Biomedical Device Lab

The Keywords

biomaterials, antimicrobial polymers, chemical synthesis, pilot project

The Essence of What I Did

I synthesized and characterized antimicrobial SMP foams to be used as hemostats on the battlefield. (2016)

The Project Background

Dr. Duncan Maitland, Dept. of Biomedical Engineering, Texas A&M University

SMP foams make excellent wound packing devices, because they’re biodegradable, synthetic, resorbable, space filling, and not immunologically responsive.  While previous researchers have modified SMP foam formulations, antimicrobial SMP foams hadn’t been created.  But, a clinical need for antimicrobial SMP foams exists in emergency medicine–with the statistical inefficacy and neurological risks of gauze and tourniquets, SMP foams offer safer wound-packing alternatives compare to the gold standard.  In particular, antimicrobial SMP foams could prevent wound infections and aid healing, so this device could be used on the battlefield or at the scene of an accident.

As part of the TAMU Undergraduate Student Research Grant (USRG) Program, I synthesized and characterized cinnamic acid-based antimicrobial SMP foams as part of a BDL pilot project.  My goal was to create a formulation that behaves like a standard SMP foam but inhibits bacterial infections.  In addition to material science tests, like DSC, SEM, pore morphology, and density, I tested their antimicrobial efficacy with E. coli bacterial assays.

I presented my work at the LAUNCH Undergraduate Summer and USRG poster sessions.  At the USRG session, my poster won third place!

In 2017, we published our work in ChemPhysChem–you can read the journal article here!