Pitt | Swanson Engineering
News Listing

Feb

Feb
16
2018

Undergraduate Students Awarded at the Engineers’ Society of Western PA Annual Banquet

Bioengineering, Chemical & Petroleum, Electrical & Computer, MEMS, Student Profiles

PITTSBURGH (February 16, 2018) … Last night as engineers from across the region gathered to attend the 134th Annual Engineering Awards Banquet of the Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania (ESWP), the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering announced its recipients of the George Washington Prize. This year’s recipient is Le Huang, an undergraduate student in bioengineering and an active member of the Swanson School community during her time at Pitt. Huang works as a research assistant in the Cardiovascular Systems Laboratory where she is developing a MATLAB-based mathematical model of the human cardiovascular system. Prior to that, she worked in the Cognition and Sensorimotor Integration Laboratory and has been a teaching assistant for several bioengineering and chemistry courses. Additionally, Huang is involved in Pitt’s Society of Women Engineers (SWE) where she serves on the executive board, co-chairs the Women in STEM Conference, and acts as an outreach activity leader for K-12 students. Pitt’s award-winning SWE chapter organizes events around the city of Pittsburgh to young women to explore STEM opportunities. Finalists for the George Washington Prize are Isaac Mastalski (Chemical Engineering) and Adam Smoulder (Bioengineering). Semi-finalists are Jennifer Cashman (Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science) and Sean Justice (Electrical and Computer Engineering). “The Swanson School is proud to recognize Le and the other finalists for their outstanding accomplishments at Pitt,” said Gerald D. Holder, U.S. Steel Dean of Engineering at Pitt. “Le and her colleagues are very deserving of this competitive award, and we think they will be successful Pitt Engineering alumni.” The George Washington Prize, founded in 2008, honors the first President of the United States and the country’s first engineer. Its mission is to reinforce the importance of engineering and technology in society, and the enhance the visibility of the profession across the Swanson School’s engineering disciplines. The annual award recognizes Pitt seniors who display outstanding leadership, scholarship and performance as determined by a committee of eight professional engineers and Swanson School faculty. Winners receive a $2500 Dean’s Fellowship and award plaque. An additional $7,500 is awarded to the winner if he or she attends graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh. Founded in 1880, ESWP is a nonprofit association of more than 850 members and 30 affiliated technical societies engaged in a full spectrum of engineering and applied science disciplines. Now in its 134th year, the annual Engineering Awards Banquet is the oldest award event in the world - predating the Nobel Prize (1901), the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal (1907), and the Pulitzer Prize (1917).

