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

in the Department of Bioengineering in Pitt's Swanson School of Engineering, the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and at UC. The department will offer bachelor's, master's, and PhD degrees.

The ERC project will focus primarily on producing three technologies: biodegradable and self-adapting devices and smart constructs for craniofacial and orthopedic reconstructive procedures, similarly behaving cardiovascular devices such as stents, and miniaturized sensing systems that monitor and control the safety and effectiveness of biodegradable metals inside the body (a technology that could lead to responsive biosensors that help doctors determine when and where diseases occur in the body). An educational component will translate ERC's research into a curriculum for aspiring engineers, including those at numerous high schools and community colleges across the United States and at universities primarily attended by groups underrepresented in engineering.

"This ERC is a true interdisciplinary effort to vastly improve many patients' quality-of-life and to help educate the next generation of bioengineering and nanotechnology researchers," Sankar said. "We hope to expand the presence of African Americans, women, and socially and economically disadvantaged students in bioengineering and nanotechnology. This project seeks to provide precollege and college students with the technical education in advanced processing and materials relevant to 21st-century careers. Ultimately, we want to help foster economic development through innovation that radically changes the way diseases are treated and to place the U.S. health care system in a strong position."

The biodegradable devices and smart structures are intended to reduce complications and spare patients with conditions ranging from cleft palate and bone fractures to coronary heart disease from undergoing multiple surgeries. For instance, children born with a cleft palate are fitted with hard me
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Contact: Morgan Kelly
mekelly@pitt.edu
412-624-4356
University of Pittsburgh
Source:Eurekalert

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