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Virginia Tech Bone Scaffolding Research
October 14, 2009

Virginia Tech College of Engineering assistant professor Joseph Freeman.

A Virginia Tech College of Engineering assistant professor will use part of a $175,000, two-year National Science Foundation grant for artificial bone scaffolding research to continue outreach efforts with inner-city New Jersey school children.

Prof. Joseph Freeman of the Virginia Tech – Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences and director of the Musculoskeletal Tissue Regeneration Laboratory won the grant for new research into rebuilding bone from its innermost core to the exterior layer.

Current bone scaffold do not mimic the structure and properties of both trabecular and cortical bone, including the complex weaving of blood and marrow vessels within the bone. The proposed scaffolding could help solve the problem of restricted cell movement in nanofiber scaffolds, which have exceedingly small pores. Segments of the new bone will contain a person’s own cells when implanted into a patient, and once healing begins the interface would be as smooth as if no break had occurred.

The grant’s outreach component will allow Prof. Freeman to purchase webcams for over-the-Web live lessons by Prof. Freeman, who will remain in Blacksburg, with students in his hometown of Newark, N.J. Prof. Freeman also will be able to fund the visit of two Newark high school students to Virginia Tech during the summer for in-lab experience.

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