REU: Biomedical Engineering

Updates for Summer 2016 coming soon

Some details currently appearing on this site are still for Summer 2015. By mid-November we'll have our Summer 2016 updates in place, ready for you to browse and apply!

Design and innovate with novel biomedical device technologies!

For information contact

Dr. Carl Nelson
Associate Professor in Mechanical and Materials Engineering
2014 Biomedical Engineering REU students
2014 Biomedical Engineering REU students

Application Dates

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

Program Dates

June 7 Arrival day
June 8 Program begins
August 12 Program ends
August 13 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


  • 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
Learn more about academic and financial benefits.

2015 Mentors and Projects

Greg Bashford, Ph.D. Biological Systems Engineering

Injury Diagnosis via Ultrasound Elastography
Implement a novel ultrasound-based elastography imaging technique and test its diagnostic effectiveness for characterization of soft tissue injuries.Read more about this project

Greg Bashford, Ph.D. Biological Systems Engineering

Measuring Cerebral Blood Flow Changes from Sensory Stimuli using Ultrasound
Investigate the extent to which visual, aural, and other stimuli affect blood flow in the brain.Read more about this project

Linxia Gu, Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Properties of Mouse Abdominal Aortas
Inflation tests or/and indentation tests will be conducted on abdominal aortas of mice with and without diseases. The testing apparatus will be designed/modified to fit for existing testing machine. The elastic and viscoelastic properties of the sample will be obtained through post-data processing. The REU participant will become familiar with current research questions in tissue testing, and gain experience in material testing at sub-mm range.

Linxia Gu, Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering

Characterizing the Microstructure of the Artery
After inspecting the collagen and elastin configurations on artery slices, the REU participant will be expected to design and fabricate a large scale model to capture the arterial microstructure and demonstrate the role of each component on the arterial mechanics. The model will be assessed using a design matrix. It is expected that the student will learn and apply principles of solid mechanics to evaluate the performance of mock arterial structures.

Jeff Hawks, Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering

Noninvasive Intracranial Pressure Monitoring
Identify in-flight diagnostic tools to measure changes in ocular structure,function, and/or ICP related to Visual Impairment Intracranial Pressure (VIIP) syndrome. Such a device would be a major contribution for the understanding of VIIP and the development of countermeasures. The methodology to estimate ICP using ocular blood flow velocities must be demonstrated as reliable, safe, and accurate. Our goal is to verify this methodology so as to construct such a prototype device.Read more about this project

Srivatsan Kidambi, Ph.D. Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Engineering In situ Breast Cancer Model
In this project, we will be engineering in vitro co-culture model of breast cancer cells and MSCs to recreate the cell-cell interaction in play in the cancer progression. An understanding of this interactions will provide insight into how to combat the tumor promoting behavior of the microenvironment and uncover possible novel therapeutic targets for cancer treatment.Read more about this project

Carl Nelson, Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering

Robotic Technology for Natural-Orifice or Single-Incision-Constrained Surgical Workspace
Develop new robotic tools to increase functionality in medical interventions while respecting the associated surgical workspace constraints.Read more about this project

Angela Pannier, Ph.D. Biological Systems Engineering

Encapsulation of Chondrocytes within Alginate Fibers for Growth Plate Engineering
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.Read more about this project

Sangjin Ryu, Ph.D. Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Fabrication and Characterization of Janus Hydrogel
Hydrogel is widely used to study how mechanical stimulations affect the growth and behavior of stem and cancer cells. The Janus gel consists of areas of uniform stiffness and an area of increasing stiffness. The REU participant will be expected to improve and establish our Janus hydrogel fabrication method and then to characterize its mechanical property using indentation methods. The REU participant will become familiar with current research questions in cell mechanics and gain experiences in gel fabrication and characterization.Read more about this project

Benjamin Terry, Ph.D. Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Swallowable Microrobotic Capsule for Smart Connected Health
The near-term research objectives of this project are to: 1) Refine the development of a novel swallowable micro-robotic capsule (MRC) that transports and deploys a sensor to the lining of the GI; and 2) Develop a biocompatible flow sensor payload to be deployed to the lining of the GI small intestine by the MRC. Successful completion of these objectives will enable non-invasive, long-term, ambulatory, in vivo, physiological measurements. A participant in this project will assist in the design, fabrication, integration and testing of these swallowable devices.Read more about this project