Search All News:


Model shows how intelligent-like behavior can emerge from non-living agents


A new model by a team of researchers led by Penn State and inspired by Michael Crichton’s novel “Prey” describes how biological or technical systems form complex structures equipped with signal-processing capabilities that allow the systems to respond to stimulus and perform functional tasks without external guidance.

Xiaogang Hu to lead Penn State assistive device efforts for stroke survivors at new center


Xiaogang Hu, associate professor of mechanical engineering and Dorothy Foehr Huck and J. Lloyd Huck Chair in Neurorehabilitation, will lead Penn State’s efforts in the newly funded Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center in Assisting Stroke Survivors with Engineering Technology.

Stretchable rubber diode opens possibilities for medical, electronic devices


If you are reading this article on your computer or phone, it is in part thanks to diodes. Diodes are used for a variety of critical electronic functions and are typically rigid. Electronic devices, such as robotics or medical devices, are becoming more flexible as technology advances, so Penn State researchers have developed a fully rubbery stretchable diode that maintains performance.

New method can scale, simplify manufacture of stretchy semiconductors


Penn State researchers developed a method to manufacture soft, elastic semiconductors and circuits more efficiently.

Engineers improve electrochemical sensing by incorporating machine learning


Combining machine learning with multimodal electrochemical sensing can significantly improve the analytical performance of biosensors, according to new findings from a Penn State research team. These improvements may benefit non-invasive health monitoring, such as testing that involves saliva or sweat.

Materials Research Institute names 2022 Roy Award Winners


Seven Penn State materials researchers have received the 2022 Rustum and Della Roy Innovation in Materials Research Award, including five in the College of Engineering.

Fruit flies use corrective movements to maintain stability after injury


Fruit flies can quickly compensate for catastrophic wing injuries, researchers found, maintaining the same stability after losing up to 40% of a wing. This finding could inform the design of versatile robots, which face the similar challenge of having to quickly adapt to mishaps in the field.

FDA-approved cholesterol medicine may help prevent antibiotic resistance


A Penn State-led multidisciplinary collaboration may have found a solution for antibiotic resistance in cholestyramine, an oral drug already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to reduce cholesterol levels and remove bile acids associated with liver diseases.

Breathing may measurably modulate neural responses across brain, study finds


Using functional MRI and electrophysiology, researchers in the Penn State College of Engineering identified a link between respiration and neural activity changes in the brain. This means taking a deep breath can actually impact one's emotional state — long acknowledged to be effective by mental health practitioners, but never before proven by science.

New research on effects of binge drinking earns Nikki Crowley early career award


Nikki Crowley, assistant professor of biology and of biomedical engineering at Penn State, is the 2022 recipient of the Neuropsychopharmacology (NPP) Editor’s Early Career Award.

Media Mention: ‘Freezing Cancer: How Cryo-EM is advancing oncology research’


Deb Kelly, professor of biomedical engineering and director of the Penn State Center for Structural Oncology, was featured on an episode of Science with a Twist, a ThermoFisher Scientific podcast.

Penn State biomedical engineers attend Biomedical Engineering Society meeting


Nearly 40 students and faculty members from the Penn State Department of Biomedical Engineering attended the 2022 Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) Annual Meeting in San Antonio on Oct. 12-15.

Tiny magnetic particles fight lung cancer cells on command in lab test


Traditional treatments for lung cancers can have serious side effects throughout the body, but newly developed, highly targeted treatments could reduce damage, according to Penn State researchers. A team led by Dan Hayes, biomedical engineering department head and Dorothy Foehr Huck and J. Lloyd Huck Chair in Nanotherapeutics and Regenerative Medicine at Penn State, developed a method that could lead to one such treatment with magnetic nanoparticles that can release a therapeutic payload when stimulated using a magnetic field.

Q&A with Meghan Vidt: Advancing recovery, decision-making for breast cancer surgery


Meghan Vidt, assistant professor of biomedical engineering and physical medicine and rehabilitation at Penn State, discusses her research in furthering the understanding of mastectomy and reconstruction surgery for breast cancer and the effects these surgeries have on patients.

Researchers 3D bioprint breast cancer tumors, treat them in groundbreaking study


Researchers at Penn State have successfully 3D bioprinted breast cancer tumors and treated them in a breakthrough study to better understand the disease that is one of the leading causes of mortality worldwide.

