Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors



Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > The Age of the Cyborg

Photo illustration by Martin Dee
Photo illustration by Martin Dee

Abstract:
By Göran Fernlund And Chad Sinclair
Associate Professors
Dept. of Materials Engineering

The melding of artificial materials within the body has long fascinated humans and been the basis for captivating science fiction. From the 1970's Six Million Dollar Man, to the 2008 movie Ironman, we have been enthralled by the idea of the half-human, half-machine with super-human abilities.

The Age of the Cyborg

VANCOUVER, BC, Canada | Posted on January 8th, 2009

At UBC Materials Engineering, the combination of artificial systems within the human body has a target quite different from those devised in science fiction; it's the next big thing in the world of biomedical engineering and healthcare.

With age, the human body wears out. And engineered materials—metals, polymers and ceramics—increasingly help repair or replace injured or destroyed body parts. At UBC Materials Engineering, research focuses on improving the biological, mechanical and chemical properties of these materials, allowing us to better aid in tissue repair, make longer-lasting implants and enhance the quality of life.

Assoc. Prof. Rizhi Wang, Canada Research Chair in Biomaterials, and Assoc. Prof. Goran Fernlund collaborate with surgeons, cell biologists and pharmaceutical scientists to develop novel implantable biomaterials and have had great success in improving materials used for hip implants.
Building on the wealth of knowledge in traditional biomaterials for surgical implants, a new biomaterials frontier is being created at UBC in the area of functional nanofibre scaffolds for tissue regeneration and targeted drug delivery.

UBC's Professor Frank Ko, Canada Research Chair in Nanofibrous Materials, is spearheading efforts in nanomaterials—materials whose dimensions are nearly atomic in size. With these materials Ko is developing novel nano scaffolds for tissue regeneration.

Tissue scaffolds are the next big thing for implants of the future. Like the scaffolding we see on construction sites, the nano scaffolds are being created by Ko to reconstruct damaged tissue within the human body. Burn victims would benefit from scaffolds used to regenerate new skin. Those with failing heart valves or damaged nerves could count on scaffolds to regenerate these parts from within the patient's own body. As healing progresses, the scaffold, being constructed from a biodegradable material, is absorbed and metabolized by the body while slowly releasing drugs to aid in the healing process.

The key to Ko's work is his unique technology for making scaffolds from millions of tiny fibres, each acting as a site for tissue growth. He accomplishes this using a novel technique known as "electrospinning" which can be used to fabricate fibres that are 10,000 times smaller than the thickness of a human hair. These nano-fibres, when piled on top of one another, provide a perfect scaffold for new tissue growth.
Victor Leung, a Materials Engineering undergraduate student who has been working with Ko on developing his electrospinning process for the next generation of scaffolding materials sees a day when biomaterials may be used to generate all kinds of new body parts.

"As we become more sophisticated in our ability to design materials, particularly at the nanoscale, we open all kinds of opportunities for repairing damaged body parts. The potential is really unlimited," says Leung.

Considering the great strides materials engineers are making in developing materials that are readily accepted by the body and that accelerate the process of recovery and healing, the age of the Cyborg seems not so much science fiction as it does science fact—a good thing given the increasing life expectancy and enduring desire to lead active lives.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
UBC Public Affairs
310 - 6251 Cecil Green Park Road
Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z1
tel 604.822.3131
fax 604.822.2684
e-mail

Copyright © University of British Columbia

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Iranian Scientists Use Nanotechnology to Increase Power, Energy of Supercapacitors December 18th, 2014

Iranian Researchers Produce Electrical Pieces Usable in Human Body December 18th, 2014

Switching to spintronics: Berkeley Lab reports on electric field switching of ferromagnetism at room temp December 17th, 2014

ORNL microscopy pencils patterns in polymers at the nanoscale December 17th, 2014

Possible Futures

A novel method for identifying the body’s ‘noisiest’ networks November 19th, 2014

Researchers discern the shapes of high-order Brownian motions November 17th, 2014

VDMA Electronics Production Equipment: Growth track for 2014 and 2015 confirmed: Business climate survey shows robust industry sector November 14th, 2014

Open Materials Development Will Be Key for HP's Success in 3D Printing: HP can make a big splash in 3D printing, but it needs to shore up technology claims and avoid the temptation of the razor/razor blade business model in order to flourish November 11th, 2014

Academic/Education

SUNY Poly NanoCollege Faculty Member Selected as American Physical Society Fellow: SUNY Poly Associate Professor of Nanoscience Dr. Vincent LaBella Recognized for Significant Technological Innovations that Enable Interactive Learning December 17th, 2014

Nanomedicine expert joins Rice faculty: Gang Bao combines genetic, nano and imaging techniques to fight disease December 17th, 2014

FEI and Oregon Health & Science University Install a Complete Correlative Microscopy Workflow in Newly Built Collaborative Science Facility December 16th, 2014

Student Nanotechnology Laboratories Network Set Up in Iran December 15th, 2014

Nanomedicine

Iranian Researchers Produce Electrical Pieces Usable in Human Body December 18th, 2014

Zenosense, Inc. - Hospital Collaboration - 400 Person Lung Cancer Detection Trial December 17th, 2014

Unraveling the light of fireflies December 17th, 2014

First Home-Made Edible Herbal Nanodrug Presented to Pharmacies across Iran December 17th, 2014

Announcements

Iranian Scientists Use Nanotechnology to Increase Power, Energy of Supercapacitors December 18th, 2014

Iranian Researchers Produce Electrical Pieces Usable in Human Body December 18th, 2014

Unraveling the light of fireflies December 17th, 2014

First Home-Made Edible Herbal Nanodrug Presented to Pharmacies across Iran December 17th, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More










ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE