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https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/Mariah-Weyland-Gratz.aspx558Alumni Profile: Mariah Weyland Gratz<p>​While changing one's career from medical device development to real estate development may seem like a big leap, for Mariah Weyland Gratz, engineering was the common thread between the two. </p><img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/Mariah%20Weyland%20Gratz%202.jpg?RenditionID=2" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>Gratz, who earned a bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering in 2002 from the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis, in October became chief executive of Weyland Ventures, her family's urban real estate development company that specializes in mixed-use and historic rehabilitation projects in Louisville, Ky., particularly in the downtown area, and has been credited with changing downtown Louisville. Some of the firm's signature projects include the Hillerich & Bradsby Co.'s Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, the Glassworks District, the Whiskey Row Lofts and the Liberty Green development, a $200 million, mixed income community that replaced a 1940s-era public housing development. The company is expanding outside of Louisville with a project under construction in Dayton, Ohio.</p><p>She joined the company in 2009 after working for six years in medical device development for Abiomed, a Boston-area medical device firm, starting as a systems engineer and eventually leading development of the AbioCor artificial heart.</p><blockquote>"It was about as complicated as you could get from a medical-device perspective," she says. "I was used to coordinating a team of mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, biomedical engineers and the manufacturing team and dealing with all of the issues that come along with having that complicated of a device." </blockquote> <p>Gratz applied the same engineering tactic to real estate when she returned to Louisville to join the family's company, then known as City Properties Group LLC, to work in real estate development and to continue to company's growth. </p><p>"Real estate also is a very complicated product where you have to deal with a lot of input from a wide range of people to push everything forward so that it makes sense," she says. "Approaching it from an engineering product-development perspective let me put a framework around it for what I understood and knew I could do, then I had to figure out the niches and nuances that are unique to the real estate industry along the way. My background as a systems engineer was critical." </p><p>While the real estate industry slowed during the economic recession in 2009-2010, Gratz said the company completed about $30 million in work during that time to sustain the company. </p><p>"I really started to take to the family business and the advantages of being in a family business where you have more control over where the business is going and how it's going to get there than you would in a corporate job," she says. "I continued moving up and expanding my role beyond development to become more of a COO role and to manage day-to-day operations across the company."</p><blockquote>Her role has been recognized by others. Earlier this year, Gratz was named among the Louisville Business First's "Forty Under 40," which recognizes young professionals making important contributions in the business community. She also is an active member of several boards in the Louisville area, including serving as chairman of the board of the Louisville Downtown Management District this year.  </blockquote><p>Gratz played on the soccer team at WashU, was a Woodward Scholar and worked two summers and a semester co-op during her junior year at Abiomed, so she didn't have time to study abroad as an undergraduate student. Instead, she chose to pursue a master's degree in engineering and physical science in medicine from Imperial College in London. She earned an MBA from the University of North Carolina in August 2016. </p><p>With her father recently stepping back from his CEO role into a chief strategy officer role, Gratz and her two brothers, Kent and Lee, will continue growing the company and changing neighborhoods. </p><p>"We really focus on the properties that are just on the edge of a downtown area with a focus on revitalization," she says. These properties have often sat abandoned for 20 years. The way we approach projects is with the community in mind. We're trying to make a positive impact on the community, not just trying to hit a number on the bottom line." </p> <span> <hr/></span> <p>The School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis focuses intellectual efforts through a new convergence paradigm and builds on strengths, particularly as applied to medicine and health, energy and environment, entrepreneurship and security. With 88 tenured/tenure-track and 40 additional full-time faculty, 1,200 undergraduate students, 1,200 graduate students and 21,000 alumni, we are working to leverage our partnerships with academic and industry partners — across disciplines and across the world — to contribute to solving the greatest global challenges of the 21st century.</p><p>​</p><p><br/></p><span><div class="cstm-section"><h3>WashU Women & Engineering</h3><div> <strong></strong></div><div style="text-align: center;">Women & Engineering was established as an organization for engineering alumnae from Washington University in St. Louis to support each other; inspire and mentor our women students; and help shape the School of Engineering & Applied Science.</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br/></div><div style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: 1em;"><a href="/alumni/programs-events/Pages/women-engineering.aspx">>> Read more & get involved</a></span></div></div></span>Mariah Weyland GratzBeth Miller2017-02-15T06:00:00ZGratz was named among the Louisville Business First's "Forty Under 40," which recognizes young professionals making important contributions in the business community.
