Skip to main content

Cluster Lead:

Melanie Coathup, Ph.D.

Professor of Internal Medicine

With some of the latest advancements in medicine involving technology that interfaces with and within the body, UCF’s Biionix Cluster is working to make these devices smarter than ever and make sure our bodies safely accept these augmentations.

Currently, 25 million U.S. citizens are dependent upon an implantable device to maintain quality and continuity of life. Advances in materials science, medicine, and engineering have allowed us to enter a new phase in our understanding and use of implanted material. No longer are these materials inert substitutes, and increasingly the new implants interface with the body in a deliberately dynamic way.

Many clinical challenges remain, and “smart” biomedical devices or novel tissue engineering techniques may hold the solution to revolutionize the diagnosis and treatment of conditions ranging from osteoarthritis to Alzheimer’s disease, as well as contribute to the prevention of disease.

UCF’s Biionix Cluster brings together medical scientists and engineers to jumpstart new developments and discoveries that push the future of technology driven patient care into the future.

The cluster’s mission is to facilitate pre-clinical and clinical studies that develop novel technologies and therapies targeted to address contemporary unmet clinical needs and to maintain and augment health and wellness.

This interdisciplinary Cluster is a collaborative group comprised of 15 faculty, 39 undergraduate, 38 graduate and medical students and 5 post-docs from within UCF’s College of Medicine, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Orlando Veterans Affairs and Nemours Children’s Hospital.

VA and Medical City Connections

With the UCF College of Medicine helping to anchor Lake Nona’s emerging Medical City, the university is in a unique position to collaborate with the adjacent Orlando Veterans Affairs Medical Center, where prosthetics will play an important role as war veterans are returning home. The Veterans Affairs hospital already has shown interest in working with this cluster, and we have the potential to collaborate with them on research.

Limbitless Solutions

The international success of UCF’s “Limbitless Solutions” direct support organization indicates strong student interest in biomedical engineering, specifically in prosthetics, which can be cultivated to significantly grow undergraduate and graduate programs at UCF. Leveraging 3D printing and creating custom electronics, the interdisciplinary research laboratory has launched multiple clinical trials with hospitals across the country to assess and improve their bionic solutions — garnering the attention of international companies and public figures alike. This interdisciplinary team now includes student researchers from nine different UCF colleges, ranging from health and sciences to engineering and fine arts.

UCF’s Biomedical Hallmark

Intelligent prosthetics will dominate the future of biomedical engineering, and it is in UCF’s strategic interest to lead this important domain. Additionally, the new Florida Advanced Manufacturing Center and advanced manufacturing consortium (ICAMR), the Orlando VA Medical Center and Florida Health – all in Lake Nona – and the growing interest by departments, colleges and centers in technology for medicine create unique opportunities to establish a world-class program in biomedical engineering that will cater to local and national organizations.

Biionix Research



  • “Effect of hydroxyapatite (HA) nanoparticles shape on biodegradation of Mg/HA nanocomposites processed by high shear solidification/equal channel angular extrusion route”, Mehdi Razavi, Ph.D., Materials Letters 267: May, 2020
  • “Biodegradable magnesium bone implants coated with a novel bioceramic nanocomposite”, Mehdi Razavi, Ph.D., Materials 1315: Mar, 2020
  • “Leveraging 3D printing capacity in times of crisis: recommendations for COVID-19 distributed manufacturing for medical equipment rapid response”, Albert Manero, Ph.D., John Sparkman, Ph.D., The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17(13): Jun, 2020
  • “Utilizing additive manufacturing and gamified virtual simulation in the design of meuroprosthetics to improve pediatric outcomes”, Albert Manero, Ph.D., John Sparkman, Ph.D., MRS Communications Volume 9, Issue 3, pp. 941-947: Sep, 2019
  • “Transcriptome-wide analysis of human chondrocyte expansion on synoviocyte matrix”, Thomas Kean, Ph.D., Cells 8(2):85: Jan, 2019
  • “Inter-limb transfer of grasp force perception with closed-loop hand prosthesis”, Qiushi Fu, Ph.D., IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering 27(5):927-936: May, 2019
  • “Clinical use of inhaled nitric oxide: Local and systemic applications”, Elizabeth Brisbois, Ph.D., Elsevier Free Radical Biology and Medicine 152:422-431: May, 2020
  • “Physioxia stimulates extra-cellular matrix deposition and increases mechanical properties of human chondrocyte-derived tissue-engineered cartilage”, Thomas Kean, Ph.D., bioRxiv: Aug, 2020
  • “High-throughput, temporal and dose dependent, effect of vitamins and minerals on chondrogenesis”, Thomas Kean, Ph.D., Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology 8 (2020): Feb, 2020
  • “Transcriptome-wide analysis of human chondrocyte expansion on synoviocyte matrix”, Thomas Kean, Ph.D., Cells 8(2), 85: Jan, 2019
  • Utility of chitosan for 3D printing and bioprinting, Thomas Kean, Ph.D.: in Sustainable Agriculture Reviews 35 (pp. 271-292). Springer, 2019
  • “A Lagrangian formulation for interacting particles on a deformable medium”, Luigi Perotti, Ph.D., Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering Vol. 364, pp. 112949: Jun, 2020
  • “Real-time 3T MRI-guided cardiovascular catheterization in a porcine model using a glass-fiber epoxy-based guidewire”, Luigi Perotti, Ph.D., Plos One 15.2: Feb, 2020
  • “Estimating aggregate cardiomyocyte strain using in vivo diffusion and displacement encoded MRI”, Luigi Perotti, Ph.D., IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging Vol. 39, Issue 3, pp. 656-667, 2020: Mar, 2020
  • “Kirigami and the Caspar-Klug construction for viral shells with negative Gauss curvature”, Luigi Perotti, Ph.D., Physical Review E Vol. 99, Issue 2, pp. 022413, 2019: Feb, 2019

Biionix Degree Programs

UCF’s Bachelor of Science in Materials Science and Engineering is offered through the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, which is ranked among the top 50 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. For more programs, search UCF programs below.

Biionix Faculty