Winter mini-course explores plant-derived materials for wound closures, drug delivery, and tissue engineering
One might expect, these days, to find corn products in food, fuel, and fabric, but a corn-based glue that can heal an injured eyeball? That’s a-maize-ing.
Creating new materials from abundant, natural plant sources, today’s biomedical and biochemical engineers are finding clinical uses for new “custom” materials that were not even remotely considered in recent decades.
Both renewable and remarkable, plant-based medical products are on the cutting edge of a field called “sustainable biomaterials,” a topic so intriguing that 23 undergraduates chose to spend an extra week at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) to take a course on it during their winter break.
“It was engaging, comprehensive, and demonstrated just how ‘sexy’ science can be,” said Aubrey Walker ‘15.
The seminar-style mini-course was led by Sujata Bhatia, Assistant Director for Undergraduate Studies in Biomedical Engineering, who arrived at SEAS last spring. As an industry scientist at DuPont, Bhatia had been at the forefront of research resulting in clinically relevant products, including plant-based tissue adhesives. She now brings that expertise to guide an agile and modern curriculum at SEAS…. [more]