Photo Tim Whitehead and a student in the lab.

Expanded research in this area is a top priority of the college. There are several groups on which we will base our growth: nanomedicine for diagnosis and treatment, as well as for drug development; identification of critical paths in selected proteomic processes (e.g., renal, cardiovascular), using a system biology approach; and device development (e.g., telemedicine for breast examinations, non-invasive diagnosis of cardio- and other critical functions, ultrasound and microwave imaging and therapy, tissue engineering, neuroprosthetics, and new sensor development).

In the News

$1.8 million NIH grantPeter Lillehoj is heading a team of researchers that will use a $1.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to diagnosis and monitor cerebral malaria using mobile phones.

Lillehoj receives $1.8 million to explore improved diagnosis of malaria using mobile phones

Researchers at the Michigan State University College of Engineering are getting closer to phoning home a rapid-response diagnostic test for malaria, one of the world’s most deadly infectious diseases. Most of the world’s 600,000 malaria victims are children. 

Peter Lillehoj, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, is heading a team of researchers that will use a $1.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to diagnose and monitor cerebral malaria using mobile phones.

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Commercializing biosensor technology

THE NEXT PHASE: Commercialization of biosensor technology

R. Mark Worden is using his expertise to adapt his patented biosensor technology so it can be used in portable, low-cost, hand-held sensors similar to the personal glucose meters used by diabetics.Millions of Americans with diabetes use a variety of meters to check their blood glucose levels and manage the disease. This concept is spurring Michigan State University (MSU) AgBioResearch scientist R. Mark Worden to commercialize a biosensor system that would have widespread applications in other venues, such as food processing facilities or clinical laboratories that assess high volume samples from many sources.

Worden, a professor in the MSU Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science (CHEMS), began working in oxidation-reduction reactions, also known as redox, in the late 1990s. These chemical reactions are important in a number of areas, including biofuel production. As the research progressed, Worden developed expertise in nanotechnology and biocatalysts, which are often used to perform chemical transformations on organic compounds.

Over the years, various stages of this project received funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and other organizations. In looking at various aspects of these reactions and trying to exploit their economic benefits, Worden developed a biosensor system that was recently patented by MSU.

Now Worden is collaborating on a new NSF project with Paul Satoh, MSU adjunct professor in engineering and food science and former vice president of research at Neogen, a Lansing-based company that develops and markets products dedicated to food and animal safety.

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Water sensor research is inspired by natureMatt Mutka is collaborating on a water sensor that will jump and stride across contaminated water to aid environmental monitoring.

When an oil pipeline burst near Kalamazoo in the summer of 2010, an estimated one million gallons of crude leaked into Talmadge Creek, a tributary of the Kalamazoo River. Contaminants snaked along in sinuous patterns, eventually winding through 35 miles of waterways during one of the costliest spills in the country’s history.

More than 30 households were evacuated and scores of others were warned about the quality of drinking water in the region. 

What was needed was a network of cost-efficient environmental sensors that could have been deployed quickly and networked for data collection as the pollution meandered into residential and recreational areas.

That’s the project goal for a $500,000 National Science Foundation grant that began in October in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. The research is a collaboration of Matt Mutka, professor and chair of computer science and engineering; Li Xiao, associate professor of computer science and engineering; and Ning Xi, University Distinguished Professor of electrical and computer engineering.

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Retired professor inducted into Hall of fame

Robert Hubbard helped convince a slow-to-adapt motor sports industry that the HANS device was a valuable piece of equipment.

Robert Hubbard, a retired Michigan State University professor who developed a safety device that is credited with saving the lives of countless racecar drivers, is now part of the Sports Car Club of America Hall of Fame.

Hubbard and Jim Downing, a driver himself and Hubbard’s brother-in-law, developed the Head and Neck Support device, or HANS, in the mid-1980s, following the death of a racer friend who died as a result of a skull fracture.

Hubbard and Downing recognized that racers were being killed because their torsos were restrained but their heads were not. Although unknown at the time, this has been the mechanism of basilar skull fractures, the most common cause of racers' deaths.

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