Research in the Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering track involves the investigation and development of materials and structures to improve the quality of life for patients. These materials—which may be synthetic, natural, or cell-based—are intended to assist in the diagnosis of pathology or injury, monitor condition, and improve or restore normal physiological function in the human body.
Biomaterials science is the study of materials and their interaction with biological environments, and tissue engineering is the application of engineering and life sciences toward development of a biomaterial to restore, maintain and improve tissue function. Research in this inter- and multidisciplinary field involves collaborations among engineers, surgeons, materials scientists, biological scientists, chemists, dentists, and veterinarians in academics, industry, government and the clinic.
Students in this track are trained in structure-function-property relationships, which are built on a foundation in biology, materials science, and engineering. As a part of their coursework, students learn to independently develop a plan of research.
Specific research areas available at KU include drug delivery devices, tissue engineering, soft tissue biomechanics, biosensors, diagnostics and therapeutics, combination products, biocompatible materials, injury biomechanics, hydrogels, microparticle fabrication, gene and protein delivery, mass transport, polymer science, biocatalysis, biofluids, and dental materials. Graduates are prepared to enter into industry, government, or academics, where they will be able to assist in research programs in biomaterials.