Led by Mechanical Engineering Professor Lih-Sheng “Tom” Turng, the BIONATES team has strong connections to the vibrant Wisconsin plastics industry and bioengineering and biomedical research groups at UW–Madison. Working together, BIONATES researchers seek to advance stem cell use, regenerative medicine, nanotechnology and polymer engineering.
The group’s key research goals involve advancing the science and engineering of manufacturing scaffolds with the aid of nanotechnology. These scaffolds will give cells a place to adhere while dividing, communicating, absorbing nutrients and disposing of waste. The scaffolds will also provide a platform for various drug delivery modes. Researchers test a wide range of materials, including composites, polymers, metals, ceramics and organic materials. Because tissue scaffolds also will need to biodegrade in a predictable and controllable manner, BIONATES scientists are conducting research to explore the properties of biodegradable and bioresorbable materials that hold promise for therapeutic use.