Creating Biomedical Technologies to Improve Health


NIBIB-Supported Biomedical Technology Resource Centers

  • Bruce Tromberg
    University of California-Irvine
  • K Shung
    University of Southern California

    The focus of this resource is to develop very high frequency (above 20 MHz) ultrasonic transducers/arrays for applications in medicine and biology that include ophthalmology, dermatology, vascular surgery, and small animal imaging. The research is pursued simultaneously in three directions: novel piezoelectric materials, very high frequency single element transducers and linear arrays, and finite element modeling and material property measurements.

  • Mehmet Toner
    Massachusetts General Hospital
  • David D'Argenio
    University of Southern California

    The Biomedical Simulations Resource (BMSR) in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California is dedicated to the advancement of the state-of-the-art in biomedical modeling and simulation through Core and Collaborative Research projects, as well as the dissemination of this knowledge and related software through Service, Training and Dissemination activities aimed at the biomedical community at large. The BMSR includes four core research projects:Pharmacokinetic/Pharmacodynamic Systems Analysis – David Z. D'Argenio, Ph.D., Co-DirectorNonlinear Modeling of Complex Biomedical Systems – Vasilis Z. Marmarelis, Ph.D., Co-DirectorModeling of Autonomic, Metabolic and Vascular Control Interactions – Michael C.K. Khoo, Ph.D., Co-InvestigatorNonlinear Modeling of the Hippocampus – Theodore W. Berger, Ph.D., Co-InvestigatorFifteen Collaborative Research Projects serve as challenging test grounds for the Resource's methodologies and expertise. The BMSR's service activities include the development and distribution of four software packages (ADAPT, LYSIS, PNEUMA +amp; EONS).The Resource's Training and Dissemination activities include short courses, advanced workshops and the publication of associated research volumes.

  • Jonathan Wolpaw
    Wadsworth Center

    This BTRC creates software, hardware, and protocols that support complex real-time interactions with the central nervous system (CNS). It is founded on two major advances, one scientific and one technological. The scientific advance is the recognition that activity-dependent plasticity occurs continually throughout the CNS and throughout life; this plasticity is driven and shaped by the ongoing interactions between the CNS and the world. The technological advance is the development and availability of hardware and software that can support complex real-time adaptive interactions with the CNS; this technology enables development of powerful new research tools and therapeutic methods that can induce and guide CNS plasticity to restore useful function to people disabled by injury or disease. Working closely with outstanding collaborators, BTRC staff are pursuing three major approaches to creating scientifically significant and clinically beneficial interactions with the CNS: (1) operant conditioning of simple spinal cord reflexes to improve rehabilitation of important motor skills such as locomotion; (2) brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) using scalp-recorded electroencephalographic (EEG) activity that restore communication to people with severe disabilities or enhance rehabilitation for stroke and other neurological disorders; and (3) use of electrocorticographic (ECoG) activity from the cortical surface of the brain to map and interact with distributed cortical functions. BTRC technologies developed in these three areas are already in clinical use in a number of hospitals and clinics. The BTRC provides its general-purpose software platform, BCI2000, to research groups throughout the world, hosts and trains many students, postdoctoral fellows, and visiting scientists, organizes workshops related to adaptive neurotechnologies, maintains an active website, produces many scientific and technological review articles and chapters, provides training materials for its new technologies, and has produced several important textbooks. In summary, this BTRC is engaging the unprecedented scientific and clinical opportunities introduced by adaptive interactions with the nervous system. It is developing and validating a robust set of adaptive neurotechnologies, providing training in their use, and disseminating them to the scientific and clinical communities.

