Arizona pioneer in plastics wins top chemistry award

collaborative project with ASU bioengineer Vincent Pizziconi.

Typically, bioengineers must consider two key engineering elements when developing biomaterials, according to Pizziconi. The materials must have mechanical properties that allow them to be shaped into the desired device such as a tube for use in an artificial blood vessel. And the materials need to be engineered so they are compatible with living tissue and do not cause adverse reactions, such as an inflammatory response.

Vandenberg has developed a new class of biomedical polymers and the means to tailor them for a wide range of medical devices, including flexible scaffolding for a blood vessel or load-bearing orthopedic implants.

"Over the years we've been able to synthesize several promising biomaterial candidates," said Pizziconi. The researchers are in the process of scaling up and hope to "get a better feel" for the properties of the materials and how compatible they are with biological tissue.

Vandenberg received his undergraduate degree in 1939 from Stevens Institute of Technology, which also conferred on him an honorary Ph.D. in engineering in 1965. He has received several other awards for his work, including the ACS Award in Polymer Chemistry in 1981 and the ACS Award in Applied Polymer Science in 1991. Over the years he has been very active in the ACS division of polymer chemistry and served as its chair in 1979.


Contact: Allison Byrum
American Chemical Society

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