Department of Biomedical Engineering
NANCY L. ALLBRITTON, Chair
Nancy L. Allbritton, Signaling in Single Cells, Microfabricated Systems for Cellular Analysis
Albert J. Banes, Cytomechanics, Gap Junction Biochemistry, Cell-Cell Signaling, Growth Factors
Greg Forest, Transport Processes in the Lung, Flow and Structure of Nanomaterials and Macromolecular Fluids
Edward Grant, Robotics, Biomedical Systems, Neural Networks, Biomedical Sensors, Medical Devices
Leaf Huang, Pharmacoengineering
Michael Jay, Pharmacoengineering
Weili Lin, Medical Imaging
Terry Magnuson, Genomics, Genetics
Russell Mumper, Pharmacoengineering
Troy Nagle, Medical Devices, Microsensors
Roger Narayan, Biomedical Sensors, Medical Devices, Biomaterials, Nanometer Systems
Harold Pillsbury, Neurobiology, Cochlear Implants
J. Michael Ramsey, Microfabricated Chemical Instrumentation, Microfluidics, Nanofluidics
Steven Soper, Biomedical Microsystems
Ted Bateman, Rehabilitation Engineering
Paul Dayton, Biomedical Imaging, Medical Imaging, Medical Devices, Medical Instrumentation
Robert Dennis, Medical Devices, Biomechatronic Design, Tissue Mechanics, Functional Tissue Engineering, Regenerative Medicine
Caterina Gallippi, Biomedical Imaging, Medical Imaging, Image Processing and Analysis
Michael Gamcsik, Biomedical Imaging, Functional Tissue Engineering, Metabolomics, Pharmacy
Shawn Gomez, Computational Biology, Bioinformatics, Mathematical Modeling, Genomics, Image Analysis, Systems Biology
Albena Ivanisevic, Biomedical Microsystems, Biomaterials
David Lalush, Image Analysis, Biomedical Imaging, Medical Imaging, Bioinformatics, Image Processing and Analysis
Elizabeth Loboa, Tissue Mechanics, Cytomechanics, Modeling in Mechanobiology, Musculoskeletal Biomechanics, Biomechanics
Jeffrey Macdonald, Metabolomics, Functional Tissue Engineering
Marian McCord, Medical Textiles
Peter Mente, Tissue Mechanics, Cytomechanics, Modeling in Mechanobiology, Musculoskeletal Biomechanics, Biomechanics
Mark Tommerdahl, Neurobiology, Image Processing and Analysis, Physiological Systems, Somatosensory Cortical Dynamics
Glenn Walker, BioMicroelectromechanical Systems, Microfluidics, Lab-on-a-Chip Systems Research
Oleg Favorov, Digital/Multidimensional Signal Processing, Biomedical Systems, Neural Networks, Bioinformatics,Neurobiology
Richard Goldberg, Medical Instrumentation
Paul Weinhold, Orthopaedic Biomechanics, Vibration Testing of Orthopaedic Tissues and Constructs
Teaching Associate Professors
Lianne Cartee, Mathematical Modeling, Bioelectric Stimulation
Hatice O. Ozturk, Digital Signal Processing/Multidimensional Signal Processing, Biomedical Image Processing and Analysis
Zhen Gu, Pharmacoengineering, Controlled Drug Delivery, Bio-inspired Materials, Protein Engineering, Nanobiotechnology
Gregory Sawicki, Bio-inspired Wearable Robotics, Locomotion Physiology, Neural Control of Movement, Rehabilitation Engineering
Anne Marion Taylor, Micro-Scale Devices, Microfluidics, Synapse Formation, Synaptic Plasticity, Protein Synthesis
Research Assistant Professors
Greg McCarty, Nanometer Systems, BioMEMS, Bioelectric Stimulation, Biochemical Engineering
Assistant Professor of the Practice
Andrew DiMeo, Medical Device Development
Research Assistant Professors
Anka N. Veleva, Biomaterials, Biochemical Engineering
Biomedical engineering is a dynamic field stressing the application of engineering techniques and mathematical analysis to biomedical problems. Faculty research programs are key to the program, and they include four primary research directions: rehabilitation engineering, biomedical imaging, pharmacoengineering, regenerative medicine and biomedical microdevices. The department offers graduate education in biomedical engineering leading to the master of science and doctor of philosophy degrees. Also, a joint graduate certificate in medical devices is offered.
Students enter this program with backgrounds in engineering, physical science, mathematics, or biological science. Curricula are tailored to fit the needs and develop the potential of individual students. In addition, courses in statistics, mathematics, life sciences, and engineering sciences provide a well-rounded background of knowledge and skills.
