Innovation has a new home at Sears think[box]
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Signal gradients in 3-D guide stem cell behavior

Scientists know that physical and biochemical signals can guide cells to make, for example, muscle, blood vessels or bone. But the exact recipes to produce the desired tissues have proved elusive.
 
Now, biomedical engineering researchers at Case Western Reserve University have taken a step toward identifying that mix by developing an easy and versatile way of forming physical and biochemical gradients in three dimensions.
 
Ultimately, one of their goals is to engineer systems to manipulate stem cells to repair or replace damaged tissues and organs.
 

Biomedical engineering researcher wins young investigator award

Minh Khanh Nguyen, postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, received the 2013 Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS) Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine Young Investigator Award.
 
This award is one of the highest honors a postdoctoral researcher can receive in the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.
 
Nguyen is one of two recipients of this year’s award. He received $2,500 and will present on his research, which focuses on injectable hydrogels for therapeutics delivery and tissue regeneration, at the TERMIS annual event.
 
Nguyen works in the lab of Eben Alsberg, associate professor of biomedical engineering. He is the second recipient of the award from Alsberg’s lab in the last three years; in 2011, Melissa Krebs received the award.

Mechanical and Aerospace’s Ozan Akkus wins NSF grant

Ozan Akkus, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and the director of Orthopaedic Bioengineering Laboratory (OBL), has won a $392,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study a new way to help rebuild damaged tendons.
 
The project, which includes work with biomaterials, biofabrication and stem cells, is funded jointly by the NSF’s Division of Materials Research and Division of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation.
 
The tendons of the shoulder are particularly vulnerable to degeneration with aging—especially the supraspinatus, which controls the ability to raise the arm to perform mundane tasks like reaching a shelf or brushing one’s teeth. Moreover, a significant percentage of repairs to this tendon fail.
 

BME's Steinmetz and macro’s Advincula win NSF grant

Nicole F. Steinmetz, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, and Rigoberto Advincula, professor of macromolecular science and engineering, were awarded a grant from the nanomanufacturing program in the National Science Foundation Division of Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation that provides $424,300 to fund nanoparticle research.
 
This grant, titled “Scalable Nanomanufacturing and Supra-Assembly of Virus-Hybrid Janus Bionanoparticles,” will provide funding for scaled-up nanomanufacturing and assembly of virus-based Janus bio-nanoparticles, including higher-order structures.

CSE faculty members named among top 25 STEM professors in Ohio

Alexis Abramson, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, and Dominique Durand, the Elmer Lincoln Lindseth Professor in Biomedical Engineering, have been selected as two of the top 25 STEM professors in Ohio by onlineschoolsohio.com.
 
Abramson is a nationally recognized leader in nanotechnology research and was recently appointed as faculty director of Case Western Reserve University’s Great Lakes Energy Institute. Durand is director of the Neural Imaging Center and a global leader in neural engineering and the control of epilepsy.
 
Onlineschoolsohio.com generated its first annual top 25 list of STEM professors to celebrate faculty at Ohio colleges and universities for their achievement in teaching, mentoring and conducting research in their STEM—science, technology, engineering and math—specialties.