  • Daniel Sodickson
    New York University School of Medicine

    The Center for Advanced Imaging Innovation and Research (CAI2R) develops novel imaging technologies for the improved management of cancer, musculoskeletal disease, and neurological disease, employing a unique new model for interdepartmental and academic-industrial collaboration to translate those technologies rapidly into clinical practice.  By exploiting connections between imaging modalities such as MRI and PET, we aim to advance the fundamental capabilities of each, so as to expand biomedical knowledge and improve the care of patients.  CAI2R technology development aims at a new use of time in imaging, deploying leading-edge methods of rapid image acquisition and advanced image reconstruction to replace traditional complex and inefficient imaging protocols with simple, comprehensive, volumetric acquisitions that contain rich information about multiple complementary biophysical processes.  CAI2R is driven by collaborations in which basic scientists, industry developers, radiologists, and clinicians with diverse other specialties sit down together regularly at the scanners and in reading rooms for interactive technology development and assessment.  This interdisciplinary collaboration model also informs our training activities, many of which are addressed at the formation and operation of successful translational research teams.  Meanwhile, not only through online sharing of state-of-the-art tools on our CAI2R website, but also through early involvement of clinical stakeholders and industry partners interested in bringing new methods into everyday use, we aim to make CAI2R technologies available to the broadest possible base of clinical and research users.  Our overarching goal in CAI2R is to change the paradigms of data acquisition, image reconstruction, and day-to-day scanning in biomedical imaging, for the benefit of patients and the physicians who care for them.

  • Brett Bouma
    Massachusetts General Hospital

    The Center for Biomedical OCT Research and Translation (CBORT) pioneers and provides access to microscopic imaging instruments for biologic and clinical research. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) has evolved over the last two decades to become a standard of care for diagnostic ophthalmic imaging and is poised to make significant impact in the fields of cardiology and gastrointestinal endoscopy. Access to state-of-the-art instrumentation, however, has been limited to a relatively few research laboratories and the optimization of instruments for new biomedical applications has hindered the investigation of new opportunities. A major focus of CBORT will be to cultivate strategic research collaborations and respond to a pressing need for application-specific OCT instrumentation and hardware.

  • John Fisher
    Univ of Maryland, College Park
  • Lars Furenlid
    University of Arizona

    The primary focus of the Center for Gamma-Ray Imaging (CGRI) is to develop new gamma-ray imaging instruments and techniques that yield substantially improved spatial and temporal resolutions. The Center makes its imagers and expertise available to a wide community of biomedical and clinical researchers through collaborative and service-oriented interactions. The collaborative research applies these new imaging tools to basic research in functional genomics, proteomics, cancer, cardiovascular disease and cognitive neuroscience, and to clinical research in tumor detection and other selected topics. There are five core research projects: Detector technology research and development; Reconstruction algorithms and system modeling; Data acquisition, signal processing, and system development; Image-quality assessment and system optimization; Techniques for molecular imaging.

  • David Kennedy
    Univ of Massachusetts Med Sch Worcester

    The Center for Reproducible Neuroimaging Computation seeks to implement a shift in the way neuroimaging research is performed and reported. Through the development and implementation of a FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable, Wilkinson et al., 2016) technology stack that supports a comprehensive set of data management, analysis, and utilization frameworks in support of both basic research and clinical activities, our overarching goal is to improve the reproducibility of neuroimaging science and extend the value of our national investment in neuroimaging research. Reproducibility is critical because the current literature is fraught with published results that are due to mistakes or turn out to be false positive (contributed to by the lack of statistical power). More importantly, given the current publication system, it is exceedingly difficult to discern between false positive and true positive finding as data is hard to aggregate, and exact methods are hard to replicate.

  • Arnold Caplan
    Case Western Reserve University
  • Daniel Vigneron
    University of California, San Francisco

    This Center will develop, investigate, and disseminate new hyperpolarized MR techniques, new 13C agents and specialized analysis open-source software for data reconstruction and interpretation. The Technology Research +amp; Development projects will leverage the extensive DNP facilities and experience of the project leaders to develop improved, robust hyperpolarized MRI methods. These technology developments will be driven by Collaborative Projects led by outstanding clinical and basic scientists who aim to use hyperpolarized 13C MRI to accomplish the scientific goals of their funded research. These technical developments will also be disseminated to the Service Project investigators for extramural feedback and then widely to the scientific community via a dedicated website and onsite training. This center will provide state-of-the-art training in this new metabolic imaging field and sponsor a yearly symposium focused on hyperpolarized MR technology development.

