Student: Ashley Rhodes, Undergraduate Student in Biomedical Engineering, University of Iowa
Research Mentor: Dr. James Byrne and Emily Witt
Novel Matrices for Gas Entrapping Materials to Optimize Dissolution Kinetics and Delivery
The field of gaseous materials has many far reaching and impactful applications. The ability to deliver gas to a specific area within the body has been shown to have therapeutic properties and can be beneficial for wound healing, improving cancer treatments, and decreasing inflammation. Many current methods for gas entrapment and delivery are inefficient and difficult to administer. Under the supervision of Dr. James Byrne at the University of Iowa, we are working to fabricate a solid, biodegradable implant that has the capability of high-volume gas release. Our goal is to develop a matrix conducive to delivering a variety of gasses in vivo and be able to control the dissolution of the matrix to optimize timing of gas delivery. We are working to evaluate the potential of different biomaterials that form amorphous crystalline arrangements and to alter the properties of the material to control the timing of its dissolution within the body. These innovative devices can be used to store drugs, oxygen, and any other desired material to be delivered to biological systems. They could be extremely useful in expanding the capabilities of human spaceflight exploration and the survival of living systems in space. These devices have the potential to benefit and prolong life on earth as well as enhance and enable future space exploration.