Feb
13
2018

NEW RESEARCH FINDS CAUSE OF ALLOY WEAKNESS

Chemical & Petroleum, MEMS

Reprinted with the permission of Binghamton University By Rachael FloresNovember 27, 2017Sometimes calculations don’t match reality. That’s the problem faced by materials scientists for years when trying to determine the strength of alloys, resolving the disconnect between the theoretical strength of alloys and how strong they actually are. So, what has been missing?New research has found the answer with a collaboration between researchers at Binghamton University, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Michigan and Brookhaven National Laboratory. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science also supported the work.Researchers used advanced technology to look at alloys on an atomic level in order to understand what has been affecting the strength and other properties. Binghamton University materials science and engineering professor Guangwen Zhou was one of the scientists working on the project. The Pitt team included Jörg Wiezorek and Guofeng Wang from the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, and Judith Yang in Chemical and Petroleum Engineering.Zhou and his team used a Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) for the study, a tool that has been around since 1935 and has evolved dramatically in recent years with the incorporation of aberration correction techniques and environmental capabilities. It’s powerful enough to look deep into the structure of atoms.“We were able to observe that the changes in alloys from surface segregation were accompanied by the formation of dislocations in the subsurface,” explained Zhou. “Atoms typically make patterns, but when there’s a dislocation, that means the pattern has been interrupted.”Dislocations are what make the alloys weaker than the theoretical calculations predict and Zhou’s research found that surface segregation is what leads to those dislocations.“By understanding how the dislocation forms, we can start to control it,” said Zhou.This could lead to strengthening a variety of alloys that are valued specifically for their strength and light weight.According to Zhou, this groundbreaking research provides insight into what needs to change in order to strengthen the variety of alloys used in airplanes, jewelry, medical tools, bridges, cookware and other common objects.The study, “Dislocation nucleation facilitated by atomic segregation,” was recently published in Nature Materials.https://www.binghamton.edu/news/story/904/new-research-finds-cause-of-alloy-weakness ### Jörg Wiezorek, professor of mechanical engineering and materials scienceDr. Wiezorek was involved in the inception stage, the drafting, and writing of the manuscript. He provided continuum elasticity-based dislocation theory calculations. His contributions helped evaluate the energetic feasibility of the apparently observed dislocation nucleation events, which were initiated by solute atom segregation and surface phase formation-related local crystal lattice strain build-up. The calculations also facilitated distinction between the numerous possible scenarios for their mutual strain field interaction to identify the most likely ones that control the dislocation motion after formation. Dr. Wiezorek also contributed to the Burgers vector and dislocation core character determination and interpretation of the atomic resolution transmission electron microscopy images and movies. Guofeng Wang, associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials scienceDr. Wang’s group participated in this project right from the beginning when the collaborators at SUNY Binghamton observed some interesting phenomena in CuAu thin films but not in pure Cu thin films. The researchers hypothesized that the Au surface segregation process is responsible for the observed dislocation nucleation. To examine this hypothesis and complement the experimental study, Yinkai Lei and Zhenyu Liu—two PhD students from Dr. Wang’s group who have since graduated—performed extensive atomistic simulations to predict the dislocation core structure, the slip plane of the 1/2[110] dislocation, and the equilibrium structure of the Au segregated CuAu alloy surfaces. The theoretical predictions agreed excellently with the HRTEM images. Hence, these simulations provide much insight into and good explanation of the observed dislocation nucleation process at an atomic scale.Judith C. Yang, professor chemical and petroleum engineeringDr. Yang’s group hosted Lianfeng Zou, a PhD student from Dr. Guangwen Zhou’s group at the University of Binghamton, for a few years at the University of Pittsburgh, where he learned transmission electron microscopy (TEM), including in situ environmental TEM, as well as creating the thin films of CuAu alloy. Lianfeng Zou used in situ environmental TEM to visualize the unusual dislocation nucleation and migration of the copper-gold alloy at the atomic scale in real time. Dr. Yang also facilitated the interactions with Drs. Wiezorek and Wang at Pitt. Before becoming a professor at SUNY Binghamton, Dr. Zhou was the first PhD in Dr. Yang’s group.
Matt Cichowicz, Communications Writer
Feb
8
2018

Pitt Undergraduates Finish in Second Place of Ergonomics Design Competition for Third Consecutive Year

Bioengineering, Chemical & Petroleum, Industrial, Student Profiles

PITTSBURGH (February 8, 2018) … Undergraduate students from the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering finished in second place overall for the third year in a row at the International Ergonomics Design Competition hosted by Auburn Engineers, Inc.“We entered six teams this year, and two of them finished in the top five with one team finishing as the runner-up again,” said Joel Haight, associate professor of industrial engineering and director of Pitt’s Safety Engineering Program. Dr. Haight is faculty advisor to the Ergonomic Design Competition teams.Throughout the fall semester, students worked on a Preliminary Design Project to identify workplace stressors and apply ergonomic design principles to alleviate them. This year’s challenge centered on improving an operating room for veterinarians treating large dogs. The Final Design Project, which the students had to complete in 48 hours, involved the evaluation and redesign of a work station at a small engine repair shop.The Pitt teams comprised students from the departments of industrial engineering, bioengineering, chemical engineering, and psychology. According to Dr. Haight, the competition came down to the wire, with the Pitt students just barely edged out of the first place spot.“Our students were up against graduate students at almost all of the schools, and our top team came in just behind a team of graduate students from the University of Buffalo,” noted Dr. Haight.In addition to the two top five teams, the four other Pitt teams received honorable mentions, meaning they finished among the top 14 teams. A total of 28 teams competed, including students from the University of Michigan, Auburn University, Texas A&M, Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon (Mexico), Virginia Tech, Concordia, and others.In response to the success of Pitt’s undergraduate students’ performance over the past three years, David C. Alexander, president of Auburn Engineers and competition director, collaborated with Dr. Haight to write a joint paper about the competition and its contribution to education.“We submitted the paper to the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers’ annual conference in Orlando, and it’s been accepted. We will talk about the competition and industrial engineering education at Pitt to conference attendees this May,” said Dr. Haight. Image (left to right): Top five finishers Dr. Haight, Rip Rucker (IE), Lauren Czerniak (IE), Sean Callaghan (IE), and Connor Bomba (IE) Image (left to right): Dr. Haight, James Oosten (BioE), Katelyn Axman (BioE), and Matt Astbury (BioE) Image (left to right): Dr. Haight, Mackenzie Cavanaugh (IE), Aster Chmielewski (IE), Tom Kramer (IE), and Chris Herrick (IE) Image (left to right): Matt Jones (Psy), Charlie Gates (IE), and Dr. Haight, missing from photo: Jack Clark (ChemE) Image (left to right): Evan Poska (IE), Matt Hoge (IE), Chris C.J. Luther (IE), and Dr. Haight ###
Matt Cichowicz, Communications Writer

