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Assistant Professor; Graduate Program Director This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Business & Engineering 358F
(205) 975-4098

Research and Teaching Interests: Polymers/composites, Biomaterials/Nanomaterials, Tissue Engineering & Drug Delivery, Nanospinning & 3D Printing of Scaffolds and Thermal & Rheological Characterization

Office Hours: Mon/Wed 11 am -12 pm or by appointment

Education:

  • B.S., University of Kerala, India
  • M.S., University of Kerala, India
  • MPhil., University of Kerala, India
  • Ph.D., Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute of Medical Sciences & Technology, India

Vinoy Thomas training spans from Chemistry/Polymers to Materials Science and Nanotechnology with specific training and expertise in Polymers and Biomaterials. He also holds secondary appointments at the Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) and Department of Environmental Science & Health (School of Public Health). He is also a Senior Research Scientist at the Center for Nanoscale Materials and Biointegration (CNMB). After his PhD in Biomaterials & Technology he completed postdoctoral training at Friedrich-Schiller University, Germany, and at the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST), [as NRC Fellow of the National Academies USA)]. He joined at UAB in 2007 as a Research Associate, first at the Department of Physics and later as an Assistant Professor at MSE Department in 2012. His research focuses on biomaterials processing-property relationships, nanomaterials for tissue engineering, and nanodiamonds for joint-implants. He has published more than 80 research papers (h-index =27; i10-index= 40; RGscore = 35.78).

Dr. Thomas’ Polymers & Healthcare Materials/Devices Lab is a multi-disciplinary research group including graduate students, undergraduate students including Sci-tech students and K12 students (from JCIB, Altamont etc.). His students have received many awards for their research accomplishments including Outstanding Graduate Student from MSE, 3MT Thesis presentation prize from Graduate School, Excellent Poster Presentation, were able to win competitive fellowship from NASA and NSF EPSCoR programs and placement in Industries.

Teaching and Mentoring are his passion and life. Dr. Thomas’ goal is to establish himself as a scholar in Healthcare Materials/Engineering and as a successful academician. According to him “Teaching is a service activity and an Instructor is a facilitator."

Research Interests

Our program focuses on the processing- structure-property relationships of polymers and multiphase polymer systems including nanocomposites, blends and fiber-reinforced composites. Individuals in our group have backgrounds as diverse as materials science, chemistry, chemical engineering and biomedical engineering.

  1. Biofabrication: 3D Printing & Bioprinting, Nanoscopic Fibers by Electrospinning , Biodegradable Polymer Blends and Nanocomposites, Novel Nano-Scale Drug Delivery Systems
  2. Materials Chemistry: Chemical Modification of Carbon Nanotubes/Nanodiamonds, Matrix Development for Fiber Reinforced Composites, Plasma Surface Modification of Soft Matter & Bio Matter
  3. Structure-Property Relationships: Morphological, Rheological and Thermal Analysis of Polymers, Aligned Nanotube Polymeric Fibers, Thermoplastic, Thermoset Polymer Nanocomposites, Hydrogels, and Tissue Scaffolds
  4. Polymer/Composite Characterization: My labs are equipped with the state-of-the-art polymer/biomaterials characterization instruments (DSC, TGA, DMA, TMA, FTIR, AFM, and Rheometer, Contact angle Goniometer, Nanoindenter G200 and RSA-G2 (for Tensile, Compression, bending & Shear mechanical properties at ambient, high temperature and physiological conditions) for fee-for-service

Recent Courses

  • MSE 281 Physical Materials I
  • MSE 281L Physical Materials Lab
  • MSE 408/508 Nano Biomaterials
  • MSE 430/530 Polymer Materials
  • MSE430L/530L Polymer Materials Lab
  • MSE 631/731 Polymer Morphology& Processing
  • MSE 690/790 Special Topic (Thermal Characterization)

Select Publications

  • K. I. Budhwani M. A Dettmann, M. N Saleh, V. Thomas Nano and Microbubble Systems for on-demand Cancer Drug Delivery, Current Nanoscience ( In press) 2018
  • A.Wood, D. Everette, B. Dickson, K. Budhwani, V. Thomas, Wet-Laid Soyfiber Reinforced Hydrogel Scaffold: Fabrication, Mechano-Morphological and Cell Studies, Materials Sci & Engineering C 2016; 63:308–316
  • K. Budhwani, V. Thomas, P. Sethu, Lab-On-A-Brane: Nanofibrous Polymer Membranes to Recreate Organ-Capillary Interfaces, J. Micromech Microeng. 2016; 26(3):035013
  • V. Thomas, D. Nozik, H. Patel, R. Singh and Y.K. Vohra Biohybrid Fibro-porous Vascular Scaffolds: Effect of Crosslinking on Properties, Proceedings of Materials Research Society- Multifunctional Polymeric Hybrid Materials, 2015 (Mater Res Soc Symp Proc. 2015 ; 1718)
  • PJ Jency, V Thomas, M Jayabalan Synthesis and Evaluation of Carboxy‐Terminated Poly (trimethylene propane trifumarate)–Poly (ethylene glycol) as a Biodegradable Mucoadhesive Resin Advances in Polymer Technology 32 (3) (2013)
  • C Schindler, BL Williams, HN Patel, V Thomas, DR Dean Electrospun polycaprolactone/polyglyconate blends: Miscibility, mechanical behavior, and degradation Polymer 54 (25), 6824-6833. (2013)
  • Thomas V, Halloran BA, Ambalavanan N, Catledge SA, Vohra YK* In vitro studies on the effect of particle size on macrophage responses to nanodiamond wear debris,Acta Biomaterialia 8 (5):1939-47 (2012)
  • Bottino MC, Thomas V, Schmidt G, Vohra YK, Chu TMG, Kowolik MJ & Janowski GM. Recent advances in the development of GTR/GBR membranes for periodontal regeneration – a materials perspective. Dental Materials.28:703-72 2012.
  • Zhang X, Thomas V, Xu, Y, Bellis S, Vohra Y.K* An in vitro regenerated functional human endothelium on a nanofibrous electrospun scaffold, Biomaterials (2010) 31(15):4376-4381.

Academic Distinctions & Professional Societies

  • TMS Conference (2018) Symposium on Biological materials Organizer
  •  National Science Foundation -NSF Panel & GRFP Panel
  • Grant Review Panel of Austrian Science Fund (FWF) for Erwin Schrodinger- Fellowships
  • Associate Editor of Journal of Healthcare Materials
  • Editorial Board Member of Current Nanoscience
  • Editorial Board Member of Journal of Biomaterials & Tissue Engineering
  • Editorial Board Member of Current Tissue Engineering
  • Member of Materials Research Society (MRS)
  • Member of Society For Biomaterials (SFB)
  • Life-Member of Society for Biomaterials & Artificial Organs-India
  • Life-Member of Society for Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine -India
  • Organizing Committee Member of NanoBio Summit – Alabama at UAB in 2015
  • International Organizing Committee Member of ICNP -2015
  • International Organizing Committee Member of Biopolymers - 2016
  • Outstanding Visiting Scholar Award UAB 2008.
  • Reviewer for more than a dozen journals in the field of Polymers, Biomaterials & Tissue engineering, Nanoscience & Nanotechnology (ACS, Elsevier, Wiley, IOP, ASP, RSC etc.)

Student Groups

  • UAB Chemical Safety and Environmental Management Committee
  • Nanomaterials Safety Committee
  • FDGP Research Committee