REU: Biomedical Engineering

Design and innovate with novel biomedical device technologies!
Pending funding renewal

For information contact

Dr. Greg Bashford
Associate Professor in Biological Systems Engineering
2015 Biomedical Engineering REU Scholars
2015 Biomedical Engineering REU Scholars

Application Dates

Nov 15 2015 App opens
February 1 Priority deadline
March 1 App closes
April 1 Decisions complete

Program Dates

June 5 2016 Arrival day
June 6 Program begins
August 10 Program ends
August 11 Departure day

Who should apply

Related fields

  • Physics
  • Biological Sciences
  • Any Engineering
  • Any other science majors

This program encourages applications from students with junior or senior standing.


Participation in the Nebraska Summer Research Program is limited to students who meet the following criteria:
  • U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Current undergraduate with at least one semester of coursework remaining before obtaining a bachelor's degree

See Eligibility for more information.

How to apply

Follow the application steps to submit the following materials.

About the Program

The Biomedical Engineering REU is designed to provide independent research experience for undergraduate students, broaden participant knowledge of opportunities in academia, industry and national laboratories, and introduce participants to interdisciplinary research in biomedical devices.

The goal of every medical practitioner is to improve quality of life for patients. Biomedical technology and devices are instrumental in achieving this. The primary focus in each summer research project is biomedical devices designed to enhance medical care through science and engineering, with emphasis in three areas: (1) devices for surgical intervention, (2) devices for diagnostics, and (3) devices for implantation.

All projects are designed to be completed during the 10 week program and are a part of a faculty mentor's current research. This allows the student to be involved in many aspects of research, including design, analysis, simulation, and implementation of a biomedical device.

Students are also extensively involved in lab activities, such as weekly lab meetings. Research results are presented during lab meetings throughout the summer and at the end-of-summer in the Summer Research Symposium poster session. Lab members, especially graduate students and postdoctoral associates, are active with summer program research.


  • Competitive stipend: $5,000
  • Double-occupancy room and meal plan
  • Travel expenses to and from Lincoln
  • Campus parking and/or bus pass
  • Full access to the Campus Recreation Center and campus library system
  • Wireless internet access

Learn more about academic and financial benefits.


  • Department seminars and presentations
  • Professional development workshops (e.g., applying to graduate school, taking the GRE)
  • Welcome picnic
  • Day trip to Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo
  • Canoe and camping trip
  • Research symposium

Mentors and Projects

Dr. Greg Bashford Biological Systems Engineering

Measuring Transient Cerebral Blood Flow Changes from Sensory Stimuli Using Transcranial Doppler

The REU student will study transient blood flow changes in the brain in response to sensory stimuli. The student will perform a literature review in one specific area (e.g., visual or aural stimulation); design and carry out experiments measuring cerebral blood flow in the middle, posterior, and anterior cerebral arteries with ultrasound on human subjects to analyze the effect of different sensory stimuli; analyze data; and have an opportunity to contribute to publications.

Dr. Linxia Gu Mechanical & Materials Engineering

Design of a Percutaneous Aortic Valve

The REU student working with Dr. Gu will be guided to perform a literature search, formulate research questions, compare the mechanical performance of a commercial prosthesis (Edwards Life sciences, LLC, Irvine, CA) with the native aortic valve, and then propose a new leaflet design. The efficacy of the design will be justified using a design matrix and then tested. The REU student will be expected to conduct benchtop testing and computer-aided design and analysis. It is expected that (s)he will learn and apply principles of fluid and solid mechanics to a biomedical device design.

Dr. Nicole Ivereson Biological Systems Engineering

Correlating Carbon Nanotube Sensor Signals to Nitric Oxide Levels to Determine the Importance of Reactive Nitrogen Species in Inflammatory Disease Progression

The REU student will focus on the development of a numerical model in which the fluorescence signal changes of the sensor will be correlated to quantifiable nitric oxide levels. This model will be initiated at the bench top but will progress to in vitro and in vivo studies. Through the development of detailed protocols, collection and analysis of data, and interpretation of results, the REU student will learn the importance of rigorous scientific techniques while being exposed to cutting-edge research and current medical issues.

Dr. Srivatsan Kidambi Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

In Situ Models of Breast Cancer

The REU student will engineer polymer-based platforms to control cell adhesion. (S)he will create a library that will be utilized in combination with microfabrication technology to engineer patterned co-cultures of cancer cells and stromal cells, thus gaining research experience in models that can be used to investigate the molecular mechanisms of how physical contact of the tumor cells and stromal cells regulate tumor biology and progression.

Dr. Jung Yul Lim Mechanical & Materials Engineering

Molecular Mechanosensors of Flow-induced Stem Cell Migration

The REU student will apply physiologically relevant fluid shear stresses to mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) using a well-defined macro-flow chamber and measure MSC migration on and transmigration through the endothelial cell monolayer that mimics the vascular wall. The student will be further involved in determining molecular mechanisms by testing the hypothesis that cell-substrate interaction and cytoskeletal tension signaling cascades will mediate MSC mechanosensing of flow shear.

Dr. Carl Nelson Mechanical & Materials Engineering

Robotic Technology for Next-Generation Minimally Invasive Surgery

The REU student participating in this project will perform computer-aided design and simulation and will assist in prototype fabrication, testing, and evaluation. It is expected that (s)he will learn and apply principles of robot kinematics and dynamics, biomaterials selection, and engineering design methodology, along with somewhat lighter coverage in anatomy/physiology and computer science.

Dr. Angela Pannier Biological Systems Engineering

Engineered Growth Plate Cartilage

The objective of this project is to develop methods to generate growth plate architecture, in particular features of the columnar chondrocytes, by encapsulation within alginate fibers. Students will be challenged to develop a method to produce alginate fibers of controlled diameters that encapsulate chondrocytes and then assess the viability and gene expression patterns of these cells, as well as work on methods to bundle fibers together to mimic zones of native growth plate.

Dr. Sangjin Ryu Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Fabrication and Characterization of Janus Hydrogel

The REU student will be involved in refining the hypothesis based on literature review; designing, fabricating, and testing multi-layered microfluidics platforms; conducting microscopy imaging of chondrocytes in the device; and analyzing data to test the hypothesis.

Dr. Benjamin Terry Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Disappearable Cyber Physical System Sensors and Actuators

The REU student will review the latest literature on the topic and design, build, carry out, and analyze benchtop and live-animal experiments to test hypotheses regarding stabilization and localization of mesoscale swallowable robotic capsules.