On Pins and Needles
An assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Rutgers–New Brunswick, David I. Shreiber is contributing to the still-lean body of research on why acupuncture is effective. Shreiber and his colleagues have created three-dimensional, collagen-based in vitro models to help them understand the body's responses to the needles. Shreiber's acupuncture studies are part of his ongoing trio of neural tissue and cellular biomechanics projects, which also include spinal cord injury and cell growth research.
David I. Shreiber
Kathryn Uhrich, a professor of chemistry at Rutgers–New Brunswick, is developing novel ways to use polymer technology and household aspirin to create commercial products that could soon revolutionize medicine, cosmetics, and food worldwide—from a biodegradable cardiac stent to a polymer coating that protects organic produce from premature spoilage.
Physical therapy can be a tedious and repetitious process. But Grigore Burdea, director of Rutgers' Human-Machine Interface Lab, is changing that. He's developed a virtual reality-based "telerehabilitation" system using Sony's PlayStation 3, which allows patients to go through rehab at home by playing with onscreen graphics. He also led the team that designed the Rutgers Master, a virtual-reality glove that helps stroke victims regain manual dexterity, and the Rutgers Ankle, a robotic device that allows patients to exercise in a virtual environment.
Human-Machine Interface Lab
Saving Lives and Limbs
Life and limb is at stake—and at the heart of a new consortium spearheaded by Joachim Kohn, director of the New Jersey Center for Biomaterials on the Busch Campus, a Rutgers-based academic-industrial research center that uses polymers in regenerative medicine. Last April, the center received a $42.5 million five-year grant to create one of two academic groups that will form the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine (AFIRM), whose goal is to find ways that new biological, chemical, and engineering technologies can help treat people suffering from severe blast injuries, such as those sustained by military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan.
New Jersey Center for Biomaterials