, physiological, medical and social systems, as well as other fields in which the design, development or modification of complex, knowledge-intensive systems is a requirement.
Bioengineering, like other fields of engineering, educates individuals in the art of product and process development for the improvement of human health and quality of life. It is a unique science-based engineering discipline that not only draws on the sciences but engineering sciences and the liberal arts as well, so as to educate a well-rounded student.
Our students delve into exciting topics — such as biodevices, biomechanics and bioinformatics — while developing vital analytical and creative thinking skills and a strong ethical foundation preparing them to tackle a variety of healthcare issues.
Last Updated: 12/6/13