Profile and Department: Professor, Chemical Engineering, Queen's University
Our research focus is on the creation of effective biodegradable and biocompatible polymers for biomedical applications. These applications include localized growth factor delivery for therapeutic angiogenesis and for stem cell differentiation, scaffolds for soft connective tissue engineering, and ocular drug delivery. Polymer systems being developed include biodegradable elastomers,electrospun crimped fibre scaffolds, injectable thermoplastics, and mechanically enhanced hydrogels. We are interested in elucidating the mechanisms of degradation of the polymers in vivo to better design these materials for given applications, determining the mechanisms governing drug release, the role polymer biomaterial mechanical properties play in mediating cell proliferation and differentiation, and in controlling polymer surface properties to improve cellular interactions. The work is multidisciplinary and we collaborate routinely with orthopaedic and cardiovascular surgeons, and colleagues in mechanical engineering and cell biology.