For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Mark Schafer

Mark E. Schafer, PhD

Research Professor
School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems

Office: Bossone 102
Phone: 215.895.2215


Mark E. Schafer, PhD, recently joined Drexel’s School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems as a Research Professor. Dr. Schafer has extensive expertise in ultrasound system development for medical applications, including combined ultrasound and therapeutic light sources for antibacterial treatment, as well as neurological applications of ultrasound. His experience includes diagnostic, therapeutic, and surgical ultrasound, as well as lithotripsy devices, from initial design, development and testing through regulatory submission and intellectual property protection. He has been a serial entrepreneur and is a named inventor on over 35 patents. Dr. Schafer is PI on a recently awarded grant from the NIH, focused on the development of a novel catheter-based ultrasound tool for cardiac output measurement in ICU patients. The work will use piezoelectric polymer transducers, with which Dr. Schafer has extensive prior experience.

Dr. Schafer recently published the paper “Characterization of Ultrasound Surgical Devices," the definitive guide to the topic, encompassing 30 years of research and experimental validation of measurement techniques. He is currently updating an international standard (IEC 61847) on the same topic.

Working with Dr. Catherine von Reyn and several BioMed students, Dr. Schafer developed a miniature ultrasound source to investigate neuromodulation effects in fruit flies. This work will help elucidate how ultrasound interacts with neural tissue in the brain. The paper is titled, "A Miniature Ultrasound Source for Neural Modulation." The videos of fruit fly response to ultrasound stimulation can be viewed at the links below. The videos capture 15-second experiments in slow motion, showing the movement of fruit fly limbs during 5 seconds of ultrasound exposure (the timer in the upper left corner turns red when the ultrasound is on). In one case, the ultrasound stimulates limb motion; in the other case, motion is suppressed.

  • Video #1: Ultrasound stimulates fruit fly limb motion.
  • Video #2: Fruit fly limb motion is suppressed.


  • PhD, Drexel University, Biomedical Engineering, 1988
  • MS, Penn State University, Acoustics, 1982
  • BS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Electrical Engineering, 1979
Professional Societies
  • American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, Fellow
  • IEEE Ultrasonics Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control Society
  • Acoustical Society of America, Fellow

Research Interests

Ultrasonic/acoustic technology, ultrasound-phototherapy, ultrasonic transducers, wound healing, image processing, high power ultrasound effects, novel dosimetry approaches and non-linear applications.