We are entering a golden age of biotechnology, in which a wide variety of biosensors deliver a stream of data that can inform healthcare decisions and therapies. BU BME faculty are developing novel technologies, based on mechanisms derived from bacteria and other cells, that can be used to detect a wide range of biologically relevant compounds; building smart devices (e.g., the bionic pancreas) that take advantage of current technologies in ways that will transform healthcare; designing inexpensive, field-deployable devices that can perform sophisticated amplification and detection of genetic material and other analytes in low-resource environments; building and studying novel, genetically encoded fluorophores to measure neural activity; engineering nucleic acids that sense and amplify molecular cues; creating and using methods for measurement of mechanical processes and properties at length scales ranging from nm to cm; and constructing novel quantum dots that are suitable for in vivo imaging. Our nanotechnology and sensing faculty work across the entire range of problems studied in the department. They work particularly closely with the photonics and imaging faculty.

Nanotechnology and Sensing Faculty

Primary Faculty: Christopher Chen, James Galagan, Alexander Green, Mark Grinstaff, Xue Han, Liangliang HaoCatherine Klapperich, John Ngo, Hadi T. Nia, Erica D. Pratt, Michael Smith, Michelle Teplensky, Joyce WongMuhammad Zaman

Research Faculty: Mario CabodiJeroen Eyckmans

Affiliated Faculty: David Bishop, Selim Ünlü, Xin Zhang

Emeritus: Evan Evans

Affiliated Research Centers

BME Nanotechnology and Sensing in the news:

  • November 8, 2022

    Seeing a Way to Combat Cancer

    In the fight to treat ovarian cancer, innovative chemical imaging techniques developed by Professor Ji-Xin Cheng (ECE, BME, MSE) are fast becoming valuable tools, as reported in two high-impact journals in the space of two months. [ More ]

  • October 21, 2022

    Bionic Pancreas Better for Managing Type 1 Diabetes

    Your pancreas is like a little digestive engine, working hard to keep your body fueled and running. Just six inches long, it’s responsible for turning lunch into the energy that gets you through the afternoon and making sure your blood sugars stay balanced. [ More ]

  • October 21, 2022

    Nia Earns NIH Award for Ground-Breaking Lung Research Technology

    Assistant Professor Hadi Nia (BME, MSE) has earned the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s New Innovator Award. Granting him nearly $2.5 million, the award will empower Nia to pursue novel models and tools to image the lung in real time and at cellular resolution. He will probe the links... [ More ]

  • May 17, 2022

    Biotech Developing “Tissue Therapeutics” to Treat Diseased Organs Launches from BU and MIT Labs

    Greater Boston has become the nation’s biotech hub—the Silicon Valley of life sciences, according to some—and Massachusetts is now reportedly home to more than 1,000 biotech companies, employing more than 80,000 people. One of the newest multimillion-dollar firms helping to drive the boom has its roots in a Boston University lab. Satellite Bio—fueled by technology codeveloped by BU biomedical engineer Christopher Chen—launched in April after announcing it had secured $110 million in venture funding. [ More ]

  • April 14, 2022

    BU Bestows Top Honor on Grinstaff

    BU President Robert Brown has announced the appointment of College of Engineering Professor Mark Grinstaff (BME, Chemistry, MSE, MED), along with Gary Lawson of the School of Law and Dana Robert of the School of Theology, as William Fairfield Warren Distinguished Professors—the highest recognition the University bestows on faculty. The funds... [ More ]

  • March 18, 2022

    A Simple Test for Viral Detection

    Nature Biomedical Engineering has published Assistant Prof. Alex Green’s development of a new test that uses strands of RNA to return a test result. [...] [ More ]

  • February 23, 2022

    Green Garners Award to Develop Cell-Signal Sensor

    Assistant Professor Alexander Green (BME) and a colleague at Yale University have earned a Scialog Collaborative Innovation Award to develop a new type of sensor capable of detecting heretofore hidden signals within a cell, with potential applications both diagnostic and therapeutic. In the dense chemical machinery of the cell, certain proteins... [ More ]

  • February 18, 2022

    Trio Tapped to Join AIMBE College of Fellows

    Prestigious honor for top biomedical engineers For the second year in a row, three ENG faculty members have been elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). This time, the honorees are Professor James Galagan (BME, Microbiology), Associate Professor Xue Han (BME), and... [ More ]

  • February 15, 2022

    Inventor Mark Grinstaff Named a 2021 AAAS Fellow

    By Andrew Thurston A pioneering treatment that targets advanced breast cancer. Biodegradable sealants to close wounds in cranial surgery. Self-lubricating condoms to reduce disease spread. A prolific inventor, Professor Mark Grinstaff (BME, Chemistry, MSE, MED) holds more than 200 patents or pending applications covering a wide swath of medical challenges. Now, [ More ]

  • November 23, 2021

    A Zhang Patent Honored Again

    For the second year in a row, Professor Xin Zhang (ME, ECE, BME, MSE) was honored at the Boston Patent Law Association’s (BPLA) annual Invented Here! event, celebrating New England innovators and their inventions. [ More ]