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NSF funds infection-resistant orthopedic research
Date:7/20/2010

Dr. Woo Young Lee of the Chemical Engineering and Materials Science department along with Dr. Hongjun Wang of Chemistry, Chemical Biology and Biomedical Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology have recently received significant NSF funding for their research entitled, "Evaporative Assembly of Drug-Eluting Bioresorbable Nanocomposite Micropatterns."

"This award is a reflection of the pioneering work being undertaken by Professors Lee, Wang, and their colleagues at Stevens in the area of infection-resistant orthopedic implants," explains Dr. Michael Bruno, Dean of the Schaefer School of Engineering and Science. "We congratulate Professors Lee and Wang on this significant step in their ongoing efforts to contribute to a solution to this critical problem."

Stevens infection-resistant orthopedic research explores the inkjet printing of drug-eluting, bioresorbable micropatterns onto the surface of orthopedic implants, as a novel means of preventing bacterial infection of the implants, also known as "biofilm formation."

Despite the tremendous improvements in orthopedic implant procedures, hospital-acquired bacterial infection is the dominant cause of implant failure and causes significant patient trauma in addition to a healthcare burden of $3 billion annually to the U.S. economy each year.

Fighting implant infection is far more complex than simply getting a prescription for antibiotics. Bacteria that grow in biofilm communities can be as much as 10,000 times more resistant to antibiotics than the so-called planktonic bacteria, which circulate around the body as individual cells. Resolving an implant infection usually requires that the implant be entirely removed, the surrounding tissue cured of infection, and then a second prosthetic device is implanted. This can take months and many tens of thousands of dollars. Solving this problem requires a broad range of expertise from many different disciplines.

As such, Drs. Lee and Wang hope to
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Contact: Dr. Woo Lee
woo.lee@stevens.edu
201-216-8307
Stevens Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

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