Thomas J. Webster, Two Decades of Commercializing Nanotechnology for Medical Devices

Thomas J. Webster

Art Zafiropoulo Chair; Chair, Department Chemical Engineering; Northeastern University; 1st Past President, Society For Biomaterials; Editor, International Journal of Nanomedicine; Associate Editor, Nanomedicine: NBM

There is an acute shortage of organs due to disease, trauma, congenital defect, and most importantly, age related maladies. Synthetic materials used in medical device and tissue engineering applications today are typically composed of micron sized particles/grains and associate surface roughness. Although human cells are on the micron scale, their individual components, e.g. proteins, are composed of nanometer features. By modifying only the nanofeatures on synthetic material surfaces without changing surface chemistry, it is possible to increase tissue growth of any human tissue by increasing the endogenous adsorption of adhesive proteins (and their bioactivity) onto the material surface. In addition, our group has shown that these same nanofeatures and nano-modifications can reduce bacterial growth without using antibiotics, which may further accelerate the growth of antibiotic resistant microbes. Finally, material nanofeatures have been shown to stimulate the growth and differentiation of stem cells, which may someday be used to treat incurable disorders, such as neural damage. This talk will summarize techniques and efforts to create nanofeatures for a wide range of medical device and tissue engineering applications, particularly those that have received FDA approval and are currently being implanted in humans.

Plenary lectures - YUCOMAT 2017

member since 2008