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The Stoppel Lab at the University of Florida opened its doors and accepted its first Ph.D. student just a few months ago, but they’re already knee-deep in an exciting endeavor which could aid in the repair of injured or diseased tissues in patients: designing natural material that has the same characteristics and structure of natural tissue and is constructed to match the wound healing rate of different patients with different injuries or illnesses.

While other scientists may be working on similar projects, the Stoppel Lab is going about this in a unique way, by using a natural biopolymer extracted from the cocoon of silkworms. When these cocoons are washed, broken down into viscous solutions, and made insoluble, they can be used to create fully formed scaffolds which will be used in different tissue structures. The acellular platform being created has many beneficial characteristics that make it convenient for use in the surgery room. For example, it’s easy to sterilize and easy to store, which means it doesn’t have to be made on demand.

Whitney Stoppel, Ph.D. runs the Stoppel Lab and joins the podcast to discuss all the ins and outs of the chemistry and physiology behind the work being done and the greatest challenges faced so far. Press play for the full conversation and visit www.stoppellab.com to learn more.

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