2014-11-21-hong-ma_don-erhardt-6Research Clusters in Biomedical Engineering

UBC Biomedical Engineering researchers work in a wide range of areas.  Click on the following headings to explore the labs and people associated with our main research clusters (RC):

RC1: This cluster primarily links researchers in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Urology, Orthopaedics, Dentistry and General Surgery.

The primary purpose of the ongoing projects in this cluster is to plan and achieve more accurate and precise treatments through using advanced imaging information obtained through modalities such as x-ray computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound coupled with interventional devices (including robots) which can implement surgical plans more accurately than an unassisted surgeon, sparing healthy tissue and ensuring complete resection of diseased tissue. Applications arise in urology (treating prostate cancer with radioactive seeds precisely implanted using robotically-guided insertion needles or with a surgical robot), orthopedics (joint replacement surgeries, fracture repair and hip arthroscopy), respiratory medicine and dentistry, amongst others.

The engineering researchers in this cluster have complementary expertise in imaging physics, image processing, computational modeling, localization technologies, finite element methods, registration algorithms, display technologies, robotic and mechanism design and control theory.

Associated Laboratories and Research Groups:

RC2: BioMEMS and Bio-Optics engineering researchers are based in Electrical and Computer, Mechanical and Materials Engineering.  They work on applications in diagnostics, endoscopic devices, drug delivery, neural interfaces and biological fluid analysis (“lab-on-a-chip” devices) in collaboration with clinicians in anaesthesiology, neurology, pharmaceutical sciences, pharmacology, psychology, health informatics, general surgery, vascular surgery, the ICORD spinal cord facility and the Blood Research Centre.

Many of the projects in this cluster relate to developing appropriate micro-scale devices with appropriate materials and structures to facilitate interactions with biological components or tissues (e.g., neural interfaces for signal recording or stimulation, conduits to stimulate neural regeneration, biocompatible coatings for chronic implantation, microfluidic devices for cell sorting with applications to anticancer drug screening and rapid, point-of-care diagnostic tasks).  Students in this cluster will gain experience in using state-of-the-art microfabrication facilities including photolithography tools and thin-film deposition equipment.

Associated Laboratories and Research Groups: 

RC3: The Biomechanics research cluster links Mechanical and Materials Engineering with Orthopaedics and other clinical departments; most researchers in this cluster work at Vancouver General Hospital, at either the Centre for Hip Health & Mobility or the International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries.

The goal of this research cluster is to understand the role that mechanics plays in both injury and disease and to subsequently use this knowledge to develop better prevention or treatment approaches. The primary areas of application are hip fracture, spinal cord injury, osteoarthritis and the aging spine. Advanced imaging techniques, primarily based on magnetic resonance imaging, are used to better understand the early onset of osteoarthritis.

Associated Laboratories and Research Groups: 

RC4: In this interdisciplinary cluster, researchers from Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Human Kinetics, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Orthopaedics and Psychiatry collaborate to develop and evaluate mechatronic assistive devices used in rehabilitation, as well as in home and work settings.

The researchers in this cluster are focusing on innovations in three areas:

  1. Mobile assistive devices
  2. Multi-modal communication channels for assistive technologies
  3. Physical therapy and cognitive rehabilitation in areas such as balance retraining, upper limb function and pet-robot-mediated  anxiety management with children

Associated Laboratories and Research Groups: 

RC5: Physiological Modeling and Control engineering researchers are mainly based in Chemical and Biological and Electrical and Computer Engineering, and work on applications in stem cell therapy, proteomics and genomics, anaesthesiology, insulin control, internal medicine and others.

Work in this cluster is done in association with the Michael Smith Laboratories, the Department of Anaesthesia at BC Children's Hospital, the BC Cancer Agency and others, and addresses problems ranging from the subcellular to the whole-body scale.

Associated Laboratories and Research Groups: 

Learn about BME Faculty Members and their associated research clusters.

Affliated Centres and External Groups