University of Wisconsin Madison College of Engineering

Biomedical Engineering Seminar Series

The Department of Biomedical Engineering Seminar Series consists of presentations on current research topics of interest to biomedical engineering graduate students and faculty by on-campus and visiting engineers and scientists.


A video archive of all seminars is available online.


Biomedical Engineering Fall 2012 Seminar Program

 

Date

Topic

Speaker

Monday
9/24/2012

Progress in engineering pluripotency with new models and biomaterials
(Abstract)

Prof. Krishanu Saha
Dept. of Biomedical Engineering
UW-Madison

Monday
10/1/2012

Spectral microscopy for cancer screening
(Abstract)

Prof. Jeremy Rogers
Dept. of Biomedical Engineering
Northwestern University
Evanston, IL

Monday
10/15/2012

Delineating the mechanisms of cell polarity and migration using novel microfluidic devices
(Abstract)
Cosponsored by LOCI and Prairie Technologies

Prof. Christopher Janetopoulos
Dept. of Biological Sciences
Vanderbilt University
Nashville, TN

Monday
10/22/2012

Excitable cell disease from in silico to in vivo
(Abstract)

Prof. Thomas Hund
Dept. of Biomedical Engineering and Internal Medicine
The Ohio State University
Columbus, OH

Monday
10/29/2012

Multicompartmental particles and fibers
(Abstract)
Cosponsored by LOCI and Prairie Technologies

Prof. Joerg Lahann
Chemical Engineering, Materials Science & Engineering,
Biointerfaces Institute,
University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor, MI
Institute for Functional Interfaces, KIT, Germany

Monday
11/5/2012

Channeling touch and pain transduction: mechanisms that detect our environment
(Abstract)

Prof. Cheryl Stucky
Director, Neuroscience Doctoral Program
Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology & Anatomy, Medical College of Wisconsin

Monday
11/19/2012

Distinguished Lecture Awardee
The consequences of cell promiscuity, or whether viruses can cause cancer by fusing cells
(Abstract)

Prof. Yuri Lazebnik
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Cold Spring Harbor, NY

Monday
12/3/2012

How Educational Games can Measure Engineering Thinking and Increase Engineering Enrollment
(Abstract)

Prof. David Shaffer
Dept. of Educational Psychology
School of Education
UW-Madison

 

 

Abstract, 9/24/2012
Progress in engineering pluripotency with new models and biomaterials
Prof. Krishanu Saha

Human embryonic stem cells can grow indefinitely in culture and generate all parts of the human body. Therefore, these remarkably plastic cells are termed "pluripotent" and represent attractive resources for tissue engineering and human disease modeling. Making these cells in a standardized and predictable manner however has been problematic, because the methods to derive and propagate these cells are either poorly understood or difficult to scale-up. Through two projects, I will describe engineering approaches to 1) identify and characterize intermediate states in a new technique of deriving pluripotent stem cells and 2) develop new biointerfaces that can efficiently propagate them. The first project dissects stochastic transitions involved in progressing to a pluripotent state through epigenetic reprogramming, and the second project details biomolecules involved in the growth of two types of pluripotent cells.

Biosketch:Krishanu Saha studied Chemical Engineering at Cornell University and at the University of California-Berkeley. In his dissertation with Professors David Schaffer and Kevin Healy, he worked on experimental and computational analyses of neural stem cell development, as well as the design of new materials for adult stem cell culture. In 2007 he became a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Professor Rudolf Jaenisch at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Since 2006 he has done research on human embryonic stem cells. As a Society in Science – Branco Weiss fellow, Kris is expanding his background to investigate the modeling of diseases at the cellular level with human "reprogrammed" stem cell lines. In Fall 2012, he started as an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Top of page

Abstract, 10/1/12
Spectral microscopy for cancer screening
Prof. Jeremy Rogers

In 1953, Danely Slaughter and coauthors published "'Field Cancerization' in oral stratified squamous epithelium," introducing the idea that carcinogenesis may in fact be a local progression of more widespread regional changes in tissue. Since then, studies have provided support for this hypothesis, also known as 'condemned mucosa syndrome.' Evidence includes genetic alterations, changes in chromatin texture, and changes in size and shape of the nucleus. While much remains to be understood about the mechanisms of field carcinogenesis, detection of the early changes in epithelial tissue that presage cancer could provide a valuable tool in cancer screening by identifying individuals at elevated risk. Several promising techniques detect changes in nanoarchitecture optically by quantifying changes in light scattering from within cells and tissue. For example, changes in the distribution of macromolecules alter the spectral dependence of scattered light, allowing quantification of disorder associated with cancer risk. Since changes occur throughout a region of tissue, screening can be made less invasive and more cost effective by testing cells from accessible sites.

