BME Seminar Series: Dr. Matthew Becker, University of Akron
"Building bone with polymers– How new materials and additive manufacturing are changing medicine"
Recent synthetic advances have enabled the synthesis of polymers designed to elicit specific cellular functions and to direct cell-cell interactions. Motivated by traumatic injuries experienced by warfighters, we are developing novel materials and devices designed to repair segmental bone defect and achieve limb salvage. Biomimetic approaches based on polymers derivatized with adhesive receptor-binding peptides glycoproteins and tethered growth factors have been reported to enhance interactions at the biotic-synthetic interface. Further advances in both synthetic methodology and scaffold fabrication are needed to drive these efforts forward. This presentation will describe the use of several translationally relevant chemistries and functionalization strategies that are impacting the practice of medicine and how physicians are planning for future therapies that were not possible previously.
Matthew L. Becker is the W. Gerald Austen Endowed Chair of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering and The Associate Dean for Research in the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering at The University of Akron. His multidisciplinary research team is focused on developing bioactive polymers for regenerative medicine and addressing unmet medical needs at the interface of chemistry, material science and medicine. He is the founder of three start-up companies. He earned a PhD in organic chemistry at Washington University in St. Louis as an NIH Chemistry Biology Interface Training Fellow. In 2003, Dr Becker moved to the Polymers Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology for a NRC Postdoctoral Fellowship. He joined the permanent staff as a project leader in 2005 before moving to The University of Akron in 2009. Professor Becker was awarded the ACS Publications Macromolecules-Biomacromolecules Young Investigator Award in 2015 and is a fellow of the ACS PMSE Division and the Royal Society of Chemistry.