Biomaterials focuses on the development of materials that improve the interface between technology and human tissues. For example, controlling neural responses to materials could aid in allowing effective recovery from spinal cord injuries. Tissue engineering is another example that is rapidly expanding as a treatment option for a wide range of medical conditions, integrating discoveries from biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, and materials science to produce three-dimensional structures with specific properties that enable us to replace or repair damaged, missing or poorly functioning human organs. Another example is biosensors, which are implanted devices able to report on their immediate environment, supplying important information to doctors and scientists trying to develop new methods of treating illness or disease. Biomaterials research within materials science and engineering at Ohio State includes:
- Biosensors—injectable biosensors that allow for continuous monitoring of oxygen, glucose and lactic acid in vivo
- Engineered Skin—electrospun collagen and collagen-synthetic composites have shown improved collagen strength and elasticity while allowing for easy application.
- Biomanufacturing: Metals, polymers, and ceramics are studied for use in traditional manufacturing (forging, milling, molds), as well as electrospinning and melt electrowriting (polymers only) and additive manufacturing (3D printing) of solid cured and bioprinted tissue engineering scaffolds.
- Biomaterials for bone regeneration—Resorbable metals (Mg alloys) and stiffness-matched alloys (NiTi) in some cases may perform better than the current standards of Ti-6Al-4V, CP Ti, Cobalt-Cromium, or stainless steel.
- Drug Delivery—implantable capsules enabling long-term delivery of contraceptive compounds and other materials
- Interfaces—understanding cell-surface interactions and how they can be controlled to dictate subsequent biological responses
- Biomimetic Elastomers—elastic polymers that mimic mechanical properties of the tissue and key functions of proteins found in the body
- Microenvironments for Stem Cell Differentiation—engineering tissue construct microenvironment to direct stem cell differentiation.
- Tendon Repair—Tissue-engineered constructs are being fabricated that will shorten the recovery time associated with tendon repair and also improve function.