https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/Molecular-function-connected-to-high-blood-pressure,-other-diseases-investigated.aspx573Molecular function connected to high blood pressure, other diseases investigated<p>​By changing one small portion of a stimulus that influences part of one molecule's function, engineers and researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have opened the door for more insight into how the molecule is associated with high blood pressure, autism and movement disorders.</p><img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/BK%20STRUCTURE.jpg?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>The finding, published online Feb. 14 in the Journal of General Physiology, lays the foundation for further insight into mechanisms behind the connection of the molecule with these and other diseases, such as epilepsy and circadian rhythm disorders. </p><p>Cells have ion channels, which are pathways that regulate current through the cell membrane and open in response to physical signals, such as voltage, or chemical signals, such as calcium, potassium or sodium. But these channels typically allow one type of ion to pass through, for example, the BK (big potassium) channel, only allows potassium to pass through. </p><p><a href="/Profiles/Pages/Jianmin-Cui.aspx">Jianmin Cui</a>, professor of biomedical engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, and collaborators in three labs at WashU are studying the BK channel, which has been found to be important in regulating neuronal function and blood pressure. </p><p>"This channel is interesting in two ways: one, because it is physiologically very important, and two, because the mechanism that makes it work is very interesting and quite unique and provides a way to study how the physiological signal is used to open ion channels," Cui says.</p><p>Unlike most ion channels, the gate that opens and closes the BK channel is activated by a change in voltage and by calcium ions, but scientists do not understand how they work together to open the channel. To answer this question, Cui's co-author and collaborator, Lawrence Salkoff, professor of neuroscience and of genetics at the School of Medicine, found that when he removed a portion of the protein for calcium stimulus to open the channel, voltage still worked to open the pore. </p><p>"We have been interested in how the two stimuli open the channel separately and how they interact with each other and affect each other when they open the channel together," Cui says. "When we cut off the intracellular part of the channel that is responsible for calcium stimulus, we got confirmation that voltage can still open the channel independently from the calcium stimulus. What is not known is how the two interact with each other and affect each other to open the channel, so we've been looking at how the voltage mechanism opens the channel alone and what the calcium influences."</p><p>Salkoff's truncated BK channel allows the investigators to examine how the intracellular domain, which serves as the calcium sensor, to influence voltage stimulation of channel opening. </p><p>"It turns out that the removal of the intracellular domain weakens the connection between the voltage sensor and the pore, making the channel less responsive to the changes of voltage sensor conformation," Cui said. "It indicates that calcium may influence the voltage stimulus by regulating the connection between the voltage sensor and the pore." </p><p>Cui says the finding creates even more questions about this function in this important ion channel, the activity of which also has implications in smooth muscles including the lungs and uterus.</p><p><br/></p><span><hr/></span><p><a href="http://jgp.rupress.org/content/early/2017/02/13/jgp.201611646">Zhang G, Geng Y, Jin Y, Shi J, McFarland K, Magleby KL, Salkoff L, Cui J. Deletion of cytosolic gating ring decreases gate and voltage sensor coupling in BK Channels. Journal of General Physiology. Published online Feb. 14, 2017, in print March 6, 2017, vol. 149 no. 3.  </a></p><p>Funding for this research was provided by the National Institutes of Health (R01 HL70393, R01 NS092570, R01 GM114694) and the National Science Foundation of China (31271143). </p><p>The School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis focuses intellectual efforts through a new convergence paradigm and builds on strengths, particularly as applied to medicine and health, energy and environment, entrepreneurship and security. With 90 tenured/tenure-track and 40 additional full-time faculty, 1,200 undergraduate students, 1,200 graduate students and 21,000 alumni, we are working to leverage our partnerships with academic and industry partners — across disciplines and across the world — to contribute to solving the greatest global challenges of the 21st century.</p>Jianmin Cui’s lab investigated mechanisms of the an important ion channel called the BK channel, which is associated with high blood pressure, autism and movement disorders.Beth Miller2017-02-14T06:00:00ZThe finding, published in the Journal of General Physiology, lays the foundation for further insight into mechanisms behind the connection of the molecule with these and other diseases, such as epilepsy and circadian rhythm disorders.
https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/Three-questions-with-Gautam-Dantas.aspx574Three questions with Gautam Dantas<div class="div.youtube-wrap"><div class="iframe-container"> <iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/26emup607KU"></iframe> </div> </div><p>​More than any other discovery in the modern era, antibiotics have changed the world. Once-deadly infections are easily treatable, surgeries are safer, and other life-saving treatments — such as chemotherapies — are only possible with antibiotics.</p><img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/Three-questions-with-Gautan-Dantas.Still001-760x428.jpg?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>Unfortunately, the use (and oftentimes abuse) of antibiotics has also helped bacteria develop new ways to resist treatment. Already, antibiotic-resistant infections cause tens of thousands of deaths across the country each year, and scientists predict that the problem will worsen.</p><p>Fighting this trend is Gautam Dantas, associate professor of molecular microbiology and pathology and immunology, both in the School of Medicine, and an associate professor of biomedical engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science. His efforts are helping physicians come up with new ways to fight antibiotic-resistant infections.</p><p rtenodeid="8"><strong>What is driving antibiotic resistance in America?</strong></p><p>Quite often when kids get sick, their parents will effectively go and demand antibiotics from their pediatricians, even though there’s a lot of evidence to suggest that when these kids are getting sick what they really have are viral infections. Antibiotics really are antibacterials. They do nothing against viruses. Now, you’ve got this issue where kids are sick due to a viral infection but because of a misperception they’ve been given lots of antibacterials, which can be causing lots of collateral damage. So they do nothing good for the infection, but they [could make the kids become] resistant to antibiotics.</p><p rtenodeid="7"><strong>What is something your lab is doing to treat resistance?</strong></p><p>There’s this awesome collaboration with Carey-Ann Burnham; she’s the director of the clinical micro lab here at Barnes. We’ve got this awesome suite of collaborations where effectively if Carey-Ann comes across a really hard-core, drug-resistant pathogen, which would dare modern molecular methods and they can’t elucidate what the resistance mechanism is — so basically, the reason they care about this is because this thing made some patient very sick here.</p><p>And that’s when we come onboard, Carey-Ann then shares that information and then, eventually, the isolates with our lab. And then we throw effectively the -omics kitchen sink at it. So we take genomics and transcriptomics and lipidnomics; it doesn’t matter. This idea of measuring as many physiological or metabolic properties in these drug-resistant organisms as possible compared to their susceptible counterparts, to try to in real time to figure out not theoretically what resistance exists in the soil, but what resistance is in this emerging pathogen.</p><p>That’s been a super-exciting area for the lab. It actually moves very, very rapidly. It’s also easy to get graduate students and post-docs involved. If they were able to figure out what that resistance mechanism was, within a short period of time, Carey-Ann’s lab could develop a molecular diagnostic and save the next life. And to have that kind of impact over the course of a PhD — I wish I was so lucky when I did my PhD.</p><p rtenodeid="6"><strong>What motivates your work?</strong></p><p>It’s crazy what microbes can do. There’s just a sort of discovery aspect of wanting to study how do microbes respond to the challenges that we throw at them? So antibiotics thrown at a microbe is a challenge and it’s remarkable how quickly they adapt and evolve. So there’s just a basic science component of wanting to understand how that occurs.</p><p>But then the parallel motivation, perhaps the greater motivation for this specific area, is I really think it’s terribly under appreciated how close we might be to this precipice of running out of chemotherapeutics.</p><p>We’re so dependent on antibiotics. It’s kind of a weird thing, but if you had access to a time machine and if you were able to take one thing back with you to say the 1800s, the one thing that you should take with you is antibiotics. Right? Just think of the number of people who just dropped dead because they got some, what is now an easily treatable, infection. We’re entering an era where that’s no longer going to be true. And we have to do something about that.</p>Gautam Dantas studies how physicians can treat antibiotic-resistant infections.Rosalind Early, Washington Magazinehttps://source.wustl.edu/2017/02/three-questions-antibiotic-resistance-gautam-dantas/2017-02-14T06:00:00ZA microbiology professor discusses antibiotic resistance and his lab’s efforts to help physicians fight antibiotic-resistant infections.<p>​A microbiology professor discusses antibiotic resistance and his lab’s efforts to help physicians fight antibiotic-resistant infections.</p>
