Nanofiber Macromolecular Constructs: Applications in Medicine and Linkages to Biology


Nanofiber Macromolecular Constructs: Applications in Medicine and Linkages to Biology

Prof. Gary E. Wnek
Department of Macromolecular Science and Engineering
Case Western Reserve University


" . . . biology is largely the study of fibers . . ." wrote Joseph Needham in Order and Life in 1936. Cells, tissues and organs rely on polymeric nanofibers as supporting structures, and thus polymeric fibrous scaffolds have a major role to play in the burgeoning fields of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Also, cell interiors and surfaces are endowed with nanofibers (the cytoskeleton) which play key roles in defining mechanical properties and various important cellular functions. For more than a decade, we have been involved in the development of electrostatic spinning (electrospinning) to create bio-mimicking fibers in a diameter range (ca. 20-100 nm) difficult to access by conventional fiber processing methods. We employ electrospinning as a method of fabrication of scaffolds for tissue engineering, drug delivery, and more recently the development of nanofiber constructs as models for functional biological systems. The talk will focus on recent studies dealing with collagen nanofiber fabrication and applications in wound healing, delivery of enzymes for degradation of scar tissue associated with central nervous system damage, and (Ca2+)-responsive poly(acrylic acid)-based nanofibers as crude models of the cortical gel layer of nerve.


Speaker Background

Gary Wnek received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a Ph.D. in Polymer Science and Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He has been a member of the faculty of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT and the Department of Chemistry at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and was Founding Chair of the Chemical Engineering Department at Virginia Commonwealth University. In 2004, he joined Case Western Reserve University as Professor of Chemical Engineering and was Chair of the Department of Macromolecular Science and Engineering from 2006-2009. His research interests include polymers in medicine (tissue engineering scaffolds, drug delivery; electrostatic polymer processing of nanofibers and nanoparticles), microfluidic devices, and polymers in energy storage. He is also a strong proponent of innovation and entrepreneurship and the connection between academic research and technological applications. Research from his laboratory has translated to commercialization in several areas including energy management, water purification, and biomaterials for regenerative medicine and drug delivery. Gary received the 2007 John W. Hyatt Award (benefit to society) from the Society of Plastics Engineers for his work on polymer nano- and microfibers for regenerative medicine and related biomedical applications.




Wednesday, October 24


Michael's Restaurant at Shoreline Park Mountain View, CA  94043
Directions  Map


6 PM social hour
7 PM dinner
8 PM lecture


Employed/postdoc Student/unemployed/retired
Early Registration - Up to 7 days in advance of deadline $30 $15
Registration - Up to deadline $35 $20
After deadline/walk-in (Availability NOT guaranteed) $40 $25

Lecture-only is free.


We accept cash or checks, but are unable to accept payment by credit card at this time. Payment is taken at the door.  No-shows are responsible for full payment of registration fee.


Please register on the web page or contact:
Len Radzilowski

phone: 650-361-3264

Deadline for registration:

5PM, Tuesday, October 16 for early registration discount
5PM, Tuesday, October 23 for registration (or until venue has reached capacity.)

Dinner Selection:

Broiled Salmon with Lemon Beurre Blanc
Chicken Breast with Portobello Mushrooms
Eggplant Parmagiana

We are sorry but registration for this event is now closed.

Please contact us if you would like to know if spaces are still available.