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Student Research at the

Biothermal Technology Laboratory


The mission of the Biothermal Technology Laboratory (BTTL) is to promote research and education in the general field of thermal energy in biological systems. Activity at the BTTL integrates the development of sensors, instrumentation, measurement techniques, physical modeling, numerical techniques, computation tools, and thermal design with applications in biology and medicine.


At present, core research activity at the BTTL is performed in collaboration with researchers, educators, and clinicians from University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Allegheny General Hospital (Pittsburgh, PA), Organ Recovery Systems, Inc. (Charleston, SC), Center for Implantable Medical Microsystems (CIMM), and the Computational Engineering & Robotics Laboratory.


While specific student research topics may vary, current research activity at the BTTL includes the following thrust areas:

·        Implantable Miniature Sensors

·        Computation Tools for Surgery Planning

·        Computation Tools for Training of Cryosurgeons

·        Cryosurgical Devices

·        Cryopreservation Instrumentation

·        Thermo-Mechanical Stress in Cryopreservation

·        Physical Properties of Frozen Tissues


See glossary for more information and terminology.


Different research projects require different background and skills. Some student projects are computational, others are experimental, and many combine experimental with computational work. Projects selection at the BTTL accommodates students with background in core mechanical engineering and/or biomedical engineering, as well as students from other disciplines who are specializing in transport phenomena and/or computation.


Interested in more information on student projects at the BTTL?

Graduate education: You may contact Prof. Yoed Rabin directly if you are a CMU student or if you are pursuing a CMU/NTU dual PhD program. Otherwise, you must first complete an application to one of the CMU graduate program.

Undergraduate education: Undergraduate students of CMU are encouraged to participate in research at the BTTL as a part of the CIT Honors Research Program or as a part of the Department Research Honors. For more information on research topics, you may contact Prof. Yoed Rabin directly. For more information on the honors programs, you may contact Ms. Bonnie Olson, the Undergraduate Academic Advisor of the Department of Mechanical Engineering.


Some popular links:

·        Cryosurgery in Cancer Treatment: Questions and Answers (National Cancer Institute)

·        Cryosurgery for prostate cancer (American Cancer Society)

·        Training Cryosurgeons with Interactive Tool (Carnegie Mellon University)

·        CMU expert works on tool to train cryosurgeons (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)