https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/Better-than-a-pill.aspx572Better than a pill<p>​A twisted ankle, broken hip or torn knee cartilage are all common injuries that can have medical ramifications long after the initial incident that causes them. Associated pain, inflammation, joint degeneration and even osteoarthritis can sideline a variety of different people: athletes, weekend warriors and patients who are either aging or inactive.</p><img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/Silk-Knee-760x428.jpg?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>​A team from Washington University in St. Louis was awarded $1.7 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop a new therapeutic treatment that can deliver disease-modifying compounds in a manner to delay the development of inflammation, joint degeneration and arthritis with all the associated discomfort, disability and pain.</p><p>“We’re starting to see that many areas can’t be reached via oral drug delivery,” said <a href="https://source.wustl.edu/experts/lori-setton/">Lori Setton</a>, the Lucy & Stanley Lopata Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the School of Engineering & Applied Science. “For example, synovial joint fluid in the knee is almost optimized to rapidly clear compounds out of the joint. So we’re trying to trick the joint into being a good host for the therapeutic drugs we are delivering.”</p><p>Setton, whose lab focuses on the role of mechanical factors in the breakdown and repair of soft tissues, said an intracellular compound called nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB) is a main culprit in cellular breakdown, inflammation and pain after an injury. She’s working in the lab on a new solution using silk to deliver two specific molecules that can inhibit NF-kB at the site of a fracture or injury in an effort to stave off long-term joint damage.</p><p>“Silk naturally doesn’t interact with water, and, when you mix it with these molecules that also don’t interact with water, they bind to each other very strongly,” Setton said.</p><blockquote>“We believe these selective compounds are therapeutically effective, but we’ve never been able to get them to their target site. By delivering them with the silk, we hope to get large doses to the target site with low toxicity and to have them remain in that compartment for longer periods of time.”</blockquote> <p>In preliminary work with Tufts University investigator David Kaplan, Setton showed that model compounds can reside in the joint space about five times longer if delivered with silk microparticles than if delivered alone. Silk is an attractive delivery vehicle because of its long history of safe clinical use, and Kaplan has received NIH support to promote translational uses of silk for medical and other applications. It was initial work in delivering silk to the knee joint that drove Setton to identify a suitable, disease-modifying compound for treatment of arthritis through collaborations with the Musculoskeletal Research Center at the Washington University School of Medicine.</p><p>Setton and her co-investigators at the School of Medicine — including Yousef Abu-Amer, professor of orthopaedic surgery; Farshid Guilak, professor of orthopaedic surgery; and Gabriel Mbalaviele, associate professor of medicine in the Division of Bone and Mineral Diseases — soon will start testing the new delivery system in animal models.</p><p>“Delivering drugs orally to combat NF-kB-mediated problems at specific locations in the body, such as the injured knee, can be associated with harmful biological functions,” Abu-Amer said. “So this type of site-targeted approach to inhibit elevated NF-kB is essential if we want to provide effective treatment to the targeted site.”</p><p>According to Setton, the enhanced drug-delivery system has the potential to prevent the onset and progression of joint damage in patients suffering from acute injuries, like minor joint fractures, ligament or meniscal tears.