B.S. Materials Science & Engineering, Cornell University
Biomaterial implants require biocompatible surfaces in order to minimize potential immune system reactions and to promote implate integration with the host tissue. In this project, I am developing a robust process to create uniform bioactive coatings on orthopedic implants using our group's engineered elastin-like protein. Upon covalent coupling of a photoactive moiety to our elastin-like protein, we can control the extent of protein crosslinking into a stable thin film coating by varying the location and extent of light exposure. By altering the local crosslinking density, the local mechanical properties and mesh size of the film can be tuned to alter modulus, swelling ratio, degradation rate, and diffusivity. My goal is to use the tailored properties of our engineered protein in order to make coatings for biomaterial implants that induce cell adhesion and offer controlled drug release.