The Joint Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program is administered by the combined biomedical engineering graduate faculty from both North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The joint program also has close working relations with the Research Triangle Institute and industries in the Research Triangle area. These associations enable students to obtain research training in a wide variety of fields and facilitate the selection and performance of dissertation research. Students in the joint program may study under faculty members based at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill or at North Carolina State University. The department, thus, provides students with excellent opportunities to realize the goal of enhancing medical care through the application of modern technology.
Students must satisfy all entrance requirements for the Graduate School of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill or the Graduate School at North Carolina State University, and must demonstrate interest and capability commensurate with the quality of the biomedical engineering program. Prospective students may apply to the graduate school at either UNC–Chapel Hill or NC State. All applicants are considered together as a group. Generally, applications should be submitted by mid-December for consideration for admission in the coming fall semester. Applicants are expected to present Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores; verbal scores should be at or above the 50th percentile, quantitative scores should be at or above the 70th percentile; and applicants are expected to have at least a 30th percentile in the written GRE component to be competitive. The program requires that a one-to-three-page personal statement about research interest and background be submitted.
Students should have a good working knowledge of mathematics at least through differential equations, plus two years of physical or engineering science and basic courses in biological science. Deficiencies in preparation can be made up in the first year of graduate training.
Requirements for Degrees
Candidates for the UNC–Chapel Hill/NC State jointly issued degrees in biomedical engineering must have met the general requirements of the Graduate School of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill or the North Carolina State University Graduate School. Master's students are required to take a comprehensive examination, encompassing coursework and thesis research. The master's comprehensive exam may be either written or oral, and is administered by the student's advisory committee. Doctoral students qualify for the Ph.D. degree by meeting grade requirements in their core courses, and then advance on to written and oral preliminary exams before admission to candidacy. Details can be found on the department Web site. Degree candidates in this program are expected to obtain experience working in a research laboratory during their residence and to demonstrate proficiency in research. The Ph.D. dissertation should be judged by the graduate committee to be of publishable quality.
Courses for Graduate and Advanced Undergraduate Students
490 Special Topics in Biomedical Engineering (3–9). A study in the special fields under the direction of the faculty. Offered as needed for presenting material not normally available in regular BME department.
505 Biomechanics (3). Prerequisites, MATH 383 and PHYS 116. Fundamental principles of solid and fluid mechanics applied to biological systems. Human gait analysis, joint replacement, testing techniques for biological structures, and viscoelastic models are presented. Papers from current biomechanics literature will be discussed.
510 Biomaterials (3). Prerequisite, BIOL 101 or BMME 589. Chemical, physical engineering, and biocompatibility aspects of materials, devices, or systems for implantation in or interfering with the body cells or tissues. Food and Drug Administration and legal aspects. Undergraduate students should enroll in APPL 510.
515 Introduction to Systems Biology (3). Prerequisite, MATH 383 or 528. Cells, tissues, organs, and organisms have been shaped through evolutionary processes to perform their functions in robust, reliable manners. This course investigates design principles and structure-function relationships of biomolecular networks. Emphasis will be placed on gene- and protein-circuits and their role in controlling cellular behavior and phenotype.
520 Fundamentals of Materials Engineering (3). The structure, defects, thermodynamics, kinetics, and properties (mechanical, electrical, thermal, and magnetic) of matter (metals, ceramics, polymers, and composites) will be considered.
530 Digital Signal Processing I (3). Prerequisite, COMP 110 or 116. This is an introduction to methods of automatic computation of specific relevance to biomedical problems. Sampling theory, analog-to-digital conversion, digital filtering will be explored in depth. Undergraduate students should enroll in APPL 430.
550 Medical Imaging: Ultrasonic, Optical, and Magnetic Resonance Systems (3). Prerequisites, BIOS 550 and 430, and PHYS 128. Physical and mathematical foundations of ultrasonic, optical, and magnetic resonance imaging systems in application to medical diagnostics. Each imaging modality is examined, highlighting critical system characteristics: underlying physics of the imaging system, including mechanisms of data generation and acquisition; image creation; and relevant image processing methods, such as noise reduction.
551 Medical Device Design I (3). Student multidisciplinary teams work with local medical professionals to define specific medical device concepts for implementation.
552 Medical Device Design II (3). Device prototypes designed in the first course in series. Good manufacturing practices; process validation; FDA quality system regulations; design verification and validation; regulatory approval planning; and intellectual property protection.
560 Medical Imaging: X-Ray, CT, and Nuclear Medicine Systems (3). Prerequisites, APPL 410, BIOS 550, and PHYS 128. Overview of medical imaging systems using ionizing radiation. Interaction of radiation with matter. Radiation production and detection. Radiography systems and applications. Tomography. PET and SPECT systems and applications.