</p><p>“Patients with joint trauma tend to go on to develop osteoarthritis at a higher rate compared to someone who doesn’t have the injury,” Setton said. “It’s a whole different type of arthritis development that we don’t know a whole lot about, but we believe we can intervene early with new drug delivery and treatments, and prevent onset at a later stage.”</p><p><br/></p><span><hr/></span><p>The School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis focuses intellectual efforts through a new convergence paradigm and builds on strengths, particularly as applied to medicine and health, energy and environment, entrepreneurship and security. With 90 tenured/tenure-track and 40 additional full-time faculty, 1,200 undergraduate students, 1,200 graduate students and 21,000 alumni, we are working to leverage our partnerships with academic and industry partners — across disciplines and across the world — to contribute to solving the greatest global challenges of the 21st century.<br/></p>​ <div>​<br/> <div class="cstm-section"><h3>Improving Medicine & Health</h3><div style="text-align: center;"> <strong><a href="/Profiles/Pages/Lori-Setton.aspx"><img src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Setton_Lori_9_1501.jpg?RenditionID=3" alt="" style="margin: 5px;"/></a><br/><a href="/Profiles/Pages/Lori-Setton.aspx"><strong>Lori Setton</strong></a> <br/> </strong> </div><div style="text-align: center;"> <span style="font-size: 12px;">Professor<br/> ​Biomedical Engineering</span> </div><div> <strong> <br/> </strong> </div></div>  ​ <div>​​</div><div></div></div>A team of researchers from Washington University in St. Louis will use silk micro-particles, like the ones pictured here, to deliver long-lasting therapeutic compounds, helping better alleviate the pain of inflammation and injury. Courtesy: Setton LabErika Ebsworth-Goold, source.wustl.eduhttps://source.wustl.edu/2017/02/better-than-a-pill/2017-02-09T06:00:00ZWith a new $1.7 million award from the National Institutes of Health, a team from Washington University in St. Louis plans to develop a silk-based system to better alleviate the pain and discomfort of osteoarthritis.<p>NIH awards $1.7 million to engineering, medical school to develop new arthritis treatment via silk</p>
https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/The-power-of-tea.aspx570The power of tea<p>A compound found in green tea could have lifesaving potential for patients with multiple myeloma and amyloidosis, who face often-fatal medical complications associated with bone-marrow disorders, according to a team of engineers at Washington University in St. Louis and their German collaborators.</p><img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/green%20tea%20washu%20engineers.jpg?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p><a href="/Profiles/Pages/Jan-Bieschke.aspx">Jan Bieschke</a>, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at the School of Engineering & Applied Science, studies how proteins fold and shape themselves, and how these processes can contribute to a variety of diseases. He says the compound epigallocatechine-3-gallate (EGCG), a polyphenol found in green tea leaves, may be of particular benefit to patients struggling with multiple myeloma and amyloidosis. These patients are susceptible to a frequently fatal condition called light chain amyloidosis, in which parts of the body’s own antibodies become misshapen and can accumulate in various organs, including the heart and kidneys.</p><p>“The idea here is twofold: We wanted to better understand how light chain amyloidosis works, and how the green tea compound affects this specific protein,” Bieschke said.</p><p>Bieschke’s team first isolated individual light chains from nine patients with bone marrow disorders that caused multiple myeloma or amyloidosis, then ran lab experiments to determine how the green tea compound affected the light chain protein.</p><p>Bieschke previously examined EGCG’s effect in both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, and found it prevented dangerous buildups of protein present in both diseases. His team had a similar conclusion in this study: In the lab using samples from bone marrow patients, the EGCG transformed light chain amyloid, preventing the misshapen form from replicating and accumulating dangerously.</p><p>“In the presence of green tea, the chains have a different internal structure,” Bieschke said. “The ECGC pulled the light chain into a different type of aggregate that wasn’t toxic and didn’t form fibril structures,” as happens to organs affected by amyloidosis.</p><p>While Bieschke is gaining a greater understanding at the intracellular processes involved, his partners at the University of Heidelberg are working in tandem with him, running clinical trials.