University of Washington faculty, students, staff and friends are invited to attend the 35th University Faculty Lecture:
Regenerate, Rebuild, Restore — Bioengineering Contributions
to the Changing Paradigm in Medicine
By Dr. Buddy Ratner
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Kane Hall, Room 130
The lecture is free and open to the public. A reception will follow in the Walker-Ames Room in Kane Hall.
About this lecture
Throughout history, failing body parts have led to pain, limited mobility, loss of function or death. Medical devices and advancements began making strides in the 1940s with innovations such as early artificial joints, synthetic eye lenses and kidney dialysis. Today, medical implants are a $300 billion industry.
Despite the benefits of these devices, synthetic materials remain prone to the foreign-body response in which the patient’s cells wall off the new entity to isolate it from the rest of the body. To combat this effect, Buddy Ratner’s lab developed a class of porous, synthetic scaffolds that encourage the restoration of healthy, living tissue around these implants.
Over the years, Ratner and his colleagues observed a commonality in living organisms’ reactions to today’s implants: flattened white blood cells, or macrophages, begin to coat the biomaterial starting at about 48 hours. Team members hypothesized that the UW-created biomaterial mechanically drives these surrounding cells down a healing pathway rather than an “attack” pathway.
This discovery opens up a new possibility: creating materials to help the body heal itself. And these research developments beg the question: could we use engineered materials to guide the body’s own regenerative potential?
About the University Faculty Lecture
Since 1976, members of the UW faculty have chosen a faculty peer who has made a demonstrable impact on their profession to deliver the University Faculty Lecture. This is the highest honor the University of Washington faculty can bestow on one of their own. The 35th University Faculty Lecturer, Buddy Ratner, joins a distinguished roster of Nobel laureates, historians, artists, scientists and authors who have participated in this series. The University Faculty Lecture Award Selection Committee is administered by the Office of the Provost.
See a list of the previous University Faculty Lecturers.
To request disability accommodation, contact the Disability Services Office at least 10 days in advance at 206.543.6450 (voice), 206.543.6452 (TTY), 206.685.7264 (FAX) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Michael L. and Myrna Darland Endowed Chair in Technology Commercialization
UW College of Engineering
Buddy Ratner’s life-long work and research on biomaterials — specially designed materials used in medical devices and implants — will save and improve lives. Because the immune system can interpret medical devices and implants as invasive, the body often walls them off with scar tissue. Ratner and his colleagues have made great strides by working on bioengineering projects for tissues and organs such as heart muscle, the esophagus, bones and cartilage, and the cornea.
Dr. Ratner has led a number of initiatives central to establishing the UW as a leader in biomedical engineering. He currently directs the UW Engineered Biomaterials Center and has been involved in a number of startup companies based on his lab’s technology. His dedication to academic pursuits in biomaterials has been well-recognized: he was named a member and fellow of numerous distinguished engineering and biomedical societies and associations; he is the recipient of 27 awards, fellowships and lectureships; has authored over 400 scientific works; and holds 19 issued patents. He also serves as editor of the Journal of Undergraduate Research in BioEngineering, on the advisory board of Biointerphases and the editorial boards of 10 additional journals.