Volgenau School of Engineering
George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

All bioengineering undergraduate students have the opportunity to work with talented faculty in a research setting at Mason.

Available Research Projects

Effect of synaptic plasticity on stop-signal reaction time task - Kim Blackwell

Working with the brain simulator and enhancing an existing model of the basal ganglia by adding synaptic plasticity. Simulations cortical inputs and evaluates how synaptic plasticity influences basal ganglia output.

Term: Spring 2020

Stipend: No stipend offered

Applicant Eligibility Requirements: BENG 327 or NEUR 327 and python programming

Department: Bioengineering

Location: Krasnow Institute

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Comparison of the Effects of Gait Modification Strategies on Knee Adduction Moment in Patients with Medial Knee Osteoarthritis - Nelson Cortes

The external knee adduction moment (KAM), which is used as a surogate measure of joint load, has been repeatedly associated with knee osteoarthritis (KOA) severity and progression. Prior research has shown an association between KAM and KOA severity as symptomatic individuals with greater KAM at baseline have demonstrated poorer outcomes at follow-up. Recent studies have investigated various gait modification interventions, designed to decrease KAM with the goal of reducing the symptoms and slowing down the progression of KOA. While initial results have been positive, the majority of these studies have employed quasi-experimental designs using healthy participants, severely limiting the generalizability of their findings to the target population. The purpose of this study is to address these limitations by comparing the effects of previously studied gait modification interventions on KAM in patients with KOA.

Term: Spring, Summer, and Fall 2020

Stipend: No stipend offered

Applicant Eligibility Requirements: Knowledge of biomechanics, bioengineering, and programming (MATLAB), as well as interest in anatomy and motion capture

Department: School of Kinesiology

Location: Science and Technology Campus

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Patient-specific cerebral aneurysm modeling from MRI image data - Juan Cebral

Construct 3D patient-specific models of the blood flow in cerebral aneurysms from 7 Tesla time-of-flight magnetic resonance images, and run computational fluid dynamics simulations using these vascular models. The aim is to assess the feasibility of using these images for hemodynamic characterization of cerebral aneurysms. In particular, we are interested in comparing 3D models constructed from TOF-MRI and 3D rotational angiograms to understand the limitations of each modality and whether MRI alone can be used for studies relating hemodynamics and wall characteristics.

Students will learn to process medical images, build 3D vascular models, run fluid flow simulations, create flow visualizations, and will participate in interpretation of results. The project could easily lead to journal or conference papers.

Term: Spring 2020 and continue afterwards

Stipend: None at the beginning, could lead to a paid position later.

Applicant Eligibility Requirements: Basic knowledge of biomechanics (fluids) and programming; Bioengineering major preferred; and interest in anatomy and physiology, image processing, and computer modeling. Commitment to the project for at least one semester.

Department: Bioengineering

Location: Peterson Hall, 4000F

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Evaluation and tuning of lumped parameter models of cerebral arterial networks - Juan Cebral

Lumped parameter models are 0D or 1D reduced models of blood flows in compliant vessels used to represent the hemodynamics (blood flow) in the complex arterial networks of the human brain. This project will focus on comparing 0d/1D flow models with full 3D models to assess errors related to pressure losses at arterial bifurcations that are neglected in the reduced models. Secondly, we are interested in characterizing diffusivity parameters that need to be added to 0D/1D transport models in order to match transport results obtained with 3D models or experimental results.

Students will learn about fluid flow models, arterial networks and brain circulation, flow visualization, and to run large computer simulations. This project will likely lead to journal or conference papers.

Term: Spring 2020 and continue afterwards

Stipend: None at the beginning, could lead to a paid position later.

Applicant Eligibility Requirements: Basic knowledge of Biomechanics (fluid flow); Bioengineering major preferred (ME also welcome); basic programming/computing (Python, Matlab, R, C, linux, etc.); and interest in anatomy, physiology, cerebrovascular diseases, and computer simulations.

Department: Bioengineering

Location: Peterson Hall, 4000F

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Wireless, ultrasensitive electrochemical sensing based on laser-induced, polymer-derived porous graphene - Pilgyu Kang

The objective of this project is to develop biosensors with high sensitivity in wireless, wearable platform based on laser photothermally induced porous graphene. This project aims to explore:

  1. synthesis of micro/nano structured atomic-scale materials via laser photothermal manufacturing,
  2. characterization of laser-synthesized structured graphene, and
  3. fabrication and characterization of electrochemical transducer devices for development biosensors in a flexible, wireless platform.

Undergraduate research assistant students will work together with graduate students as a team.

Term: Spring and Summer 2020

Stipend: To be determined based on skills and experiences.

Applicant Eligibility Requirements: Enthusiastic juniors and seniors who are interested in getting involved with undergraduate research.

Department: Bioengineering and Mechanical Engineering

Location: Institute for Advanced Biomedical Research (IABR) Manassas, 1024 and 1027, Science and Technology Campus

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Bioengineering students Luz Vargas Restrepo and Meena Alzamani pose with Juan Cebral, bioengineering professor.

Bioengineering students Luz Vargas Restrepo (middle) and Meena Alzamani pose with Juan Cebral, bioengineering professor. They were on campus to discuss bioengineering projects and ongoing research during Engineers Week.