Every year nearly 6.2 million bone fractures occur in the United States as a result of trauma and disease. Current standards for bone repair can lead to rapid bone fusion but with limited mechanical strength often due to the lack of cortical bone tissue which is difficult to harvest without pain and severe morbidity. Funded by the National Science Foundation, Dr. Hongjun Wang, a professor in the Department of Chemistry, Chemical Biology and Biomedical Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology and his collaborators have developed a revolutionary "bottom-up" approach for reconstructing intricate bone tissue with the potential to form hierarchical cortical bone.
Dr. Wang's research project, "Biomimetic Creation of Cortical-like Bone with Hierarchical Structure," will develop robust, controllable and effective platforms for the creation of tissues with complex and hierarchical structure for potential applications in reconstructive and transplant surgery.
Biomimetics is the study and development of synthetic systems that mimic the formation, function, or structure of biologically produced substances, materials, mechanisms and processes. Wang's research team is part of a thriving tissue engineering industry that uses a combination of cells, engineering and materials methods, and suitable biochemical and physio-chemical factors to repair or replace portions of damaged tissues.
In contrast to current state-of-the-art research that focuses on creating highly porous cancellous bone, Dr. Wang focuses on engineering cortical bone, the major load bearing component. He takes a modular approach to generating dense cortical bone by synthesizing osteon-like repeating units and fusing these units together to form large, compacted cortical-like bone tissue. This "bottom-up" methodology uses nanotechnology to enable the development of scaffolds that focus on the smallest level possible and build upward. Incorporating nanofibers into bone tissue engineering to form
|Contact: Dr. Hongjun Wang|
Stevens Institute of Technology