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Grant will help student bring biotech invention to mass market

Aug. 25, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- The Chemical Alliance Zone's Chemicals and Materials Commercialization Fund has awarded $20,000 to a Marshall University scientist to help bring to market a technology he has developed for repairing skin injuries.

The award to Jingwei Xie of the Marshall Institute for Interdisciplinary Research will help Xie's research team produce device prototypes and samples, market to potential customers and conduct patent analysis.

Research in Xie's lab involves using one of science's fastest growing fields to develop products that can be used to improve treatment of burns and other skin wounds. He and his colleagues at MIIR, including postdoctoral fellows Bing Ma and Jiang Jiang, are using nanotechnology to create scaffolds made of tiny fibers, invisible to the human eye, to be used as skin grafts.

"The treatment of large-area, full-thickness burns still constitutes a major surgical repair challenge," Xie said. "The current clinical 'gold standard' for burn wound treatment and repair is to use patients' own skin as skin grafts to close the wounded area. This method can have a number of drawbacks, including the limited supply of available donor sites on a badly burned patient, heavy scarring and poor functional recovery."

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