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Events Calendar

The School invites anyone interested to join our weekly seminar series. Please see link below for a list of future BIOMED seminars. Recent seminar and thesis events are also available to browse.

BIOMED Seminar and Thesis Events

University Calendar


  • The Next Generation of Inventors: The Case for Combining Medical Education and Engineering Education

    Wednesday, September 29, 2021

    4:00 PM-5:30 PM

    Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building (PISB), Room 120, located on the northeast corner of 33rd and Chestnut Streets.

    • Undergraduate Students
    • Graduate Students
    • Faculty
    • Staff

    BIOMED Seminar

    Title:
    The Next Generation of Inventors: The Case for Combining Medical Education and Engineering Education at Microscopic and Macroscopic Scales

    Speaker:
    Sujata K. Bhatia, MD, PhD, PE
    Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
    Director of Biomedicine Graduate Programs
    Drexel University College of Medicine

    Details:
    The COVID-19 pandemic, layered upon the existing opioid epidemic and the global dual burden of chronic and infectious disease, has highlighted the need for courageous and creative innovators who are cognizant of the societal impact of innovation. In this talk, I will describe my work in interdisciplinary engineering education and novel training programs, including (1) an intensive course on Sustainable Materials for Medical Applications, combining agriculture, medicine, and engineering; (2) an original first-year Honors colloquium on the Grand Challenges for Innovation, combining philosophy, ethics, and engineering; (3) a new course for undergraduate and graduate students on Acceptance and Resistance to Innovation, combining entrepreneurship, economics, and engineering; and (4) a university-wide seminar for undergraduate and graduate students on Contemplation and Technological Change, combining sociology, psychology, and engineering. Each of these programs align with the Grand Challenges for Engineering as set forth by the National Academy of Engineering, as well as the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

    I will then describe the pressing need for combining medicine with engineering at both the microscopic and macroscopic levels. At the microscopic scale, new training programs in immune engineering are necessary for vaccines, immunotherapies, cell therapies, and gene therapies. At the macroscopic scale, new training programs in pandemic preparedness are necessary for resilient infrastructure, and new training programs in pharmaceutical manufacturing are necessary to address opioid addiction.  

    Over sixty years ago, President John F. Kennedy noted, “There is an old saying that the course of civilization is a race between catastrophe and education. In a democracy such as ours, we must make sure that education wins the race.” These words remain relevant during our current global pandemic. It is our responsibility to create not only inventions, but also a new generation of inventors, who will write the next generation of engineering and medical textbooks. Our society depends on it.  

    Biosketch:
    Sujata K. Bhatia, MD, PhD, PE, is a physician, bioengineer, and professionally licensed chemical engineer. She is a Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and Director of Biomedicine Graduate Prograsm at Drexel University College of Medicine. She received her undergraduate degrees in chemical engineering, biology, and biochemistry from the University of Delaware in 1999, and she received her MD/PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 2003. Her experience spans industry and academia. From 2003 to 2011, she worked for the DuPont company, on the preclinical and clinical development of tissue adhesives for wound closure, microspheres for tumor treatment, and omega-3 fatty acids for cardiovascular health. From 2011 to 2016, Dr. Bhatia was a Lecturer and Assistant Director for Undergraduate Studies in Biomedical Engineering at Harvard University. From 2016 to 2021, she was a full Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Delaware. She continues to be an affiliated faculty member for the Harvard Summer School and the Harvard Extension School. She has served on panels and committees for the National Academy of Engineering, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Academy of Sciences, National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Institute of Medicine, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Society for Engineering Education, United States Department of Health and Human Services, United States Department of State, and United States Department of Defense.

    Dr. Bhatia has been an invited keynote speaker for the National Science Olympiad and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. She has served as an international lecturer and panelist for scientific organizations in Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, Kazakhstan, Portugal, Chile, Ireland, and Denmark. She was chosen by the National Academy of Engineering for U.S. Frontiers of Engineering in 2005; Japan-America Frontiers of Engineering in 2006; a co-organizer of Japan-America Frontiers of Engineering in 2007; and the Keck Futures Initiative and U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Education in 2013.  