  • Clare Tempany
    Brigham And Women'S Hospital

    The National Center for Image Guided Therapy (NCIGT), an NIH funded Biomedical Technology Resource Center, serves as a national resource for all aspects of research into medical procedures that are enhanced by imaging. Its common goal is to provide more effective patient care. The center is focused on the multidisciplinary development of innovative image-guided intervention technologies to enable effective, less invasive clinical treatments that are not only more economical, but also produce better results for patients. Through support from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), the NCIGT is helping to implement this vision by serving as a proving ground for some of the next generation of medical therapies.

  • George Johnson
    Duke University

    The Center for In Vivo Microscopy (CIVM) is dedicated to the development of novel imaging methods for the basic scientist and the application of the methods to important biomedical questions. The CIVM has played a major role in the development of magnetic resonance microscopy with specialized MR imaging systems capable of imaging at more than 500,000x higher resolution than is common in the clinical domain. The CIVM was the first to demonstrate MR images using hyperpolarized 3He which has been moved from mouse to man with recent clinical trials performed at Duke in collaboration with GE. More recently the CIVM has developed the molecular imaging workbench---a system dedicated to multimodality cardiopulmonary imaging in the rodent. Our collaborators are employing these unique imaging systems in an extraordinary range of mouse and rat models of neurologic disease, cardiopulmonary disease and cancer to illuminate the underlying biology and explore new therapies.

  • Arthur Toga
    University of Southern California
  • Peter So
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    The MIT Laser Biomedical Research Center (LBRC) develops the basic scientific understanding and new techniques required for advancing the clinical applications of lasers and spectroscopy. To fulfill the significant and ever growing need for a more comprehensive and potentially non-invasive understanding of the human body, the LBRC merges optical spectroscopy, imaging, scattering, and interferometry techniques. Specifically, researchers at the LBRC study the biophysics and biochemistry of healthy and diseased biological structures from the subcellular to the entire-organ scale. For example, spectral diagnosis instruments based on near-infrared Raman scattering, intrinsic fluorescence, diffuse reflectance, and single light scattering provide complementary data on human disease. Combining these techniques into a single, multimodal instrument is applied for diagnostics in various organs, including cervix, oral cavity, Barrett's esophagus, artery, breast, skin, as well as for transcutaneous measurements of blood constituents. The LBRC has been and continues to be a pioneer in the field of developing novel optical probes for use under direct visualization or with endoscopes and biopsy devices.Similarly, new microscopy tools based on interferometry are designed and exploited for measuring cellular structures and their dynamics. In particular, these techniques provide the crucial and unique ability to non-invasively study cells in their native states at remarkably high spatial and temporal resolutions. Using these novel microscopy tools, the LBRC has conducted critical studies to elucidate the fundamental biology of diseases as diverse as malaria and multiple myeloma, and physiological processes such as cell growth and cell division. The interferometry concepts have also been vital in Center’s research efforts to develop optical tools for deep-tissue imaging while minimizing the adverse effects of light scattering or diffusion. Furthermore, the unique and powerful combination of the interferometric microscopy and vibrational spectroscopy tools adds a hitherto unexplored dimension to optical sensing by simultaneous probing of morphological and chemical information.A unique feature of the LBRC is its ability to form strong clinical collaborations with outside investigators in areas of common interest that further the Center's mandated research objectives. A major focus of these collaborations is to rapidly translate the novel photonic technologies introduced at the LBRC into the clinic and potentially into the field. Another focal point of the collaborations is to enable external researchers to exploit laser-based techniques for medical applications such as the spectral diagnosis of disease, investigation of biophysical and biochemical properties of cells and tissues, and development of novel imaging techniques.