Top of page

Abstract, 10/15/2012
Delineating the mechanisms of cell polarity and migration using novel microfluidic devices
Prof. Christopher Janetopoulos

Chemotaxis plays a vital role during the life cycle of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum. Cells use directed migration to find food during normal growth and also use chemotaxis during aggregation in the developmental phase of the life cycle. My laboratory is using the distinct morphologies of these two different polarized states to elucidate the mechanisms underlying this process. During vegetative growth, unpolarized cells are grown in the presence of bacteria and become competent for folic acid chemotaxis and do not require the developmental program. During aggregation, cAMP-mediated chemotaxis occurs after starvation and the onset of development. These cells can become highly polarized and have a distinct leading and trailing edge. Presumably, the same directional sensing module guides a cell during cAMP and folic acid-mediated chemotaxis. We have used a variety of approaches, including genetic analysis and various chemotaxis assays, to decipher the role of signaling molecules regulating migration in these two cell morphologies. In addition, recent studies using microfluidic devices have given us significant insight into the regulation and the role that polarity plays in directed cell migration. We have developed a unique system that allows us to lure cells into a device, break their polarity down, and then re-establish the polarity in the opposite direction. These cells then reverse course. We have used these devices to characterize the temporal and spatial regulation of signaling and cytoskeletal proteins that are critical for both polarity and migration. We are now using microfluidic technologies we developed for single cell imaging to microfabricate unique devices for intravital imaging. These new devices will permit the real time addition of drugs, dyes and cells to living animals while under microscopic observation.

Top of page

Abstract, 10/22/2012
Excitable cell disease from in silico to in vivo
Prof. Thomas Hund

Normal ion channel function is essential for many critical physiological functions such as heart contraction, hormone release, and neuronal firing. In excitable cells, normal ion channel function requires proper localization and regulation at specialized membrane domains. However, despite the recent discovery of links between disorganization of local signaling domains and human disease, very little is known regarding the mechanisms underlying the biogenesis, maintenance, or regulation of these critical membrane compartments. Understanding the cellular pathways responsible for targeting and regulation of ion channels and transporters to specific subcellular domains, therefore, represents an emerging area with great potential for generating new insight into human excitable cell diseases (e.g. cardiac arrhythmia, diabetes, epilepsy). This seminar will present our work integrating molecular and cell biology, computational biology, and physiology to identify novel mechanisms underlying excitable cell disease.

Top of page

Abstract, 10/29/2012
Multicompartmental particles and fibers
Prof. Joerg Lahann

Electrohyrodynamic co-jetting involves the co-processing of multiple fluid flows with distinct chemical composition in electrical fields. Depending on the process conditions, it can result in either particles or fibers, which are comprised of two or more distinct compartments. The colocation of multiple compartments within the same nanoparticle (or nano/microfiber) can lead to unique, previously unseen sets of properties. Examples of multicompartmental particles and fibers for drug delivery, combined delivery and imaging, microactuators, and regenerative medicine will be discussed.

  1. S. Saha, D. Copic, S. Bhaskar, N. Clay, A. Donini, A.J. Hart, J. Lahann, Chemically Controlled Bending of Compositionally Anisotropic Microcylinders, Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2012, 51, 660- 665.
  2. J. Lahann, Recent Progress in Nano-biotechnology: Compartmentalized Micro- and Nanoparticles, Small 2011, 7, 9, 1149-1156.
  3. N. Doshi, A.S. Zahr, S. Bhaskar, J. Lahann, S. Mitragotri, Red Blood Cell- Mimetic Particles: Bridging the Gap between Synthetic and Biological Materials, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2009, 106, 21495–21499.
  4. S. Bhaskar, J. Lahann, Microstructured Materials based on Multicompartmental Fibers, Journal of the American Chemical Society 2009, 131, 6650.
  5. S. Bhaskar, J. Hitt, S.-W.L. Chang, J. Lahann, Multicompartmental Microcylinders, Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2009, 48, 4589- 4593.
  6. M. Yoshida, K.-H. Roh, S. Mandal, S. Bhaskar, D. Lim, H. Nandivada, X. Deng, J. Lahann, Structurally controlled bio-hybrid materials based on unidirectional association of anisotropic microparticles with human endothelial cells, Advanced Materials 2009, 21, 4920–4925.
  7. K.-H. Roh, D. C. Martin, J. Lahann, Triphasic Nanocolloids. Journal of the American Chemical Society 2006, 128, 21, 6796-6797.
  8. K.-H. Roh, D.C. Martin, J. Lahann, Biphasic Janus Particles with Nanoscale Anisotropy. Nature Materials 2005, 4(10), 759-763.

