Novel biomaterials tailored for such applications as tissue engineering and drug delivery is the focus Michael Jaffe, research professor of biomedical engineering,.As director of the Medical Device Concept Laboratory of the New Jersey Center for Biomaterials, he leads a multi-institutional research team that works with synthetic bioerodable polymers as well as biological polymers such as collagen.
The lab has teamed with the Iowa Corn Promotion Board to identify polymer opportunities based on monomers derived from corn. The study will look at the potential of corn derivatives as readily available and inexpensive sources of new polymeric materials. Materials to be investigated range from new, bioerodible polymers for medical applications to improved, biocompatible coatings and plastics.
In another project, the use of collagen both as a "material" and as a tissue engineering substrate is under study at the MDCL. A collaboration among NJIT's Dr. Treena Livingson Arinzeh and physicians from University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey is aimed at understanding the collagenous failure that leads to uterine prolapse, a major problem in women's health.