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Professor E. Johan Foster, Materials Science & Engineering, Viriginia Tech

Event Date: 
Monday, May 27, 2019 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm

Implantable Smart Materials

We present bio-based, bio-compatible (and in some cases re-sorbable) nanocomposites designed to improve interactions and cell growth. With the goal of creating smart, stimuli-responsive materials, cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) can provide not only the structural component needed to replace damaged tissue, but also provide chemical cues that aid in healing. CNCs are mechanically stiff, highaspectratio, biorenewable fibers which can serve as both a reinforcing filler in nanocomposites, as well as a convenient handle for imbibing material with stimuli responsiveness. Repairing cartilage, spinal discs or tendons are some of the toughest challenges for orthopedic surgeons. We combine structural aspects, along with chemical cues, to create 3D scaffold components, all of which lead to a very specific material tailored to perform under strenuous conditions, tailored to the specific location in the body. By controlling alignment, directionality of cells and 3D structure is essential to create an implantable functional material that mimics nature, for use in regenerative medicine.

E. Johan Foster is an Associate Professor in Materials Science and Engineering at Virginia Tech. Johan’s expertise are in the design, synthesis, processing and investigation of functional nanocomposites, biomaterials, supramolecular materials and polymers. His research group focuses on the chemistry and engineering of functional bio(nano)materials, imbibing materials with ‘smart’ functionality, often utilizing cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) as a filler. Johan has many national and international collaborators, from countries as far reaching as Australia, Ghana, Kenya, France and Switzerland. His research program is supported through federal, industrial and state research the journal for 4 years.

Event Location: 
Location Details: 
ETB 235