College of Engineering University of Wisconsin-Madison
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BME MONITOR: The Biomedical Engineering Department Newsletter

2009-2010 Newsletter

Featured articles

Ogle receives 2009 NSF Career Award

Kao earns Vilas award

Researchers to use brain interface to post to Twitter

Biology...for all engineers

New MRI technique could mean fewer breast biopsies in high-risk women

Help support the future of UW biomedical engineering

Regular Features

Message from the chair

Focus on new faculty—
Pam Kreeger

Kristyn Masters earns UW-Madison teaching award

30+ medical inventions debut at undergrad design competition

Course builds community of biomedical entrepreneurs

A global view—
Students strive to improve medical care around the world

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Professor Kao earns Vilas award

Weiyuan John Kao

Weiyuan John Kao
(Larger image)

Decorative initial cap The UW-Madison Graduate School and Vilas Trustees awarded funding to Professor Weiyuan John Kao through the Vilas Associates program. Kao and his students are investigating white blood cell signaling pathways and how they interact with different biomaterials, including nanomaterials, scaffolding materials for tissue regeneration, and material devices for implants such as a pacemaker or hip.

Already in use, the materials generally work well, says Kao. “But in certain cases, they will fail catastrophically in a way that the person may die or the person may require a second surgery to correct the problem,” he says. “And a lot of these failures stem from the failure of the material. It is believed that the materials physically fail because of all the biological responses to the materials, like the inflammation and the immune reactions.”

He and his students are methodically studying the relationship between the material structure and the mechanisms through which the white blood cells are being activated.

The researchers hope to apply what they learn to new, biocompatible, mechanically functional biomaterials. “Once we know the connection of these material structures and the extent and the route of activation of these white blood cells, then we can have a better engineering approach for designing the next compatible materials,” says Kao.

As a Vilas Associate, Kao receives research salary support during summer 2009 and summer 2010, and flexible research funds each fiscal year.










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Date last modified: Monday,22-February-2010
Date created: 22-February-2010



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