microscope image of gold rods

Duke BME Research

Translating fundamental advances into improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of disease

The department's proximity to Duke University Medical Center has fostered a highly interdisciplinary approach. Duke BME engineers work closely with Duke's biological scientists and physicians.

These collaborations are enhanced by the innovative Duke-Coulter Translational Medicine Partnership.

Major Research Programs

Our undergraduate and graduate students conduct research with the guidance of Duke BME faculty researchers—a community of innovators that includes many winners of prestigious scientific awards.

In one of the clearest hallmarks of faculty excellence, sponsored research at Duke BME has grown more than 60 percent over the last five years.

microscope image of muscle tissue

Bioelectric Engineering

Spanning a range of length scales from the ion-channel to the organ level, with a focus on development of realistic models of cardiac muscle

biomaterials magnified


Including the molecular design of soft materials, nanomaterials, immune-active materials and scaffolds for tissue engineering

microscope image of cells

Biomechanics and Mechanobiology

Focusing on mechanics at and across the molecular, cellular, tissue and organ levels

doctor looking at screens of data

Biomedical and Health Data Sciences

Developing innovative data science, machine learning, and digital health modeling approaches to transform multi-scale biomedical data into actionable insights

photoacoustic microscopy of mouse ear vasculature

Biomedical Imaging and Biophotonics

Advancing the physics and mathematical theory of imaging, image acquisition and image processing, hardware design and clinical applications

microscope image of biosensors from Chilkoti lab

Biosensors and Bioinstrumentation

Utilizing recent advances in biochemistry, electronics, omics and physiology to develop novel diagnostic, therapeutic and prosthetic devices

biological systems rendering from Randles lab

Computational Modeling of Biological Systems

Using modeling, simulation, high-performance computing and data analysis to create testable hypotheses about mechanisms driving complex biological functions

illustration of gene editing technology from Gersbach lab

Drug and Gene Delivery

Understanding and developing new strategies aimed at therapies for cancer, infectious and cardiovascular disease, muscle disease, and gastrointestinal disease

immunoengineering illustration from Collier lab

Immune Engineering

Designing novel vaccines and technologies for tissue engineering and treatment of wounds, chronic inflammation and cancer

brain chip image from Viventi lab

Neural Engineering

Developing new tools and methods to enable fundamental research on the nervous system, as well as treatments for neurological disorders

microscope image from Shen lab

Synthetic and Systems Biology

Including development of new strategies for regenerative medicine, treatment of genetic disease and techniques to establish robust gene circuit function

microscope image of muscle tissue from Bursac lab

Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine

Investigating technologies from biomaterial/cell constructs for repairing various tissues and organs, to stem cell therapies, to immune therapies

Clinical Application Areas

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Mark L. Palmeri

Professor of the Practice in the Department of Biomedical Engineering

Research Interests: Ultrasonic imaging, specifically using acoustic radiation force to characterize the mechanical properties of tissue, and finite element analysis of soft tissue response to impulsive radiation force excitation. Other research interests include ultrasonic bioeffects and mechanical…