Jan

Jan
29
2018

Swanson School Students Succeed at the Startup Blitz

Bioengineering, Chemical & Petroleum, Electrical & Computer, Student Profiles

PITTSBURGH (January 29, 2018) … The University of Pittsburgh Innovation Institute hosted its biannual Startup Blitz where nearly 50 students from across the University presented their ideas and innovations to a panel of peers and entrepreneurial experts. The Swanson School of Engineering students had a strong showing and were represented in each of the top three teams. These teams demonstrated interdepartmental collaborations that proved successful in creating ideas that spoke to fellow entrepreneurs. The top prize went to a project that may look familiar to those who attended the School’s fall semester Design Expo. The Posture Protect team of bioengineering students Tyler Bray, Raj Madhani, Jacob Meadows, and Vaishali Shetty came out on top again. They pitched their prototype for a device that helps improve posture for individuals with Parkinson’s disease to the panel of judges and were presented the first place award of $1,500. The Beacone team pitching their idea. (Photo credit: Pitt Innovation Institute) “I am delighted this team of students and their project from our fall 2017 ENGR 1716 Art of Making class won 1st place at Startup Blitz,” said Joseph Samosky, assistant professor of bioengineering and course director of The Art of Making. “In our course we promote human-centered design, the ability to frame and innovatively solve real-world problems, and how to effectively communicate your ideas to others,” said Samosky. “The Posture Protect team pursued an outstanding design thinking process, and they richly deserve the accolades they’re getting. Their project has real potential to help people with Parkinson’s.” The first runner up team included chemical engineering and Pitt STRIVE student, Henry Ayoola and electrical and computer engineering student, Teddy Valinski. They created Beacone, a safety program for manufacturing plants and construction sites that utilizes a smart device. The team was awarded a prize of $1,000. The Four Growers team presented with their award. (Photo credit: Pitt Innovation Institute) The second runner up team included electrical and computer engineering student, Dan Chi and bioengineering student, Ruben Hartogs. They created Four Growers, an automated device for harvesting tomatoes in commercial greenhouses. They were awarded $500 for their innovation. The Innovation Institute encourages students with entrepreneurial aspirations to apply to the upcoming Randall Family Big Idea Competition. Applications are due February 5. Read the entire news release from the Innovation Institute.

Jan
26
2018

Open Position: NTS Assistant Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering

Chemical & Petroleum, Open Positions

We seek an exceptional candidate at the assistant professor level for this non-tenure stream position with primary responsibilities related to teaching. Candidates must have BS and PhD degrees in Chemical Engineering and a strong potential to teach all core courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. In addition, the candidate should excel in a secondary area such as research, education service activities that benefit the department, or research service activities that benefit the department. The Department has internationally recognized programs in Energy and Sustainability, Catalysis and Reaction Engineering, Materials, Multi-Scale Modeling, and Biomedical Engineering.  Active collaborations exist with several adjacent centers, including the University of Pittsburgh Center for Research Computing, the Center for Energy, the Petersen Institute for Nanoscience and Engineering, the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and the U.S. DOE National Energy Technology Laboratory.  Our Department has also recently established a strategic alliance with Lubrizol Corporation that includes educational and research components. The successful applicant will be committed to high quality teaching for a diverse student body and to assisting our department in enhancing diversity. Candidates from groups traditionally underrepresented in engineering are strongly encouraged to apply.  To apply, submit the following as a single PDF file:  (1) a cover letter; (2) CV; (3) a teaching plan; (4) a one-page plan to promote diversity in education; (5) names and contact information for four references; and (6) one of the following: a research plan, an education service plan, or a research service plan.  Applications should be addressed to:Professor Robert S. Parker; Department of Chemical Engineering; 940 Benedum Hall; University of Pittsburgh; Pittsburgh, PA  15261; phone 412-624-7364. Applications for this Fall Term 2018 position (starting in late August 2017) will be accepted via email only to che@pitt.edu. In order to ensure full consideration, applications must be received by April 1, 2018.  The University of Pittsburgh is an EEO/AA/M/F/Vet/Disabled employer.

