vDecember 20, 2016, the American National Academy of Engineering (NAE) fellow and Professor of University of Connecticut Cato T. Laurencin presented at SUSTech Lecture Series and gave a report entitled “Regenerative Engineering: Convergence in Action” at No. 111 Lecture Hall of SUSTech Library. Professor Guo Xiangdong, Chair of SUSTech Biomedical Engineering served as the moderator of the lecture.
Professor Cato T. Laurencin is an expert in musculoskeletal tissue regeneration and has been committed to regenerative engineering, biomaterials, nanotechnology, drug delivery, and stem cell science. He was awarded PIONEER by the US National Institutes of Health and two EFRI by the US National Science Foundation for his transformational work in regenerative engineering. In 2009, Professor Cato T. Laurencin received Pierre Galletti Award, a supreme honor in medicine and bioengineering. He was rated by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers as one of 100 engineers in the modern era, and in 2013, he won the US “National Medal of Technology and Innovation.” He is a fellow of the US NCNM, NAE and China Academy of Engineering (foreign) academician.
In the report, Professor Cato T. Laurencin gave an overview of regeneration engineering, or the regeneration of living tissue with biological materials or cells, or the combination of the two, under biological, chemical, engineering principles. It is a discipline that involves cross-cover studies of stem cell science, physics, developmental biology, and clinical translation.
Professor Cato T. Laurencin also reproduced the connective tissue ultrastructure with pictures taken in his study and introduced the method of systematic biological simulation with polymeric nanofiber. According to Cato T. Laurencin, they had used nanofiber material in rotator cuff damage repair by performing implanted repair to the mice in their experiment. The results in 8 weeks showed that the desired effect was achievable and now same technology could apply to the human body. He held that the future of regeneration engineering was bright.
Cato T. Laurencin said that over the past 28 years, he had been working with his colleagues on musculoskeletal regeneration. In 2013, they could regenerate almost every musculoskeletal tissue and their current goal was “Hartford Engineering a Limb” (HEAL) proposed the same year. By HEAL, they hoped to regenerate the human knee in 7 years and the human limb before 2030. According to Cato T. Laurencin, many people would compare HEAL as stepping on the moon. Nevertheless, the mankind had eventually made it. Cato T. Laurencin and his colleagues will never give up their efforts to HEAL and they hope one day the students present at the lecture can join them, and together, to achieve the plan comparable to “stepping on the moon”.
The lecture aroused students’ interest in regeneration engineering, and they asked questions earnestly in the Q&A Session. Professor Cato T. Laurencin answered all these questions patiently, a best embodiment of the scholarship cultivation and attitude a scientist should possess.