28 new faculty members join the College of Engineering


Twenty-eight new faculty members have joined the Penn State College of Engineering since the end of the spring semester. The 17 tenured or tenure-line members and 11 non-tenure-line members represent 12 units and departments and include two new department heads.

Stretchy, bio-inspired synaptic transistor can enhance, weaken device memories


Using the human brain as a model, Penn State engineering researchers developed a synaptic transistor, which uses artificial neurotransmitters to optimize functions. The transistor can be used to enhance the performance of wearable devices and robots.

Research review proposes alternative brain blood flow theories


In the brain, neural activity usually is followed by increases in blood flow to the active region, a process known as neurovascular coupling. Scientists know that this process is important for brain health, as the breakdown of this process precedes many neurodegenerative diseases, according to Patrick Drew, Penn State professor of engineering science and mechanics and of biomedical engineering. What scientists don’t know is why neurovascular coupling exists at all. Drew proposed possible answers to this question in a review article, “Neurovascular coupling: Motive unknown,” published in Trends of Neuroscience.

Xiaojun 'Lance' Lian featured on Huck Institutes live podcast


On Sept. 28 at noon, Xiaojun (Lance) Lian, associate professor of biomedical engineering, will be featured on The Symbiotic Podcast.

Media mention: ‘Thinking Cap’


Yun Jing, associate professor of acoustics and of biomedical engineering, and Huanyu “Larry” Cheng, the James L. Henderson, Jr. Memorial Associate Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics, were featured in the January/Februrary issue Radiology Today.

Media mention: ‘Novel hydrogel bioink improves 3D-printed biomaterials’


Amir Sheikhi, assistant professor of chemical engineering and biomedical engineering, and his team's research were recently featured in a BioTechniques article.

New approach more than doubles stem cell editing efficiency, researchers report


A Penn State-led team of interdisciplinary researchers has developed techniques to improve the efficiency of CRISPR-Cas9, the genome editing technique that earned the Nobel Prize in 2020.

Students engineer solutions to airport aggravations


Students taking a leadership course in Penn State’s School of Engineering Design Technology, and Professional Programs placed in the Airport Cooperative Research Program, a national engineering competition that aims to solve problems and inconveniences common to airports.

New granular hydrogel bioink could expand possibilities for tissue bioprinting


Penn State researchers have developed a novel nanoengineered granular hydrogel bioink that could be used to to develop biomaterials that can be three-dimensionally (3D) printed as complex organ shapes, capable of hosting cells and forming tissues.

Compost to computer: Bio-based materials used to salvage rare earth elements


Penn State chemical engineering researchers used micro- and nanoparticles created from the organic materials like corncobs and tomato peels to capture rare earth elements from aqueous solutions.

Researchers to develop scaffolding for nerve regeneration with $2.14M NIH grant


Peripheral nerves are responsible for moving muscles, sensing temperatures and even inhaling and exhaling; yet they comprise fragile fibers vulnerable to disease and injury. To maximize healing for the easily damaged nerves, Penn State researchers are using a five-year, $2.14 million grant from the National Institutes of Health’s Nation Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to develop a biodegradable nerve scaffold that aims to employ folate and citrate in novel ways.

Researchers explore nanomaterials for imaging, medicine delivery for arterial disease


A team of multiple principal investigators that includes Jian Yang, professor of biomedical engineering at Penn State, received a four-year, $2.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop biodegradable nanomaterials that will take pictures and deliver medicine to combat peripheral arterial disease.

At-home, saliva-based COVID-19 test as effective as PCR in preliminary analysis


Penn State researchers have developed a take-home, saliva-based test with the same level of sensitivity as the PCR, with results that send to a smart phone within 45 minutes.

National society recognizes biomedical engineering graduate student


Sailahari V. Ponnaluri, a doctoral candidate in the Penn State Department of Biomedical Engineering, earned a 2022 Oral Abstract Award from the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs (ASAIO). She was recognized at the annual conference in Chicago on June 9.

Biomedical engineer receives NIH grant to help unlock biology of binge drinking


Nikki Crowley, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Penn State, has been awarded a five-year, $1.6 million grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, part of the National Institutes of Health, to study the neurobiology of binge alcohol drinking.

Engineer to study gut-brain axis with Scialog grant


Aida Ebrahimi, assistant professor of electrical engineering in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and of biomedical engineering, has been selected as one of 13 researchers from seven multidisciplinary teams to receive a 2022 Scialog: Microbiome, Neurobiology and Disease Award. The $55,000 grant will allow Ebrahimi to conduct research to expand the understanding of the gut-brain axis.