Professor Robert Parker
Jan
26
2018

Open Position ChemE TS Sustainability Professor

Chemical & Petroleum, Open Positions

We seek one or more exceptional candidates to fill a tenure stream position at the assistant, associate or full professor level. Candidates should show strong potential to become leaders in the sustainability research field, to contribute to teaching chemical engineering at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and to do service for the university and the broader public. The Department has internationally recognized programs in Energy and Sustainability, Catalysis and Reaction Engineering, Materials, Multi-scale Modeling, and Biomedical Engineering. Active collaborations exist with several adjacent centers, including the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation, the University of Pittsburgh Center for Research Computing, the Center for Energy, the Petersen Institute for Nanoscience and Engineering, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, other regional universities, and the U.S. DOE National Energy Technology Laboratory. Our department has also recently established a strategic alliance with Lubrizol Corporation that includes educational and research components. The successful candidate will have expertise in one or more multidisciplinary fields that are centered on sustainability in order to contribute to the department’s inclusive excellence goals.  The candidate must be committed to high quality teaching for a diverse student body and to assisting our department in enhancing diversity. Candidates from groups traditionally underrepresented in engineering are strongly encouraged to apply.  An earned doctorate in chemical engineering or environmental engineering is required.  Interested applicants should submit a single PDF file containing: (1) a 1-page cover letter, (2) CV, (3) a 2-3 page teaching statement, (4) a 4-6 page research plan, (5) a 1-page plan for promoting diversity and/or providing service to the department, school or university, and (6) the names and contact information for at least four references. To apply, submit the PDF file to: Professor Eric Beckman, Co-Director of the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation; Swanson School of Engineering; University of Pittsburgh; Pittsburgh, PA  15261.  Applications accepted via email only to che@pitt.edu. In order to ensure full consideration, applications must be received by March 15, 2018.  The University of Pittsburgh is an EEO/AA/M/F/Vet/Disabled employer.

Professor Eric Beckman
Jan
23
2018

Pitt Chemical Engineering research group is one of five winners of international Circular Materials Challenge

Chemical & Petroleum

DAVOS, Switzerland (January 23, 2018) … Each year more than eight million tons of plastics pollute the ocean, forming mammoth, so-called “garbage patches” via strong currents. Even with new collection methods, only 0.5 percent out of that volume is currently removed from the seas. One solution to this growing crisis is to prevent plastic from becoming waste to begin with – and researchers from the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering are one of five international teams awarded for their novel solutions to this problem. Today at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and NineSigma announced the winners of the Circular Materials Challenge. The winners will each receive a $200,000 share of the $1 million prize. Together with the winners of the earlier $1 million Circular Design Challenge last October, these innovations will join a 12-month accelerator program in collaboration with Think Beyond Plastic, working with experts to make their innovations marketable at scale. The Pitt team represents the Swanson School’s Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, and includes Eric Beckman, Distinguished Service Professor and Co-Director of the University’s Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation, Assistant Professor Susan Fullerton, and Associate Professor Sachin Velankar. The group was one of two winners in Category 1: “Make unrecyclable packaging recyclable,” and proposes using nano-engineering to create a recyclable material that can replace complex multi-layered packaging – mimicking the way nature uses just a few molecular building blocks to create a huge variety of materials. “Over the past few years I had noted with interest that industries such as automotive, home appliance, and even aluminum cans were transforming their business models from traditional products to services, where goods are designed to be recovered and reused,” Dr. Beckman said. “By contrast, the paradigm of the chemical industry has, for 150 years, been short lifetime and single use. In fact, one study found that the United States only recycles nine percent of its plastic waste, well behind Europe (30 percent) and China (25 percent). 1 “Since simple plastics are composed of molecules that can be manipulated to perform various functions, I wondered whether we could transform a molecule from a product to service, with the most interesting applications of this being textiles and packaging.” According to Dr. Beckman, current packaging layers for food products and drink containers are made of several different materials that are responsible for maintaining freshness, blocking UV light, holding inks for labeling, etc. Because the initial manufacturing process, the layers cannot be easily separated and therefore cannot be recycled. The Pitt team’s solution is to alter the nano-structure of polyethylene – simple plastic – to mimic the properties of other complex materials (such as PET, EVOH, or even aluminum) in current laminate packaging. Since the basic chemistry of each layer would remain polyethylene, the packaging can then be collected with other plastics and recycled using traditional methods, removing it from the waste stream. The importance to reducing and reusing plastic is clear: according to the foundation’s 2016 New Plastic Economy report, by 2050 oceans are expected to contain more plastics than fish (by weight), and the entire plastics industry will consume 20 percent of total oil production, and 15 percent of the annual carbon budget. Wendy Schmidt, Lead Philanthropic Partner of the foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative, noted, “The technical innovations developed by our winners are exactly what is needed to begin to address the wasteful material culture of the past century that is creating increasing amounts of microplastics and plastic debris on our shorelines, in our oceans, landfills and even our own bodies.” “Creating recyclable packaging is one of the toughest challenges if we want to create a true circular economy in the U.S., since tens of millions of tons of packaging waste go straight to the landfill each year,” Dr. Beckman said. “We hope that our design not only can set a new standard for high-performing and recyclable plastics, but will stimulate people to think about other ways in which we can transform molecular products to services by mirroring nature and taking advantage of nanostructure building blocks.” ### 1“Plastic waste inputs from land into the ocean.” Science 13 Feb 2015: Vol. 347, Issue 6223, pp. 768-771. DOI: 10.1126/science.1260352 View/download the full-scale image above. Read the Circular Materials Challenge news release from the New Plastics Economy. Read the Ellen MacArthur Foundation news release.

