Department of Urology

Changfeng Tai, PhD

  • Professor of Urology and Pharmacology, University of Pittsburgh

Dr. Changfeng Tai, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Department of Urology. Dr. Tai’s research interests include mechanisms underlying neuromodulation of an overactive bladder and restoring bladder function after spinal cord injury. Dr. Tai is a published author of many articles, abstracts, and book chapters, holds several patents, and is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Neurourology and Urodynamics and Frontiers in Autonomic Neuroscience. Dr. Tai is also a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and is Principal Investigator on several current research projects.

Research Interests

Design and development of new neural prosthetic devices to restore urinary functions in neurological disorder conditions.

Special interests are focused on the control of both bladder and sphincter using electrical nerve stimulation. One of the goals for this research project is to restore the functions for urine storage and elimination after spinal cord injury.

Two urological problems need to be solved in people with spinal cord injury:

  1. How to inhibit the bladder over-activity during urine storage to prevent the frequent incontinence.
  2. How to inhibit the tonic contractions of urethral sphincter during voiding to completely eliminate urine.

Modeling analysis of electrical nerve stimulation.

This project is aimed at understanding the mechanisms and biophysics of nerve response to extra-cellular electrical stimulation. It is focused on how to design the stimulation electrodes and stimulation waveforms to either excite or block the nerves using electrical current. Modeling and computer simulations are extensively used in this project to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the axonal response to electrical stimulation. The results from this project could significantly improve the design of neural prosthetic devices to restore functions after neurological disorders.

Understanding the neurophysiology and neuropharmacology of the lower urinary tract.