Faculty in the Rice University Department of Bioengineering have design, microfabrication and microfluidics as intrinsic components of their research approaches. These research projects include developing and employing next-generation equipment for 3D printing of complex biological materials and bio-instrumentation; formulating tissue-specific bio-inks for printing and electrospinning fabrication of materials; generating multi-material scaffolds and engineered tissues that mimic native biological tissues; and developing miniature instruments for evaluating molecules, cells and tissues.
Developed technologies may incorporate micro- and larger-scale fluidic systems, real-time imaging and velocimetry, mechanical and electrical actuation and sensing, and sterile culture conditions. These investigations have a range of applications in tissue engineering and biomaterials, optics and diagnostics, cellular engineering, synthetic biology and mechanobiology.
Faculty members also teach undergraduate and graduate students about design and innovation using hands-on approaches to guide them through needs finding, client engagement, brainstorming, critical assessment of possible solutions, prototyping, intellectual property filing and market analysis.