Polymers For Medical Applications (2-Day Live Virtual Short Course by Dr. Subbu Venkatraman, UC San Diego)


Polymers For Medical Applications

A two-day overview of polymeric families and how they are used to treat and diagnose disease

Presented by Dr. Subbu Venkatraman, Innovations Manager, UC San Diego

2-Day Live Virtual Short Course,

November 2 and November 4, 2022 (Wednesday, and Friday)

Sponsored by the Golden Gate Polymer Forum.

Course Overview

Polymers are increasingly finding use in medicine. Natural, synthetic, and biomimetic polymeric materials will be discussed in the context of the key role they play in advancing medical device technologies. Applications where polymers play a key role include (but are not limited to) biosensing, tissue replacement/repair, drug delivery through the oral and transdermal routes, gene delivery using nanoparticles, and Covid-19 vaccines

This two-day virtual course will address the breadth of different polymeric systems in a wide range of usage areas from medicine and drug delivery to medical devices. Attendees will get an overview of how to evaluate the many medical needs that can be addressed by clever use of polymers. Key takeaways from the course should include: an understanding of which medical devices are functionally dependent on the performance attributes of the polymers used; aspects of designing polymers for specific medical applications including device coatings and use of biomimetic polymers; how to evaluate the merits of using synthetic polymers over naturally-derived polymers for implanted devices; and assessing the ability to modify polymers to enable biodegradable and biostable coatings on devices.


Specific Topics Covered

Introduction to Polymers for Medical Applications; Biocompatibility 

  • Integration of polymers with surrounding tissue; cytotoxicity

Gels, Crosslinked Systems and Stimuli-responsive Hydrogels

  • Applications: contact lenses, adhesives in patches; triggered drug delivery

Drug/Protein/Gene Delivery; Nanostructured Polymers

  • Self-assembly; nanocarriers for siRNA and mRNA; COVID-19 and other vaccines

Natural Polymers and Biomimetic Polymers

  • Proteins; artificial proteins; biomimetic polymers/proteins; collagen, elastin

Biodegradable Polymers

  • Sutures; fully-degradable implants; biocompatibility of degradation products

Tissue Engineering Scaffolds and Device Coatings

  • Tissue compatibilization using coatings; functionalized surfaces that help to integrate implants; blood-contacting devices; artificial blood vessels; bio-artificial pancreas

Who should attend:

This course is likely to be of particular interest to scientists and engineers in medical device industries as well as in biotech companies involved in drug or gene delivery/ vaccines/nanomedicine. People working (or desiring to work) in any function that involves polymeric materials (R&D, Design Engineering, Manufacturing, Quality, Reliability, Materials Procurement, Regulatory Compliance, etc.) but who have not had directly relevant polymer science training are highly likely to benefit. Please note that some familiarity with chemical nomenclature and structure will be helpful, but a degree in chemistry is not a requirement to benefit significantly from this survey course.

Instructor Background

Dr. Subbu Venkatraman has a PhD in Polymer Chemistry from Carnegie-Mellon University.

Dr. Venkatraman spent about 15 years in materials and biomedical R&D in the USA, working with various applications of polymeric materials, before joining the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore as an Associate Professor in 2000. He was instrumental in starting the Biomaterials effort at NTU and developing the paradigm of research driven by medical needs. He served as Associate Chair for Research in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering for 6 years, before taking over as Chair in 2011. Under his watch the School's worldwide ranking jumped 41 places to #3 as per the QS rankings, and #1 as per the US News & World Report rankings.

Dr. Venkatraman has published extensively in the field of biomaterials, with a total of 270 publications, with an H-index of 47 and a citation count of 10,000. He also holds 70 patents from a total of 171 applications. His work in biomaterials has led to 3 spin-off companies, with one of them (Amaranth Medical) obtaining substantial series C funding. He has also received the 2014 Singapore President's Technology Award together with Professor Freddy Boey and Adjunct Professor Tina Wong, for their innovative application of nanostructures and novel drug delivery approach to combat blindness from glaucoma. He is also the co-founder of Peregrine Ophthlamic Pte Ltd and Amaranth Medical Pte Ltd.

