Biomedical Engineering

A science book with a blue cover, titled Cellular Engineering: A Laboratory Manual

Cellular Engineering: A Laboratory Manual by Sakthikumar Ambady

Sakthikumar Ambady, associate teaching professor of biomedical engineering, recently published a comprehensive textbook, Cellular Engineering: A Laboratory Manual, with Cognella Academic Publishing. 

Cognella, an organization that partners with experts, including faculty, to create student-focused books and other materials for higher education, approached Professor Ambady in summer 2022 and asked him to write the book. The goal was to provide a foundational resource to help students grasp cellular engineering concepts, theory, practice, and application in the lab. 

The 183-page manual covers the history and basic concepts in mammalian cell culture and includes selected protocols to help guide students in their lab procedures. The book is primarily intended for undergraduates in biomedical engineering as well other disciplines such as biology, biotechnology, chemistry, biochemistry, or any course engaged in mammalian cell culture. The protocols included in the manual are streamlined so that the procedures can be performed during a two-hour lab period, said Ambady. He hopes that other instructors will find the book useful, especially in lab sections where eight or more students are enrolled. 

Prior to writing the book, Ambady had been unable to find an appropriate textbook or manual that would specifically cater to the demands of the Cellular Engineering course that he currently teaches. The course was taught using individual protocols and refined over the years, and Ambady felt it was time to put all the information together in one place.  “Therefore, I was thrilled to write the book when the publisher approached me,” he said. He is eagerly looking forward to the prospect of teaching a higher-level Cellular Engineering course this year. Future editions of the manual will incorporate more advanced protocols, he says.   

Students and other experts in the field are currently reviewing the preliminary edition, published in August 2023; their feedback will help refine the contents as Ambady finalizes what will become the first edition to be released in August 2024. “Although the feedback to the publisher is anonymous, students have told me that the book helped explain laboratory processes and work more clearly, and they found the book very helpful—which is why I agreed to write it in the first place. I am happy to hear it is helpful.”