Medical Plastics Virtual Symposium 2021

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Biopolymers for Tendon/Ligament Interfacial Tissue Engineering

Behzad Shiroud Heidari, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Western Australia

Abstract: Tendons and ligaments (TL) have poor healing capability, and for serious injuries like tears or ruptures, surgical intervention employing autografts or allografts is usually required. Current tissue replacements are nonideal and can lead to future problems such as high retear rates and poor tissue integration. Alternatively, tissue engineering strategies are being pursued using biodegradable scaffolds. As tendons connect muscle and bone and ligaments attach bones, the interface of TL with other tissues represent complex structures, and this intricacy must be considered in tissue engineered approaches. Different polymers have been used for TL grafting and tendon tissue engineering; however, fabrication technique is one of the most important criteria in polymer selection. This presentation will explore biodegradable polymeric scaffolds based on the fabrication techniques, different signaling strategies and commercial synthetic grafts for TL tissue healing.

Biography: Behzad is a passionate Polymer Engineer with a vision to create functional polymers and biomaterials for different applications. His expertise spans knowledge in the formulation and design of bio/polymer composites to improve their properties for different usages, especially for biomedical applications.  Before starting PhD study in Australia, Behzad worked with medical-grade polymers both in industry and university for several years. Behzad started his PhD study under supervision of Associate Professor Barry Doyle in the University of Western Australia (UWA) and Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research.  His PhD project, which is involved in an industrial partnership with Orthocell, is focused on developing different biodegradable materials for tendon and ligament tissue engineering. Behzad has recently developed a novel biocompatible polymer composition for applications requiring high toughness and tailored degradation rate.  He is currently exploring different ways the material can be used in new medical devices with support of the UWA Research Development and Innovation Office.

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