Biomechanical Engineering


Focus Areas:  Biofluid dynamics, bioheat transfer, biomaterials, and biomechanics.

Faculty in the bio-engineering group: Drs. Charles Eggleton, Ronghui Ma, Molly Mollica, L.D. Timmie Topoleski, and Liang Zhu

Biomechanical Engineering studies the fluid dynamics, thermal transport, elastic and dynamic process, and materials in living systems. Research efforts focus on development of fundamental and applied engineering knowledge related to biomechanical systems, and the application of engineering principles toward the design and development of biological materials, treatment of diseases, and performance of biomedical devices. Significant research efforts are aimed at developing a fundamental understanding of aging and disease processes in living systems. Faculty in this area are conducting interdisciplinary research in the following areas:

(1) Understanding the properties of hard biological tissues (i.e. bone, dentin and enamel), the engineered materials that replace them, the interfaces between hard tissues and biomaterials, and development of new manufacturing processes that can be applied
to biological materials and/or biomaterials in dental and medical treatments.

(2) Understanding the mechanical behavior of deformable particles, including living cells, and the influence of hydrodynamic forces and applied external forces on their behavior, and high throughput measurements of cell mechanical properties

(3) Investigating the heat and mass transfer in magnetic nanoparticle hyperthermia and photothermal therapy using gold nanoshells/nanorods in cancer therapy, targeted brain cooling using an interstitial cooling device, and bacterial disinfection in endodontics using laser or heating catheters.

(4) Surface modifications to biomaterials to prevent wear and corrosion; micro- and nano-structural modifications to increase fatigue and fracture resistance; understanding the structure/function changes in human arteries that occur as a result of aging or disease, and responses to interventions used to treat heart disease.

The Biomechanical Engineering faculty in the Mechanical Engineering Department at UMBC maintain close collaborative relationships with other institutions in the Baltimore-Washington area, including the University of Maryland Medical and Dental Schools, the Johns Hopkins University Medical School, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).