University of Kentucky
Professor of Chemical Engineering
Chair of the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering
+Amol Ajinkya Memorial Fund Lecture
Live broadcast available:
Through evolutionary forces in the world around us, the natural environment has multiple examples of solutions that are often well optimized for very specific problems. By observing and applying the approaches to synthetic materials, it becomes possible to impart materials with interesting properties, opening up new strategies that were not previously available. For instance, of the weapons employed by the body’s defense mechanisms, oxidative stress appears to be the most ubiquitous, non-specific, and damaging. When oxidative mechanisms have been induced (e.g., the leukocyte respiratory burst), it can result in a degenerative cycle of chronic inflammation and cell death, which further stimulates the release of more harsh oxidants. However, under mild conditions, this oxidative stress stimulates tissue regeneration and cellular upregulation of protective mechanisms (e.g., ischemic preconditioning), improving the overall viability and prognosis of tissue health. A delicate balance of pro-oxidant and antioxidant mechanisms constitutively exist to ensure that only the beneficial effects are observed. By designing materials that can actively participate in this process in oxidative stress signally, we are able to better design biomaterials for specific applications. A case study of oxidative stress and oral mucositis is presented, as well as a case study on the design of responsive materials for environmental sensing.
Dr. Thomas Dziubla, Ph.D. is Professor of Chemical Engineering and the Chair of the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Kentucky. He received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University (1998) and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Drexel University (2002). In 2002–2004, he was an NRSA postdoctoral fellow in the Institute for Environmental Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, where he worked on the design of degradable polymeric nanocarriers for the delivery of antioxidants. His research group is interested in the design of new functional polymeric biomaterials for improved biomaterial integration and wound healing. In 2019, he was inducted into the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering College of Fellows. He holds 7 patents, has authored over 75 peer reviewed publications, has edited a book on Oxidative Stress and Biomaterials, and is an editor of the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part B. Along with Dr. Zach Hilt, he is the Co-founder of Bluegrass Advanced Materials, LLC, a company that is currently developing and commercializing technologies based upon research from their laboratories.