Dr. Venkatraman's National University of Singapore (NUS) research group was most recently interested in designing and modifying materials for biomedical applications, with a focus is on nanotechnological approaches to enhance the efficacy of protein drugs and genes. Today, he is the Innovations Manager for the U.C. San Diego School of Medicine.

Please note:

  • See below for contact information.
  • Class size will be larger than typical in-person events, but GGPF reserves the option to close registration if the size gets too large in our opinion.
  • Registration deadline dates are tiered, with early, regular, and late registration fees.

Practical Details

EVENT DATES: November 2 and 4  (Wednesday, and Friday)

Each day's lectures begin 8:30 AM Pacific time

Class materials will be presented using Zoom Webinar. Registrants will receive webinar information shortly before the class begins.

GGPF will close registration if the size gets too large in our opinion.

Pricing and Deadlines:

$200 early registration ends Saturday, Sept. 10, 5 PM Pacific time.

$250 regular registration ends Saturday, Oct. 22, 5 PM Pacific time.

$300 late registration, if still available, ends Sunday, Oct. 30, 5 PM Pacific time.

No registration is complete until payment is received.

No registrations allowed after 5 PM Oct 30 or if class size reaches a practical limit.

Register on the GGPF web page

  • Please pay by PayPal, credit card, or debit card on the web page. (Payment is through a PayPal link, but you do not have to use PayPal directly; see details below or on web page.)
  • Payment by check may be allowed by special arrangement only, and registration is not complete until payment is received.

Cancellation Policy

  • No cancellations allowed after Saturday, Oct. 22, 5 PM Pacific time.
  • You must cancel in writing or e-mail and have a verifiable acknowledgment from us that you have cancelled in time.
  • Cancellations on or before Oct. 22 deadline will result in a refund, minus a $50 cancellation fee.
  • If you must cancel, another member of your company/organization may be substituted without cancellation fee, by special arrangement; contact GGPF.
  • If for any reason GGPF must cancel the course (not anticipated), you will be notified and a full refund will be given to all registrants.

Contact information:

For questions about course content –

Clayton Henderson,

To make arrangements to pay by check, or for any questions about registration, payment, cancellations, or web page problems -

Jennifer Hoffman,

Registration Details

(1) Begin the registration process by using the form below. After you have completed all the required information, click "Submit" at the bottom of the page. This will take you to a page where you can review your information, then click "Confirm Registration". If someone other than the attendee is filling out the registration form, please ensure that it is the attendee's name and contact information in the appropriate fields in the registration.

(2) You will be asked to choose to pay by Credit Card (via PayPal) or Check. We are requesting that all short course registrations choose the Credit Card option. Please note: if you do not have or do not want to use your own PayPal account, you can use your own credit card or debit card directly through the form.

Click on the "PayPal" icon. This will redirect you to the PayPal website where you can submit your credit card information and complete the payment process. A PayPal account is not necessary. If you do not have a PayPal account, or if you do not wish to use one which you may already have, do not use the "login" option at the PayPal website; select "Pay with Debit or Credit Card" instead. You can enter your own card info and pay by that directly.  This is a secure site.

If you must choose to pay by check, you will need to provide payment by mailing a check made out to “GGPF” in the appropriate amount. Contact Jennifer Hoffman for further instructions at Your registration will not be considered complete until a check is received.

(3) If your company requires it, the GGPF Tax ID number will be provided to you by e-mailing a request to Jennifer Hoffman. Please note that the conference registration fee covers the short course expenses and is not a tax deductible donation.

(4) An automated e-mail receipt will be provided as soon as you register and is usually sufficient for corporate reimbursement. If you require a hardcopy receipt, please contact us (via Jennifer Hoffman) and one can be mailed to you.

About the GGPF

The Golden Gate Polymer Forum (GGPF) is a successful 41-year non-profit educational organization dedicated to the study of polymeric materials and devices. We sponsor well attended monthly polymer forums, and annual symposiums or short courses. The GGPF attracts scientists, engineers, and sales professionals (from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies), as well as academics and students, all of whom are interested in the study of and advancements in polymer science, materials, or engineering. GGPF events, in addition to providing a forum for cutting edge research and industry practices, allow for collaborative networking. The majority of our attendees are from the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley, yet we attract people from out of state as well as international guests, thanks to our reputation in the industry as a premier and easily affordable educational forum.

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.