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

tal devices that must be removed and refitted over time. Devices the ERC researchers will explorecrafted from magnesium alloys and other biodegradable metalswould adapt to the body without refitting. Plus, magnesium alloys dissolve after their work is done with no clinical side effects, a feature also beneficial in the cardiovascular realm. Magnesium stents and other supports would restore cardiovascular function without having to remove the device and without exposing the patient to the potential complications of leaving it inside the body.

"The treatment of diseased and traumatized tissues is evolving as medical technologies increasingly harness the body's regenerative powers," Wagner said. "This ERC will extend this approach by combining the mechanical attributes of metals with biologically active agents that together will further encourage the natural healing process."

The ERC combines the strengths of the project's three primary universities: NCAT's recognized expertise in metallurgy, based in its College of Engineering; Pitt's strength in biomaterials and regenerative medicine stemming from the work conducted in the Swanson School's Departments of Bioengineering, Chemical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering and Material Sciences, the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and the School of Dental Medicine; and UC's research in nano- and sensor technology based in its interdepartmental Nanoworld and Smart Materials and Devices Laboratories.

"Furthermore, this consortium has deep roots in the shared belief of offering the best educational opportunities and best resources available to our students," said UC College of Engineering dean Carlo Montemagno, who will participate in the ERC project. "It is a central trust placed upon public universities to not only develop new technologies but also to help our students in launching new careers in engineering, science, and medicine."

Other partners include Germany's Hannover
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Contact: Morgan Kelly
mekelly@pitt.edu
412-624-4356
University of Pittsburgh
Source:Eurekalert

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