Category: Uncategorized

A Topic in Bioethics: Bioweapons Event Summary

On Tuesday, 3/24/15, Dr. Matthew Hersch and Dr. Jonathan Moreno led a group of student in a discussion on the ethics of bioweapons. This is an issue that has become increasingly crucial as new technologies are developed, and the accessibility and lethality of bioweapons increases. Dr. Hersch and Dr. Moreno talked about topics that ranged from the various types of bioweapons to the United States’ preparedness for a bioweapons attack against the USA. They also briefly discussed their similarities with chemical and nuclear weapons. Read more…

Resume Workshop Event Summary

This year, Engineering Week at Penn was held February 23rd-27th. On Monday the 23rd, BMES hosted a resumé/cover letter workshop with guest speaker Rosette Pyne from Career Services. Pyne walked students through the steps to writing a cover letter and building a resume tailored to different applications. She even included memorable anecdotes from past students’ experiences, particularly about proofreading and using one’s own words, to reiterate her points.

For the second half of the event, as they munched on Federal Donuts, attendees broke off into one-on-one resume checks with upperclassmen from BMES and Theta Tau. All in all, Mrs.Pyne’s presentation combined with these resume critique sessions ensured that the event was an informative, yet interactive experience for the mostly freshman and sophomore attendees.

The Degradation and Mechanical Properties of Hydrogels

James Howard, Ryan Wade &,  Dr. Jason Burdick

Our first Research Spotlight was written by James Howard, a junior working in Dr. Jason Burdick’s lab.  If you would like to learn more about his work or the other research being conducted by the Burdick lab, feel free to visit their lab website.

The goal of the research was to form a mathematical model that related the strength of hydrogels with a hyaluronic acid (HA) backbone to the enzymatic degradation rate of that hydrogel. Ultimately, this model could be used for future studies that apply to cell culturing, cell delivery, and growth factor delivery. Hydrogels are cross-linked polymers that can be used for drug delivery and tissue engineering applications. The hydrogels generated in this research degrade when the cross-links in the gel are cleaved enzymatically, namely by matrix metalloproteinases that are naturally secreted by cells. The degradation rates of these gels can be characterized by the amount of hyaluronic acid they release. Enzymatically degradable and non-degradable hydrogels were created first by attaching either a pre-engineered degradable or non-degradable peptide to either 2 weight % or 4 weight % maleimide modified HA. In mechanical property analysis, the hydrogels were tested in a rheometer for 30 minutes to determine the storage modulus (resistance to shear force) of the gels. Read more…

Research Spotlights

This semester, we will be posting Research Spotlights to give BE undergraduates who are working in a research lab the opportunity to share their work with the BE community. We hope the Spotlights will promote discussions and well as introduce readers to areas of study outside of their own.

If you work in a lab that does biomedical-related research at Penn and would like to write a short summary of the lab’s activities, please email the BMES Board at pennbmes@gmail.com. If you plan to work in a lab over the summer, let us know, and you can submit at article at the beginning of the Fall 2015 semester. Remember to first get permission from your PI!

Plans for Next Semester

We are very excited for the spring semester, as we have a lot in the pipeline which we believe will benefit the BE community.

Our first event of the semester was a talk by Eric Esch, a PhD student in the Huh Lab. He worked as an engineering consultant for MPR Associates, and spoke to members of the BE Mentoring program about important lessons he learned as an undergrad. The talk took place on Thursday, 1/22/15 in Raisler Lounge from 12-1pm. Read more…

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