3. Biomaterials and Regenerative Engineering
Biomaterials and Regenerative Engineering
Biomaterials and Regenerative Engineering is the discipline of designing, synthesizing, characterizing, and testing materials that can be used for medical applications. At Georgia Tech/Emory, we have strong biomaterials and tissue engineering groups whose research interests are in the areas of immune/inflammatory response of implanted materials and modulation of this response, synthetic, natural, and bio-inspired polymers and their applications, hydrogels and anisotropic 3D scaffolds, Nano- and Micro-scale drug and gene delivery vehicles, nano- and microstructured engineering of material surfaces, interaction of stem cells with biomaterials and engineered surfaces. Tissue engineering involves the use of living cells and/or other natural biological materials in the development of biological substitutes. The purpose of tissue engineering is to repair, maintain, or enhance function, and it includes such applications as neural tissue replacement, nerve regeneration, blood vessels, heart valves, connective tissues such as bone and cartilage, and for enhanced vaccine/drug/gene/contrast agent delivery.
The development of biomaterials is not a new area of science, having existed for around half a century. The study of biomaterials is called biomaterial science. It is a provocative field of science, having experienced steady and strong growth over its history, with many companies investing large amounts of money into the development of new products. Biomaterial science encompasses elements of medicine, biology, chemistry, tissue engineering and materials science.