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Department of Biomedical Engineering Research

Department of Biomedical Engineering Research

The mission of the Biomedical Engineering Department at Khalifa University is to innovate in biomedical engineering research and education to achieve the following measureable goals:

  • To produce highly qualified graduates to work regionally and internationally, and to pursue medical schools or graduate studies
  • To produce graduates who are life-long learners with open minds to new ideas and future developments
  • To conduct quality basic and applied research in biomedical engineering
  • To offer internationally accredited programs in biomedical engineering
  • To develop partnerships with industries, government agencies and other academic institutions
  • To pursue links with international professional bodies such as the BMES (Biomedical Engineering Society)
  • To achieve regional and international credibility and visibility by organizing and participating in technical conferences, seminars, lectures and publication in technical journals 

Publication update (July 2016)

In collaboration with the Singapore-MIT Alliance and Oregon Health and Science University, a multidisciplinary team from KU published an article in the JCS. Details are as follows: Y.E. Pearson, A.W. Lund, A.W.H. Lin, C.P. Ng, A. Alsuwaidi, S. Azzeh, D.L. Gater, J.C.M. Teo. “Non-invasive single cell biomechanical analysis using live imaging datasets”, 2016, J Cell Sci advanced article. 

Review article by BME Alumna Kinza Islam can be found online at SM J or Biomedical Engineering website: K. Islam, S.B.H. Timraz, R. Nasser, D.L. Gater, Y.E. Pearson, N. Christoforou, and J.C.M. Teo, “Co-culture Methods Used to Model Atherosclerosis In Vitro Using Endothelial, Smooth Muscle and Monocyte Cells”, 2016, SM J. Biomed. Eng., 2(1), p. 1008.

BME faculty (Dr. Nicolas Christoforou & Dr. Jeremy Teo) and BME alumnae (Ms. Selwa Boularaoui & Ms. Noaf Alwahab) contributed a chapter in the 1st Edition of In Situ RegenerationJ.C.M. Teo, S.M. Boularaoui, N.S.A. Alwahab, and N. Christoforou, ‘Mending The Heart Through In Situ Cardiac Regeneration’, in In Situ Tissue Regeneration, 1st ed., S. J. Lee, A. Atala, and J. Yoo, Eds. Academic Press Inc., 2016. ISBN: 9780128022252.

BME/KU Team featured on cover of Cytoskeleton (May 2016)

The cover image for May 2016’s issue of Cytoskeleton features the work from our research article “A spatiotemporal characterization method for the dynamic cytoskeleton”, an automated approach for analysing dynamic complex patterns of the supporting structure of cells - spearheaded by multidisciplinary team consisting of faculty from AMS (Dr. Matthew Martin and Dr. Yanthe Pearson) and BME (Dr. Nicolas Christoforou and Dr. Jeremy Teo).

BME Graduates First Cohort of MSc students (December 2015)

The first cohort of BME MSc students, (L to R: Ghada Alhussein, Selwa Boularaoui, Sara Timraz, and Nahla Rizk) did the department proud by defending their theses successfully. The theses were externally examined by top researchers in their respective fields. Prof. George Truskey (Duke University) and Prof. Hanry Yu (National University of Singapore) had great comments regarding these four dedicated individuals and their work.

A summary of their research can be found below: 

Dynamic analysis of cancer cells cytoskeleton during drug treatment
Current use of cytoskeletal drugs for cancer treatment collaterally damages surrounding tissue, as part of a bigger initiative to deliver cancer cell specific drugs, we first investigated and optimised the appropriate dosage needed to retard or arrest metastasising cancer cells” - Ghada Alhussein
Supervisors: Dr. Jeremy Teo & Dr. Nicolas Christoforou

Enhancing the transdifferentiation process of human dermal fibroblasts into skeletal muscle cells using small molecules and extracellular matrix components
"The main goal of our work is to derive sufficient functional human skeletal muscle cells that can be used to successfully engineer highly functional skeletal muscle tissue that resembles the native physiology. We attempt to significantly enhance the transdifferentiation of human dermal fibroblasts into skeletal muscle through molecular pathway manipulation and extracellular matrix constitution.” - Selwa Boularaoui
Supervisors: Dr. Nicolas Christoforou & Dr. Jeremy Teo

