December 3, 2021

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Biomedical Engineering Department celebrates 2020-21 research, student and alumni achievements

Department of Biomedical Engineering Professor Kaiming Ye, department chair, and Associate Professor Guy Germandeveloped a system that uses ultraviolet light to sterilize personal protective equipment in the early days of the pandemic. It was quickly deployed by local hospitals. Department of Biomedical Engineering Professor Kaiming Ye, department chair, and Associate Professor Guy Germandeveloped a system that uses ultraviolet light to sterilize personal protective equipment in the early days of the pandemic. It was quickly deployed by local hospitals.
Department of Biomedical Engineering Professor Kaiming Ye, department chair, and Associate Professor Guy Germandeveloped a system that uses ultraviolet light to sterilize personal protective equipment in the early days of the pandemic. It was quickly deployed by local hospitals. Image Credit: Jonathan Cohen.

The Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Thomas J. Watson College of Engineering and Applied Science has had a productive academic year in 2020-21, despite the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Research news

A new study from PhD student Niranjana Dhandapani and Associate Professor Guy German could change the way that medical professionals and scientists think about the long-term effects of skin immersion in water. The researchers tested samples of stratum corneum (the outer layer of human skin) from subjects 27 to 87 years old. After 12 hours of immersion, the skin loses plasticity because of reduced ability to hold water. It also depletes both lipids and natural moisturizing factors, which can lead to long-term problems.

Assistant Professor Fake “Frank” Lu is researching the increased formation of lipid droplets in gliomas cancer cells. The organelles are essentially packets of fat and oils that play multiple metabolic functions in healthy cells, but it has proven difficult to study them in living specimens. Lu determined the right laser power levels and used the technology to image live cells without staining or other chemical labels, giving the best view yet of what is happening inside cancer cells.

Watson College and the Division of Research awarded $25,000 each to three BME faculty members to facilitate new research collaborations between Watson faculty and UHS colleagues. They are Assistant Professor Ying Wang, Assistant Professor Ahyeon Koh and Professor Kaiming Ye, chair of the Biomedical Engineering Department.

The State University of New York awarded a grant to Professor Kaiming Ye as part of its new Prepare Innovation and Internship Program. He will lead a team to develop an LED ultraviolet-C lighting system for disinfecting airborne COVID-19 viruses in a closed space. This system will be designed for installation in indoor spaces such as an office, subway, restaurant or gym to eradicate SARS-CoV-2 from the surface, air or circulating air with minimal health concerns and help to restore indoor activities.

Faculty news

Emeritus Bartle Professor George Catalano has a new book titled Engineering Design: An Organic Approach to Solving Complex Problems in the Modern World. It provides a wide range of design tools, a discussion of various design methodologies, a brief history of modern engineering and a substantive consideration of engineering ethics.

Student news

PhD candidate Melissa Mendoza won an honorable mention in the vitro models session of the LatinX BME Symposium for her short talk titled “Late-Stage Calcific Aortic Valve Disease within a Valve-on-a-chip Model of the Aortic Valve Fibrosa.”

Biomedical engineering students Matthew Brown and Sebastian Freeman have each been awarded the Graduate School Student Excellence Award in Research. They have shown excellent achievement in their dissertation research and collaborative research in multiple research groups.

Alumni news

The Binghamton University Alumni Association honored Guru Madhavan, MBA ’07, PhD ’09, with the Edward Weisband Distinguished Alumnus/a Award for Public Service or Contribution to Public Affairs. Madhavan is the Norman R. Augustine Senior Scholar and senior program director at the National Academy of Engineering. He also co-edited the latest issue of NAE: The Bridge.

Donor news

Frank Appell ’68 says diversity at Binghamton University and Watson College is one reason why he chose to make a planned gift to the Department of Biomedical Engineering. “I don’t necessarily think of it as leaving a legacy,” he says. “Rather, I want to invest in the future. None of us are here forever, and you want to make sure the future is sound.”