Professor, students present bionanotechnology research at international conferences
Dr. David Mills, professor of biological sciences and director of the Center for Applied Teaching and Learning to Yield Scientific Thinking (CATALyST) at Louisiana Tech University, joined several of his students this fall in presenting their latest research accomplishments at two international scientific conferences. Kaitlin McNamara, an undergraduate biology major at Louisiana Tech, and Monica Cowdery, a National Science Foundation REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) student who worked in Mills’ lab this past summer and is a biochemistry student at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, presented three posters based on their bionanotechnology research at the 2010 Biomedical Engineering Society meeting recently held in Austin, Texas. Their presentations titled, “Ultrasonic Nebulization as a Tool for Creating Multilayered, Multi-component Anti-Infective Nanocoatings” and “Osteoblastic Response to Bioactive Nanocoatings,” were co-authored by Mills and Dr. Yuri Lvov, Louisiana Tech professor of chemistry, physics, and nanosystems engineering. Mills also presented his novel application of using spray-on nanocoatings to aid in wound regeneration. This research could result in the development of cheaper and more effective means for delivering drugs at the site of a bodily wound or injury, or it could replace or repair damaged or diseased tissue. “Louisiana Tech attracts enthusiastic, bright and creative students with an independent spirit and a very impressive work ethic,” said Mills. “My students are self-motivated and directed, full of energy and a delight to direct.” In addition to the Biomedical Engineering Society meeting, Mills is attending the 2010 Bio-Inspired Material Science and Technology Conference and Exhibition in Houston. He is presenting his lab’s work on using hallyosite nanotubes as a vehicle to increase the material properties of bone cement and in the sustained release of antibiotics is being presented. Later this fall, Mills and his students will participate in the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Society’s spring meeting in Orlando, Florida to discuss their latest efforts at creating an anti-infective ‘smart bandage.’ ‘Smart bandages’ have more attributes than a simple band-aid and can improve the current use of antibiotics – which kills both good and bad bacteria – by selectively killing only the bacteria that causes infection. It can also deliver dose appropriate amounts of antibiotics and remain anti-infective for some time after application.