Regulation of smooth muscle cells’ phenotypic diversity by means of ECM components for vascular tissue engineering: An in vitro evaluation of cell response
"Smooth muscle cells (SMC) exhibit phenotypic plasticity whereby the homeostatic contractile phenotype can dedifferentiate into the pathophysiologic synthetic phenotype. We were able to control the phenotype of human SMC through the modulation of stiffness of 3D collagen gels and selective addition of extracellular matrix components. Our work provides tools to modulate the phenotype of human SMC, which allows for tailoring the properties of engineered vascular tissues." - Sara Timraz
Supervisors: Dr. Jeremy Teo & Dr. Nicolas Christoforou

Targeted delivery of anticancer drugs to breast cancer cells using multifunctional gold nanoparticles
"One of on-going research topics is to design a novel drug delivery system, using multiple gold nanoparticles as carriers, for treating breast cancer safely and efficiently by reducing the side effects of current treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy." - Nahla Rizk
Supervisors: Dr. Sungmun Lee & Dr. Chih-wen Ni.

During their research, the students represented the BME Department and Khalifa Univeristy internationally at conferences. Their work has also been published in peer-reviewed journals: 

    1. Boularaoui S, Christoforou N, Enhancing the transdifferentiation process of human dermal fibroblasts into skeletal muscle cells using small molecules and extracellular matrix componentsTissue Engineering A (2015), 21, S315.
    2. Rizk N, Christoforou N, Lee S, Optimization of anti-cancer drugs and a targeting molecule on multifunctional gold nanoparticles, Nanotechnology (2016), 27(18), 185704.
    3. Alhussein G, Shanti A, Farhat IAH, Timraz SBH, Alwahab N, Pearson YE, Martin MN, Christoforou N, Teo JCM, A spatiotemporal characterization method for dynamic cytoskeleton, Cytoskeleton (2016), In press. 
    4. Timraz SBH, Farhat IAH, Alhussein G, Christoforou N, Teo JCM, In-depth evaluation of commercially available human smooth muscle cells phenotype: implications for vascular tissue engineering, Expertimental Cell Research (2016), In press.

The students and their PIs would like to acknowledge the following funding organisations that supported their work: Khalifa University, Khalifa University Internal Research Funds, Al Jalila Foundation, and the Terry Fox Foundation.

Professor Tim McGloughlin awarded RAMI Silver Medal at Bioengineering in Ireland Conference 2015

Prof Tim Mc Gloughlin awarded RAMI Silver Medal

Professor Tim McGloughlin, Professor and Chair of the Khalifa University Biomedical Department, was selected to present the Samuel Haughton Lecture at the recent Bioengineering in Ireland Annual meeting held in Dublin. This prestigious lecture was the keynote lecture of the meeting and carries with it the award of a silver medal by the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland.

The photograph shows Mr Hannan Mullett, President Bioengineering Section Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland (RAMI), presenting a RAMI Silver Medal to the Samuel Haughton Lecturer for 2015 to Professor Tim McGloughlin.

UAE Biomedical Engineering Student gets major award for Mobile App for use in early diagnosis of Diabetic Foot disorders

Diabetic Foot is one of the most common and debilitating manifestations of Type 2 diabetes and is the leading cause of non-traumatic lower extremity amputations worldwide, resulting in major medical, social and economic consequences. In the UAE, the second highest country worldwide for diabetes prevalence, one in five diabetics who develop foot ulcers eventually need limb amputation resulting in an amputation rate of up to 19% annually. Diabetics who are at risk of ulceration are currently identified mainly by a thorough clinical examination of the feet, which typically does not reveal clear symptoms during early stages of the condition.

At the recently held 10th Mobile Application Contest, Khalifa University Biomedical Engineering student Fahad Mohamed Abdulla Al Shaibani, working under the guidance of Dr Kinda Khalaf, achieved 2nd Place for the creation of a mobile application for the purposes of diagnosing diabetic foot. This application utilizes a smart multi sensor insole system that detects the physiological changes produced by diabetic foot, and alerts the patient to the risks during the early stages of the condition, before ulcers can form. 

The project is well aligned with Khalifa University’s mission of leadership in interdisciplinary research and innovation and addresses one of the most critical health challenges in the UAE and Abu Dhabi. The BME department plans to file for patent protection on the technology, with a view to bringing a product to market during the coming years.

Assistant Professor Habiba Al Safar Wins Prestigious 2014 L'Oreal-UNESCO Fellowship Award for Women in Science

Dr. Habiba Al Safar, assistant professor of Biomedical Engineering at Khalifa University, received a 2014 L’Oréal-UNESCO Fellowship Award for Women in Science, on Monday, November 17, during a special recognition ceremony at Zayed University. Dr. Habiba earned the award for her work in identifying genetic and environmental risk factors associated with diabetes.

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