Multi-disciplinary Research

At Rose-Hulman, students in Applied Biology or Biomedical Engineering work in close proximity to other departments. The resulting creative, multi-disciplinary research is a distinct advantage of the program.


Alternatives to Oil:

In a recent project, professors from multiple disciplines studied whether algae could be a potential source for biodiesel, and they were joined by Rose-Hulman's business collaborative, Rose-Hulman Ventures. The project involved growing and optimizing conditions for a number of algae strains that are particularly well suited to Indiana. Professors and students looked at whether bio-fuels can be produced from a variety of sources, along with investigating the effects of these bio-fuel sources in power production and exhaust emissions in an automobile engine. Under an agreement between Rose-Hulman Ventures and Quantum Development Corp., this venture was led by a Rose-Hulman Electrical Engineering alumnus, Chester Crow, joined by professors from departments of Chemistry and Applied Biology.

Multi-disciplinary research teams at Rose-Hulman have already developed several different types of bio-based two-cycle engine oils. These bio-based lubricants have been shown to have superior lubricating properties to the synthetic oils that are currently commercially available. Unique, collaborative ressearch opportunities continue.

Join Faculty Research, Multidisciplinary Projects:

For more on multi-disciplinary projects visit the IP/ROP website.

JRSI Orthopaedic Biomedical Engineering Laboratory

The JRSI orthopaedic laboratory is a collaborative research effort between the Rose-Hulman ABBE department and the Joint Replacement Surgeons of Indiana Research Foundation based out of the Center for Hip and Knee Surgery in Mooresville, Indiana. Projects conducted in the laboratory are joint partnerships between students, faculty, research staff, orthopaedic surgeons, and industry. The research program places an emphasis on the evaluation of surgical techniques and device design in total knee arthroplasty, partial knee arthroplasty, and total hip arthroplasty procedures. Investigative techniques include materials testing, digital image correlation, strain gage analysis, medical imaging and computational modeling. Recent projects presented by students at national engineering conferences have included: "A Biomechanical Analysis of Implant-Induced Cup Deformation in Acetabular Cup Designs", "Factors Influencing Tibial Loading Following Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Finite Element Study", and "Biomechanical Assessment of Tibial Component Slope in Unicompartmental Knee Arthroplasty". Additional information can be found at

Various Faculty, contact Scott Small x8633; smallsr[at]rose-hulma[dot]edu

Mechanisms of action of magnetic fields on immune cells by real-time optical detection

Professor Stéphane J-P. Egot-Lemaire (BBE)
Professor Robert M. Bunch (PHOE) Professor Gabi N. Waite (IU School of Medicine, Terre Haute)

Within the past decades, a variety of electromagnetic field (EMF) therapies have been developed and some have been FDA approved such as the treatment of non-union fractures and spinal fusion. The advantage of these therapies is that they are cost effective and that they have virtually no side effects. Hence, extension of electromagnetic field therapies to other disorders, such as immune disorders, is highly warranted. The main obstacle to develop EMF immune therapies is the incomplete understanding of the mechanisms of action of EMFs on biological systems, and this constitutes a critical need that this study addresses.

studentresearch water

Presenting her results, Alex Bledsoe takes on questions from faculty observer.

The objective of this investigation is to determine magnetic field characteristics able to modulate the activity of the immune system, using an in vitro THP-1 macrophage model, according to the mechanism of action with which EMFs can act on biological systems. As part of their activity, macrophages release reactive oxygen species, one of them being hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). The hypothesis which will be tested in this proposal is that the H2O2 release of macrophages is modified by three different, specifically selected magnetic fields claimed to have biological effects. Each of these three magnetic fields addresses a particular mechanism that has been put forward by different investigators. To this purpose, a real-time flow system which allows determining fast EMF effects has been built. Its optical part needs a better sensitivity and it will be refined in order to detect low concentrations of H2O2. The information that magnetic fields can affect the oxidative activity immune cells will facilitate translational research aimed at the development of EMF immune therapies.