At Missouri University of Science and Technology, there’s a new focus on finding ways to help the body fix itself. The Center for Bone and Tissue Repair and Regeneration officially opened on campus in January of 2008.
According to the center’s director, Dr. Len Rahaman, the mission is to research and develop advanced biomaterials and biosensors for traumatized bones and tissue. One of the interdisciplinary projects involves using bioactive glass scaffolding to encourage badly broken bones to mend themselves.
Missouri S&T researchers at the center are working with faculty members at the University of Missouri-Kansas City on the bioactive glass implants, which could be used to help treat traumatic bone injuries suffered by soldiers or victims of automobile accidents.
Faculty members at the center are also collaborating with clinicians at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Together, the S&T and MU researchers are trying to develop tissue-engineered joints from cell-seeded hydrogels and bioactive glasses. This effort may result in new ways to repair arthritic joints.
In addition, Rahaman says some of the research conducted at the center has implications that could provide new devices for drug delivery and make surgeries more efficient.
The center is also involved in upgrading biomedical research infrastructure at Missouri S&T. A new micro-Raman spectrometer is being used to characterize surface changes in biomaterials exposed to physiological environments, and a modern cell culture lab is being set up to expand facilities for studying the interaction of biomaterials with cells.
The Center for Bone and Tissue Repair and Regeneration is funded by Missouri S&T, the U.S. Army and the National Institutes of Health.
Missouri S&T faculty members who are affiliated with the center include:
— Rahaman, professor of materials science and engineering
— Dr. Richard Brow, Curators’ Professor of materials science and engineering
— Dr. Roger Brown, professor of biological sciences
— Dr. Delbert Day, Curators’ Professor emeritus of materials science and engineering
— Dr. David Henthorn, assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering
— Dr. Kimberly Henthorn, assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering
— Dr. Chang-Soo Kim, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering
— Dr. Ming Leu, Keith and Pat Bailey Missouri Distinguished Professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering
— Dr. F. Scott Miller, associate professor of materials science and engineering.