Growth factors influence the survival, proliferation, and differentiation of embryonic stem cells and may be used for this purpose. However, the potential of growth factor therapy is currently limited by the extent to which delivery can be targeted to tissue containing vulnerable neurons or transplants while minimizing toxic effects to healthy tissue. The focus of this research is to develop synthetic polymer materials that present potent molecules to neural cells in a spatially and temporally programmable manner. The long-term goal of this research is to identify and use patterns of chemical cues to control the survival, proliferation, and differentiation of endogenous and transplanted neurons as a treatment for neurodegenerative disease or injury in the CNS.
CHEN 2810 - Biology for Engineers
Spring 2018 / Spring 2019 / Spring 2020
Develops a basic understanding of the science of biology, including an introduction to the disciplines of biochemistry, cell organization, metabolism, genetics, genomics, molecular biology, recombinant DNA technology and evolution. Provides a basic introduction to several key techniques used in biological engineering laboratories. Uses examples of complex and creative structures engineered by natural processes.
CHEN 4802 - Tissue Engineering and Medical Devices
The purpose of this course is to develop a basic understanding of quantitative and qualitative aspects of tissue engineering and medical devices. Particular emphasis will be placed on topics of potential importance and significance to chemical and biological engineers. Students will be introduced to important professional, societal and entrepreneurial issues in the field by examining case studies in which drugs and medical products have been developed or are being considered for FDA approval and clinical use.
CHEN 4810 - Biological Engineering Laboratory
Fall 2018 / Fall 2019
Involves planning and execution of chemical engineering experiments on mass transfer operations, bioseparations, and biological reactors. Interprets experimental data with theoretical principles and statistical analysis. Emphasizes communication with written memos, full reports and oral presentations.