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MURI Program: Nanotechnology Engineering for Biomedical Application

DUE is home to IEL and the CRL which is administering the Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Institute (MURI) both in the academic year and the summer, which creates and supports multidisciplinary research teams consisting of undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, senior staff and faculty. The primary purpose of these teams is to provide undergraduates a unique opportunity to gain research skills by working with mentors on real world problems.

Overview of department:
The vision of INDI is to be a world-class resource for the realization of nanotechnology-based miniaturized systems that contribute to the economic growth and social advancement of Indiana and the nation and benefit humanity as a whole. The mission of INDI is 1) to enable, through innovative interdisciplinary research and educational programs, the development of nanotechnology-based systems for biomedical, energy, environmental, information technology and other applications, and 2) to provide solutions which, through translation of research into practice and technology transfer, contribute to social well being and economic growth. Nanotechnology engineering for biomedical systems will be enhanced.

Project summary:
The specific application is making gold nanoparticles of a certain size for application within the eye. The positions within this project will provide students with an insight on how to make gold nanoparticles and how to characterize them. The GNPs created within this MURI project will be used to make an artificial retina for blind patients.

Specific tasks that the MURI student will complete: 

  1. The tasks will include manufacturing and characterizing the nanoparticles that are suitable in visible light wavelengths.
  2. The GNPs will be characterized and then will be deposited on a substrate to convert light into voltage.
  3. The light to voltage characterization will be accomplished.
  4. The toxicity of the nanoparticles in a biological environment will be determined.

Specific qualifications (knowledge, skills, class standing, etc) we desire the MURI student to have:

Without order of importance:
  • Biology,
  • Chemistry
  • Medicine
  • Nanotechnology
  • Microfabrication Biomedical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

Learning objectives:
By the end of this position assignment, the student will meet the following learning objectives

Students will learn:
  1. How to make gold nanoparticles
  2. How to make gold nanoholes
  3. Learn about advanced techniques in the retina implants
  4. Hands-on laboratory experiments and biology implementation