Center for Healthcare Innovation

Center for Healthcare Innovation

Advancing medical technology and improving healthcare delivery are some of the world’s most urgent and complex societal challenges, especially as healthcare costs continue to rise on a steady upward trajectory. Stevens Institute of Technology has launched a university-wide Center for Healthcare Innovation (CHI) which seeks solutions to these challenges through education, research and partnerships in the fields of biology, engineering and computer science.

The CHI unites more than 50 Stevens faculty members from diverse academic disciplines, as well as undergraduate and graduate students from every school within the university, to tackle major issues in medical technology and healthcare delivery. The major goals of the CHI are to advance existing activities in healthcare at Stevens and to develop and guide new research and educational initiatives to drive further healthcare innovation. As Stevens’ first overarching and university-wide healthcare center, it enables Stevens to leverage existing core competencies in healthcare to deliver on its mission. It also performs new types of research only made possible through interdisciplinary collaboration.

One specific emphasis of the CHI is the development of novel medical technologies and services which enable the early diagnosis of disease, improve the effectiveness of therapies and treatments, and generate better patient outcomes. Tissue engineering research will facilitate drug development and enable the personalization of therapeutic regiments for individual patients. Research into biomaterials will improve prosthetic devices, biomedical implants and infection control. The engineering of biosensors and other high-tech medical devices will advance diagnostics and treatment for an array of medical problems.

Device Grows 3D Tissues
Microfluidic devices create a realistic environment for customizing more effective drug treatments.

Drs. Woo Lee, Hongjun Wang, and Joung-Hyun Lee are coordinating a multi-disciplinary effort to develop and fully explore the potential of novel microfluidic device systems that promise an entirely new tissue culture protocol that may one day replace the traditional petri dish in labs worldwide.

Safer Orthopedic Implants
Cutting edge biomaterials make implant surfaces resist bacteria to increase patient outcomes.

Professor Matthew Libera introduces innovative hydrogel-treated surfaces, ones which may dramatically reduce the risk of infection that often occurs during orthopedic implant procedures.

Collaborating across disciplines with Dr. Libera, Biomedical Engineering undergraduate Aidan Zerdoum describes using a Focused Ion Beam to determine what antibacterial treatment is most effective in a biofilm.

Creating Skin Grafts for Burn Victims

Dr. Hongjun Wang and PhD candidate Babak Mahjour explain how they use tissue engineering to create skin grafts for burn victims.

Inkjet Printer Develops Antibiotics
Infection-resistant orthopedic implants combat biofilms.

Despite the tremendous improvements in orthopedic implant procedures, hospital-acquired bacterial infection is the dominant cause of implant failure and causes significant patient trauma in addition to a healthcare burden of $3 billion annually to the U.S. economy each year. Stevens infection-resistant orthopedic research explores the inkjet printing of drug-eluting, bioresorbable micropatterns onto the surface of orthopedic implants, as a novel means of preventing bacterial infection of the implants, also known as “biofilm formation.”

Progeria Protein Discovery
New characteristics linked to premature aging disease.

Dr. Joseph Glavy studies the smallest and most basic elements of life. His team has uncovered a disease-related protein outside of its known range and published the results in Cell Cycle.

Can an Ant Colony Help Trauma Patients?
Swarm intelligence, as seen in an ant colony, allows biomedical engineers to more accurately predict tissue growth in nerve grafts.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) has recently awarded a grant to researchers to pursue novel approaches to engineering peripheral nerve tissues that incorporate lessons from swarm intelligence into computer simulations. Dr. Xiaojun Yu, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and Dr. Yan Meng, Assistant Professor of Computer Engineering, are collaborating to break through the existing technology barrier and develop smarter nerve tissue grafts.

Nanofibers Grow Better Bones
Growing load-bearing human bone tissues with nanotechnology to help speed recovery of America's 6.2 million annual bone fractures.

Funded by the National Science Foundation, Dr. Hongjun Wang, a professor in the Department of Chemistry, Chemical Biology and Biomedical Engineering and his collaborators have developed a revolutionary "bottom-up" approach for reconstructing intricate bone tissue with the potential to form hierarchical cortical bone.