565 Biomedical Instrumentation I (4). Prerequisite, PHYS 351. Topics include basic electronic circuit design, analysis of medical instrumentation circuits, physiologic transducers (pressure, flow, bioelectric, temperate, and displacement). This course includes a laboratory where the student builds biomedical devices. Undergraduate students should enroll in APPL 465.
580 Microcontroller Applications I (3). Introduction to digital computers for real-time processing and control of signals and systems. Programming input and output devices using C and assembly language is stressed. Case studies are used to present software design strategies for real-time laboratory systems. Undergraduate students should enroll in APPL 480.
581 Microcontroller Applications II (3). Prerequisites, BMME 465, and APPL 480 or BMME 580. Problems of interfacing computers with biomedical and systems are studied. Students collaborate to develop a new biomedical instrument. Projects have included process control, data acquisition, disk systems interfaces, and DMW interfaces between interconnected computers.
Courses for Graduate Students
740 Advanced Biomaterials (MTSC 740) (3). Prerequisite, BMME 510. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. Medical or dental implants or explants are highlighted from textbooks, scientific literature, and personal accounts.
770 Physiology and Methods in Genomics (4). Prerequisite, BMME 570. Lectures in physiology systems and lab techniques covering various functional genomic methods including DNA sequencing, gene arrays, proteomics, confocal microscopy, and imaging modalities.
775 Image Processing and Analysis (COMP 775) (3). Prerequisites, COMP 665, MATH 547, and STAT 435. Approaches to analysis of digital images. Scale geometry, statistical pattern recognition, optimization. Segmentation, registration, shape analysis. Applications, software tools.
790 Graduate Systems Physiology (3). Prerequisite, BMME 589. This is the second semester of the two-semester series intended to provide graduate students with an introduction to systems and organ physiology.
795 Information Processing in the Central Nervous System (3). Prerequisite, BMME 589. Introduction to methodologies used to characterize a) the aggregate behavior of living neural networks and b) the changes in that behavior that occur as a function of stimulus properties, pharmacological manipulations, and other factors that dynamically modify the functional status of the network.
840 Rehabilitation Engineering Design (4). Prerequisite, BMME 465. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. Students will design an assistive technology device to help individuals with disabilities to become more independent. The project will be used in the community when it is completed.
890 Special Topics (1–21). Permission of the instructor. Special library and/or laboratory work on an individual basis on specific problems in biomedical engineering and biomedical mathematics. Direction of students is on a tutorial basis and subject matter is selected on the basis of individual needs and interests.
900 Research in Biomedical Engineering and Biomathematics (1–21). Permission of the instructor.
993 Master's Thesis (3–21).
994 Doctoral Dissertation (3–21).
North Carolina State University Biomedical
512 Biomedical Signal Processing (3). Prerequisites, BME 311, and ST 370 or ST 371; BME or graduate standing only. (Credit is not allowed for both BME 412 and BME 512.) Fundamentals of continuous- and discrete-time signal processing as applied to problems in biomedical instrumentation. Properties of biomedical signals and instruments. Descriptions of random noise and signal processes. Interactions between random biomedical signals and systems. Wiener filtering. Sampling theory. Discrete-time signal analysis. Applications of Z-transform and discrete Fourier transform. Digital filter design methods for biomedical instruments.
522 Medical Instrumentation (3). Students should have a background in electronics design using operational amplifiers Fundamentals of medical instrumentation systems, sensors, and biomedical signal processing. Example instruments for cardiovascular and respiratory assessment. Clinical laboratory measurements, therapeutic and prosthetic devices, and electrical safety requirements.
525 Bioelectricity (3). Prerequisites, BME 302 or ZO 421 and a course in electrical circuits; senior or graduate standing. (Credit is not given for both BME 425 and BME 525.) Quantitative analysis of excitable membranes and their signals, including plasma membrane characteristics, origin of electrical membrane potentials, action potentials, voltage clamp experiments, the Hodgkin-Huxley equations, propagation, subthreshold stimuli, extracellular fields, membrane biophysics, and electrophysiology of the heart. Design and development of an electrocardiogram analysis system.
541 Biomechanics (3). Prerequisites, ZO 160 or BIO 183, BME 342, ST 370. (Credit is not allowed for both BME 441 and BME 541.) Students study human body kinematics, force analysis of joints, and the structure and composition of biological materials. Emphasis is placed on the measurement of mechanical properties and the development and understanding of models of biological material.
543 Cardiovascular Biomechanics (3). Prerequisites, BME 302, MAE 308, or CE 382. Engineering principles are applied to the cardiovascular system. Anatomy of cardiovascular system; form and function of blood and blood vessels. Electric analogs; continuum mechanics with derivation of equations of motion; and constitutive models of soft tissue mechanics, with attention to normal, diseased, and adaptive processes. Programming project required.