  • Robert Griffin
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    The Harvard/MIT Center for Magnetic Resonance (CMR) is a joint effort between Harvard Medical School and the Massachussetts Institute of Technology. The CMR core research program is focused on the development and applicaton of new magnetic resonance technologies directed at structural biology using a cluster of high field solution and solid state NMR spectrometers. Investigations includes studies of membrane proteins, translation initiation, and amyloid fibrils associated with several diseases. Membrane proteins are examined in nanodiscs using solution NMR and in lipsomes and 2D crystals using magic angle spinning (MAS) dipolar recoupling techniques. Translation initiation is investigated with solution NMR. MAS is the method of choice for experiments on amyloid fibrils since they are both insoluble and do not diffract to high resolution. The CMR is also heavily involved in the development of new software and instrumentation for magnetic resonance. These include methods for non uniform sampling (NUS) to enable efficient acquisiton of higher dimensional NMR spectra and high frequency microwave technology (~150-600 GHz) is being developed for both DNP-NMR and EPR experiments at high magnetic fields. Recent DNP experiments have yielded significant signal enhancments from membrane and amyloid protein samples and enabled experiments that are otherwise not possible. The CMR has pioneered the development of low temperature MAS technology. In addition, there is an extensive effort focused on the creation of new pulse sequences for performing assignments and determining structures in both solution and MAS experiments. Finally, the staff at the CMR interact extensively with outside investigators.

  • Candice Klug
    Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Craig Malloy
    Ut Southwestern Medical Center

    The Southwestern NMR Center for In Vivo Metabolism exists to develop and apply new methods for analysis of metabolic networks in intact tissues, animals and human patients. The importance of understanding abnormal metabolism in common diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease has long been appreciated. Because of constraints in technology, however, much of this research has been conducted in isolated systems where clinical relevance may be uncertain. Progress in magnetic resonance technology provides a foundation for major advances towards new ways of imaging metabolism in patients. These new techniques offer the advantage of imaging biochemical pathways without radiation. The focus of this Resource is to bring these technologies to a level where clinical research is feasible through the development of new MR contrast agents, NMR spectroscopy at high fields, and imaging of hyperpolarized 13C.

  • David Brenner
    Columbia University Health Sciences

    The Columbia University Radiological Research Accelerator Facility (RARAF) is a dedicated facility for radiobiological research with available ionizing radiations such as protons, alpha particles, and neutrons. RARAF is well-established and highly user-friendly. The focus of RARAF is the development of high-throughput single-cell/single-particle microbeams, which can deliver defined amounts of ionizing radiation into individual cells with a spatial resolution of a few microns or better. The ability of a microbeam to put double strand break damage at any specific known location in a given cell has allowed new approaches to the study of damage signaling.

  • Peter Van Zijl
    Hugo W. Moser Res Inst Kennedy Krieger

    This Resource is an interdepartmental and interdisciplinary laboratory combining facilities of the F.M. Kirby Research Center for Functional Brain Imaging at the Hugo Moser Research Institute at Kennedy Krieger (KKI) and the Center for Imaging Science (CIS) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU). It provides expertise for the design of quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy (MRS) data acquisition and processing technologies that facilitate the biomedical research of a large community of clinicians and neuroscientists in Maryland and throughout the USA. These methods allow noninvasive assessment of changes in brain anatomy as well as in tissue metabolite levels, physiology, and brain functioning while the brain is changing size during early development and during neurodegeneration, i.e. the changing brain throughout our life span. The Kirby Center has 3 Tesla and 7 Tesla state of the art scanners equipped with parallel imaging (8, 16, and 32-channel receive coils) and multi-transmit capabilities. CIS has an IBM supercomputer that is part of a national supercomputing infrastructure.

  • David Castner
    University of Washington

    The National ESCA and Surface Analysis Center for Biomedical Problems (NESAC/BIO) provides state-of-the-art surface analysis expertise, instrumentation, experimental protocols, and data analysis methods to address surface-related biomedical problems. NESAC/BIO develops and applies surface science methodologies that produce a full understanding of the surface composition, structure, spatial distribution, and orientation of biomaterials and adsorbed biomolecules. The NESAC/BIO program identifies areas where surface science must evolve to keep pace with the growth in biochemical knowledge and biomaterial fabrication technology, and develops instrumentation, experimental protocols, and data analysis methods to achieve this evolution.

  • David Kaplan
    Tufts University Medford

    The Center is designed to advance the fundamental basis and clinical aspects of tissue engineering, to provide training for investigators and dissemination of scientific findings and new techniques. The expertise and facilities are focused on research, problem solving and training for the biomedical community through an integrated systems approach to the challenges in tissue engineering. A Service Core will enable and facilitate the implementation of solutions that would be impossible to attain from a single laboratory due to the diverse and complex skill sets.