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UC experts speak at symposium on biodegradable metals for biomedical uses

A middle-aged woman with dark hair that has a silver streak, wearing a black blazer and light blue blouse

Sarah Pixley, PhD, was one of several faculty members to present at the event. Photo/UC Creative Services

Three University of Cincinnati (UC) faculty members spoke at the 10th Symposium on Biodegradable Metals for Biomedical Applications at England's Oxford University.

Vesselin Shanov, PhD, presented his work in a talk titled “Design and testing of zinc stent fabricated by photo-chemical etching.”*

Shanov is a professor in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Chemical and Environmental Engineering in UC's College of Engineering and Applied Science. Shanov is also director of Nanoworld Laboratories, an interdepartmental research laboratory group which includes faculty from mechanical and materials engineering, chemistry, aerospace engineering and the UC College of Medicine.

Dr. Kevin Little, MD, presented his work titled, “Testing magnesium metal alloys for use as pediatric bone nails.”*

older man with graying hair in a blue button down shirt and blue striped tie

Vesslin Shanov, PhD, presented at the event. Photo/UC Creative Services

Little is director of the Pediatric Hand and Upper Extremity Center; associate fellowship director, Mary S. Stern Hand Surgery Fellowship; associate professor of orthopaedic surgery for the Department of Orthopaedics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in the College of Medicine.

Sarah Pixley, PhD, gave the keynote talk for a session on the topic of “In Vivo” titled “Magnesium metal electrospun with polycaprolactone into nanofibrous fabrics has tissue reparative effects in vivo.”*

Pixley is an associate professor in the Department of Pharmacology & Systems Physiology in the UC College of Medicine and secondary faculty in the Department of Biomedical Engineering in UC's College of Engineering and Applied Science.

Shanov, Little and Pixley are part of a collaborative National Science Foundation-funded Engineering Research Center called “Revolutionizing Metallic Biomaterials." The grant has funded at least six researchers at UC for the past 10 years. The other members include:

  • Zhongyun Dong, (internal medicine, in UC's College of Medicine).
  • William Heineman, (chemistry, UC's McMicken College of Arts & Sciences).
  • Zhigang Xu, North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University.
  • Narayan Bhattarai, North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University.

UC’s principal investigator for the grant is UC professor Mark Schulz, in mechanical & materials engineering and co-director of Nanoworld Laboratories. The efforts of this group are designed to further our understanding of the use of biodegradable metals such as magnesium and zinc in biomedical applications. The overall principal investigator of the grant is J. Sankar at the North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University in Greensboro, N.C.

As an extension of the grant, Schulz and all three researchers who presented at the symposium are participating in an NSF-funded supplement aimed at encouraging international collaborations. This supplement, called a Centre to Centre grant, involves several researchers and two international groups, one in Northern Ireland and one in Ireland.

This grant funds research to develop bioresorbable metal alloy systems for orthopedic implant devices. As part of this collaborative work, Pixley and Little traveled to Northern Ireland after the symposium and visited their sister Centre, the Nanotechnology and Integrated Bioengineering Centre at Ulster University in Northern Ireland. They participated in talks and discussions with engineers working on the grant.

*Note: Contributing authors for “Design and testing of zinc stent fabricated by photo-chemical etching” include Vesselin Shanov, PhD; Pravan Kumar (Mechanical & Materials Engineering, UC); Guanqui Zhang (Mechanical & Materials Engineering, UC), Sarah Pixley, PhD and Zhongyun Dong, PhD.

Contributing authors for “Testing magnesium metal alloys for use as pediatric bone nails” include Kevin Little, MD; Sarah Pixley, PhD; David Glos (Orthopaedics, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center); Vesselin Shanov, PhD; and Zhigang Xu, PhD (Mechanical Engineering, NCAT).

Contributing authors for “Magnesium metal electrospun with polycaprolactone into nanofibrous fabrics has tissue reparative effects in vivo” include Sarah Pixley, PhD; Udhab Adhikari, PhD (Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, NCAT); Xiaoxian An (College of Pharmacy, UC); Shalil Khanal (Energy & Environmental Engineering, NCAT), Tracy Hopkins, MS (Pharmacology & Systems Physiology, UC), Narayan Bhattarai, PhD; and William Heineman, PhD.

Photo featured at top: the Engineering Research Center. Photo/UC Creative Services