They say that space is the final frontier, but there’s something much closer to home that’s still a mystery: the human brain.
One of the more frustrating issues facing researchers is not necessarily how the brain works, but why the brain doesn’t always work the way it should. Neurological disorders such as Tourette’s syndrome and Parkinson’s disease are two ways in which this complex system can go awry.
Still there is hope—neuroscientists are pursuing many avenues for treatment, including turning to the world of bioengineering. And Mason researchers Joseph Pancrazio and Nathalia Peixoto are investigating ways in which human-made materials can help these brain maladies.
Pancrazio, the chair of Mason’s Department of Bioengineering in the Volgenau School of Engineering, and Peixoto, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and director of Mason’s Neural Engineering Laboratory, are testing nanotechnology to see how it can be used to stimulate neural activity and essentially control the parts of the brain that aren’t working properly....
Do engineers hold the key to cutting health care costs? By inventing new technologies that will help the sick and disabled to live more independently, they just might.
Bioengineering applies engineering tools and approaches to solve problems in biology and medicine and has already had a substantial influence on medicine.
Mason’s new bachelor of science in bioengineering will begin this fall, allowing students to be a part of the health care technology revolution. The program is the only undergraduate bioengineering degree available in Northern Virginia.
“Bioengineering is all about using technology to help people overcome disease, ease pain and improve the quality of life,” says Joseph Pancrazio, director of the bioengineering program and professor of electrical and computer engineering....