researcher looking through a microscope


Seed Grants

The Penn State Biodevices Seed Grant Program supports collaborations among engineers, scientists, and clinicians. Supported projects focus on biodevices to improve human and animal health, such as implantable, surgical, and wearable devices, as well as environmental sampling and monitoring devices. Seed grants provide teams with funds to generate preliminary data for co-author publications and external grant submissions or to demonstrate feasibility/develop a prototype of a new biodevice.

Applications are considered every spring. Please view the 2021 call for applications for more information.

2020 Biodevices Seed Grant Awardees:

Rapid measurement of concussion-related saliva microRNA with a novel biodevice
Co-Principal Investigator: Steve Hicks, Pediatrics
Co-Principal Investigator: Weihua Guan, Electrical Engineering
Co-Investigator: Eric Schaefer, Public Health Sciences

Biodegradable artificial urinary sphincter
Co-Principal Investigator: Huanyu Cheng, Engineering Science and Mechanics
Co-Principal Investigator: Qing Wang, Material Science and Engineering
Co-Investigator: Jian Yang, Biomedical Engineering
Co-Investigator: Joe Littlejohn, Surgery

Grace Woodward Collaborative Research in Engineering and Medicine Grants

The Grace Woodward Collaborative Research in Engineering and Medicine grants are intended to support projects that create or capitalize upon opportunities for new applications of engineering to problems in the life sciences and medicine. The program is designed to encourage genuine collaborations between engineers and clinicians or biomedical scientists that involve either new avenues of research or the feasibility testing of new medical devices, instrumentation, or other diagnostic or therapeutic modalities.

The Grace Woodward Grants for Collaborative Research in Engineering and Medicine are supported by generous endowments to the College of Engineering and the College of Medicine from the estate of Grace Woodward. Applications are considered every spring. Please view the 2021 call for applications for more information.

2020 Grace Woodward Collaborative Research in Engineering and Medicine Grant Awardees:

Biomechanics study toward patient-specific implants for osteoarthritic shoulders
Co-Principal Investigator: Jing Du, Mechanical Engineering
Co-Principal Investigator: April Armstrong, Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation
Co-Investigator: Greg Lewis, Orthopaedics

Development and validation of a multimodal endoscopy system for early diagnosis of image-guided surgery of pancreatic cancer
Co-Principal Investigator: Raj Kothapalli, Biomedical Engineering
Co-Principal Investigator: Gail Matters, Pharmacology
Co-Investigator: Susan Trolier-McKinstry, Materials Science and Engineering

Center for Biodevices Innovation Grants

The Center for Biodevices (CfB) Innovation Grant program supports design and prototyping through mentorship of undergraduate capstone design teams. Applications should focus on proof-of-concept prototyping for advancing biodevice technologies and/or translating research to existing and start-up companies. Please see the 2021 request for applications for more information.

Contact Us

Faculty or industry members who are interested learning how to join the Center for Biodevices may contact Mary Frecker, Center for Biodevices Director, at



Established in 2020, the Center for Biodevices aims to bridge foundational science and clinical applications of biodevices, while enabling success of faculty, clinicians, and students across multiple disciplines.

Center for Biodevices

The Pennsylvania State University

Reber Building

University Park, PA 16802