Biomechanics is simply the study of mechanical laws relating to the movement or structure of living organisms. Neuromechanics is an attempt to understand how muscles, sense organs, motor pattern generators, and the brain interact to produce coordinated movement, not only in complex terrain but also when confronted with unexpected perturbations. For example, research in neuromechanics aims to characterize human pathologies which adversely impact the ability to walk or maintain postural stability.
Dwight is the director of the Biomedical Engineering department at the University of Mississippi.
The biomedical microdevices area leverages microscale structures and phenomena to create novel instrumentation for research in biology and medicine. Microscale phenomena give researchers a new set of tools for performing experiments that are either impossible or impractical with traditional technology.
Researchers in the Biomedical Engineering department at the University of Mississippi perform high throughput screening of drug candidates using only picoliters per sample and create complex oxygen landscapes within cell cultures.
The field of biomaterials focuses on design of materials that integrate with living tissues in a way that diagnoses, treats, replaces, or augments tissue function. Drug Delivery involves the design of materials that improve the performance of pharmaceutics by maximizing on-target therapeutic effects and limiting toxicity-causing side-effects. Areas of Biomaterials and Drug Delivery include: tissue engineering/regenerative medicine, orthopedics, medical implants, biosensors, controlled drug release, nanomedicine, targeted and stimuli-responsive delivery, and immunomodulation. These interdisciplinary fields are rapidly growing and evolving in response to new innovations in biotechnology and the clinical need for “smarter” therapies.
Molecular Biophysics is a rapidly evolving interdisciplinary area of research at the interface of biology, chemistry, physics, and engineering. We seek to understand the mechanics of biology from the single molecule to complex system levels, such as how biomolecules are made and how different parts of a cell move and function. Using novel approaches to better understand life at the molecular level will be pivotal in discovering the mechanisms of disease and thus developing more targeted therapeutics.
Researchers in the Biomedical Engineering department at the University of Mississippi investigate the biophysics of cytoskeletal hierarchy (systems that include molecular motors, proteins, microtubules, actin, etc.) and the implications of their synergy in vital life processes such as cell division and motility using a biophysical technique called optical tweezers.