The Age of Nanobiotics: Two Decades of Commercializing Nanotechnology for Medical Devices

There is an acute shortage of organs due to disease, trauma, congenital defect, and most importantly, age related maladies. While tissue engineering (and nanotechnology) has made great strides towards improving tissue growth, infection control has been largely forgotten.  Critically, as a consequence, the Centers for Disease Control have predicted more deaths from antibiotic-resistant bacteria than all cancers combined by 2050. This talk will summarize how nanotechnology can be used to decrease implant infection without using antibiotics. Our group has shown that same nanofeatures, nano-modifications, and nanoparticles can reduce bacterial growth without using antibiotics.  This talk will summarize techniques and efforts to create nanofeatures for a wide range of medical device and tissue engineering applications, particularly those that have received FDA approval and are currently being implanted in humans.

Dr. Thomas J. Webster’s 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). He is currently the Department Chair and Professor of Chemical Engineering at Northeastern University in Boston. His research explores the use of nanotechnology in numerous applications. Specifically, his research addresses the design, synthesis, and evaluation of nanophase materials (that is, materials with fundamental length scales less than 100 nm) as more effective biomedical devices.