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BME researchers develop new ways to activate lower limb nerves after paralysis

Researchers with the Advanced Platform Technology (APT) Center of Excellence at Case Western Reserve University and the Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center have received a $2.6 million award from the National Institutes of Health to develop and deploy new, high resolution nerve cuff electrodes that will allow individuals paralyzed by spinal cord injuries to stand and step through the actions of their own contracting muscles. Ronald Triolo, professor of orthopaedics and biomedical engineering, and Dustin Tyler, associate professor of biomedical engineering, are co-principal investigators on the four-year study, entitled “Enhancing Neuroprosthesis Performance with Nerve Cuff Electrodes,” which will translate their prior work on the engineering design and biocompatibility of the new devices into first-in-human clinical application.

BME researchers awarded Phase II Coulter Grant on brain tumor project

Pallavi Tiwari, research assistant professor, and Anant Madabhushi, professor of biomedical engineering, were awarded a Phase II Coulter award on their project “NeuroRadVisionTM: Image based risk assessment for presence of recurrent tumor or radiation effects on MRI” at the Center for Computational Imaging and Personalized Diagnostics (CCIPD) in Biomedical Engineering. Tiwari is the principal investigator and Madabhushi is the co-investigator on the project.
 
The $130,000 project is a continuation of the Phase I award for identifying quantitative sub-visual MRI markers to distinguish radiation necrosis from recurrent brain tumors, a challenging problem in clinical management of brain tumor patients. Researchers from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, including Lisa Rogers, professor of neurology, Leo Wolansky, professor of radiology, and Mark Cohen, professor of pathology, serve as clinical co-investigators on the project.

BME postdoctoral researcher Guanping Yu wins KTEF grant for research on Stargardt disease

Guanping Yu, a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Zheng-Rong Lu, the M. Frank and Margaret Domiter Rudy Professor of Biomedical Engineering, has been awarded a $60,000 Career Starter Research Grant from the Knights Templar Eye Foundation (KTEF) to explore treatments for Stargardt disease.
 
Stargardt disease is the most common form of juvenile retinal macular degeneration and affects one in 10,000 people in the United States. Currently, there is no cure for the disease and little that can be done to prevent, halt or slow the process of vision loss.
 
Yu will use the KTEF grant to explore new therapeutics that can decrease the accumulation of a compound called all-trans-retinal (atRAL), which is a key factor in the onset of Stargardt disease.
 

Waterfall Swing makes splash in Austria

Engineering meets art in the Waterfall Swing on display for the next six months at the OK Center for Contemporary Art in Linz, Austria.
 
The 18-foot-tall steel structure suspends riders beneath a wall of water, which—with the help of high-tech sensors—stops for every swing, letting the rider pass through without getting soaked.
 
The team of designers behind the swing includes think[box] manager Ian Charnas, Pebble smart watch creator and Case Western Reserve University alumnus Andrew Witte, Mike O’Toole and Andrew Ratcliff.
 

Associate dean of research Clare Rimnac elected director of ASEE Engineering Research Council board

Clare Rimnac, associate dean of research and Wilbert J. Austin Professor of Engineering at the Case School of Engineering, has been elected as a director of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Engineering Research Council Board of Directors.
 
The council is composed of members from the organization’s university, industrial and government members. It provides a forum for the discussion of issues and exchange of information about the research activities of ASEE members, represents research interests externally and within the ASEE and serves as a liaison with other organizations concerned with research and its administration.
 
Rimnac’s three-year term as director began June 16.