Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Nebraska Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering students enjoy numerous resources for exciting, cutting-edge research. Our students benefit from the quality, energy and ingenuity of faculty members who propose and receive grants from prestigious institutions such as the National Institutes for Health, the National Science Foundation, and the United States Army.

In the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering (CHME), our main research areas include biomolecular engineering, tissue engineering, nanotechnology, biomaterials, biotechnology, biocatalysis, and molecular medicine. You will interact with faculty who bring passion to the research laboratory and the classroom, with exciting studies like:
  • Developing new regenerative medical materials and therapies using bio- and nanotechnologies to speed the repair and regrowth of bone, blood vessels and soft tissues in vivo
  • Developing cutting edge genomic techniques like ultra-fast polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to search for emerging disease threats such as antibiotic-resistant tuberculosis
  • Using proteomic instruments like a specialized mass spectrometer designed to search for new genetically engineered protein medicines
  • Developing a new pliable bandage that can stop fatal bleeding from trauma in civilian and military applications
  • Partnering with international healthcare systems to develop abundant supplies of hemophilia medicines from the milk of genetically engineered livestock to treat 80% of the world's hemophilia patients
  • Discovering a device to give robots a human sense of touch using nanotechnology
  • Developing a process for sustainable biofuels production 

'Human touch' sensor could improve breast cancer detection


September 10, 2014

Ravi Saraf, professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering professor, joined with post-doc Chieu Van Nguyen to develop a nanoparticle-based devise that emulates human touch and could significantly enhance clinical breast examinations for the early detection of cancer.

In an article published in the most recent edition of the journal ACS Advanced Materials & Interfaces, Saraf and Nguyen describe their thin-film sensor that can detect tumors that are too small and deep to be felt with human fingers.

The film, just one-60th the thickness of a human hair, is a sort of "electronic skin" able to sense texture and relative stiffness. The film was used to successfully detect tumors as small as 5 millimeters and hidden up to 20 millimeters deep.

Typically, manual breast exams don't find lumps until they are 21 millimeters, while the American Cancer Society reports a 94 percent survival rate if breast cancer is diagnosed when tumors are diagnosed at less than 10 millimeters.

 » Read the full story at UNL Today

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