Chemical and Biochemical EngineeringWestern Engineering

Research Interests

The focus of our research group is to design and synthesize, discover, modify and adapt biocompatabile materials for biomedical applications. These include synthetic and natural biomaterials and nano-biomaterials including proteins and polysaccharides.

Biomaterials

  • Bacterial cellulose, a natural nano-biomaterial produced via microbial fermentation with a primary fibril diameter of ~15 nm
  • Collagen, an important matrix protein that is present in the human body
  • Poly(vinyl alcohol), a synthetic hydrogel material
  • Poly(amic acid), a novel composition that is cell compatible
  • Composite biomaterials

Biomaterial processing

  • Electrospinning and centrifugal spinning for nano- and micro- fibers
  • Microfluidics techniques and electrospraying for microbeads
  • Compression molding
  • Solution film casting

Biomedical applications

  • Implantable devices for the cardiovascular and auditory systems
  • Novel wound dressings that promote wound healing and control wound infection in chronic and diabetic wounds
  • Nanofibrous scaffolds of controlled geometry and fiber orientation for tissue regeneration
  • Delivery systems for therapeutics that can deliver drugs, peptides, proteins, genes and nucleic acids
  • Multifunctional bioactive devices that incorporate the controlled release/drug delivery function to promote the desired clinical outcomes (e.g. drug eluting coronary stent)

Green Process and Biomaterials

The focus of this research area is to explore the production of useful natural materials and in particular, those relevant to biomedical and health related applications. The processes used should be environmentally friendly in terms of CO2 emission and carbon utilization. This criterion should also be applied to the subsequent separation and purification steps. Our main focuses are bacterial cellulose, a nanobiomaterial, produced by microbial fermentation and the use of microalgae/cyanobacteria in photochemical processes utilizing CO2 as the carbon source to produce algal oil for biofuels, natural and degradable polymers and astaxanthin, a potent natural antioxidant that is a FDA approved dietary ingredient. For more information on my research in this area, please see my Green Process and Biomaterials page.

The inter-relationship among these areas of research can be seen in the following chart:

A circluar relationship exists between between biomaterials & biomaterial interactions - tIf you would like this chart in alternative format, please contact our webmaster