Petit Institute Seminar, Co-Hosted by GT's Renewable Bioproducts Institute

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Co-hosted by the Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience and Georgia Tech's Renewable Bioproducts Institute

"Smart Bio-nanocomposites for Implantable Materials"
E. Johan Foster, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Materials Science and Engineering
Virginia Tech

Stimuli-responsive nanocomposite materials which change their mechanical properties in response to external stimuli have attracted significant interest for using in broad spectrum applications. The incorporation of high-stiffness, high-surface-area nanofibers with switchable interactions into a polymer matrix has rapidly emerged as a versatile design strategy to create nanocomposites properties that react to a variety of stimuli. We will present our experimental research focused on the design, synthesis and possible applications of materials that change their mechanical properties when implanted in the body. Moreover, we will show biocompatible sensing mechanisms that can be coupled to a range of implantable materials. Ranging from optical fibers to cortical electrodes, we will show several mechanisms that allow long term implantation and sensing within the body.

E. Johan Foster is an Associate Professor and the Digges Faculty Fellow in Materials Science and Engineering at Virginia Tech. Johan’s expertise are in the design, synthesis, processing and investigation of functional nanocomposites, biomaterials, supramolecular materials and polymers. His research group focuses on the chemistry and engineering of functional bio(nano)materials, imbibing materials with ‘smart’ functionality, often utilizing cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) as a filler. Johan has many national and international collaborators, from countries as far reaching as Australia, Ghana, France and Switzerland. His research program is supported through federal, industrial and state research grants.

The Petit Institute has revolutionized the term "interdisciplinary research," and has become internationally recognized for its ability to tackle complex research problems by bringing engineering and scientists together. It has grown to include 190 faculty members from a wide variety of disciplines, which has played a vital role in building its dynamic culture.

The Renewable Bioproducts Institute at Georgia Tech builds on nearly a century of lignocellulosics research to advance business opportunities based on renewable resources for today and tomorrow.


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Colly Mitchell
  • Created: 02/07/2017
  • Modified By: Fletcher Moore
  • Modified: 04/13/2017


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