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Two recent engineering research awards from the American Cancer Society and National Science Foundation secured by faculty seek to propel new knowledge in areas of diagnosis, clinical care and application.

Dr. Bojana Gligorijevic and Dr. Erkan Tüzel, Associate Professors of Bioengineering at the Temple University College of Engineering, received a $791,000, four-year Research Scholar Grant from the American Cancer Society.cancer cells

The grant, entitled "Mechanisms of invadopodia driven motility and metastasis," will fund their work on integration of real-time, multi-scale microscopy with mathematical modeling in invasive cancer cells. In collaboration with Fox Chase Cancer Center, the team will validate their future findings in the clinical samples of breast cancer. 

The goal of this study is to specifically target such cells, in order to prevent metastasis.

Pictured at right: The area of the breast tumor which surrounds blood vessels (shown in magenta) is called the perivascular niche. Within the niche, a small population of tumor cells (red) is able to degrade connective tissue, enter blood vessels and metastasize.

This follows Dr. Gligorijevic's recent $2 million research R01 grant, provided by the National Institutes of Health-National Cancer Institute, to support her research in cancer cell metastasis, the cause of most breast cancer-related deaths.

To learn more about this research, visit the Cancer Microscopy & Mechanobiology Lab.

Electrical and Computer Engineering Assistant Professor Albert Kim, along with Assistant Professor Haijun Liu (Co-PI), received an award from the National Science Foundation to develop a Smart Stent for post-EVAR surveillance that combines a flexible, hybrid, seamless, battery-less bioelectronic system with a deep-learning algorithm that offers an automated diagnosis of endoleak.

Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is an area where Smart Health has yet been applied even though implanting a stent graft has been exceedingly common as a preventative treatment. With the mortality of 80% in cases of ruptures, AAA accounts for more than 10,000 deaths in the United States every year.

One of the most common treatments is endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR), which redirects blood flow away from the aortic wall and bypass the weak spots by implanting a covered stent graft in the aneurysm sac via a minimally invasive procedure.

The proposed Smart Stent aims to bring significant advantages over imaging techniques, including continuous monitoring and the capability of providing a patient-specific clinical profile that can be analyzed serially over time.

To learn more about the Smart Stent project and related work, visit the Acousto-Bioelectronic Lab website.