The Bioengineering Institute (BEI) focuses on translating scientific advances into new products, processes, and therapies. BEI faculty, student, and industry partners combine targeted basic research on key questions that must be answered to speed innovation with applied research and development that can carry new knowledge into the clinic or the marketplace.

Research Focus Areas

Bioengineered Materials

By engineering the interface between living and non-living systems, our researchers develop biocompatible materials that can be used to fabricate innovative, highly functional implantable devices including sensors, therapeutics, prosthetics, and surgical aids like catheters and stents.

This research touches on a variety of fields, including materials, sensors, tissue engineering, nanoscience, and nanotechnology, and researchers collaborate closely with clinicians and scientists at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and other regional healthcare institutions.

Sensors & Imaging

Our researchers develop wearable, implantable, and static sensor systems for healthcare and homeland security. Combining BEI-produced microfluidics technologies, molecular sensor research, new biomaterials, wireless communications technology, and implantable radio frequency identification technology, researchers create devices that can remotely monitor systems and communicate information on physiological analytes or materials associated with biological and chemical weapons.

Also under development are implantable sensors that will help prosthetic limbs and organs operate properly and make possible combined diagnostic/therapeutic devices.

By developing new technologies and products to monitor the health of individuals at a distance, (for example, monitoring the vital signs of older citizens at home or soldiers in the field), researchers are helping improve quality of healthcare, control costs, and reduce risks for patients and care-givers.

Neuroprosthetics

Our research is neuroprosthetics is aimed at developing technologies that will place prosthetic limbs and organs under the control of the nervous system, enabling users to control these devices in the same way they control their natural limbs and organs.

For military personnel who have lost limbs or organs, neuroprosthetics will offer more rapid recovery and rehabilitation. The center draws upon WPI faculty expertise in the life sciences and biomedical, electrical, and mechanical engineering, including electronic control systems, communications, imaging, sensors, biocompatibility, and biomaterials, and BioMicroElectroMechanical systems.

Regenerative Biosciences and Engineering

Our researchers seek to develop cellular, molecular, and engineering technologies that harness the body’s natural regenerative abilities to heal wounds including bone, muscle, myocardium, heart valves, nerves, and soft connective tissues.

The center draws upon WPI faculty expertise in the life sciences, surface chemistry, and biomedical engineering, including stem cell and developmental biology, cell/surface analyses, biomaterials scaffold design and characterization, MEMS-based microfabrication, biomechanics and mechanobiology. Researchers maintain close collaborations with clinicians and scientists at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, regional healthcare institutions, and other universities.