Chemical engineering chair and professor Thomas Webster's team developed an injectable, conductive material to regenerate heart tissue after either a heart attack or cardiac disease.
Check out the full story on the Northeastern website here!
"Reduced adhesion of Staphylococcus aureus to ZnO/PVC nanocomposites"
Abstract: In hospitals and clinics worldwide, medical device surfaces have become a rapidly growing source of nosocomial infections. In particular, patients requiring mechanical ventilation (and, thus, intubation with an endotracheal tube) for extended lengths of time are faced with a high probability of contracting ventilator-associated pneumonia. Once inserted into the body, the endotracheal tube provides a surface to which bacteria can adhere and form a biofilm (a robust, sticky matrix that provides protection against the host immune system and antibiotic treatment). Adding to the severity of this problem is the spread of bacterial genetic tolerance to antibiotics, in part demonstrated by the recent and significant increase in the prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. To combat these trends, different techniques in biomaterial design must be explored. Recent research has shown that nanomaterials (materials with at least one dimension less than 100 nm) may have the potential to prevent or disrupt bacterial processes that lead to infections. In this study, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) taken from a conventional endotracheal tube was embedded with varying concentrations of zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles. S. aureus biofilms were then grown on these nanocomposite surfaces during a 24-hour culture. Following this, biofilms were removed from the surfaces and the number of colony forming units present was assessed. Bacterial proliferation on the samples embedded with the highest concentration of ZnO nanoparticles was 87% less when compared to the control, indicating that this technique is effective at reducing biofilm formation on PVC surfaces without the use of antibiotics.
The full paper can be found here!
"Antimicrobial selenium nanoparticle coatings on polymeric medical devices"
Abstract: Bacteria colonization on medical devices remains one of the most serious complications following implantation. Traditional antibiotic treatment has proven ineffective, creating an increasingly high number of drug-resistant bacteria. Polymeric medical devices represent a significant portion of the total medical devices used today due to their excellent mechanical properties (such as durability, flexibility, etc). However, many polymers (such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyurethane (PU) and silicone) become readily colonized and infected by bacteria immediately after use. Therefore, in this study, a novel antimicrobial coating was developed to inhibit bacterial growth on PVC, PU and silicone. Specifically, here, the aforementioned polymeric substrates were coated with selenium (Se) nanoparticles in situ. The Se-coated substrates were characterized using scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy and bacteria assays. Most importantly, bacterial growth was significantly inhibited on the Se-coated substrates compared to their uncoated counterparts. The reduction of bacteria growth directly correlated with the density of Se nanoparticles on the coated substrate surfaces. In summary, these results demonstrate that Se should be further studied as a novel anti-bacterial polymeric coating material which can decrease bacteria functions without the use of antibiotics.
The full paper can be found here!
On Tuesday, March 12, Prof. Webster (Chair and Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering) will give the keynote address at the National Science Foundation Sponsored Columbia-U.S. Workshop on Nanotechnology for Energy and Medical Applications. The Colombia-U.S. workshop on Nanotechnology for Energy and Medical Applications workshop aims to bring together researchers and graduate students from top U.S. and Colombian Universities to identify new opportunities for international research and collaboration in the application of nanotechnology to important problems in energy and medicine that are of broad importance to the Americas. The web site is: http://ingenieria.udea.edu.co/nanotec/
Ben's paper, entitled “Reduced Adhesion of Staphylococcus aureus
to ZnO/PVC Nanocomposites” was nominated as an outstanding contribution to the Society For Biomaterials’ 2013 Annual Meeting. The Education and Professional Development Committee of the Society has decided to award him with a STAR (Student Travel Achievement Recognition). STARs recognize research excellence and develop future leaders within the Society.
This recognition will be announced during the opening ceremony at 6:15 p.m. on Wednesday, April 10.
We are extremely excited to announce that the Society For
Biomaterials has approved the formation of a new student chapter at
Northeastern University. Our aim is to further the Society’s mission here at
Northeastern, and provide a forum for learning, collaboration, and camaraderie
among all members of the Northeastern community who are involved in
biomaterials research. We hope that this will not only be an opportunity to
increase student interest in biomaterials here on campus, but also be another
venue to foster and support meaningful collaborations between students,
faculty, and industry among Northeastern’s numerous colleges and the greater
The Society For Biomaterials was founded in 1974, and is the
oldest scientific organization in the field of biomaterials. The Society
continues to be a world leader in the field of biomaterials by organizing an
Annual Meeting in the United States, as well as participating in the
quadrennial World Biomaterials Congress. SFB publications include the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research
Part A and B – Applied Biomaterials, and the Biomaterials Forum.
The Northeastern University chapter was founded by Benjamin Geilich, Daniel
Hickey, and George Aninwene II, graduate students in Bioengineering and Chemical
Engineering, under the faculty guidance of Prof. Thomas Webster, Chair of
Chemical Engineering. We look forward to a great semester and beyond, and can’t
wait to meet other SFB chapters at the Annual Meeting in Boston this coming
A research paper written by Dr. Webster and students in the Nanomedicine Lab entitled "Improved endothelial cell adhesion and proliferation on patterned titanium surfaces with rationally designed, micrometer to nanometer fatures" now appears as one of journal Acta Biomaterialia's most cited articles. The study was published in January 2008, and has been cited 58 times so far (as of 1/19/13). If you want to check it out, the article can be found here!
Research being done in the Nanomedicine Lab by graduate student Gavin Wang and Dr. Webster was highlighted today on the Northeastern University research blog "iNSolution". Wang's study focuses on coating paper towels with selenium nanoparticles in order to reduce bacterial adherence and colonization.
You can check out the full story here
Over the past several months, the Webster Nanomedicine Lab has been transitioning from Brown University to Northeastern University
, where Dr. Thomas J. Webster is now the Chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering
. Additionally, the website is in a state of transition as well, so please excuse any messes! The new web address is now Webster-Nano.com or Webster-Nano-info.
Stay tuned, many more changes and updates to come!
Brown biomedical engineering graduate students Gozde Durmus, Kim Kummer '11, and Erik Taylor were one of ten graduate student teams to win the Prize for Primary Healthcare Award (Phase I) from the Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology (CIMIT). The title of their project is "Using Nano-material Science to Inhibit Medical Device Infections".
They will received $10,000, and they will now be able to use these funds to develop a final proposal over the next few months as they compete for the top three spots and a total of $300,000 in additional funds against teams from other top schools such as MIT, Johns Hopkins, and Yale.
You can read the full article here