ES3 Group from University of Cincinnati visit Pitt

October 28, 2009

ES3 group visited the University of Pittsburgh on October 28, 2009. The group included ES3 leader Dr. Schulz along with Dr. Bill Heineman, Dr. Sarah Pixley, Dr. Yeo-Heung Yun and Dr. Zhongyun Dong. Amos Doepke, Dingchuan Xue, John Yin, Julia Kuhlmann, Mitesh Oswal, Pravahan Salunke and Xuefei Guo also accompanied their advisors. The visit began with a welcome Pizza dinner arranged by the hosts on October 27, 2009.The agenda of this visit was to present some of the research currently being done by University of Cincinnati (ES3) and University of Pittsburgh (ES1 and ES2) and also to visit the laboratories there.

Dr. Wagner during his presentation
Dr. Borovetz, Dr. Sfeir, Dr. Heineman during a discussion

The visitors were welcomed by Dr. Harvey Borovetz and Dr. Bill Wagner.  The day began with Dr. David Schmidt (University of Pittsburgh) giving a presentation on 'Predictive Models for Metallic Bioadsorbable Stent-Tissue Interaction' where he talked about how computational methods can be used to assess biofunctionality and biocompatibility of metallic vascular stents by using a predictive modeling technique. Second presentation was given by Dr. Thomas Gilbert (University of Pittsburgh) on 'Degradable Metals in Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery' and emphasized the interest in regenerating different portions of trachea. The next presentation was by one of Dr. Wagner's post-doc, Dr. Sang-Ho Ye, who presented the work on 'Non-thrombogenic surface modifications for metallic blood contacting devices'. Dr. Ye talked about the objective of constructing a hemocompatible interface on a metallic surface. Dr. Wagner also chipped in with valuable inputs explaining the intricacies of the ongoing research. The next presentation was by Dr. Charles Sfeir where he talked about some of the work going on in ES1 and ES2 which included the alloy designs and in vitro assessment of the alloys. Dr. Wagner and Dr. Borovetz provided their inputs to the discussions involved regarding improving the administrative and science aspects of the projects involved.

Dr. Sfeir during his presentation
Dr. Heineman presenting his research
Dr. Heineman from ES3 provided a presentation about the research going on in his lab at University of Cincinnati. He explained the working of engineering test beds and also provided some results from the experiments conducted by his group. He also talked about the in vitro test beds and their importance in monitoring the degradation of implant materials. There were a few parameters from his results which were discussed which eventually could be used for computational modeling for the research going on at Pitt.
The second half of the visit involved touring the laboratories at Pitt. Dr. Huinan Liu and Mr. Matt Fisher guided  visitors through the Musculoskeletal Research Center. They provided information of the various biomechanical research experiments conducted in the lab. There is some amount of computational research going on at this Center too. Dr. Xiliang Luo (post doctorate with Dr. Tracy Cui) guided us through Dr. Cui’s lab in UPMC.
The audience listening to the presentation.
Dr. Heineman explaining a point during the discussion
Dr. Liu and Mr. Matt Fisher giving the tour of the Musculoskeletal Research Center
Dr. Luo giving a tour of Dr. Tracy Cui's lab in UPMC

The concluding part included a discussion of the visitors with Dr. Sfeir. Dr. Sfeir explained the kind of research done by him by giving a tour of the Center for Craniofacial Regeneration showing various experiments conducted, especially, the Bioreactor flow device which will be used for cell culture.

The robot in the Musculoskeletal Research Center which helps in calculating various stresses in the knee