Biomedical Engineering Research

Biomedical engineering (BME) research at Dartmouth draws from multiple disciplines and supports discovery in fundamental applied science and engineering, as well as translational science, to address grand challenges in human health.

Biomedical icon

A diversity of concentrations is offered with strong synergies between the biological and chemical, electrical and computer, energy, materials, and mechanical, operations and systems engineering research areas. Graduate engineering students are expected to propose a plan of study that supports their interests, potentially including distinctive intellectual paths unconstrained by disciplinary boundaries and enriched by interdisciplinary synergies.

BME research, carried out at both Thayer School and the Williamson Translational Science Building at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, addresses key challenges in the following sub-areas supported by leading faculty in their fields.

Imaging & Physics

Research in imaging and physics focuses on developing medical technologies that help clinicians better detect, diagnose, stage, treat, and monitor patients with a variety of pathologies. There is particular emphasis on improving surgical procedures and creating new surgical tools to improve patient care as well as developing new cancer detection and treatment strategies. Dartmouth also encourages and facilitates efforts toward clinical translation of new imaging and therapy tools.

concentric and overlapping circles showing magnetic resonance data meshing

Research Subfields

Bioimpedance technologies

Medical physics

Medical robotics

Molecular imaging

Multi-modal imaging

Optical spectroscopy and imaging

Photodynamic therapy

Surgical guidance technologies

Therapy monitoring technologies


Biomaterials & Biomechanics

Biomaterials and biomechanics research at Dartmouth is a collaborative, interdisciplinary effort that combines materials research, engineering design, and biomechanical assessment and modeling in an interactive teaching environment.


Research Subfields

Cell biomechanics

Magnetic resonance elastography

Nanoparticles for magnetic hyperthermia

Orthopedic implant design and analysis

Spinal fusion surgery and image guidance

Tissue engineering and biomimetics


Devices & Diagnostics

Identifying the biomarkers for diseases and developing health-monitoring sensors have the potential to transform health care delivery from a centralized and curative model to a more patient-centric and preventive one, while real-time diagnostics and implantable bionic systems could offer cures involving sensing at the molecular scale. These multi-scale approaches can facilitate precision medicine and point-of-care diagnostics for a variety of global health initiatives.

Asthma Detection Device

Research Subfields

Health informatics

Implantable bionic systems

Micro- and nano-scale medical systems

Neural engineering

‘Omics biomarkers for diseases

Wearable integrated circuit sensor devices


Molecular Engineering

Research in molecular engineering applies fundamental engineering principles utilizing protein evolution, molecular biology, and mathematical modeling. High performance biotherapeutics can be engineered by optimizing molecular recognition, signaling, or catalysis, and in the case of immunoglobulins, knowledge of how immune repertoires and responses impact health and disease drives the design of next generation antibody therapies, vaccines, and other biologics.

Antibacterial enzymes

Research Subfields

Antibody protein analysis

Contraceptive discovery


Vaccine development