Materials research within the Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience (IBB) focuses on biomaterials, molecular, cellular and tissue biomechanics, as well as regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. IBB investigators are working on next-generation technologies that integrate synthetic materials with biological functionalities to create innovative biomaterials that specifically interact with biological systems to elicit prescribed responses and promote biological integration.
Certain living organisms are remarkably adept at generating materials in complex, three-dimensional (3-D) patterns with a variety and fidelity that have yet to be matched by man-made processes. The structural sophistication and diversity of biogenic structures, coupled with the low-energy, sustainable, and often massively-parallel approaches utilized by structure-forming organisms, have inspired materials researchers to explore the adaptation of biological strategies for the syntheses of advanced functional materials.
A wide range of bio-enabled materials research efforts are underway at Georgia Tech, a few examples of which include chemical conversion of diatom glass microshells into porous functional materials for use in sensors, water purification, or fuel cells, chemical tailoring of cellulose-based materials for bio-degradable packaging or solar cell substrates, and development of bio-inspired/bio-enabled optical materials for anti-counterfeiting, defense, and display applications.
Research within the Center for Biologically-Inspired Design at Georgia Tech explores questions such as how can we best foster communication and collaboration between biologists and engineers to realize innovative design? How can we help engineering students to appreciate the value of evolutionary adaptation as a source for design inspiration, so they can ‘biologize’ a design problem? How can we help biology students better understand how their knowledge of biology can contribute to engineering design?