Kilachand Fund Awards Go to Crystal Rib Cage and Brain Connection Projects

Winners of 2023 interdisciplinary research fund grants aim to improve study of lung disease and brain development

When infection or disease strikes the lung—cancer, pneumonia, COVID-19—it’s tough for researchers to see what’s going on inside the organ. Even if they simulate in a lab the disease in a lung, they can’t recreate the forces the rib cage places on it without blocking their view of what’s happening. That’s about to change.

A crystal rib cage, developed by a Boston University engineer—and being refined in collaboration with a BU medical researcher specializing in pneumonia—will enable scientists to visualize in real time how the lung develops immunity against infection.

“This innovation will enable us to visualize the entire lung with an optical microscope at different scales, from cell level all the way to the entire organ,” says Hadi T. Nia, a BU College of Engineering assistant professor of biomedical engineering.

The crystal rib cage is one of two projects to win a 2023 Rajen Kilachand Fund for Integrated Life Sciences & Engineering award.

Read the complete article by Chuck Leddy on BU’s The Brink website:


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