Interdisciplinary Collaboration Grants Program

The Division of Research established the Interdisciplinary Collaboration Grants (ICG) Program to provide funds to facilitate the development of collaborations at Binghamton University. This program is for investigators who seek to enhance their research opportunities through collaboration and may include projects that represent a new research agenda. Proposals from all areas of scholarship are encouraged.

Two projects received funding in the program's 2015-16 round of awards:

"A Sustainable and Trustworthy Biometric Approach to Secure Telemedicine and mHealth"

Principal Investigators and Departments: 

Zhanpeng Jin (Electrical and Computer Engineering), 
Linke Guo (Electrical and Computer Engineering) and 
Gary James (Anthropology)

Recent advances in wearable sensing and wireless technologies have promoted the use of mobile-based health monitoring and diagnostic systems. One critical but often overlooked aspect of this telehealth paradigm is the security and privacy issues. Sensitive medical information must be protected from unauthorized use for personal advantage and from fraudulent acts that might be hazardous to a user's life. To address the increasing needs of trustworthy personalized healthcare, in this research we propose to synergistically combine both the uniqueness of individuals’ electrocardiogram (ECG) signals and the secrecy of cryptographic primitives into a trustworthy biometric approach to secure telemedicine and mHealth. On one hand, ECG signals can not only provide a wealth of information indicating an individual’s health status, but also contain a variety of morphological and temporal characteristics unique to an individual, which can be used as a biometric. On the other hand, by making use of physiological signals and characteristic features that have been available through regular biomedical signal sensing and processing for diagnostic purposes, additional costs required for cryptographic key generation can be minimized. The multifaceted use of recorded physiological signals, for both medical diagnostics and security, will substantially save resources and energy on personal wearable and mobile devices. 


"Optimization of a Nanodelivery System for Enhanced Treatment of Biofilm-Related Infections"

Principal Investigators and Departments:

Amber Doiron (Biomedical Engineering) and
Karin Sauer (Biology)

Bacterial infections are common complication of burn wounds, with surface-associated communities of bacteria known as biofilms forming within human burn wounds within 10-24 h of thermal injury. The presence of biofilms in burns is problematic as biofilms are recalcitrant to killing by antimicrobial agents, thus rendering conventional treatment strategies ineffective, with 75% of extensively burned patients dying as a consequence of severe infection. Recent evidence suggests that biofilms require a certain metabolite for both growth and maintenance, with enzymatic depletion of that metabolite impairing biofilm formation and enhancing biofilm disaggregation. However, the enzyme quickly loses its activity at physiological temperature and pH. In order to prolong the activity of the enzyme, we have developed a nanoparticle to encapsulate and protect it. Preliminary results show that we are able to encapsulate up to 10% of the enzyme in the final formulation, with encapsulated enzyme retaining bioactivity, and enzyme-loaded nanoparticles inducing biofilm dispersion in vitro. The goal of this proposed ICG project is to increase the encapsulation of enzyme in biocompatible nanoparticles while maintaining enzyme activity for the highest possible impact on biofilms to translate this as a viable drug delivery formulation. 

Last Updated: 10/7/16