CULLEN COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING

University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering

News

Bloody good award goes to UH Biomedical Engineering Ph.D. student

By: 

Laurie Fickman
Cullen College doctoral student Nathaniel Piety with award given by Donna M. Regan, president of AABB
Cullen College doctoral student Nathaniel Piety with award given by Donna M. Regan, president of AABB

UH biomedical engineering doctoral student Nathaniel Piety, who studies under Associate Professor Sergey Shevkoplyas, has been awarded for his work by the AABB (formerly known as the American Association of Blood Banks) at the AABB Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida in October. The AABB cited Piety’s abstract titled “Anaerobic Conditions Reduce Deterioration of Rheological Properties of Stored Red Blood Cells” as winner of the Outstanding Abstract Award for trainees in the medical or graduate student category.

For an abstract, Piety’s work is pretty concrete. It examines how donated red blood cells (RBCs) deteriorate over time during storage, similar to food that stays too long in a refrigerator. One of the main causes of this gradual deterioration of RBCs is oxidative damage, which is damage resulting from the interaction of oxygen with components of the RBCs.

The answer, according to Piety, is to store the RBCs in oxygen-free (anaerobic) conditions.

“I found that anaerobic storage conditions resulted in statistically significant improvements in the flow properties, deformability and shape of stored RBCs compared to conventionally stored RBCs,” said Piety. “Additionally, I found that the microfluidic devices developed in our lab were actually more sensitive to changes in RBC properties than the existing commercial machines,” he said.

Piety says he was grateful to win the award and to represent the University of Houston.

“Just being selected to give an oral presentation at the AABB Annual Meeting is an achievement in itself, but being selected for this award was a rare honor,” he said.

“I am very proud of Nate for winning this highly prestigious award,” said Shevkoplyas. “He is an outstanding student and deserves the recognition.”

Along with the honor, Piety received a $500 honorarium.

Faculty: 

Department: 

Related News Stories

UH PROMES Going Places, Tackling Global Challenges

UH Cullen College of Engineering students visit Brazil as part of the PROMES learning abroad experience.

While many people dream of seeing the world one day, a group of UH Cullen College of Engineering students recently returned from Brazil as part of the first engineering faculty-led study abroad experience through the Program for Mastery in Engineering Studies (PROMES).

Research Moves Closer to Brain-Machine Interface Autonomy

By examining the interactions between single-neuron activities and the information flowing to these neurons, biomedical engineering Professor Joe Francis found that a brain-computer interface, a form of artificial intelligence, can sense when its user is expecting a reward. Photo courtesy: GettyImages

Findings Could Help Seamlessly Integrate Prosthetics

 

A University of Houston engineer is reporting in eNeuro that a brain-computer interface, a form of artificial intelligence, can sense when its user is expecting a reward by examining the interactions between single-neuron activities and the information flowing to these neurons, called the local field potential.