Biological / Biomedical Engineering

PhD, MASc, MEng

Biological / Biomedical Engineering research in the School of Engineering is broadly categorized as:

  • Biomechanics and ergonomics
  • Diagnostics and sensorics
  • Instrumentation and control systems
  • Food safety
  • Bio-based materials

Research is conducted in many areas of application including human health and well-being, bio-processes from waste remediation to food processing,     veterinary medicine and precision agriculture.  Most projects are inter- disciplinary and bio-engineering faculty collaborate with researchers from the other engineering programs in the School as well as researchers in biological sciences, computer science, and veterinary and human medicine.

Areas of Research 

Biomechanics and Ergonomics

  • Non-invasive strain measurement of orthopaedic soft tissue using 3-D magnetic resonance images
  • Design of implants and surgical tools for human and veterinary applications
  • Development of finite element models of the hand and wrist
  • Joystick virtual prototyping: development of kinematic and kinetic four bar linkage models of the operator arm and joystick
  • Development of a 3-D laser reflectance system for soft-tissue cross-sectional area prediction
  • Measuring viscoelastic material properties of hoof materials; natural resonance of whole hooves

Diagnostics and Sensorics

  • Audio signal processing using neural network methods for hearing applications
  • Analysis of structural changes and in-vitro meniscal tissue strains in osteoarthritic and normal knee joints during dynamic loading to understand disease progression
  • A test for prions, the agent causing spongiform encephalopathies in ruminants, felines and humans, in homogenized tissue and body fluid samples
  • Hyperspectral reflectance and machine vision for plant-weed discrimination and automated spraying

Instrumentation and Control Systems

  • Acoustic method to determine activity of clot dissolving drugs such as streptokinase and tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA)
  • Control systems for ginseng dehydration, grain dryers and roasters
  • Remote sensing of vineyards and bio-monitoring for improved management of wine grapes

Food Safety

  • Statistical and fuzzy techniques to deal with uncertainty and variability in microbial risk assessment
  • High voltage, electrical pulse treatment to sterilize food materials