Non-thesis MSE student projects for credit


These projects are suitable for MSE students in Biomedical Engineering pursuing the non-thesis track option. They can be done for 3 credits per semester i.e. 120 hours and additionally winter intersession.

Numerical simulation of boundary layer separation in airborne infection:

Airborne infection may be influenced by natural convection of air in different regions of the body particularly undulating regions in for example an infant lying in an incubator, surgical scrubs in the operating theatre and face masks (Clark and de Calcina-Goff, 2009, J. R. Soc. Interface, 6, S767–S782). For a partial understanding of these phenomena, we would like to explore the distribution of temperature in thermal fluid flow over humps of increasing height. We speculate that there is a temperature inversion within the flow that separates ahead of the hump for certain heights of the hump. Preferred skills: computational fluid dynamics and programming (Fortran, OpenFoam, Matlab).

Finite element simulation of mechanoporation:

This project is motivated by physiological experiments on isolated, i.e. in vitro cochlear outer hair cells (OHCs) that are thought to contribute to the active process responsible for the exquisite frequency selectivity and sensitivity of mammalian hearing. These experiments were influenced by the suggestion first proposed by an otologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital [Guild SR. 1937 Comments on the physiology of hearing and the anatomy of the inner ear. Laryngoscope 47, 3655] that fluid forces imparted on the lateral wall of the OHC may be the mechanism by which in vivo OHCs are damaged by acoustic trauma such as loud noise; later, several experiments suggested that pressure within the organ of Corti housing the OHCs could play a role in the active process. In his post-mortem studies of temporal bones of cochleae in ears, Dr. Guild observed that the lateral wall of the cochlear outer hair cell wall was damaged. We hypothesize that this is due to mechanoporation where shear flow along the lateral wall cause pores to form. This can be investigated by an energy model of an infinite membrane subjected to a localized shear. Preferred skills: membrane thermodynamics, membrane biophysics, computational mechanics including calculus of variation and programming (Finite Element Methods).

J Tilak Ratnanather

Associate Research Professor
Center for Imaging Science and
Institute for Computational Medicine,
Department of Biomedical Engineering,
The Johns Hopkins University

Campus address: Clark 308B;
Phone number: (410) 516-2927;
E-mail: tilak AT cis DOT jhu DOT edu