Measuring Brain Blood Flow and Activity With Light

Originally posted by Andy Fell

A new, noninvasive method for measuring brain blood flow with light has been developed by biomedical engineers and neurologists at the University of California, Davis, and used to detect brain activation. The new method, functional interferometric diffusing wave spectroscopy, or fiDWS, promises to be cheaper than existing technology and could be used for assessing brain injuries, or in neuroscience research. The work is published May 12 in Science Advances.

Rucha Joshi Develops Online Course with Formative Feedback Amidst the Pandemic

With a motivation to immerse students in engineering design, graphics communication, and computer aided design (CAD) skills early-on in the biomedical engineering curriculum, Joshi and a few of her graduate students launched a new 2-unit laboratory course on “Graphics Design in BME” in the Spring 2020 quarter for UC Davis sophomores. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they were faced with the significant challenge of converting to an online teaching format instead of the planned face-to-face instruction.

UC Davis Engineers Make Advances in Cell Adhesion

Sanjeevi Sivasankar and Soichiro Yamada, both associate professors in the department of biomedical engineering, took on the challenge of developing a technology capable of discovering membrane protein binding partners on the cell surface.

Tan Lab Develops Tool for Tuning Cellular Noise

Cells are noisy entities. This noise manifests through the heterogeneity of protein synthesis and cellular behavior. Understanding and controlling the noise is paramount to various biomedical applications, including drug treatment, tissue engineering, and the design of synthetic cells.

Look What’s Inside: Full-Body Movies From EXPLORER Scanner

Positron emission tomography, or PET scanning, a technique for tracing metabolic processes in the body, has been widely applied in clinical diagnosis and research spanning physiology, biochemistry and pharmacology. Now researchers at the University of California, Davis, and Fudan University, Shanghai, have shown how to use an advanced reconstruction method with an ultrasensitive total-body PET scanner to capture real-time videos of blood flow and heart function. The work paves the way for looking at the function of multiple organs, such as the brain and heart, at the same time.

Undergraduate Researchers Make Surprising Discovery in Mechanotransduction Research

Undergraduate researchers in the Yamada Lab discovered that when force is applied to a cell, a protein called cten is recruited to these fibrous structures. Since actin was long believed to be an important part of mechanotransduction, the UC Davis researchers inhibited actin to simply show that cten recruitment required actin. To their surprise, the mechano-sensitive response of cten was still present.