created by adrian tabula and collaborators

Bioengineering, biophysics, mechanical engineering, and medical technology


The Mechanical Stimulation of the Small GTPase RhoA

Department of Bioengineering and Biophysics | University of California, Berkeley

The small GTPase RhoA is a principal regulator of actomyosin contraction as a result of its ability to simulate Rhokinase and induce the cascade of downstream phosphorylation of the myosin light chain.

We've used a CFP/YFP RhoA FRET sensor to examine the ways in which mechanical loading affects RhoA activity in NIH 3T3 fibroblasts. We've probed our cells using a stack piezo device that controlled the rate and magnitude of an applied force. A microfabricated chamber was used to adhere individual cells to a specific geometry and allowed for the observation of RhoA's response to three-dimensional forces such as stretching and compression.


Reversible Optothermal Isomerization of Prodrug Activity via Redshifted Photoabsorption and Heat Inactivation

Biophotonics and Drug Design Laboratory | University of California, Berkeley

Prodrugs have proven to be an irreplaceable tool in cancer therapy and in other drug delivery platforms. Current methods for selective activation of prodrugs use UV irradiation or enzyme-catalyzed cleavage; however, these systems have some major drawbacks. We have developed a method to utilize photochrome-inspired carriers to improve on the current prodrug design by enabling redshifted photoactivtion and thermal inactivation with potential applications for clinical and commercial uses.


Investigating a Novel Drug Delivery Method to Address Treatment of Glioblastoma Multiforme

Department of Bioengineering | University of California, Berkeley

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most prevalent type of malignant brain tumor. GBM is classified as a grade IV astrocytoma; these are the most invasive type of glial tumors, rapidly growing and commonly spreading to nearby brain tissue.

The most effective treatment thus far is Gliadel, a polyanhydride polymeric implant containing chemotherapeutic drug. However, Gliadel wafers demonstrate limited efficacy, since in vivo experiments show therapeutic concentrations of BCNU drug reach only 1 cm away from the resection cavity with Gliadel use, rather than the desired 2 cm penetration distance within which the tumors usually recur. To further decrease the rate of GBM recurrence, we investigated the use of alternate biomaterials and drug delivery strategies to extend the penetration distance of therapeutic BCNU concentrations to decrease tumor recurrence frequency.


Stress and Deflection Analysis in Distal Tibia Implant Plates

Department of Bioengineering | University of California, Berkeley

Finite element analysis (FEA) has proven to be a valuable technique in studying bone fractures and implant plates to treat fractures. Here, we used analytical modeling and FEA through COMSOL modeling to study the distal tibia attached to a locking implant plate. COMSOL modeling revealed high stress concentrations around the first and second top screws of the implant plate and an uneven distribution of stress in the tibia bone supported by the implant. These results from FEA could potentially be utilized to interpret clinical observations and predict potential implant complications.


Prevention of Narcotics-Induced Respiratory Depression by Optical Early Detection and Capture

Joint UC Berkeley Engineering & San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society Exhibition Poster

Post-surgical narcotics are given to patients to help them cope with pain; however, due to the biochemical nature of these drugs, some patients are at risk of losing the ability to breathe during sleep (the "Dead in Bed Syndrome"). A group of engineers from UC Berkeley partnered with the Anesthesia and Perioperative Care Unit at the VA San Francisco Hospital to create a solution to this common problem. 


Aeolus is the first ever non-contact, non-invasive, real-time patient respiratory monitoring system

UC Berkeley Engineering, San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, UCSF Entrepreneurship Center
Big Ideas @ Berkeley Competition Poster

This proof-of-concept poster describes the our technology on a high-level and overviews the total addressable market potential for our idea.


 University of California, San Francisco Medical Center Gastrointestinal Surgery Analysis

Department of Bioengineering | University of California, Berkeley
Biodesign Fellowship Program

This document is one of 14 similar deliverables for client sites ranging from medical device companies, engineering design companies, surgical centers, and other major hospitals within the Bay Area. Here, we overview the fundamentals of several gastrointestinal surgical procedures and share our insights from observing these procedures in the operating room under guidance from UCSF Chief of General Surgery, Dr. Hobart Harris.