550 Medical Imaging: Ultrasonic, Optical, and Magnetic Resonance Systems (3). Prerequisites, BME 412, ST 370 or ST 371, and PY 208. Physical and mathematical foundations of ultrasonic, optical, and magnetic resonance imaging systems in application to medical diagnostics. Each imaging modality is examined on a case-by-case basis, highlighting the following critical system characteristics: 1) underlying physics of the imaging system, including the physical mechanisms of data generation and acquisition, 2) image creation, and 3) basic processing methods of high relevance, such as noise reduction.
551 Medical Device Design I (3). Prerequisite, graduate standing. Student multidisciplinary teams work with local medical professionals to define specific medical device concepts for implementation. Medical specialty immersion with clinical departments at local medical centers; design input based on stakeholder-needs assessment, market analysis and intellectual property review, new medical devices with broad markets, design output and device specification, product feasibility and risk assessment, design for medical device manufacturing.
552 Medical Device Design II (3). Prerequisite, BME 551. Student groups build and test prototypes of devices designed in the first course of this series. Good manufacturing practices, process validation, FDA quality system regulations, design verification and validation, regulatory approval planning and intellectual property protection. Students will work with local patent attorneys and/or agents to draft a patent application. The final prototypes will be evaluated by clinicians for potential use with patients.
560 Medical Imaging: X-Ray, CT, and Nuclear Medicine Systems (3). Prerequisites, BME 311, ST 370 or ST 371, and PY 208. Overview of medical imaging systems using ionizing radiation. Interaction of radiation with matter. Radiation production and detection. Radiography systems and applications. Tomography. PET and SPECT systems and applications.
566 Polymeric Biomaterials Engineering (3). Prerequisites, PY 208 and (TE 200 or CH 220 or CH 221) and (MAE 206 or CE 214). In-depth study of the engineering design of biomedical polymers and implants. Polymeric biomaterials, including polymer synthesis and structure, polymer properties as related to designing orthopedic and vascular grafts. Designing textile products as biomaterials including surface modification and characterization techniques. Bioresorbable polymers.
582 Tissue Engineering Tech (2). Prerequisite, BIT 468, crosslisted with BIT 583. This is a half semester laboratory module, students will gain practical experience with two key elements of tissue engineering: the construction of a complex living tissue that closely resembles its natural counterpart, and the assessment of the angiogenic potential of the engineered tissue. The effects of different biomaterials and angiogenic factors will be evaluated.
584 Tissue Engineering Fundamentals (3). Prerequisite, BIO 183 and CH 221 and (MAE 301 or MSE 301 or CHE 315 or TE 303) Essential concepts of organ and tissue design and engineering using living components, including cell-based systems and cells/tissues in combination with biomaterials, synthetic materials and/or devices. In vivo tissue structure and function; isolation and culture of primary cells and stem cells; principles of cellular differentiation; mass transport processes in cell culture systems; design, production and seeding of scaffolds for 3D culture; design of bioreactors to support high-density cell growth; state-of-the-art engineered and tissue systems; clinical translation; and ethics.
590 Special Topics (1–4). Prerequisite, senior or graduate standing in engineering or physical or biological sciences. A study of topics in the special fields under the direction of the graduate faculty.
601 Biomedical Engineering Seminar (1). Prerequisite, graduate standing. Elaboration of subject areas, techniques and methods important in biomedical engineering through presentations of personal and published works; opportunity to present and critically defend ideas, concepts and inferences. Discussions to identify analytical solutions and analogies between problems in biomedical engineering and other technologies, and to present relationship of biomedical engineering to societal needs.
620 Biomedical Engineering: Special Problems (1–4). Prerequisite, graduate standing in biomedical engineering. Selection of a subject by each student on which to do research and write a technical report on the results. Subject may pertain to the student's particular interest in any area of study in biomedical engineering.
650 Internship in Biomedical Engineering (1–3). Prerequisite, graduate standing in biomedical engineering. Students obtain professional experience through advanced engineering work in industrial and commercial settings under joint supervision of a member of the graduate faculty and an outside professional.
790 Advanced Special Topics (1–4). Prerequisite, graduate standing in engineering, physical or biological sciences. A study of topics in advanced or emerging special areas under the direction of the graduate faculty. Experimental doctoral level courses.
802 Biomedical Engineering Advanced Seminar (1). Elaboration of advanced subject areas, techniques and methods related to professional interest through presentations of personal and published works; opportunity for students to present and critically defend ideas, concepts and inferences; opportunity for distinguished scholars to present results of their work. Discussions to uncover analytical solutions and analogies between problems in biomedical engineering and other technologies, and to present relationship of biomedical engineering