Media mention: ‘The future is soft’


Cunjiang Yu, Dorothy Quiggle Career Development Associate Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics and associate professor of biomedical engineering, recently was featured in a Happy Valley Industry Q&A

Professor named to 25 Leaders Transforming Manufacturing list


Hui Yang, professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering and of biomedical engineering, was named to the annual SME 25 Leaders Transforming Manufacturing list.

Laser writing may enable ‘electronic nose’ for multi-gas sensor


Sensors are a step closer to sniffing out various gases that could indicate disease or pollution, thanks to a Penn State collaboration. Huanyu “Larry” Cheng, assistant professor of engineering science and mechanics in the College of Engineering, and Lauren Zarzar, assistant professor of chemistry in Eberly College of Science, and their teams combined laser writing and responsive sensor technologies to fabricate the first highly customizable microscale gas sensing devices.

Eight Penn State engineering students receive Diefenderfer Graduate Fellowships


Eight Penn State engineering graduate students received the Diefenderfer Graduate Fellowship in Entrepreneurship for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Alumnus and professor named new head of biomedical engineering


Dan Hayes, Penn State alumnus, professor of biomedical engineering, Dorothy Foehr Huck and J. Lloyd Huck Chair in Nanotherapeutics and Regenerative Medicine and director for the Center of Excellence in Industrial Biotechnology, named new head of the Penn State Department of Biomedical Engineering.

Biomedical engineering student explains how Invent Penn State helped fund her nonprofit


Sydney Gibbard, a biomedical engineering student, explains how Invent Penn State has helped fund her nonprofit, Girls Code the World.

Rubbery camouflage skin exhibits smart and stretchy behaviors


A Penn State-led collaboration has created artificial skin that mimics both the elasticity and neurologic functions of cephalopod skin. Made entirely of rubber, this material has potential applications for neurorobotics, skin prosthetics, artificial organs and more.

Real-time, accurate virus detection method could help fight next pandemic


A method of highly accurate and sensitive virus identification using Raman spectroscopy, a portable virus capture device and machine learning could enable real-time virus detection and identification to help battle future pandemics, according to a team led by Penn State.

Scientists devise method to help prevent hospital infections


A research team led by Penn State and the University of California, Los Angeles, developed a novel surface treatment for medical devices such as catheters to help prevent hospital infections from bacterial films that can form on these devices.

Toxic protein ‘variant’ may be the next target for ALS therapies


A new study by Penn State researchers shows that ‘variant’ complexes of a protein implicated in ALS pathology form in separate pathways, a discovery which may make it easier for drug developers to design therapies to target the more harmful variant.

College of Engineering awards six Multidisciplinary Research Seed Grants


The College of Engineering recently awarded six Multidisciplinary Research Seed Grants to faculty members, including one in partnership with the College of Health and Human Development and another with the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences.

Media mention: ‘Nanomaterials design reduces off-target effects of cancer drugs'


Amir Sheikhi, assistant professor of chemical engineering and biomedical engineering, discusses nanomaterials research to combat the severe side-effects of chemotherapy drugs.

Penn State announces academic promotions, effective July 1


Penn State announced academic promotions for tenured and tenure-line faculty members at the University, including 33 in engineering. The promotions will take effect on July 1.

Researchers find imperfections provide protection for system symmetry


An international research collaboration has discovered how to exploit certain defects to protect confined energy in acoustics systems. Their experimental approach provides a versatile platform to create at-will defects for further theoretical validation and to improve control of waves in other systems, such as light, according to principal investigator Yun Jing, associate professor of acoustics and of biomedical engineering at Penn State.

Head, body, eye coordination conserved across animal kingdom, researchers find


Fruit flies synchronize the movements of their heads and bodies to stabilize their vision and fly effectively, according to Penn State researchers who subjected flies to virtual-reality flight simulators. The finding appears to hold true in primates and other animals, the researchers say, indicating that animals evolved to move their eyes and bodies independently to conserve energy and improve performance.

Combined ultrasound-photoacoustic simulations help AI improve image quality


Combined ultrasound and photoacoustic (USPA) imaging can provide structural, functional and molecular information of deep biological tissue in real time, but its quantitative performance is affected by several unknown tissue parameters.

