New biomaterials improve medical devices

NEW BRUNSWICK/PISCATAWAY -- The New Jersey Center for Biomaterials will hold the 7th New Jersey Symposium on Biomaterials Science on October 21-22, 2004 at the Hyatt Regency, Two Albany Street in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Biomaterials form the underlying technologies for development of a wide variety of medical products for both preventive care and the treatment of disease. Examples are vaccine delivery systems, tissue-engineering scaffolds to promote regrowth of injured or diseased tissues, and drug and gene delivery systems for treatment of cancer.

Twenty-one international research leaders will address the topic of "Challenges and Opportunities for the Biomaterials Scientist". On the first day, the focus will be on research challenges, with topics such as designing a protein matrix to imitate the natural one that cells interact with, exploiting nature's tricks to alter biomaterial surfaces, and biofilms that cause infection of implants. Some of the new approaches to these challenges employ nanotechnology methods for both diagnostic and imaging systems. Another strong theme will be the use of computer modeling to predict the interactions between cells and materials, thus reducing the amount of lab work necessary to develop a new material for a specific application.

Among the clinical applications that will be discussed on the second day are drug-eluting cardiovascular stents, orthopaedic tissue engineering to repair or replace bone, and scaffolds that promote nerve regeneration. Dr. Fintan Steele of the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research will give an after-dinner talk on ethical issues in stem cell research.

Educational grants for the Symposium have been provided by the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, the Center for Biomaterials & Advanced Technologies - a Division of Ethicon Inc., the Whitaker Foundation, Synnestvedt & Lechner LLP, Boston Scientific Corporation, the C.R. Bard Foundation Inc., Medtro

Contact: Carole Kantor
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey

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