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BME Professors Hani Awad and Danielle Benoit Receive $2 million NIH Grant

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Hani Awad, Ph.D. (BME and Orthopaedics) and Danielle Benoit, Ph.D. (BME) have received a $2 million grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) for their project titled “Engineering Scarless Repair of Flexor Tendon Injuries.” The goal of this 5-year multi-PI project is to advance the understanding of the mechanism of scar formation in flexor tendons of the hand, whose scar-mediated healing often leads to adhesions and loss of hand function. The project identifies a therapeutic target and maps out its mechanism of involvement in scar formation, and investigate the efficacy of a novel nanoparticle-mediated drug delivery approach to mitigate its effects in a preclinical model of flexor tendon repairs. Successful completion of this project, which elegantly integrates biology, biomechanics, and biomaterials, will have a profound impact on the field, especially since there are presently no pharmacologic or biologic treatments for the prevention or resolution of tendon adhesions.

How 3D Printed Bone Grafts Could Combat Bone Infections

Friday, May 29, 2015

The more severe a bone fracture, the higher the risk it will lead to osteomyelitis, an infection that occurs when bacteria contaminates damaged bones protruding from the skin or contaminates the fixation hardware used to realign them.

Osteomyelitis can lead to sepsis and, in extreme cases, amputation.

Current treatments require two surgeries. First, doctors remove the defective bone in a procedure called debridement and insert cement beads filled with antibiotics in an effort to eliminate any remaining bacteria. After a week or two, a second surgery is done to remove the beads and insert a bone graft to initiate healing.

And yet, even after all of this, notes Ryan Trombetta, the bacteria can still survive in a biofilm state that is resistant to antibiotics.

Trombetta, a PhD student in the lab of Hani Award, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, took first place at the University's recent Falling Walls competition, when he described how 3D printed bone grafts containing antibiotics and biofilm dispersing agents could not only eliminate all of the bacteria, but do so in a single step.

The advantage is that we can generate precise geometries off of a patient's CAT scan that can then be used to produce a biocompatible graft with 3D printing, Trombetta explained.

Bound for Berlin!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Ryan Trombetta, a second year BME doctoral student in Dr. Hani Awad's lab, took first place in the University's first Falling Walls Competition. In the Falling Walls Competition, competitors have three minutes and three slides to present their ideas about a new breakthrough idea or technology that will have broad societal impact. Ryan 's winning pitch described how 3D-printed bone grafts containing antibiotics and biofilm dispersal agents could simplify and improve the treatment of osteomyelitis, a bacterial bone infection that is a common complication of surgeries to repair bone fractures or replace joints. Having won our local competition, Ryan will represent the University at the international competition to be held in Berlin November 8th and 9th, the anniversary of the falling of the Berlin Wall.

Professor Awad and Professor McGrath Inducted into AIMBE College of Fellows

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Department of Biomedical Engineering Professors Dr. Hani Awad and Dr. James McGrath were recently inducted as American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) Fellows for their significant contributions to the biomedical engineering community.

AIMBE's College of Fellows includes around 1,500 individuals who have made significant contributions to the medical and biological engineering community whether in academia, industry, or government and their contributions to research, industry practice, and education have transformed the world.

Read More: Professor Awad and Professor McGrath Inducted into AIMBE College of Fellows