Six Penn State engineering students receive NSF Graduate Research Fellowships


The National Science Foundation has selected five current Penn State College of Engineering students as 2022 awardees for the Graduate Research Fellowship Program and one College of Engineering student for an honorable mention.

First round of funded projects announced from the Benkovic Research Initiative


The first round of projects to receive seed funding from the Patricia and Stephen Benkovic Research Initiative has been announced.

Materials Research Institute announces 2022 seed grant recipients


The Penn State Materials Research Institute has announced the 2022 recipients of seed grants that will enable University faculty to establish new collaborations with partners outside their own units for the exploration of transformative ideas for high-impact materials science and engineering.

2022 spring student marshal: Kara Miller


Kara Miller has been named the spring 2022 student marshal for biomedical engineering.

Bioprinting for bone repair improved with genes, researchers report


An international Penn State-led team is bioprinting bone, along with two growth factor-encoding genes that help incorporate cells and heal defects, in the skulls of rats.

College of Engineering adds 15 faculty members


The Penn State College of Engineering has added 15 faculty members this semester, with 11 tenured or tenure-line members and four non-tenure-line members.

Eleven alumni to receive College of Engineering’s highest honor


Eleven Penn State engineering graduates will be honored on April 4 at the College of Engineering’s Outstanding Engineering Alumni Awards ceremony at Hyatt Place State College. Charlie Blenko, an undergraduate student majoring in civil engineering, will serve as the event’s emcee.

From the ground up: Taking 3D printing technology to the next level


Researchers at Penn State are at the leading edge of the field now known as additive manufacturing, working to advance the capabilities of 3D printing with a goal of addressing pressing problems in human health, housing and transportation, among other areas.

Penn State engineering rises in U.S. News & World Report graduate rankings


In the 2023 U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate Engineering Programs rankings released today (March 29), engineering at Penn State University Park ranked No. 32 overall, advancing one place from last year’s report, and No. 18 among public institutions. Seven engineering specialty disciplines offered by the College of Engineering also climbed in the rankings, and eight are now ranked in the top 20 nationally.

2022 Outstanding Engineering Alumni Award: Steve Spadt


Steve Spadt, chief technology officer for the American College of Physicians, has been named one of 11 recipients of the 2022 Outstanding Engineering Alumni Award by the Penn State College of Engineering.

Cunjiang Yu joins engineering science and mechanics, biomedical engineering


Cunjiang Yu joined the Penn State College of Engineering as the Dorothy Quiggle Career Development Associate Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics and Biomedical Engineering on Jan. 1. Yu received his doctorate in mechanical engineering at Arizona State University and completed a three-year post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Inhalable aerogel triggers immunity to COVID-19 in mice, may block transmission


An inhalable "aerogel" loaded with DNA that encodes for the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein successfully induces an immune response against COVID-19 in the lungs of mice, according to new research conducted at Penn State. The team said its aerogel could be used to create an inhalable vaccine that blocks SARS-CoV-2 transmission by preventing the virus from establishing an infection in the lungs.

Media mention: “Transparent Chip Provides View to Multimodal Imaging”


Sri-Rajasekhar “Raj” Kothapalli, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, discusses his work to develop a transparent, biocompatible ultrasound transducer chip.

Studying diseases with better delivery of gene-editing tools


A Penn State-led team of interdisciplinary researchers developed a method that improved the lifespan and efficiency of CRISPR gene-editing tools after delivery into stem cells. Their findings were made available online ahead of official publication in Bioactive Materials. 

2022 NSF CAREER Award: Spencer Szczesny


Spencer Szczesny, assistant professor of biomedical engineering and of orthopaedics and rehabilitation at Penn State, earned a five-year, $654,682 NSF CAREER Award for a project titled “Studying tendon cell mechanobiology in the native tissue environment.”

Media Mention: Penn State biomedical engineering research works to solve drug resistant cancer


Justin Pritchard, Dorothy Foehr Huck and J. Lloyd Huck Early Career Entrepreneurial Assistant Professor and assistant professor of biomedical engineering, was quoted in an article published by the Daily Collegian on Feb. 28.

Nine engineers recognized with $5.5 million in NSF early career awards


Nine faculty members in Penn State’s College of Engineering earned National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Awards. Each project funded ranges in duration from three and a half to five years, with grants from roughly $500,000 to more than $800,000.

