Our laboratory strives to understand and seek solutions to pathologies of tubular tissue and organs, such as blood vessels, urethra, colon, esophagus, etc., by applying our strengths in computational and experimental biomechanics, image analysis, cellular and molecular biology, and tissue engineering at an accelerated pace. Our laboratory represents successful collaborations within the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, as well as outside collaborations.
The Veterans Engineering Resource Center (VERC) is collaboration with the Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Health System (VAPHS). Its goal is the development and application of systems engineering methods and principles to health care systems. These include analytical and computer based modeling methods such as queuing, optimization, simulation, and decision analysis. The methods that the VERC develops will contribute to data driven analysis that provides insight into operational problems faced by health care systems management and suggest potential courses of action."Current research is focused on surgery scheduling, critical care management, reusable medical equipment, and prosthetics inventory management."
The Vibration and Control Laboratory, under the direction of William W. Clark, PhD, is devoted to the study of smart structures and microsystems. The primary focus is on the use of smart materials in a variety of applications, including structural vibration control, microelectromechanical systems (including sensors, actuators, resonators, and filters), and energy harvesting. The laboratory is well equipped for experimental and analytical research. Equipment includes computers and data acquisition hardware for simulation and real-time control of dynamic electromechanical systems; a variety of modern transducers and instrumentation for sensing, actuation, and measurement such as dynamic signal analyzers, shakers, high voltage power supplies, and amplifiers, and a variety of basic instrumentation and sensors; and a work center for constructing electronics and test rigs, with emphasis on piezoelectric systems.
The Visualization and Image Analysis (VIA) Laboratory, directed by George Stetten, MD. PhD, is based at the University of Pittsburgh in Benedum 434/435. We are developing new methods of displaying and analyzing images, primarily for medical applications. We have introduced a new device called the Sonic FlashlightTM , for guiding invasive medical procedures, and are currently developing similar technology using optical coherence tomography to guide eye surgery. We have introduced FingerSightTM to allow visually impaired individuals to sense the visual world with their fingertips, and ProbeSight to give ultrasound transducers the ability to incorporate visual information from the surface of the patient. Finally, we are developing a new type of surgical tool, the Hand Held Force Magnifier, that provides a magnified sense of forces at the tip of the tool for microsurgery.