Spectral imaging of Biomaterials
Keywords: biomaterial, biopolymer, cement, chemometrics, hydrogel, water, molecular, dynamic, simulation, infrared, Raman
Implantable medical devices improve the quality of life of millions of humans worldwide. However, device failure rates remain high, often requiring removal after a period of time. Although a general understanding of biocompatibility, biofouling and degradation of biomaterials exists, the molecular mechanisms driving these processes at the interface between cell and biomaterial are still largely unknown. Water is typically the first molecule that comes into contact with biomaterials inside the human body and it plays a key role in mediating subsequent protein and cell adhesion, which ultimately determine the biocompatibility of a material. However, little is currently known about the extent or nature of these interactions.
BioWater addresses this knowledge gap using a unique combination of chemical imaging, multivariate data analysis, molecular dynamics and conventional methods for biomaterial characterisation. The methods developed in this research project will enable rapid monitoring of the biomaterial/environment interface and thus will provide new tools for biomaterial characterization.
This project is funded by the European Research Council under the ERC Starting Grant programme and supported by Science Foundation Ireland under the SFI ERC Support Programme.