Engineer named to MIT Technology Review’s Innovators Under 35 China list


Huanyu “Larry” Cheng, Dorothy Quiggle Career Development Assistant Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics at Penn State, was named to the 2021 MIT Technology Review’s Innovators Under 35 China list.

Media mention: ‘Improve millions of lives’ through biomedical stroke rehabilitation


Amir Sheiki, Penn State assistant professor of chemical and biomedical engineering and principal investigator for the Bio-Soft Materials Laboratory, and Juliana Dominick, former undergraduate research assistant at Penn State, were quoted in an article published by the Daily Collegian on Feb. 18.

Transparent ultrasound chip improves cell stimulation and imaging


Penn State engineering researchers created an easier, more exact method to stimulate cells through ultrasound waves by creating a transparent, biocompatible ultrasound transducer chip upon which cells can be cultured and stimulated.

Six Penn State student startups set to compete for $30,000 in Inc.U Competition


Six Penn State student startup teams have been selected as finalists in the Invent Penn State Inc.U Competition and are set to compete for $30,000 in funding on “The Investment,” a WPSU Shark Tank-like television production that will be livestreamed during Penn State Startup Week powered by PNC.

Bernard M. Gordon Learning Factory capstone project winners announced


The College of Engineering Bernard M. Gordon Learning Factory showcases for the fall 2021 semester took place virtually from Dec. 10 – 17 and in-person on Dec. 7. Students in the senior capstone design courses presented the culmination of their semester-long projects at the events.

Compressing gene libraries to expand accessibility, research opportunities


A Penn State-led research team was inspired by the concept of image compression to develop a research method that could "compress" the size of genetic libraries. They aim to enable simpler experiments on a larger variety of cells to help advance cancer biology, biotechnology and more.

Seven liberal arts courses offered through Students Teaching Students


This semester, there are 11 official Students Teaching Students courses being offered, with topics ranging from the menstrual equity movement and Kid Cudi to domestic violence in the LGBTQ+ community and gendered stereotypes in movies.

New workflow, tools allow viruses to be studied in near-native environments


A study led by Penn State researchers shows new ways to view viruses and vaccine components in minute detail using liquid-electron microscopy, a new tool that allows for high-resolution imaging in near-native environments.

Biomedical engineer named fellow of largest general scientific society


Jian Yang, professor of biomedical engineering, was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific society. Fellowships are awarded in recognition of scientifically and socially distinguished achievements in the scientific enterprise, according to the AAAS press release.

Assistant professor named Rising Star in Biomedical Engineering Society


Spencer Szczesny, Penn State assistant professor of biomedical engineering, was awarded the 2022 CMBE Rising Star Award from the Biomedical Engineering Society’s Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering Special Interest Group.

Penn State biomedical engineer’s work highlighted by international society


Deb Kelly, professor of biomedical engineering, Huck Chair in Molecular Biophysics and director of the Penn State Center for Structural Oncology, recently had her research highlighted by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Researchers aim to improve stroke recovery with new granular biomaterials


Now, researchers at Penn State and The Lundquist Institute for Biomedical Innovation and the University of California Los Angeles are developing novel biomaterials to target post-stroke immune response and promote new blood vessel and axon — the part of the neuron that carries nerve impulses away from the cell’s processing center — formation at the site of the stroke.

$2.5M grant awarded to flip the switch on lung cancer drug resistance


Penn State engineering researchers, in collaboration with University of Massachusetts investigators, recently received a five-year, $2.5 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to build, model and failure-test customizable dual-switch gene drives that convert cancer cells into a "trojan horse" to kill other cancer cells that have become drug resistant.

SpotLESS Materials experiences growth selling super slippery coating technology


Penn State-affiliated startup spotLESS Materials, which sells its super slippery coating technology as an assistive cleaning product, has raised more than $1.3 million of total venture capital funding to date, including $900,000 in a seed round that closed on Dec. 23, 2021.

Engineered nanomaterial captures off-target cancer drug to prevent tissue damage


Standard chemotherapies may efficiently kill cancer cells, but they also pose significant risks to healthy cells, resulting in secondary illness and a diminished quality of life for patients.

Search All News:




The Department of Biomedical Engineering administers the undergraduate major in biomedical engineering, and is a part of the university-wide Intercollege Graduate Degree Program, offering both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Bioengineering. Our work combines traditional engineering principles with medicine and technology for the betterment of human health and society. 

Department of Biomedical Engineering

122 Chemical and Biomedical Engineering Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-863-6614