    At Harvard College, Dr. Bhatia was awarded the John R. Marquand Award for Exceptional Advising and Counseling of Harvard Students in 2012; the Capers and Marion McDonald Award for Excellence in Advising and Mentoring in 2013; and the Star Prize for Excellence in Advising in 2013. In 2014, she was chosen by the American Society for Engineering Education for the "20 Under 40" list of top twenty engineering educators in the nation under the age of 40. Dr. Bhatia was voted as a Harvard Yearbook Favorite Professor for three consecutive years in 2014, 2015, and 2016. In 2019, she was the invited keynote speaker for the Bioengineering Graduate Research Symposium at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2021, she was an invited speaker for the EU Chapter of the Grand Challenges Scholars Program for the National Academy of Engineering.

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  • Development and Characterization of 3D Printed Porous PEEK for Orthopaedic Applications

    Thursday, September 30, 2021

    3:30 PM-5:30 PM

    Remote

    • Undergraduate Students
    • Graduate Students
    • Faculty
    • Staff

    BIOMED PhD Thesis Defense

    Title:
    Development and Characterization of 3D Printed Porous Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) for Orthopaedic Applications   
     
    Speaker:
    Hannah Spece, PhD Candidate
    School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems
    Drexel University

    Advisors:
    Steven Kurtz, PhD
    Research Professor
    School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems
    Drexel University

    Joseph Sarver, PhD
    Teaching Professor
    School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems
    Drexel University

    Details:
    Additive manufacturing (AM, 3D printing) is rapidly being adopted by clinicians and researchers aiming to create affordable patient-specific medical devices and other complex structures. In orthopaedics, AM technologies have been especially beneficial for the creation of metallic porous biomaterials, which can help establish bone-implant fixation without the use of bone cement. Metal AM, however, presents considerable challenges for use in a clinical setting, and the potential disadvantages of metal in vivo have led to increased interest in nonmetallic implants. Recent advancements in AM have allowed for the printing of high temperature polymers like polyetheretherketone (PEEK) using the fused filament fabrication (FFF) process already adopted by many hospitals. While the bioinert nature of PEEK is often cited as a barrier to its use in osseointegration, the inclusion of porosity by surface modification has shown promising results for bone ingrowth, though often at the expense of mechanical properties. Establishing a strategy to create porous PEEK without detrimental post processing may help advance the possibilities for patient-specific implants created at the point of care.

    In this thesis, porous PEEK created by FFF is presented and characterized to determine its potential use as a novel orthopaedic biomaterial. The porous architectures are designed using the concept of triply periodic minimal surfaces (TPMS), and design tools are provided for future TPMS-inspired materials. In Aim 1, it was demonstrated that porous PEEK designed as either a simple lattice or TPMS structure can be created via FFF. In vitro testing indicated increased preosteoblast cell activity for porous PEEK compared to nonporous, and compression testing showed that the TPMS design led to improved mechanical properties over a simple lattice. In Aim 2, the mechanical properties and degree of anisotropy induced on PEEK by the FFF printing process were explored. The elastic constants to be used in later modeling methods were determined, and relatively low anisotropy for the mechanical properties in two orientations was found. In Aim 3, models were created to relate the architecture and function of the porous PEEK. A custom MATLAB script was created to design and characterize TPMS structures, and the designer inputs were mapped to the resulting pore size and porosity. A homogenization scheme was then used to predict the properties of TPMS architectures, and a relationship between the porous characteristics and predicted elastic modulus was established. The model was validated as a part of Aim 4, in which a family of TPMS-inspired porous PEEK structures were additively manufactured and characterized. A variety of FFF porous PEEK with ranging mechanical properties was achieved, and experimental values showed good agreement with the model for the transverse loading direction, showing promise for a predictive architecture-property model for PEEK TPMS structures.

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