Faculty Mentor – Dr. Dong Xie
The UAB Department of Biomedical Engineering has a polymer research laboratory for biomedical research. The mission of this laboratory is to create new polymeric materials and composites for biomedical applications. The objective of this research is to synthesize and characterize novel designed biodegradable oligomers, formulate them with different biocompatible comonomers and/or different ceramic fillers, and finally evaluate the formed polymer networks and composites. The long-term goal is to use these newly synthesized and well-designed biocompatible and biodegradable products for tissue engineering. The optimized products will be further used as tissue supporting templates for tissue regeneration and organ repairs. In this project, the undergraduate research will start from synthesis, formulations and evaluations of novel biodegradable polymers and their composites. The student will learn how to design biodegradable polymers, how to synthesize and formulate them and how to apply them in biomedical areas. REU student Matt Latta has conducted a similar project in 2002 demonstrating the feasibility of this project and its suitability for future REU students.