Archives—March 2010

Composite Scaffolds for Bone Tissue Engineering: A Biomimetic Approach

Monday, March 22, 2010 3:00 – 4:00 pm
Room G06, Rekhi Hall

Ian O. Smith
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
University of Michigan School of Dentistry


Biomimetics is a useful approach for Tissue Engineering applications, in which wemimic the naturally occurring ECM to positively affect biologic response and tissue formation using scaffolds, which promote cell differentiation, provide biologicalcues, allow nutrient transfer and provide sufficient mechanical properties. Onearea of interest is bone tissue engineering, where ECM collagen is mimicked byfabrication of polymer nanofibers, which are subsequently mineralized through abiomimetic process. The techniques that are currently available to create such ascaffold system have shown promise, but have inherent limitations. My researchaims to combine these existing techniques with what we can learn though ourunderstanding of the surface sciencerelated interactions which occur during earlystage mineralization in order to build upon the processes currently used tofabricate these scaffolds to develop new techniques. We can then expand thecurrent limits and build a scaffold that promotes more effective biologic responseand tissue formation.

Recycling of Copper Stamp Sand in Keweenaw Peninsula

Friday, March 19, 2010 3:00 – 4:00 pm
Room 610, M&M Building

Dr. Bowen Li
Institute of Materials Processing
Michigan Technological University


In the region of Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan, approximately 0.5 billion tons ofcopper tailing waste, called stamp sand, was dumped in the interior waterwaysand along the shorelines of Lake Superior.  The large quantities of mine tailingswith high concentration of copper (0.2-0.6 wt %) have been a threat to theecosystem of Lake Superior. U.S. EPA and the State of Michigan have takenseveral regulatory actions in this Area of Concern (AOC). To reduce heavy metalcontamination in the Lake Superior ecosystem, the best way is to completelyremove the stamp sand from the waterways and the lake.

Research conducted by Michigan Technological University and Lesktech Ltd. haveverified that the stamp sand located in the Gay area has excellent antimicrobialactivity (antibacterial, antifungal, and mold resistance), because of the high coppercontent in the copper tailing matrix. The research has demonstrated that particlessized between 8 and 40 mesh of this copper tailing are ideal material formanufacturing of antimicrobial roofing shingles. As a result of this application, theundesirable waste and contamination source will become a resource for valueadded products.


Dr. Bowen Li is a Research Assistant Professor in the MaterialsScience and Engineering/Institute of Materials Processing. He earned a PhDdegree in Materials Science and Engineering from Michigan Tech in 2008. He hasbeen involved in research on the evaluation and application of stamp sand since2006.

New Funding

Associate Professor Peter Moran (MSE) has received $249,589 from the US Department of Defense, Office of Naval Research, for a project titled, “A Breakthrough Thermoelectric Power Generation Material: Using Powder Metallurgical Processing to Design and Thermal Transport Properties.”