Areas of Concentration

Medical Imaging

CMU has extensive clinical resources from its affiliated hospital. We are also committed to basic research into the Chinese medicine system, medical imaging, and sports medicine. Medical Imaging group focuses on utilizing knowledge and technology from electrical, mechanical, electronics, and information engineering to biomedical research. We then apply the key findings to biomedical research that includes the fields of basic medical research (e.g. neuroscience and acupuncture), clinical medicine, medical electronics, rehabilitation engineering, genetics, biomechanics, and biomaterials. This thrust area includes the development and improvement of biomedical imaging instruments for clinical diagnosis, medical care, and rehabilitation. Specific emphasis is placed on the development of integrated medical systems, including systems for medical imaging quality and resolution assessment, medical imaging-assisted diagnostic systems, medical electronic assist devices, and radiation detection instruments. In addition to basic medical education, we will coordinate with CMU’s affiliated hospital to provide training courses that cover the workflow and clinical applications of the varied instruments used in Chinese medicine, radiology, nuclear medicine, radiation therapy, and physical therapy. The improvement of imaging-assisted systems is also an important subject in this area, with the aim of creating technologies that can reduce the load on medical staff, while improving the quality of health care. This research area also covers the development of surgical simulation systems, such as the modules used to simulate coronary artery bypass surgery. Emerging trends suggest that the use of systems employing CT or MRI to re-construct three-dimensional (3D) organs of the human body have become popular, therefore integration of this technique with 3D displays is included in the program to help students become familiar with the 3D structure of the human organs. This has been shown to effectively replace hands-on human anatomy labs, with great learning results.

 

Biomechanics

Tens of thousands of patients each year in Taiwan require hip or knee replacement surgery. Therefore, the study of artificial joint performance has great potential to improve the quality of life of a large population. This thrust area will be taught in collaboration with the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at CMU Hospital and will review the current design of artificial joints and surgical procedures, including fixation methods for artificial hip joints, the effect of eccentric screw insertion on the stability of acetabular cups, and the biomechanical investigation of intramedullary nail fixation in patients with knee replacements. We will further explore the treatment outcomes of patients with osteoarthritis, especially, the types that are common in Taiwanese patients, using biomechanical assessment techniques. It is hoped that the results of these studies will improve treatments and postoperative recovery. In addition, dental implants have become the standard treatment for patients with missing teeth in recent years. Researchers in the Biomechanics group will work together with the Dental Department of CMU Hospital to develop better artificial tooth roots that are more suitable for Asian people. With the increasing elderly population, the design of more suitable dental implants for the elderly has become a particularly important issue. The development of orthodontic miniscrews is also the one of focuses of this research area. Finally, we will continue our fruitful research into a human motion analysis system developed in CMU, and perform studies on musculoskeletal and neurological diseases in cooperation with relevant departments in CMU hospital (e.g. Department of Orthopedics, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Neurology) to provide useful information to enhance diagnosis and treatment.


Biomaterials

Biomaterials researchers aim to design and develop novel nanomaterials, polymers, metals, ceramics, composite materials, and biological and polymeric materials and apply them to medical purposes. This includes the study of the biocompatibility of new materials, the development of drugs in microcapsules and microspheres, and the investigation and preparation of biodegradable materials to promote their application in health care practice. CMU is currently actively developing a number of biomaterial products and related techniques. For example, a biodegradable genipin cross-linked gelatin conduit that can provide a microenvironment to promote growth of damaged nerve cells has been shown to enhance peripheral nerve regeneration and repair of nerve defects in rat models. To avoid over crosslinking conduits, which may constrain nerve regeneration, or under crosslinking conduits, which may not provide stable support for nerve cell growth, conduits with different degrees of crosslinking are now under investigation. A biodrug, hydrogel, prepared from a polysaccharide from Bletilla striata, is being tested for its ability to promote skin regeneration during the wound-healing process by acting as a scaffold for skin cells to grow on. In comparison with collagen-based dressings, Bletilla striata hydrogel has more potential, as it is inexpensive and is derived from a non-animal source, while providing a suitable microenvironment for cell attachment and tissue regeneration. In addition, the development of novel materials utilizing conventional orthopedic biomaterials in combination with Chinese medicine biodrugs, such as Chi-Li-San, Gui-Lu-Jiao and Drynariae Rhizoma, to improve bone regeneration is one of the key biomaterials research topics of CMU.  


Biomedical Devices

The study of biomedical devices is highly interdisciplinary, as it requires professional knowledge of market demands, concept formation, design and development, manufacturing, retailer networks, market monitoring, and product recall mechanisms. CMU and its affiliated hospital have a comprehensive teaching and research environment in the field of Chinese and Western medicine and pharmacy, therefore the academic talents trained by the CMU system have sufficient knowledge to enter the biomedical devices industry. This thrust area integrates the research outcomes of different departments in CMU, and focuses on the development of biomedical electronic systems, including noninvasive sensors, non-contact sensors, implantable sensors, implantable System-on-chips (SOCs), biomedical microelectromechanical systems, and real-time biomedical signal analysis systems. The Biomedical Devices researchers aim to work closely with other departments in the CMU and its hospital to develop innovative medical electronic devices with improved safety and effectiveness via clinical trials.