Cumberland University


Seminar to Explore Nanotechnology and Regenerative Medicine


On Tuesday, April 1, Cumberland University will hold the second in a series of five Internet-based seminars focused on the impact science and technology have on our lives through their ever-growing influence on healthcare and business.

To be led by CU President Dr. Harvill C. Eaton, the second installment of the well-received series will connect the University with Dr. Lakshmi Nair, an assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery at the University of Virginia. Nair will take part in the seminar, entitled "Tissue Engineering and Nanotechnology," via a live web video link.

Dr. Nair did her graduate training in the area of biomaterials and her post-doctoral training on the development of novel polymeric biomaterials as well as nanostructured materials for tissue engineering. Her laboratory now develops a range of novel stimuli-sensitive, hydrogel-based materials for soft tissue regeneration and novel fabrication techniques to form nanostructures for a variety of biomedical applications.

"Science and technology at the nanoscale is capable of providing unprecedented understanding, control and manipulation of matter at the atomic and molecular level," Nair said. "Nanotechnology has by now emerged into one of this century's most important enabling technologies and has permeated all walks of life. Nanotechnology has already had a significant impact on modern medicine through the development of novel targeted therapies, diagnostic and imaging techniques."

The tremendous advances in biomedical nanotechnology over the past decade, Nair continued, have also significantly impacted the area of tissue engineering, opening up new avenues to realize the dream of regenerative medicine.

"The extracellular matrix (ECM), which plays a key role in cellular assembly and tissue regeneration, has a complex hierarchical structure that span several orders of magnitude from nanometers to centimeter scale," she said. "Unique nanonfabrication techniques give us the ability to mimic these biological structures with nanoscale precision and thereby controlling or modulating cellular functions for accelerated tissue regeneration."

Dr. Nair has more than 75 publications and several patents in the area of biomaterials, nanotechnology and tissue engineering and has edited two books on biomedical nanotechnology.

The "Tissue Engineering and Nanotechnology" seminar will be held on Tuesday, April 1 from 12:30 until 1:20 p.m. in Room 130 of Labry Hall on the CU campus. Along with Cumberland University students, faculty and staff, the lecture is also open to the public, and there is no charge for admission.

Dr. Nair's lecture comes on the heels of the first installment of the "Science, Technology & Us" seminar series, which was led by Dr. Kenneth Ford, the founder and director of the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition. To view several highlights from Dr. Ford's lecture, please visit Cumberland University's YouTube channel.