Stem-cell-growing surface enables bone repair
Several years ago, Jeorg Lahann and his colleagues built a new stem cell growth matrix that is completely synthetic and doesn't contaminate the stem cells with foreign substances that could interfere with their normal function. Now, Lahann has teamed up with School of Dentistry's Paul Krebsbach’s team to show that the polymer surface can also support the growth of the more medically-promising induced stem cells, keeping them in their high-potential state. To prove that the cells could transform into different types, the team turned them into fat, cartilage, and bone cells. U-M News Service story
Image caption: Induced stem cells have been turned into cartilage cells on the contaminant-free surface.
Photo credit: Villa-Diaz, Brown, Liu, Ross, Lahann, Krebsbach, at the University of Michigan
Nick Kotov has won the Charles M. A. Stine Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). The Stine Award recognizes Nick's outstanding scientific and technological contributions to materials engineering and science. Nick will be presented the award during a plenary session at this fall's AIChE Meeting.
Angela Violi has won a Henry Russel Award. These awards are given out by Rackham Graduate School to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of mid-career faculty and "encourage their potential for even more notable achievements in the future." Angela will receive the award in 2013 at the Henry Russel Lecture.
A new twist on an ancient math problem
A hidden facet of a math problem that goes back to Sanskrit scrolls has just been exposed by nanotechnology researchers. It turns out we've been missing a version of the famous "packing problem," and its new guise could have implications for cancer treatment, secure wireless networks, microelectronics and demolitions, the researchers say. "Besides introducing the problem, we also provided a solution in two dimensions," said Sharon Glotzer, who worked with her student, Carolyn Phillips, and other researchers from Michigan and the University of Connecticut on this project. Read U-M Press Release
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A bold new way to fund research begins—M-Cubed
A first-of-its-kind, real-time research funding initiative at the University of Michigan puts $15 million into the hands of professors to jumpstart new projects they believe in. To qualify, three researchers from different disciplines just need to come up with an idea and agree to work together. A modern alternative to the traditional year-long government grant review process, the new MCubed program puts university professors in charge of divvying research dollars in a pure form of peer review. Chemical Engineering Chair Mark Burns (left) spearheaded this effort along with professors Alec Gallimore and Thomas Zurbuchen, both associate deans in the College of Engineering.