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Dr. Mike McShane, a researcher in the Biomedical Engineering Division of the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES), has been named recipient of the 2012 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s Transformative Research Award.

McShane is also associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Texas A&M University.

McShane, along with Natalie Ann Wisniewski of PROFUSA Inc., are working to develop highly miniaturized, injectable, sensors for continuous and simultaneous monitoring of multiple body chemistries that would allow physicians to remotely monitor a patient’s vital health markers.

The NIH Director’s Transformative Research Award initiative supports exceptionally innovative and/or unconventional research projects that have the potential to create or overturn fundamental paradigms. The primary emphasis of the Transformative Research Awards initiative is to support research on bold, paradigm-shifting, but untested ideas.

McShane’s work involves embedding sensor molecules into specially engineered tissue-like biomaterials that become part of the tissue in which they are injected, and do not cause the typical foreign body rejection response. The sensors are injected under the skin and monitored optically using a miniaturized, wireless reader for continuous measurement or a hand-held wand for periodic self-measurement, depending on the clinical need, McShane says.

Eventually, the data will be viewable via cell phone or at a remote location, allowing the individual, physician or other care providers to access medical data without the need for in-person examination until a critical point, McShane adds.

At Texas A&M, McShane conducts research focusing on the modeling, design, fabrication and testing of small-scale analytical devices, particularly photoluminescent biosensors. His research and educational activities cover many areas of biomedical engineering, including biomaterials, molecular biology, biomedical optics, biotransport, bioinstrumentation, signal processing and medical device design.

McShane received his bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Texas A&M.