Research in the Department focuses on seven general areas:
Cell and Tissue Engineering
Tissue engineering, one of the most exciting and rapidly growing areas in biomedical engineering, offers vast potential for changing traditional approaches to meeting many critical health care needs. In the years to come, many tissues or organs may be strong candidates for engineering reconstruction, including bone, cartilage, liver, pancreas, skin, blood vessel and peripheral nerve.
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As the country's number one killer, cardiovascular disease poses a major health problem for thousands of individuals. In response to this national concern, the Whitaker Biomedical Institute is bringing together researchers from across the disciplines of physiology, biophysics, biomechanics, mathematics, systems identification and computer modeling to work collaboratively on a number of cardiovascular research projects.
More about Cardiovascular Systems
Technological advances now allow us to image the human body at scales from a single molecule to the whole body. Researchers are linking the anatomical data, collected with emerging imaging technologies, to computer simulations to form truly functional images of individual patients. These images will allow physicians not only to see what a patient's organs look like but also how they are functioning even at the smallest dimensions. A major challenge is how to store, analyze, distribute, understand and use the enormous amount of data associated with every one of these thousands of images.
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The brain is perhaps the greatest and most complicated learning system that exercises its control over virtually every aspect of our behavior. The systems neuroscience area is dedicated to understanding its architecture and how it learns and controls a variety of functions. Dramatic advances in experimental methods for studying neural systems have occurred during the past decade. Investigators in this area share a common desire to produce quantitative models of information coding and processing in neural systems.
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Molecular and Cell Systems
Each of the human body’s approximately 100 trillion cells can perform most of the fundamental functions of life. Under- standing how molecules interact to produce these functions is a central biological problem. Conquering this staggering challenge holds the key to designing effective treatments for disease.
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Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
Biomedical research is being revolutionized by new technologies for generating high throughput data. Research in bioinformatics in biomedical engineering and computational medicine is currently focused on representing and analyzing such data.
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Vast amounts of genetic and biochemical information are becoming rapidly available. Every day, Hopkins biomedical engineering researchers draw on this data as they combine the knowledge of the human genome with the massive power of modern computers to construct simulations of human organs. These simulations or models will be so realistic that they can be used to design and test novel therapeutics, including medical devices, pharmaceuticals and clinical procedures.
More about Computational Modeling