What We Do
Despite decades of bioengineering research, many medical devices including catheters, biosensors, insulin pumps, and extracorporeal life support (ECLS) circuits still suffer due to biocompatibility. These foreign surfaces/materials can lead to serious and undesirable complications such as thrombosis, inflammation, or infection.
Development of new biomaterials and therapeutic devices that promote biocompatibility and resist infection is a significant area of research within the biomedical field. One approach is to design materials with therapeutic nitric oxide (NO) delivery using various chemical release/generation mechanisms. Nitric oxide is an endogenous gas radical produced from L-arginine by NO synthase (NOS) enzymes and has important biological roles including acting as an antiplatelet, antimicrobial, vasodilator, and wound healing agent. Our goal is to utilize unique chemical approaches to design new biomaterials and delivery devices that can provide therapeutic nitric oxide (NO). We are working towards developing novel biomaterials and devices, understanding fundamental biomaterial-surface interactions, and testing them in the appropriate in vitro assays and animal models.
Our lab works at the interface of chemistry, materials science, bioengineering, microbiology, and animal models with the goal of advancing this interdisciplinary research from benchtop to bedside. Our research endeavors could lead to a significant improvement in existing medical devices, reduce complications, and decrease adverse complications and outcomes (e.g., extended hospital stays, costs, and mortality).
Our lab designs polymeric and composite biomaterials that provide delivery of therapeutic molecules such as nitric oxide (NO). These biomaterials are developed utilizing a variety of NO release/generation chemistries, synthetic approaches, electrochemistry, nanomaterials, and controlled delivery principles.
Material Characterization & Bioassays
We use a variety of methods to characterize biomaterials, evaluate stability and physical/material properties, and optimize the controlled delivery of NO. In vitro assays are used to assess antimicrobial activity, biocompatibility, biofouling, and biomaterial-cell interactions.
Clinical & Biological Applications
Our novel NO delivery biomaterials and devices have a wide range of potential medical applications to improve the biocompatibility of various medical devices and biointerfaces, provide antimicrobial and biocidal surfaces, and also deliver therapeutics to treat various diseases. We evaluate our materials in relevant animal models to demonstrate these exciting future applications (e.g., catheters, wound dressings, insulin delivery systems, extracorporeal life support).