Human Health

Health Interventions

In collaboration with investigators from the College of Health and Human Sciences and physicians, biomedical engineers are developing tools to understand gait in individuals with disability, and are using these tools to improve bioprosthetics. Efforts are also being directed in using control theory and artificial intelligence to better understand neuromodulation, and brain-machine interface. 


Using a variety of genetic engineering tools, biochemical engineers are synthesizing complex antioxidants, and antivenom peptides in bacteria and yeast. They are also developing high-throughput experimental and computational tools to pan diverse habitats for genes that encode peptide sequences with therapeutic potential.

Biomedical Device Design and Development

Bioengineers at SJSU are working on devices to improve the outcomes of diseases ranging from cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the US, to the underappreciated issue of lactation of preterm infants. Bioengineers at SJSU are investigating the role of fluid flow patterns in blood vessels and physical forces on the formation and strength of clots near heart valves, stents, and in various types of blood vessels. Efforts are also being directed in improving the surface properties of stent materials for integration with the host tissue. Various experimental techniques are complemented with computational modeling to aid in the development of better valve replacement and stent designs. Together with local entrepreneurs, biomechanical engineers are designing pumps that will maintain uniform milk composition, which is currently an ineffective and an unsolved problem. 

Cellular and Tissue Engineering

Biomedical and materials engineers are synthesizing new generation nanomaterials with unique and tunable optical, electronic, and mechanical properties for drug delivery and theranostics applications. The engineers are also developing three-dimensional cell culture platforms to closely mimic cancer tissues, and thus will serve as a testbed for evaluating the efficacy of various drug delivery systems. Some of these studies are done in close collaboration with medical faculty in the Bay Area. 

Diagnostic Technologies

Rapid screening of pathogens or early detection of disease can greatly improve the industrial output (such as in food processing) or clinical outcomes (such as cancer or sepsis). Investigators in the College of Engineering are using microfabrication and microfluidics tools to develop rapid, robust, and inexpensive biosensors for identifying very low levels of food contamination, infectious biofilms, sorting very small amount of abnormal or unhealthy cells among a large number of normal cells, and for developing new blood-based biomarkers for diseases with no known molecular tests such as chronic fatigue syndrome.

Drug Discovery

SJSU researchers, using their knowledge in biology and chemistry, aim to discover new treatments to combat infectious diseases and bacterial infections, and to better understand the underlying basis of human diseases. Our researchers are actively studying the mechanisms that underlie breast cancer, chronic pain, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, schizophrenia, fetal alcohol syndrome, heart disease, and viral evolution. Our researchers are also isolating and characterizing new bioactive compounds from native plants, and characterizing new targets for mosquito vector control.

Medicinal Chemistry

SJSU researchers are further developing bioactive compounds for enhanced potency to combat infections by antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria. This approach will allow us to more effectively treat bacterial infections that are refractory to available treatments for life-threatening diseases.