A student researcher winds a coil for a brain implant to help the blind see

Biomedical engineering (BME) faculty at Illinois Tech focus their research efforts in one of three specific areas: cell and tissue engineering, medical imaging, and neural engineering. 

Research on the Edge

Just a few areas of research expertise among Illinois Tech biomedical engineering faculty include:

  • Medical imaging, including phase-sensitive X-ray imaging
  • Machine learning
  • Molecular imaging
  • Hydrogels, cell-biomaterial interactions
  • Signal and image processing
  • Cancer research
  • Retinal vascular occlusion
  • Brain electrophysiology, chaos control of epilepsy
  • Neural prostheses

Biomedical Engineering Research Areas

Biomedical engineering (BME) faculty focus their research efforts in one of three specific areas: cell and tissue engineering, medical imaging, and neural engineering.

This research area seeks to understand and attack biomedical problems at the microscopic level and use such knowledge to engineer replacement tissues and organs from individual cells. Knowledge of anatomy, biochemistry, and the mechanics of cellular and sub-cellular structures is needed to understand disease processes and to target interventions.

Abhinav Bhushan
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Expertise: Microfluidics, organ-on-chips, tissue engineering, biosensors, gaseous volatile organic compound (VOC) sensors, finite element analysis, mathematical and data modeling

Natacha DePaola
Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Director of IDMET
Expertise: Biofluid dynamics, cell mechanics, and tissue engineering

Georgia Papavasiliou
Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Expertise: Hydrogels, cell-biomaterial interactions, drug delivery, polymer reaction engineering

Marcella Vaicik
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Expertise: Biomaterials, tissue engineering, cell-matrix interactions, 3D culture model systems, regenerative medicine

Medical imaging encompasses a wide range of technologies (including MRI, CT, ultrasound, PET, etc.) that permit visualization of the internal structure and function of the human body. Medical imaging is an essential part of today's health care, biomedical research, and drug development, and is one of the most important contributions that engineering has made to patient care.

Cutting-edge areas of medical imaging include development of new types of imaging, new hardware and computer software, and new ways of using, visualizing, and analyzing medical images.

Konstantinos Arfanakis
Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Expertise: MRI, MRI acquisition and post-processing, diffusion tensor MRI (DTI), functional MRI (fMRI)

John G Georgiadis
R. A. Pritzker Professor and Chair, Department of Biomedical Engineering
Expertise: Brain and Muscle Biomechanics, MRI, Transport Phenomena in Fluids

Boris Gutman
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Expertise: Medical image analysis, neuroimaging, imaging biomarkers of neurodegenerative disease, imaging genetics, brain connectivity analysis, computational differential geometry, anatomical shape analysis

Keigo Kawaji
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Expertise: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), data acquisition, image reconstruction, clinical post-processing, cardiac MRI, neurovascular MRI, quantitative biomarkers, biomedical instrumentation, artificial intelligence in biomedicine, BME education pedagogy, mathematical problem-solving in BME

Kenneth Tichauer
Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering
Expertise: Molecular imaging, tracer kinetic modeling, cancer research

This research area applies fundamental and applied engineering techniques to help solve basic and clinical problems in neuroscience. At a fundamental level, neural engineering seeks a better understanding of the behavior of individual neurons, their growth, signaling mechanisms between neurons, and how populations of neurons produce complex behavior.

Obtaining such information improves understanding of the communication that occurs between various parts of the nervous system and the brain, which can lead to the development of replacement parts and other treatments for impaired neural systems.

Jennifer J. Kang-Mieler (Kang Derwent)
Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Expertise: Models of retinal vascular occlusion, microcirculation, electroretinography

David J. Mogul
Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Expertise: Brain electrophysiology, chaos control of epilepsy, cellular and network behavior

Philip R. Troyk
Professor and Director of the Neural Engineering Program
Expertise: Neural prostheses, implant design, computational neuroscience

Professor Phil Troyk

Faculty Excellence: Developing a Visual Prosthesis

Professor Philip Troyk is developing an intracortical visual prosthetic device aimed at helping to restore vision to sight-impaired individuals. 

Nayar Prize Image

Nayar Prize Winners Give Cancer Screenings Sharper Image

Find out how Associate Professor Kenneth Tichauer is contributing to the improvement of cancer treatment options through advanced imaging, such as the ADEPT 3D high-resolution molecular imager. Read the full story here.