25 Years of Commercializing Nanomedicine: From Increasing Bone Growth to Reducing Infections to Implantable Sensors

Nanotechnology has begun to revolutionize medicine in a number of ways, from improving disease detection to greater treatments. However, a particular growing concern to our healthcare system is the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control has predicted more deaths from antibiotic-resistant bacteria than all cancers combined by 2050. This talk will summarize efforts to utilize nanotechnology in reducing bacteria and antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Taking cues from nature, nanotextured surfaces have been shown to reduce bacteria attachment and growth without the use of antibiotics. Moreover, nanoparticles have been synthesized to attach to bacteria membranes, penetrate biofilms, and increase reactive oxygen species to kill bacteria without drugs. Lastly, chemistries that self assemble into nanofibers that can penetrate bacteria membranes to kill them. This talk will also emphasize FDA approved nanomedicine products developed in our lab being used today in humans.

Thomas J. Webster’s (H index: 92) degrees are in chemical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh (B.S., 1995) and in biomedical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (M.S., 1997; Ph.D., 2000). Prof. Webster has graduated/supervised over 189 visiting students. His lab group has generated over 15 textbooks, 88 book chapters, 576 invited presentations, at least 703 peer-reviewed literature articles and/or conference proceedings, and 42 provisional or full patents. He has started 12 companies with over 12 FDA medical products. Prof. Webster has received numerous honors including but not limited to: 2012, Fellow, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering; 2013, Fellow, Biomedical Engineering Society; 2016, International College of Fellows, Biomaterials Science and Engineering; 2016, Acta Biomaterialia Silver Award; 2018, Fellow, National Academy of Inventors; and 2019, Fellow, IJN; and 2019, Fellow, Royal Society of Medicine (International Fellow). He has appeared on BBC, NBC, ABC, Fox News, the Weather Channel, the Discovery Channel, and the recent special ‘Year Million’ TV series on National Geographic talking about the future of medicine and science.