UTPA REPORT: FibeRio Technology Corp

Tuesday, January 21, 2014 - 9:52am

Researchers at UT Pan American are working on a device that can help burn victims and others who have received serious wounds. Jennifer Berghom has more on that story.

Professor Karen Lozano's research into nanotechnology has led to big success for The University of Texas-Pan American, from the invention of Forcespinning™ technology to the creation of UTPA's first multi-million dollar business venture, FibeRio Technology Corp.

Now, she and her team are continuing their work to create a handheld device that uses nanofibers to treat patients' burns and wounds using nanofibers, "So based on the knowledge that we have, nanofibers do promote healing because they have that structure that will allow the cells to anchor and grow, they have the porosity that is needed for that selective permeability, they have the ability to be biocompatible, they can be absorbed by the body, biodegradable."

The group has been working on the project for well over a year, and received a $50,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to see if their idea makes good business sense.

Lozano said the grant allowed her and her team to meet with medical professionals to learn how their research can best help them, "We discovered through the process is that ... it can stop bleeding, but not massive bleeding, so some abrasions, minor cuts ...maybe liver cracks where the nanofibers can be applied and in situ, they can stop the bleeding, but what we are finding is that it seems to be attractive for burn care, so for children, for adults, there's technology that is needed in that arena and this might be something that might help for burn victims."

There are more than two dozen students working with Lozano and fellow researchers to create the device, as well as the materials that will be used to create the coverings for wounds.

Though their work creating nanofibers for wound care is a demanding task, the group is excited to make something that will benefit society.

Lee Cremar, post doctorate research associate, "So I think it's going to be a very exciting technology once it gets on there and people start hearing about it and they spread the word so yeah I think that's really exciting."

I'm Jennifer Berghom reporting for UTPA and News Channel 23.

Many students who have participated in the nanotechnology research at UTPA have went on to gain employment at top firms or gotten accepted to prestigious graduate programs.

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