</p><p>“My group is looking at the mechanism of the protein in a test tube; we are studying how it works on a foundational level. At the same time, clinical trials at the Amyloidosis Center in Heidelberg, with Alzheimer’s in Berlin and with Parkinson’s in China examine the process in people. We all want this compound to work in a patient.”</p><p>The research was recently published in the <a href="http://www.jbc.org/content/early/2016/12/28/jbc.M116.750323.abstract">Journal of Biological Chemistry</a>.<br/></p><p><br/></p><span><hr/></span><p>The School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis focuses intellectual efforts through a new convergence paradigm and builds on strengths, particularly as applied to medicine and health, energy and environment, entrepreneurship and security. With 90 tenured/tenure-track and 40 additional full-time faculty, 1,200 undergraduate students, 1,200 graduate students and 21,000 alumni, we are working to leverage our partnerships with academic and industry partners — across disciplines and across the world — to contribute to solving the greatest global challenges of the 21st century.<br/></p>​ <div>​<br/> <div class="cstm-section"><h3>Improving Medicine & Health</h3><div style="text-align: center;"> <strong> <a href="/Profiles/Pages/Jan-Bieschke.aspx"> <img src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Bieschke_Jan.jpg?RenditionID=3" alt="" style="margin: 5px;"/></a> <br/> <a href="/Profiles/Pages/Jan-Bieschke.aspx"> <strong>Jan Bieschke </strong></a><br/> </strong> </div><div style="text-align: center;"> <span style="font-size: 12px;">Assistant ​​​Professor<br/> ​Biomedical Engineering</span> </div><div> <strong><br/> </strong> </div></div>  ​ <div>​​</div><div><br/><span> <div class="cstm-section"><h3>Media Coverage</h3><div>Inquisitr: <a href="http://www.inquisitr.com/3959722/brew-up-tea-has-lifesaving-potential-and-can-fight-off-killer-diseases/">"BREW UP: TEA HAS 'LIVESAVING POTENTIAL AND CAN FIGHT OFF KILLER DISEASES"</a></div><div><br/></div><div>The Times of India: <a href="http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/diet/good-news-green-tea-may-benefit-people-with-bone-marrow-disorders/articleshow/57014747.cms">Good news! Green tea may benefit people with bone-marrow disorders</a></div><div><br/></div><div> Huffington Post UK: <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/green-tea-myeloma-amyloidosis-cure_uk_5899908de4b0505b1f599b42">Scientists Say What Brits Already Know, Tea Can Have ‘Lifesaving’ Potential</a><br rtenodeid="4"/></div><div><br/></div><div>Yahoo News: <a href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/34371299/green-tea-could-save-lives-scientists/#page1">Green tea could save lives: scientists</a></div><div><br/></div><div>The Economic Times: <a href="http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/magazines/panache/green-tea-may-help-patients-with-bone-marrow-disorders/articleshow/57018992.cms">Green tea may help patients with bone-marrow disorders</a></div><div><br/></div><div>Business Standard: <a href="http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/green-tea-may-help-fight-bone-marrow-disorders-117020700593_1.html">Green tea may help fight bone marrow disorders</a></div><div><br/></div><div><br/></div></div></span><br/></div>​ <div></div></div>An engineering team at Washington University in St. Louis says a compound found in green tea may be of particular benefit to patients struggling with multiple myeloma and amyloidosis.Erika Ebsworth-Goold, source.wustl.eduhttps://source.wustl.edu/2017/02/the-power-of-tea/2017-02-06T06:00:00ZAn engineering team at Washington University in St. Louis says a compound found in green tea may be of particular benefit to patients struggling with multiple myeloma and amyloidosis.<p>Engineering team finds compound may halt molecular cause of often-fatal condition</p>
