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UTEP Receives Grant to Perform Innovative Biotechnology Research

The University of Texas at El Paso’s Department of Metallurgical, Materials and Biomedical Engineering (MMBME) has been awarded $190,253 by the National Research Council of Science and Technology to study the development and application of bio-printable materials to create individually customized medical materials and devices.

The grant funds the project “Characterizations of 3-D printed artificial bone for biomedical applications.” It will enable UTEP researchers and students in the Printing Nano Engineering Lab to work with 3-D printing technology and biotechnology in order to generate fundamental data on printable biomaterials, the processes used to create the materials, and the strength of artificial bone.

“UTEP will use this project to cultivate the talents of our students, which will provide the means for future recognition in various fields with this program as the springboard,” said Namsoo Peter Kim, Ph.D., associate professor of MMBME and principal investigator of the project.

“Due to this project’s combination of the biomedical and engineering fields, students will not only have the opportunity to research within their own major, they will also have the opportunity to gain experience working in a field they otherwise would not have access to.”

The grant will also serve to expand the 3-D bio-printing research and education relationship between UTEP and South Korea’s Seokyeong University. South Korea is known for its top tier electronics, including touch screen panels, mobile devices and solar technology.

International collaboration will enable the sharing of cutting-edge technology between UTEP and Seokyeong and, over time, lead to the development of a faculty and student exchange program.

The new data provided by this research, alongside the gained ability to successfully 3-D print biomaterials, will create opportunities for advancement in the medical field by providing the means to develop and apply the bio-implant of cells, artificial bones, and artificial skin, among other medical aids and prostheses.

It will also open the doors for UTEP to receive new funding toward global printing and nano-engineering research and education.

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