Team Hujambo poses after winning the Ricci Prize.
In the Tufts Gordon Institute’s 2016 $100k New Ventures Competition, biomedical engineer Shehryar Malik, E19, and Daniel McCormack, A19, represented team Hujambo, which received the Stephen and Geraldine Ricci Interdisciplinary Prize. The Ricci Prize is awarded to the project that best demonstrates interdisciplinary engineering design and entrepreneurial spirit.
Hujambo designed a low-cost smartphone and operating system. In their words: “We make smartphones for everyone. Our goal is to connect the entire world to the Internet, by providing low-cost but high-tech devices to enable consumers to navigate the 21st century. Our smartphone costs $10, and provides cellular service, messaging capability, data access, and access to every app. By creating our own operating system, which perfectly integrates with the hardware, we are able to provide a cheaper product with more features than even the best devices on the market.”
Learn more on Hujambo Group’s website.
David Kaplan, Biomedical Engineering
Stern Family Professor and Chair David Kaplan (BME) received the 2016 Faculty Teaching and Mentoring Award for his outstanding support of graduate students from course completion through research and post-degree placement.
Biomedical engineering students Joseph Lyons and Kelly Sullivan received awards for Outstanding Academic Scholarship as master’s and doctoral candidates, respectively.
Doctoral student Pami Anderson received an award for the Commitment to the Practice of Engineering with her substantial record of practice-based experience and accomplishment.
Kaplan and students received the awards at the 18th Annual Graduate Student Awards ceremony on April 29, 2016 in Distler Hall, Granoff Music Center.
Qiaobing Xu, Biomedical Engineering
A central challenge to the development of protein-based therapeutics is the inefficiency of delivering proteins across the cell membrane. Assistant Professor Qiaobing Xu is the co-author on a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that demonstrated delivery of genome-editing proteins into cultured human cells with 70% efficacy comparable with or exceeding other commercially available systems. Xu and Ming Wang, postdoctoral scholar and first author, and collaborators also demonstrated that these lipids are effective for functional protein delivery for murine gene recombination in vivo. Xu’s lab will now pursue studies to better assess toxicity.
Professor Sergio Fantini
Professor Sergio Fantini (BME) was elected to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) College of Fellows for “outstanding contributions to the development of quantitative techniques for diffuse optical spectroscopy and imaging of biological tissue.” He is a member of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), the Optical Society of America, and SPIE, the International Society for Optical Engineering. Fantini has recently developed a new optical diagnostic technology, Coherent Hemodynamics Spectroscopy (CHS), for non-invasive assessment of brain perfusion. In January 2016, Cambridge University Press published “Quantitative Biomedical Optics”, a textbook Fantini co-authored with Professor Irving Bigio of Boston University. Fantini joins Professors David Kaplan, BME department chair and Stern Family Professor, Irene Georgakoudi, and Kyongbum Lee, as the most recent Tufts School of Engineering faculty member to be elected AIMBE Fellow.
In January 2016, Cambridge University Press published Quantitative Biomedical Optics, a textbook Professor Sergio Fantini (BME) co-authored with Professor Irving Bigio of Boston University.
The text covers a broad range of areas in biomedical optics, from light interactions at the single-photon and single-biomolecule levels, to the diffusion regime of light propagation in tissue.
“Bigio and Fantini’s comprehensive text on biomedical optics provides a wonderful blend of accessible theory and practical guidance relevant to the design and application of biomedical optical systems. It should be required reading for all graduate students working in this area.” – Rebecca Richards-Kortum, Rice University, Houston
Irene Georgakoudi, associate professor of biomedical engineering
Associate Professor Irene Georgakoudi was named a 2016 Fellow of the Optical Society of America for contributions to the use of endogenous markers for optical imaging of metabolic processes in normal and diseased tissue and for tissue engineering.
As Optics and Photonics News states, “Current methods for shaping biomaterials, including soft- and photolithography, are limited to two dimensions and don’t offer much in the way of customization.” Tufts researchers, led by Associate Dean for Research and Professor, Fiorenzo Omenetto, “used low-energy (< nJ) femtosecond laser pulses to create 2-D and 3-D patterns in soft, transparent silk-protein hydrogels. They were able to achieve micromachining at a depth of 1 cm—reportedly more than 10 times deeper than any other biomaterial—at a lateral resolution of 5 µm.”
Details Daily Blog includes Tuft’s University discovery of a poly-silk bionink on their list of “10 Groundbreaking Innovations Changing How We Live”. This new discovery “will make printing tissues, organs, bone, and other organic materials a real possibility.”
CNBC highlights the accomplishments of 17-year-old Olivia Hallisey, “who designed a low cost, portable test for Ebola” and is the grand prize winner of the 2015 Google Science Fair. “Hallisey’s diagnostic for the Ebola virus offers results in less than 30 minutes and allows for rapid detection even when patients lack any symptoms. The design includes a silk-containing card that stores Ebola antibodies for up to a week without refrigeration.”
Biomedical engineering researches, funded by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering have “successfully developed a 3-dimensional (3D) tissue-engineered model of bone marrow that can produce functional human platelets outside the body (ex vivo)”, Health Medicine Network writes.