Tufts University Chapter of the Biomedical Engineering Society

BME Research Highlight: Zach Loewenstein

January 28, 2016 · Comments Off on BME Research Highlight: Zach Loewenstein

For the signal-processing portion of my individual research I am doing work in the Black Lab under the supervision of Lauren Baugh and Monique Foster; two graduate students from the Black Lab. Most of professor Black’s research has to do with the heart and how important physical stimuli are to the highly specialized tissues of the heart, even on a cellular level. For this particular project I’m working with a partner, Rosemary Soucy, to develop an algorithm that will allow us to visually measure the conduction speed through muscle tissue. Our Matlab program will also project a branching network over the video to show the directionality of his electrical activity. Lauren and Monique two have provided us with microscope video of muscle cells contracting in response to an electrical stimulus in the presence of a voltage sensitive fluorescent dye. The dye causes each cell to glow as it contracts because of the change in membrane potential that mediates the contraction. We were able to isolate the contracting cells in the image, and used our algorithm to monitor the changes fluorescence of the cells inside the approximately fixed locations of the cells in the field of view. Based on this we will be able to determine when cells contract relative to their neighbors. This will enable us to determine the speed that cells are triggering their neighboring cells to contract, and whether the branching pattern of this stimulation has any consistent organization. The purpose of this project is to develop visual methods for these types of measurements and to make complicated analysis of heart tissues simpler. This will make experiments in the Black Lab easier and more efficient.

This project was very different from most of the other work I’ve done at tufts because it was totally centered around Matlab. All of the data we used had already been collected, so the only part of the project I worked on was coding the algorithm. It was challenging to get comfortable with Matlab over the course of a few weeks, but the algorithm we’ve developed has been successful so far, and the coding has been a challenging and interesting change of pace.

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BME Dinner

November 10, 2015 · Comments Off on BME Dinner

Here are some pics from the BME Department dinner at Nijiya from last week! Despite the unforeseen issue of too much sushi, the event went extremely well and students and professors had a great time!

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BMES Calendar

November 10, 2015 · Comments Off on BMES Calendar

Check out our calendar to stay up to date with upcoming events! The calendar will be updated throughout the semester as new events come up. Follow the link below to find the calendar.



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BME Ice Cream Social

November 3, 2015 · Comments Off on BME Ice Cream Social

Thanks to everyone who came to the Ice Cream Social last week! Great to meet BME students from all classes and get ready for picking spring courses!

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Research Posts

October 22, 2015 · Comments Off on Research Posts

A new feature of the website will include monthly research posts that highlight the research of current tufts undergraduates/ graduate students. This is designed to build a greater understanding of what BME students on campus are working on and to see how they are getting active in the biomedical field. Check out the first post below!

Improved Wound Healing Through Electrical Stimulation

Yuki Ito (E16) and Watson Gifford (E15) are currently studying cutaneous wound healing on in vitro human skin equivalents (HSEs) to improve the overall wound healing process. They co-culture the HSEs with a silk scaffold soaked in fat with collagen, fibroblasts, and keratinocytes seeded on top of it. The three layers of the HSEs mimic the epidermal, dermal, and hypodermal layers of human skin in order to have as accurate a model of study as possible.
To induce a faster wound healing process with less scar tissue formation, they are developing an electrical stimulation (ES) device. This electrical stimulation device is a biocompatible device made of gold and parylene that applies a controlled electric field across wounds in order to enhance the cell’s natural bioelectrical signals. By adding an exogenous electric field to this otherwise slow process of wound healing, they plan to learn more about the process of wound healing in general. The long-term goal of their project is to allow people such as diabetics, chronic wound patients, and severe burn victims to heal their wounds that they could not otherwise heal themselves.


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October 19, 2015 · Comments Off on BME Fall BBQ

Also, thanks to all of those who came out to our BME Fall BBQ last week! Despite the need for a rain date we had a great showing and enjoyed some great food/ fun and games! Check out some pics from the event below.


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Community Day 2015

October 19, 2015 · Comments Off on Community Day 2015




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Community day was a blast! Thanks to all of those who participated in the event. It’s always exciting to give kids a taste of how cool science is!

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Science in the News

September 21, 2015 · Comments Off on Science in the News

Check out this awesome new robot being used in surgeries that is able to make extremely precise movements! Pretty cool how machines like this can eliminate human mistake and make sewing up a grape look like a simple task.

Link to video:


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Kids Day

April 19, 2015 · Comments Off on Kids Day

BMES recently helped out at Kids Day! We had a blast with the kids and were able to show them how cool science is!

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BME Spring BBQ and EMD Millipore Tour

April 19, 2015 · Comments Off on BME Spring BBQ and EMD Millipore Tour

Thank you to everyone who helped make our Spring BBQ a success and to those who came to the Millipore Tour as well. We had a great day of food and fun and even had a little bit of sun by the end! Here are a few pics from the two events from friday:

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