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Project aims to reduce complications, multiple surgeries with biodegradable implantable devices
Date:9/4/2008

PITTSBURGHDozens of engineers and doctors from universities and industries around the world will collaborate on a five-year, $18.5 million project announced Sept. 4 to develop implantable devices made from biodegradable metals. The devices will be designed to adapt to physical changes in a patient's body and dissolve once they have healed. Naturally dissolving plates, screws, stents, and other devices would reduce the follow-up surgeries and potential complications of major orthopedic, craniofacial, and cardiovascular proceduressparing millions of patients worldwide added pain and medical expenses.

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NCAT) will lead the research in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) and the University of Cincinnati (UC). Serving as project director is Jagannathan Sankar, NCAT's Distinguished University Professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Center for Advanced Materials and Smart Structures. Pitt's William Wagner, deputy director of the University's McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine and professor of surgery, bioengineering, and chemical engineering, will serve as deputy director along with UC professor Mark Schulz, codirector of the UC Nanoworld and Smart Materials and Devices Laboratories.

The project stems from a five-year Engineering Research Center (ERC) grant NCAT received from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in collaboration with Pitt and UC. The highly competitive ERC grant supports large-scale university and industry collaborations on pioneering technologies considered important to future generations. Five grants were awarded this year from 143 applicants and only 29 universities in the past 25 years have received an ERC. NCAT is the first Historically Black College and University (HCBU) to become an ERC. To coincide with the grant project, NCAT will establish the first bioengineering department at an HCBU with the assistance of faculty members
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Contact: Morgan Kelly
mekelly@pitt.edu
412-624-4356
University of Pittsburgh
Source:Eurekalert

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