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Dr. Liang Zhu


Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
1000 Hilltop Circle Baltimore, MD 21250

Phone: (410) 455-3332
Office: ENGR220

Website: Bioheat Transfer Laboratory


Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, City University of New York, 1995
B.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Science and Technology of China, 1988

Employment History

2014-present Professor, Mechanical Engineering
2004-2014 Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
1998-2004 Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Honors and Awards

2010, 2014 NSF S-STEM Grants
2012 FDA Contract
2008, 2013 NSF Grants
2008 State of Maryland TEDCO Fund
2006 UMBC ADVANCE Program Research Assistantship
1999 Whitaker Biomedical Research Grant Award
1988 Guo Muo-Ruo Prize, University of Science & Technology of China

Research Interest

Magnetic Nanoparticle Hyperthermia — One research focuses on theoretical and experimental study of temperature elevations in tumor using magnetic nanoparticle hyperthermia. In this study, we design experiments to understand the nanoparticle distribution after intra-tumoral injection and how nanoparticle spreading is affected by injection strategies such as injection rate and injection amount. In vitro and in vivo experiments have then been performed to evaluate the temperature rises in tumor after the nanoparticles are subject to an alternating magnetic field. We also developed a computer algorithm to inversely determine the injection strategies involving multi-injection site in an irregular shaped tumor to maximize the heating in tumor with minimal collateral damage to the surrounding tissue. Currently we are employing a microCT system to visualize the particle distribution in tumor based on the assumption that the nanoparticles change the local material density and the density change is detectable by x-ray.

Photothermal Therapy Using Gold Nanoshells/Nanorods in Cancer Therapy — Currently we are exploring research field of photothermal therapy using gold nanorods in cancer treatment. Gold nanorods can be tuned to maximally absorb laser energy at certain laser wavelengths. Once the nanorods are injected into a tumor, it will serve as an energy absorber to concentrate the laser energy to the tumor site, therefore, to achieve targeted laser ablation of the tumor, while preserving the surrounding healthy tissue. Similar to our magnetic nanoparticle hyperthermia project, we are interested in quantifying the particle distribution (using the microCT imaging system) and mapping the temperature rise distribution in the tumor during laser photothermal therapy.

Targeted Brain Cooling Using An Interstitial Cooling Device — This research project focuses on studying temperature distribution in human neck and brain during selective brain cooling (SBC) and developing new cooling devices for patients suffering ischemia or head injury. The computer and software in our lab at UMBC have been used to simulate the temperature distribution in brain tissue. In vivo animal experiments have been performed in the laboratory to study blood flow and temperature responses to various cooling approaches in SBC.

Using Laser or Heating Catheters in Bacterial Disinfection in Endodontics — We also adopted our computation skill to dentistry to simulate temperature distribution in dentin during various thermal procedures including lasers and heating catheters for bacterial disinfection. The microCT system can be used to generate precise physical models for theoretical simulations. Theoretical simulation has been used to design a feasible treatment protocol to maintain sufficient high temperature elevations in deep dentin while preserving the sensitive surrounding periodontal ligament and cementum.

Classes Taught at UMBC

ENES217 Thermodynamics
ENME321 Transport Processes
ENME432L Fluid/Energy Laboratory
ENME489H/813 Heat Transfer in Biological Systems
ENME489Y/631 Advances in Conduction and Radiation

Selected Publications

Smith, K., & and Zhu, L.. (2010). Theoretical evaluation of a simple cooling pad in inducing hypothermia in spinal cord following traumatic injury. Medical and Biological Engineering & Computing, 48(2), 167-175.

Zhu, L.., Tolba, M., Arola, D., Salloum, M., & Meza, F. (2009). Evaluation of effectiveness of Er,Cr:YSGG laser for root canal disinfection: Theoretical simulation of temperature elevations in root dentin. Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, 131(7), 1-8).

Diller, K., & Zhu, L.. (2009). Hypothermia Therapy for Brain Injury. Annual Review of Bioengineering. 11, 135-162.

Zhu, L., Schappeler, T., Cordero-Tumangday, C., & Rosengart, A. J. (2009). Thermal interactions between blood and tissue: development of a theoretical approach in predicting body temperature during blood cooling/rewarming. Advances in Numerical Heat Transfer, 3, 197-219.

Salloum, M., Ma, R., & Zhu, L.. Enhancement in treatment planning for magnetic nanoparticle hyperthermia: optimization of the heat absorption pattern. International Journal of Hyperthermia, 25(4), 311-323.

Tang, W., Tasch, U., Neerchal, N. K., Zhu, L., & Yarowsky, P. (2009). Measuring early pre-symptomatic changes in locomotion of SOD1-G93A rats – a rodent model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 176(2), 254-262.

Rosengart, A. J., Zhu, L., Schappeler, T., & Goldenberg, F. D. (2009). Fever control in hospitalized stroke patients using simple intravenous fluid regimens – a theoretical evaluation. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, 16(1), 51-55,.

Salloum, M., Ma, R. & Zhu, L. (2008). An in-vivo experimental study of temperature elevations in animal tissue during magnetic nanoparticle hyperthermia. International Journal of Hyperthermia, 24(7), 589-601.

Salloum, M., Ma, R. Weeks, D., & Zhu, L. (2008). Controlling nanoparticle delivery in magnetic nanoparticle hyperthermia for cancer treatment: experimental study in agarose gel. International Journal of Hyperthermia, 24(4), 337-345.

Wang, Y., Zhu, L., & Rosengart, A. J. (2008). Targeted brain hypothermia induced by an interstitial cooling device in the rat neck: experimental study and model validation. International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 51, 5662-5670.