Drexel Engineering Students Win Fulbright Scholarships
May 19, 2010 Karen Miller BS/MS (CAEE) and Kara Spiller BS/PhD (BME/CBE) have been awardedthe prestigious Fulbright scholarship. Beginning in the fall, both students will study abroad to conduct research. Karen will be conducting research at the Conservation and Implementation Office of Istanbul’s historic Sulemaniye district. Karen will assist in workshops that help residents restore deteriorating wooden homes. In addition, she’ll be taking preservation classes at Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts to apply restoration research to the future profession of historical preservation.
Kara will study in Portugal for approximately one year. During her time in Portugal, she’ll be studying at the University of Minho in Portugal. Kara will be continuing her research in new tissue engineering in the Biomaterials, Biodegradables and Biomimetics (the 3B’s) Research Group in the Department of Polymer Engineering in Portugal. She’ll be collaborating with the lab to complete her research in the design of a scaffold to repair damaged cartilage in the knee.
The 3B’s lab has 36 partners in 16 countries on three continents and the students in Portugal headquarters hail from over a dozen countries. One of the most promising projects currently underway in the 3B’s lab is the design of a polymer system, a blend of starch and polycaprolactone (PCL), whose degradation is controlled by the addition of enzymes. The lab has had considerable success using the system to deliver drugs at a slow, controlled rate, eliminating the need for multiple or repeated administration. Kara will be collaborating with the lab in an effort to complete her research in the design of a scaffold to repair damaged cartilage in the knee. The starch-PCL blend as a tissue engineering scaffold may be the answer. Kara will also be developing international exchange programs.