HEMI Seminar: Michelle Oyen

April 17, 2018
11am - 12pm
This event is free
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  • Faculty
  • Staff
  • Students
  • General public

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Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute

Description

"Physically Robust Hydrogels for Biomedial Applications" presented by Michelle Oyen from the Nanoscience Centre at the University of Cambridge.

Abstract:

Hydrogels have quickly become ubiquitous in biomedical research: as tissue engineering scaffolds, for drug delivery applications, and as substrates for studying basic cellular function. Although promising because of their excellent cellular biocompatibility, many hydrogels have insufficient physical properties and are prone to brittleness. This is a deficiency not observed in hydrated soft biological tissues, arguing for a biomimetics approach to hydrogel development. Here, following an introduction focused on the challenges in measuring physical properties in hydrogels, two applications are discussed. First, the charged environment found in cartilage is replicated using polyelectrolyte hydrogels based on polyvinyl alcohol and polyacrylic acid. These materials can mimic the electrostatic stiffening behavior observed in natural tissue while demonstrating diminished fluid transport due to the electrical charges, with a dependence on hydrogel cross-linking method. Second, mimicking the biological nanostructure of collagenous soft tissues, weak hydrogels are reinforced with electrospun nanofibers. By imitating the laminated fiber architecture of the cornea, dramatic improvements were found in both hydrogel strength and fracture toughness. These examples illustrate how creative biomimetic fabrication methods and composite materials strategies can be employed to design novel, robust hydrogels for demanding biomedical applications.

Who can attend?

  • Faculty
  • Staff
  • Students
  • General public

Contact

Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute
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