Organization profile

Organization profile

Research - Neuro-Engineering Orit Shefi Lab

Our research aims to unveil the basic mechanisms underlying neuronal development and leverages this knowledge towards obtaining improved methods for manipulating and promoting neuronal regeneration. Neurons develop into a wide-variety of shapes with important implications for neuronal function and connectivity. Following nerve injuries, the process of spontaneous nerve regeneration is incomplete. Our approach is multidisciplinary and merges engineering, biology and material sciences, at the micro and nano scale. We analyze neuronal responses by implementing morphometric measurements, electrophysiological protocols, simulations and bioinformatics. Moreover, in order to target the nervous system and key injured, diseased tissue, we develop drug-delivery technologies, i.e. novel carriers and biolistic setups.

Bioengineering

Bioengineering is a rapidly emerging field fusing life sciences with engineering in order to advance fundamental understanding of biological systems, as well as to develop biomedical technologies to promote human health and welfare. In the bioengineering track, we apply engineering principles to basic biomedical science at the cellular and tissue level as well as more complex biological systems. We develop new optical, electromechanical, biochemical, materials and computational technologies which can be applied to quantitative biological measurements as well as  for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. Furthermore, we strive to uncover the design principles of living organisms, and use this knowledge to design and build new biological systems with desired function.

The mission of the bioengineering track in the faculty engineering is to advance all aspects of biological engineering through research and education.  Research areas include biomedical devices, nanotechnology and drug delivery, neural and tissue engineering, biological imaging and microscopy, genomics, and systems biology. Undergraduate and graduate level courses provide our students with a wide set of knowledge and skills in both engineering and biology, and prepare them for future careers in the developing biotech and biomedical industries as well as in basic research.

Neuroengineering

Understanding the intricacies of the human mind stands as a paramount scientific challenge with practical implications, given the rising prevalence of brain disorders and the pressing need for innovative treatments. The Neuroengineering program seeks to address this challenge by blending comprehensive training in electrical engineering with a specialized focus on brain research. In recent years, engineering has significantly contributed to the field, both in developing novel technologies for measuring brain activity and in analyzing vast biological data generated by existing technologies.

The Neuroengineering curriculum is tailored to the interdisciplinary nature of research, encompassing core engineering studies akin to the electrical engineering program. This includes a deep dive into fundamental sciences such as mathematics, physics, and computer science. The program combines courses from the bioengineering track within electrical engineering with neuroscience courses offered by the School of Neuroscience. Dedicated Neuroengineering courses, such as neuron network modeling, neurogenetics, and neurotechnology, further enrich the program.

Key Emphases of the Neuroengineering Program:

  1. Machine Learning, Neurogenetics, and Neural Network Modeling
  2. Brain Imaging Technologies
  3. Development of Therapeutic Tools with an Emphasis on Crossing the Blood-Brain Barrier
  4. Brain-Machine Interface

The program equips students with a solid foundation in electrical engineering and profound scientific knowledge spanning molecular-level understanding of nervous systems to the entire brain in both healthy and diseased states. By applying analytical and experimental tools from engineering to neuroscience, graduates are well-positioned for further research at the graduate level and seamless integration into the biomedical industry.

Neuroengineering Defined:

A burgeoning field within electrical engineering focused on devising solutions and technologies for challenges in neuroscience.

Challenges in Neuroengineering:

  1. Reading and Influencing the Brain Today
  2. Attaining an Understanding of the Brain
  3. Diagnosing and Treating Brain Diseases

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. Our work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

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