https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/MDPhD-student-honored-at-international-engineering-conference.aspx567MD/PhD student honored at international engineering conference<p>​A paper authored by an MD/PhD candidate at Washington University in St. Louis recently took first prize at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exhibition.</p><img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/Stephen%20Linderman.jpg?RenditionID=2" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>Stephen Linderman's paper, presenting technology for improving surgical suturing for better tendon repairs, won the top honor in the biomedical engineering and technology track at the exhibition — the world's largest, cross-disciplinary mechanical engineering conference. Linderman's research is conducted through the university's Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in the School of Medicine, and the Department of Biomedical Engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science.</p><p>"Surgical suturing is a crude mechanical solution," said Linderman, the paper's first author. "Sutures are in tension along their length, but the load is predominantly transferred to the surrounding tissue where sutures bend at anchor points, and this leads to failed surgeries. We found a simple way to improve repair schemes by minimizing stress concentrations, without complicating the surgeon's workflow."</p><p>The paper identified the combination of strength and stiffness needed for an adhesive on the sutures to improve a surgical repair. </p><p>"An adhesive layer that is too stiff will make things worse by concentrating stresses, and an adhesive that is too weak will fail without improving the repair," said the paper's senior author, <a href="/Profiles/Pages/Guy-Genin.aspx">Guy M. Genin</a>, a professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at the School of Engineering & Applied Science. "Steve's breakthroughs were to identify the 'sweet spot' and then identify the classes of materials whose properties land in that spot. It was exciting to present this at a venue like the IMECE, where we could get feedback on our ideas from researchers with depth in a broad range of disciplines."</p><blockquote>Linderman's team presented a set of preliminary results that show the idea will work, and it is working to commercialize the technology. </blockquote> <p>"The preliminary data are promising and exciting, and the next round of adhesives we are working on show great promise for clinical application," said one of the co-authors, Stavros Thomopoulos, a former Washington University medical and engineering faculty member now Vice Chair of Orthopedic Surgery at Columbia University.</p><p>"IMECE is the place for researchers to present breakthroughs across the entire range of mechanical engineering disciplines," said Christine M. Reilley, director of business development in the Engineering Sciences Segment at ASME. "We are thrilled to recognize Linderman and his colleagues on their contributions to the field and look forward to hearing the impact of their work on humankind." </p><p>Other Washington University authors on the paper include: Ioannis Kormpakis, a clinical and research fellow in orthopedic surgery; and Richard H. Gelberman, MD, former head of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Ulrike Wegst, of Dartmouth College, and Victor Birman, of the Missouri University of Science and Technology are also authors. </p><p> <br/> </p> <span> <hr/></span> <p>The School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis focuses intellectual efforts through a new convergence paradigm and builds on strengths, particularly as applied to medicine and health, energy and environment, entrepreneurship and security. With 90 tenured/tenure-track and 40 additional full-time faculty, 1,200 undergraduate students, 1,200 graduate students and 21,000 alumni, we are working to leverage our partnerships with academic and industry partners — across disciplines and across the world — to contribute to solving the greatest global challenges of the 21st century.<br/></p><p> <strong>The research was funded by Washington University through a Musculoskeletal Research Center Translational Grant and through the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), grant number UL1 TR000448. </strong></p><p> <strong>Linderman SW, Kormpakis I, Gelberman RH, Birman V, Wegst UGK, Thomopoulos S, Genin GM. (2016). IMECE2016-67522: Shear lag sutures: Improved suture repair through the use of adhesives. ASME International Mechanical Engineering Conference & Exhibition, Phoenix, AZ, November 11-17, 2016.</strong></p><p>​</p><p><br/></p> <span> <div class="cstm-section"><h3>Meet Stephen Linderman</h3><div><ul><li><span style="font-size: 1em;">MD/PhD Candidate</span><br/></li><li><span style="font-size: 1em;">President, <a href="http://slinghealth.org/">Sling Health Network (formerly IDEA Labs)</a> - a student-run biotechnology incubator</span></li></ul></div></div></span>Stephen Linderman2017-01-31T06:00:00ZStephen Linderman's paper, presenting technology for improving surgical suturing for better tendon repairs, won the top honor in the biomedical engineering and technology track at the exhibition.

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