Jan
22
2018

Pitt’s Center for Medical Innovation awards five novel biomedical devices with $115,000 total Round-2 2017 Pilot Funding

Bioengineering, Chemical & Petroleum, MEMS

PITTSBURGH (January 22, 2018) … The University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Medical Innovation (CMI) awarded grants totaling $115,000 to five engineering and medicine groups through its 2017 Round-2 Pilot Funding Program for Early Stage Medical Technology Research and Development. The latest funding proposals include proposed solutions to conditions such as peripheral artery disease, pulmonary fibrosis, improving auditory pathology detection, improved wound healing and repair, and a better means to perform root canal surgery. The Center for Medical Innovation, a University Center housed in Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering, supports applied technology projects in the early stages of development with “kickstart” funding toward the goal of transitioning the research to clinical adoption. Proposals are evaluated on the basis of scientific merit, technical and clinical relevance, potential health care impact and significance, experience of the investigators, and potential in obtaining further financial investment to translate the particular solution to healthcare. “We have an extremely strong cohort from our 2017 Round 2 funding,” said Alan D. Hirschman, PhD, CMI Executive Director. “The collaboration between engineering and medicine at Pitt provides a fertile setting for novel medical technology, and so we’re proud to give these researchers funding to take their ideas to the next level.” AWARD 1: A structurally and mechanically tunable Biocarpet for peripheral arterial diseaseDevelopment of a prototype “Biocarpet” that is mechanically and topographically tunable and can be used to treat complex peripheral artery disease. This will help treat long lesions in peripheral arteries that have multiple stenoses. Jonathan P. Vande Geest, PhD Professor of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering Kang Kim, PhD Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; and secondary appointment in Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering William R. Wagner, PhD Professor of Surgery University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; Director, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and secondary in Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering John J. Pacella, MD, MS Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; and Vascular Medicine Institute Kenneth J. Furdella Graduate Student, Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering AWARD 2: FibroKineTM: CXCL10 Biomimetic Peptides for Treatment of Pulmonary Fibrosis Development of an inhaled aerosol delivery system will achieve target organ specificity and efficient delivery to the lung. This will specifically aid patients who suffer from Pulmonary Fibrosis. Cecelia C. Yates, PhD Assistant Professor of Health Promotion and Development, University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing Timothy E. Corcoran, PhD Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; and secondary appointments in departments of Bioengineering and Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering Zariel I. Johnson, PhD Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Health Promotion and Development, University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing Christopher Mahoney, M.S. PhD Candidate, Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering AWARD 3: Hearing for Health: Single Unit Hearing Screener and AmplifierDevelopment of a wearable product that will allow health care professionals to quickly screen individuals for hearing loss. The device would also further provide sound amplification for those individuals with difficulty hearing. Catherine V. Palmer, PhD Program Director and Associate Professor, Audiology Program, Department of Communication Science & Disorders, University of Pittsburgh School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences; and Department of Otolaryngology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Jeffrey S. Vipperman, PhD Professor and Department Vice-Chair of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering AWARD 4: Gel-based reconstructive matrix for treating orbital trauma and periocular woundsDevelopment of a novel ocular trauma management system, for immediate response to injuries that occur to the areas including and surrounding the eye. Morgan Fedorchak, PhD Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Clinical & Translational Sciences, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; secondary appointment in Chemical Engineering, University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering; and Louis J. Fox Center for Vision Restoration Jenny Yu, MD, FACS Assistant Professor and Vice Chair for Clinical Operations Department of Ophthalmology, UPMC Eye Center; and Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology,  University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Michael Washington, PhD Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine AWARD 5: Vital-Dent, a Revitalizing Root Canal SolutionDevelopment of a novel device to regenerate vital tooth pulp after root canal therapy. Vital pulp will help protect the tooth from future infection and injury, reducing the need for tooth extraction, implants and dentures. Juan Taboas, PhD Department of Oral Biology, University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine; secondary appointment, Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering; and Center for Craniofacial Regeneration, McGowan Institute of Regenerative Medicine Herbert Lee Ray Jr., DMD Assistant Professor of Endodontics and Director, Graduate Endodontic Residency Program, University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine; and Center for Craniofacial Regeneration, McGowan Institute of Regenerative Medicine Jingming Chen, B.S. Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering; and Center for Craniofacial Regeneration, McGowan Institute of Regenerative Medicine ### About the Center for Medical Innovation The Center for Medical Innovation at the Swanson School of Engineering is a collaboration among the University of Pittsburgh’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), the Innovation Institute, and the Coulter Translational Research Partnership II (CTRP). CMI was established in 2011 to promote the application and development of innovative biomedical technologies to clinical problems; to educate the next generation of innovators in cooperation with the schools of Engineering, Health Sciences, Business, and Law; and to facilitate the translation of innovative biomedical technologies into marketable products and services. Over 50 early-stage projects have been supported by CMI with a total investment of over $1 million since inception.

