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Rice scientist recognized as pioneer in tissue engineering

HOUSTON, Jan. 25 2005 Rice University bioengineer Antonios Mikos has been awarded the prestigious Marshall R. Urist Award by the Orthopaedic Research Society.

Mikos is the John W. Cox Professor of Bioengineering, professor of chemical engineering and director of the John W. Cox Laboratory for Biomedical Engineering at Rice. In addition, he also serves as director of Rice's Center for Excellence in Tissue Engineering.

The Urist Award was established in 1996 and is sponsored by Osiris Therapeutics, Inc. It is given annually to one researcher who has established a reputation as a cutting-edge researcher in tissue regeneration. The award includes a $5,000 prize.

Mikos will receive the award at the society's annual meeting next month in Washington, D.C.

"This prestigious award reflects the hard work of past and present undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral research associates in my group over the years," said Mikos.

Over the past 13 years, Mikos' laboratory has developed extensive expertise in fabricating synthetic materials with tailored chemistries for specific tissue-engineered repair of orthopaedic injuries.

For example, Mikos and his associates have created several novel materials based on fumaric acid, a natural product found in mammalian cell metabolism. The new materials are non-toxic to surrounding cells and tissues, and they degrade over time into products that are excreted from the body. When used as surgically implanted scaffolds, these materials act as a template, guiding the body's cells as they form new tissue to replace flesh or bone that's been lost to disease or injury. Since the scaffolds break down naturally, no further surgery is needed to remove them once they are implanted.

Mikos lab has also developed techniques for growing new bone and cartilage tissue by seeding the scaffolds with cells. Because the Mikos group's scaffolds are highly porous and contain a large surface area, they all
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Contact: Jade Boyd
jadeboyd@rice.edu
713-348-6778
Rice University
25-Jan-2005


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