November 17, 2014
New Ultrasound Imaging Patent Issued for Professor McAleavey
The patent titled
Methods and Systems for Spatially Modulated Ultrasound Radiation Force Imaging(US 8753277) has recently been assigned to the UR with inventor Stephen A. McAleavey. The patent describes a new method for using ultrasound to determine the shear modulus of a tissue noninvasively. Changes in shear modulus of tissues can be associated with certain pathologies, such as cancer and liver fibrosis. Thus, Professor McAleavey’s new ultrasound technology holds great promise for increasing early detection and diagnosis of disease in patients. Stephen McAleavey is an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and member of the Rochester Center for Biomedical Ultrasound (RCBU).
November 6, 2014
Jonathan Macoskey Wins ASA Undergraduate Research Award
Jonathan Macoskey (BME Class 2015) was the recipient of the 2014 Robert W. Young Award for Undergraduate Student Research in Acoustics from the Acoustical Society of America. The Robert W. Young Award will provide resources for Jonathan to complete his proposed research project focused on developing a high-frequency ultrasound technique to visualize and quantify material properties of engineered tissue constructs. Jonathan is an undergraduate research assistant working in Professor Diane Dalecki's biomedical ultrasound laboratory, and his project contributes to a joint collaboration between Professor Dalecki and Professor Denise Hocking (Pharmacology and Physiology) dedicated to developing new ultrasound technologies for tissue engineering.
October 17, 2014
HHMI Med-into-Grad Fellowship
Prashant Verma has been accepted into the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Med-into-Grad Fellowship in Cardiovascular Science. This prestigious HHMI sponsored URMC fellowship augments traditional Ph.D. training with clinical rotations, a clinical co-mentor, a weekly Cardiovascular Research Institute seminar series, and translational cardiovascular coursework to train the next generation of bench-to-bedside cardiovascular scientists. Prashant received the fellowship based on his application titled,
Using plane wave elastography to estimate the viscoelastic parameters of the vascular tissue.Prashant is a Ph.D. candidate in the ECE department mentored by Professor Marvin Doyley.
October 4, 2014
Karla Mercado Attends NextProf Workshop
Karla Mercado attended the NextProf 2014 Future Faculty Workshop held at the University of Michigan from September 30th to October 3rd, where she gave a presentation on her doctoral research entitled “Developing high-frequency ultrasound imaging techniques to characterize 3-D engineered tissues.” The conference was sponsored by the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan and participants included deans, faculty, post-docs, and graduate students from across the nation.
The conference held sessions that provided guidance and tips for a successful career in academia, especially in engineering. Topics included: preparing for the faculty search process, promoting oneself, developing a teaching philosophy, building a research program, balancing work and personal life, managing time, making the most out of service responsibilities, and setting an effective writing schedule. The professors and administrators who moderated the sessions also shared personal experiences and lessons that they had learned throughout their academic careers. Participants were given a tour of their respective departments and research labs at the university.
“It was a very rewarding experience that exceeded my expectations.” Karla says, “After the conference, I had the opportunity to meet with the ultrasound group at the University of Michigan… overall my experience was invaluable and enlightening.”
October 3, 2014
Professor Diane Dalecki and Professor Denise Hocking Receive NIH Grant
Diane Dalecki, Ph.D. (BME) and Denise C. Hocking, Ph.D. (Pharmacology & Physiology) have received a $2 million grant from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) for their project titled
Ultrasound standing wave fields for vascular engineering. The goal of this 4-year project is to advance a novel ultrasound technology to fabricate complex, functional microvascular networks within three-dimensional engineered constructs.
Collaborators on this project are Maria Helguera, Ph.D. (Imaging Sciences, RIT), Ingrid Sarelius, Ph.D. (Pharmacology & Physiology) and Angela Glading, Ph.D. (Pharmacology & Physiology).
New, versatile vascularization strategies are needed to produce small-scale 3D tissue models and are critical for the fabrication of large-scale engineered tissues. The noninvasive capacity of ultrasound also enables innovative capabilities for fabricating microvessel networks within hydrogels injected within tissues. The successful completion of this project will provide new tools for tissue engineering and for a variety of clinical reconstructive and vascular surgery applications.
September 15, 2014
Nayak Recognized for Outstanding Presentation at ITEC 2014
Rohit Nayak, a Ph.D. candidate in Professor Marvin Doyley's lab, attended and presented at the 2014 International Tissue Elasticity Conference which took place in Snowbird, UT from September 7-10, 2014. Rohit was awarded Second Place in the Best Student Oral Presentation Awards. The presentation - co-authored by Prof. Doyley and Ph.D. candidate Prashant Verma - was titled
Multi-element synthetic aperture vascular elastography for carotid imaging.
March 10, 2014
Tissue engineering has resulted in some remarkable achievements: skin substitutes, cartilage replacements, artificial bladders, urethral segments, blood vessels, bronchial tubes and corneal tissue substitutes.
But these advances have been confined primarily to fairly simple organs comprised of thin structures, Denise Hocking, Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Physiology, noted at last week’s Crossing Elmwood seminar.
Attempts to fabricate larger, more complex organs have been stymied by two challenges:
- The need for patterning technologies that can reconstruct more complex tissue organizations.
- Maintaining cell viability with a sufficient vasculature of veins and arteries to supply oxygen and nutrients, and carry off waste products.
In thin tissues you can get away with this because oxygen and nutrients can diffuse across a few hundred microns; in larger tissues you’re limited by lack of blood supply and lack of oxygen, Hocking noted.
Hocking and Diane Dalecki, Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Director of the Rochester Center for Biomedical Ultrasound, believe that ultrasound -- the same technology that images fetuses in the womb, and breaks up kidney stones -- can help surmount those challenges.
For example, their research collaboration has demonstrated that when an ultrasound standing wave field is developed within a solution containing cells, those cells will move to the equally spaced pressure nodes in the field, forming cell layers. By changing the frequency, the space between those layers can be adjusted; by changing intensity, the density of cells within those layers can be changed, all in three dimensions.
These changes can be locked in by using a collagen solution, which can be polymerized with heat.
Moreover, when this is done using endothelial cells as precursors for blood vessels, micro-vessels begin “sprouting” within one day, Dalecki noted. Furthermore, by changing the frequency and intensity of the standing wave field during the initial exposure to ultrasound, the actual structure and arrangement of the resulting vessels can be affected.
Initial testing suggests this can also be done with endothelial cells for the lymphatic system. Dalecki and Hocking also have demonstrated progress in using ultrasound not only to assist in fabricating engineered tissue and its scaffolding, but to image the tissue before and after implantation to monitor its quality and performance.
Ultrasound has some beautiful advantages in this field,” Dalecki explained. “It is noninvasive, nondestructive, inexpensive; we can control our sound fields very nicely to tailor them; we can find optimized exposure conditions; and this can be easily incorporated into a tissue engineering environment in terms of sterility or bioreactors. Also, we can translate these techniques into the clinic because the ultrasound can propagate through tissue as a focused beam.
The Dalecki-Hocking collaboration, she added, has not only produced some exciting research, but provided a
really wonderful multidisciplinary environment for training our graduate students in our labs.
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