Top of page

Abstract, 11/05/2012
Channeling touch and pain transduction: mechanisms that detect our environment
Prof. Cheryl Stucky

Mechanotransduction is a fundamental process by which we interact with our environment on a daily basis. Mechanotransduction is an integral part of our lives from the first moments of life through the bond that forms between a baby and mother, to feedback in our fingers from writing grants and manuscripts on computers, to the pain systems that unconsciously project our joints, muscles and skin from overly forceful movements and damaging environmental impacts on a moment-to-moment basis. Mechanotransduction can also have a seriously negative impact. Many patients that have chronic pain disorders such as neuropathic pain from trauma, post-herpetic pain after shingles, or chemotherapy-induced neuropathies have such extreme hypersensitivity to light touch that this profoundly reduces their quality of life and activities enjoyed. Despite its fundamental role in our lives, mechanotransduction remains one of the key unsolved questions in the somatosensory field. The identity of mechanosensitive channels and proteins that underlie these processes are still largely unknown and we have only a few putative candidates to date. One of the candidates is the Transient Receptor Potential Ankyrin 1 (TRPA1) ion channel which is found on sensory neurons and other cell types in skin. My laboratory has been using a battery of approaches to investigate mechanotransduction candidates such as TRPA1 for their roles in normal touch detection and mechanical hypersensitivity and pain after injury. These approaches include quantitative mechanical stimulation of receptive fields of identified single neurons in teased fiber electrophysiological recordings from skin-nerve preparations, focal mechanical probing of the cellular membrane during whole cell patch clamp recordings of identified sensory neuron subtypes, functional calcium imaging of identified neurons and behavioral response assays in whole animals. We combine these approaches with genetically-modified mice, pharmacological compounds and the use of preclinical rodent pain models such as peripheral inflammation, nerve injury and a model of sickle cell disease pain.

Top of page

Abstract, 11/19/2012
The consequences of cell promiscuity, or whether viruses can cause cancer by fusing cells
Prof. Yuri Lazebnik

A remarkable aspect of the discovery that human papilloma virus (HPV) causes cancer is that for the preceding six decades this virus had been viewed as benign. This fact suggests that today we may be disregarding other major causes of this disease. An accidental observation led us to a long-standing candidate – cell fusion, a fundamental, yet poorly understood and often overlooked process. We have proposed a model that viruses can cause cancer and its progression by fusing cells to each other. This model is based on several observations: i) common infectious human viruses, including herpes virus, indiscriminately fuse cells in the body; ii) human endogenous retroviruses, some of which can fuse cells, are often expressed in common cancers; iii) multinucleated tumor cells, whose origin is unknown, are common in cancers and are typical to some; iv) cell fusion causes conditions characteristic for cancer cells, such as chromosomal instability, epigenetic plasticity, heterogeneity, and diversity of abnormal cell types; v) cell fusion can nearly instantaneously create abnormal new cell types or produce dedifferentiated cells; vi) circulating bone marrow cells fuse to resident cells of several organs, especially following injury or inflammation; vii) fusion of non-tumorigenic human cells can produce cancerous hybrids; viii) fusion between cancerous and host cells has been demonstrated in experimental models of cancer. Our research has focused on testing this model.

Top of page

Abstract, 12/03/2012
How Educational Games can Measure Engineering Thinking and Increase Engineering Enrollment
Prof. David Shaffer

In this talk, Professor David Shaffer looks at engineering thinking: what makes it unique, how we can measure it, and how we can motive students to develop it using computer games. The result is a perspective on engineering teaching and assessment for the realities of professional practice in the 21st Century. Dr. Shaffer will discuss the results of NSF-funded research currently being used in the UW Engineering curriculum and at other schools in the US.

Biosketch:David Shaffer is a Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Department of Educational Psychology and a Game Scientist at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research. Before coming to the University of Wisconsin, Dr. Shaffer taught grades 4-12 in the United States and abroad, including two years working with the Asian Development Bank and US Peace Corps in Nepal. His M.S. and Ph.D. are from the Media Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and he taught in the Technology and Education Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Dr. Shaffer was a 2008-2009 European Union Marie Curie Fellow. He studies how new technologies change the way people think and learn, and his most recent book is 'How Computer Games Help Children Learn'.

Top of page