News Archive

New Microscopy Technology May Help Surgeons Save More Lives

Doctoral student Jeffrey Watson, left, and associate professor Marek Romanowski assemble parts for the prototype microscopy device.

Researchers at the University of Arizona have invented a device that for the first time allows neurosurgeons, who use microscopes extensively while operating, to see blood flowing inside vessels and more clearly distinguish cancerous from healthy tissue under the microscope.

Called augmented microscopy, the technology gives surgeons a much more detailed picture in real time and helps them stay on course in surgeries where being off two millimeters could cause paralysis, blindness and even death. And surgeons get this better view without having to learn new technical skills or adapt to changes in the operating room.

“When we started developing this technology, we thought of it like a Google map of a surgical view, providing layers of pertinent information in real time,” said Marek Romanowski, UA associate professor of biomedical engineering. “Our augmented technology provides diagnostic information under the microscope on demand and in color, appearing directly over tissue a surgeon is operating on -- as if the tissue was painted to help direct the surgeon’s work.”

Read more in Arizona Engineer.

Doctors to Get Better Access to Digital Data

The National Institutes of Health has awarded a $1.3 million grant to researchers at the University of Arizona to develop open-source software that will enable health care professionals and scientists to manage biomedical big data in digital form.

The advanced data compression software for the first time puts digitized biomedical data in a format and size that doctors, pathologists and other health care workers with limited resources and in remote locations will be able to access, analyze and store. Usable digitized data means quicker second opinions and diagnoses for patients.

"Advances in image compression technology for biomedical big data are essential to advance biomedical diagnostics and research and to save more lives," said Ali Bilgin, UA assistant professor in the departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Biomedical Engineering and principal investigator of the project. "We are in the middle of a global transition to digitization of biomedical data, and there’s a lot of it out there — but in files too large to be transmitted, stored or retrieved."

Read more in UANews.

Barton Named Interim Director of BIO5 Institute

Renowned biomedical engineer and former BME department head Jennifer Barton has been named interim director of the BIO5 Institute at the University of Arizona. 

“Jennifer’s ability to bring people together, which she has done throughout her career at UA, and her administrative accomplishments and familiarity with our faculty makes her a great fit for BIO5 at this time.”

Read more at the UA Office of Research and Discovery.

Device Could Speed Diagnosis of Infections

Jeong-Yeol Yoon and Dustin Harshman work on a device that can analyze pathogens in real time.

A new diagnostic device created by a collaborative team of UA researchers, including BME's Jeong-Yeol Yoon, may significantly reduce the amount of time necessary to diagnose tissue infections. The device’s novel approach to molecular diagnostics, called DOTS qPCR, is faster, more efficient and less expensive than options currently being used in clinics.

Read more in UANews.

Wolfgang Fink Named da Vinci Fellow for 2015

Fink da Vinci Fellow
Like many men of science, Wolfgang Fink works in diverse disciplines and enjoys eclectic avocations. He’s a physicist, an engineer, an educator, an inventor, a licensed helicopter pilot and a classically trained pianist. You might call him a Renaissance man.

Read more in Arizona Engineer.

Providing Tomorrow's Medicine Today

Dr. Marvin SlepianDr. Marvin Slepian, professor of cardiology and associate department head of biomedical engineering, knows how to bridge the gap between the bench and the bedside.

Slepian has made the connection between creative entrepreneurship and significant health care issues to innovate and deliver solutions, such as the artificial heart, that enhance and save lives. In his latest venture, he will help extend the linkages between UA research and the public as director of the Arizona Center for Accelerated Biomedical Innovation.

The center, also known as ACABI, will help researchers form collaborations, find applications for new discoveries, develop their technologies and access resources to move their innovations forward. It will focus primarily on the development of translational biomedical technologies.

Read more in UANews.

UA Innovation Hub Headed by Slepian to Accelerate Translational Medical Research

The University of Arizona has announced the creation of a center focused on accelerating the development and commercialization of translational biomedical technologies.

The Arizona Center for Accelerated Biomedical Innovation, or ACABI, will be headed by Dr. Marvin Slepian. Read more from Tech Launch Arizona.

UA Biomedical Engineering Student Earns SynCardia Scholarship

Justine Bacchus, a junior studying biomedical engineering at the University of Arizona College of Engineering, has received the 2014 Anna Salazar Memorial Engineering Scholarship for Women from SynCardia Systems Inc.

The scholarship was created in honor of Anna Salazar, a senior quality engineer who joined SynCardia in 2012 and made a lasting impression on her colleagues at the company before her death later that year at the age of 49. 

Read more in Arizona Engineer.

Art Gmitro Appointed Chair of Biomedical Engineering Department

Arthur F. Gmitro, a professor and researcher in the University of Arizona colleges of medicine and optical sciences, became chair of the UA College of Engineering department of biomedical engineering, or BME, effective Nov. 24. He succeeds associate professor and interim department head Urs Utzinger.

“Strongly supported by the University of Arizona provost and vice president for research, the appointment of Arthur Gmitro as head of the BME department reflects the University’s growing recognition of biomedical engineering’s increasing importance to effective health care,” said College of Engineering dean Jeff Goldberg. “This appointment will showcase the synergies between BME and other departments on campus, not only in the College of Medicine but throughout the University.”

He added, “Art is taking over from Urs Utzinger, who has given selflessly in his role as interim head of BME. He cannot be thanked enough for what he has done over the past couple of years.”

Gmitro, who has been on the UA faculty since 1987 and a full professor since 1996, is known to many in the College of Engineering. Generations of students have taken his courses in medical imaging and biomedical optics in the College of Optical Sciences. Faculty members know him through research collaborations, as a member of the UA Graduate Interdisciplinary Program in Biomedical Engineering and from his service on the Graduate Interdisciplinary Program Advisory Committee, which he led from 2005 to 2006.

Read more in Arizona Engineer.

Congratulations to Outstanding Senior Ana Lourdes Enriquez

The UA College of Engineering announced its outstanding undergraduate and graduate students for the fall 2014 semester at a commencement luncheon on Dec. 3. Ana Lourdes Enriquez was named the Outstanding Senior for the department of biomedical engineering.

Read more in Arizona Engineer.

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University of Arizona College of Engineering
Department of Biomedical Engineering 1127 E James E. Rogers Way P.O. Box 210020 Tucson, AZ 85721-0020