Paul Gatenholm, PhD
Paul Gatenholm, PhD, Adjunct Professor
Dr. Gatenholm is Professor of Bioprocessing and Biomaterials at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Professor at School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University since 2007. Dr. Gatenholm came from Sweden where he was Professor of Biopolymer Technology and Vice-Dean at the School of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Chalmers Institute of Technology. Dr. Gatenholm is material scientist with interest in biomimetic biomaterials for tissue replacement and regeneration.
SYNOPSIS OF AREA OF INTEREST: Novel biomaterials based on polysaccharides, Biomimetic scaffolds for tissue engineering, Bacterial-cellulose for blood vessel replacement. Biomaterials which induce healing process, bone regeneration.
DETAILED AREA OF INTEREST: Biological materials are superior to man-made synthetic materials with regard to combination of mechanical properties such as stiffness and impact strength yet exhibit very light weight. They are also highly anisotropic and self-repairing. They are produced without the use of solvents and with low energy consumption. In biological systems, advanced micro-architecture is assembled with precise control of size and structures. Dr. Gatenholm’s research aims at the biomimetic design of future materials. This includes understanding of structure-property relationship and requires use of advanced material characterization methods which can be applied in wet state and will provide information at all length scales.
Dr. Gatenholm has studied the structure and unique properties of biological materials such as bone, wood, cartilage, jelly-fish and shells. He uses the principle of biomimetic design for preparation of new materials using renewable building blocks. His research includes biological fabrication which includes use of enzymes, cells and coordination of system biology. Dr.Gatenholm’s is particularly interested in designing and preparing biomaterials which can replace or regenerate tissue and organs. He has been working closely with Cardiovascular surgeons to developed technology to produce small calibre blood vessels. He uses bacteria to spin nanocellulose fibrils which are assembled into robust biocompatible materials. This Bacterial cellulose blood vessel project is in translation into clinic. Dr. Gatenholm has also been working with orthopaedic surgeons to develope scaffolds to grow cartilage and bone. He has recently started the Center for Healing Biomaterials and Advanced Biomaterial Characterization (abc) Facility at ICTAS Nanoscale Characterization and Fabrication Laboratory (ncfl) at Virginia Tech.