Jan
11
2018

Back-to-back Journal Covers for Pitt Research Teams

Chemical & Petroleum

PITTSBURGH (January 11, 2018) … The covers of the Tissue Engineering, Part A and Advanced Healthcare Materials scientific journals in December highlighted two projects originating from the Swanson School of Engineering’s Little Lab, which focuses on developing biomimetic therapies for human injury and disease. “While it’s a coincidence that the two covers appeared in the same week, this achievement showcases the excellent work to change the paradigm of how we treat disease being done by all the team members of the Little Lab and its collaborators,” said Steven R. Little, chair of the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering and co-author of the two papers. Both projects—one a research paper and the other a review—dealt with topics in “controlled delivery” and involved multi-disciplinary teams of researchers from the University of Pittsburgh departments of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, Bioengineering, Orthopaedic Surgery, and Ophthalmology. “The research paper proposes a cell-free approach to bone engineering based on the directing the migration of the body own stem cells, while the review discusses innovative approaches to treat inflammatory eye diseases,” said Riccardo Gottardi, research assistant professor in Pitt’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and a co-author of the two papers. Dr. Gottardi has a second appointment in the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering and helps Dr. Little run the Little Lab. The cover of Tissue Engineering, Part A featured an image from the study “Programmed Platelet-Derived Growth Factor-BB and Bone Morphogenetic Protein-2 Delivery from a hybrid Calcium Phosphate/Alginate Scaffold” (DOI: 10.1089/ten.tea.2017.0027). The research paper described using a three-dimensional scaffold for releasing growth-stimulating proteins in a controlled manner to treat bone fractures that aren’t healing properly. The lead author of the paper was Emily Bayer, who recently graduated from her position as a trainee in the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine Cellular Approaches to Tissue Engineering and Regeneration (CATER) Training Program. Bayer was a member of the Little Lab while working on the paper. The research team was joined by Abhijit Roy, research assistant professor in the Department of Bioengineering, and Prashant N. Kumta, the Edward R. Weidlein Chair Professor with tenure at the Swanson School of Engineering and School of Dental Medicine.The cover of Advanced Healthcare Materials featured a graphic for the study “Ocular Therapeutics: Modern Therapeutic Approaches for Noninfectious Ocular Diseases Involving Inflammation” (DOI: 10.1002/adhm.201700733). The paper reviewed inflammatory eye disease treatments and was led by co-first authors Michelle L. Ratay and Elena Bellotti. Ratay, a graduate student researcher in the Department of Bioengineering, and Dr. Bellotti, a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, are both members of the Little Lab. Both projects examined topics in "controlled delivery" and involved multi-disciplinary teams of researchers from the Swanson School of Engineering. ###
Matt Cichowicz, Communications Writer