Bioengineering Institute (BEI)

biomedical engineering experiment

Many breakthroughs in medicine begin as new discoveries in university laboratories. The Bioengineering Institute (BEI) seeks to identify emerging technologies and nurture them to the point where commercialization can commence. By securing funding, fostering collaborations, and creating space for multi-disciplinary teams to coalesce, BEI helps move programs from the spark of an idea, through the rigors of applied research and development, to commercialization.

Since in launched in 2002, BEI has invested more than $100 million in new research laboratories, core facilities, business incubation space, and the recruitment of new faculty investigators and graduate students. BEI-affiliated ventures include the following:

  • VitaThreads, a company developing a novel biomedical (fibrin microthreads) for delivery of cell therapy
  • Active Surface Technologies Inc., a company that uses its proprietary surface modification techniques to fabricate medical sensors and prevent infections caused by surgically implanted devices
  • ImagiSonix Inc., a company dedicated to furthering the portability and accessibility of diagnostic ultrasound imaging
  • Advanced Body Sensing, LLC, a company developing a wireless mobile platform to monitor of vital sign and facilitate remote triage of wounded soldiers and first responders

Partner With Us


Successful commercialization depends on the development of a strong academic research portfolio accompanied by appropriate intellectual property and the transformation of intellectual property into products, either through out-licensing or start-up formation. BEI is actively seeking partnerships to bridge the development gap between the research laboratory and successful commercial ventures.

Sponsored Research Programs

BEI offers for-profit corporations opportunities to partner with academic researchers to perform research and development at a fraction of the cost of in-house programs. For companies looking to get new research initiatives off the ground or overcome roadblocks in existing initiatives, BEI can identify faculty partners, provide access to research facilities, help with the execution of sponsored research agreements, and help prepare proposals to funding agencies.

Benefits of sponsored research partnerships with BEI include the following:

  • Faculty Expertise: Faculty partners become team members who are engaged in long-term relationships with value added beyond the solution to your original project.
  • Flexibility: The WPI Office of Intellectual Property & Innovation research can tailor sponsored research agreements to suit the needs of your organization.
  • Price: As an institute within WPI, BEI is a non-profit organization that has no need to adjust grant or contract costs for profit.
  • Commercialization: BEI will leverage its relationships with commercialization service providers to help move your technology to the commercial stage.

A Long and Winding Road

When you set out to take a life-saving discovery from benchmark to marketplace, you’d better be prepared for some detours. See how two WPI researchers are navigating the unexpected twists and turns on the road to commercialization of a product to deliver stem cells to damaged hearts.