Drexel University's Department of Material Science and Engineering
I had the pleasure of working in Drexel University's Department of Material Science and Engineering. I was assigned to the Biomimetic Design group, under the supervision of Dr. Ulrike Wegst. Much of the research within the lab focuses on the method of freeze casting, a method for directional solidification. Over the span of 7 weeks I learned many technical skills such as: freeze casting, cutting samples, imaging using high powered light microscopes, characterization using scanning electron microscopes (SEM), and testing physical properties of materials.
Check out Drexel's Biomimetic http://www.materials.drexel.edu/bdg/and Material Science and Engineering http://www.materials.drexel.edu/home page,
My experienced focused on the topic of tissue engineering, and the production and testing of a composite biopolymer tissue scaffold that could be potentially used in treating spinal cord injuries. The composition of the scaffolds we produced consisted of Chitosan (derived from the chitan of insects and shells from crustaceans) and Alginate (derived from algae).
Check out the attached poster for a more in depth explanation of the study.
What is Biomimetics?
Biomimicry or biomimetics is the examination of nature, its models, systems, processes, and elements to emulate or take inspiration from in order to solve human problems.
Gecko Foot. Lotus Plant.
What is Freeze casting
Freeze casting is method of directional freezing that can consistently produce structures of desired physical properties and porosity.