Translational Research in the Field of Biomedical Engineering
Blood-material interaction is critical to the success of implantable medical devices. The devices range from simple catheters, stents and grafts, to complex extra-corporeal artificial organs. These bio-medical devices are frequently used but have major limiting factors. One of them is platelet adhesion leading to blood clotting. Despite decades of scientific understanding and engineering efforts for blood-surface interactions, the ideal non-thrombogenic prosthetic surface remains an unsolved problem. Another significant problem is that 1 out of every 20 central venous catheters results in at least one infection leading to 40% of all indwelling catheter devices becoming infected. The CDC estimates that 1.7 million hospital-associated infections cause up to 99,000 deaths each year. This consequently leads to $28-$45 billion per year associated costs.
Our lab is committed to developing biocompatible coatings for medical devices through highly translational and interdisciplinary research. We perform fundamental cell/protein surface interaction studies, novel biomaterial development and optimization, and material testing in animal models. Due to the critical nature of our research field, we have received NIH, CDC, and VA funding. Our novel materials stand to decrease the morbidity, mortality, and hospitalization costs associated with medical devices by reducing fouling, thrombosis, and infection.
1) Preparing engineers of the future in a learning environment that inspires devotion to the integration of discoveries from multiple fields for designing sustainable solutions.
2) Creating an environment for use-inspired research that is simultaneously motivated by state, national and global needs.
3) Providing engineering outreach that extends technical assistance to businesses, industries, and communities.
4) Devising new dimensions in research, teaching and outreach in the University to educate more technologically literate UGA graduates and expedite translation of discoveries into useful technologies and services for improving the quality of life.