The Holcombe Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Karen J.L. Burg

Karen Burg Hunter Endowed Chair and Professor of Bioengineering; Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Postdoctorate 1998 - Carolinas Medical Center
Tissue Engineering
Ph.D., 1996 - Clemson University
M.S., 1992 - Clemson University
Electrical Engineering
B.S., 1990 - North Carolina State University
Chemical Engineering

Contact Information
Office: 401 Rhodes Research Center
Office Phone: 864.656.6462
Email: kburg@clemson.edu

Institute for Biological Interfaces of Engineering

Development of Absorbable Systems
Absorbable materials are advantageous in that they require no surgical retrieval after implantation, and, if designed appropriately, they absorb gradually with no lingering effects. Current projects include the evaluation of absorbable bioelastic materials, as well as the fabrication of absorbable materials conducive to vascular ingrowth. Additionally, the basic absorption mechanisms, such as autocatalytic effect, are investigated. This work is supported by Clemson University as well as the National Science Foundation.

Assessment of Cellular Adhesion
The cell-cell interaction and the cell-biomaterial interaction are both critical features of tissue engineering. Current research projects involve the development of customized polymeric substrates for vascular tissue engineering. This involves the design of bioreactor systems for vessel/valve development and analysis of cellular behavior in flow chambers. Related research efforts address the manipulation of stem cells for soft tissue engineering. This work is sponsored by DARPA.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Tissue Engineering Application
Absorbable polymers can be very sensitive to histological processing protocol. This effect is enhanced in tissue engineering systems, which are often highly porous with relatively low amounts of tissue. Noninvasive methods of imaging are being developed to assess tissue development within porous, absorbable systems, both in vitro and in vivo. This work is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and is in conjunction with the Center for in Vivo Microscopy laboratory at Duke University.

Development of Orthopaedic and Dental Tissue Engineering Devices
Pore topography plays a critical role in the attachment of cells to a porous substrate. Changes in pore size and shape can radically affect the successful development of tissue. This work is sponsored by the AO Foundation and investigates novel methods of modulating pore structure and designing absorbable systems specifically for orthopaedic and dental applications.

Honors, Awards and Professional Activities
Invited Presenter, National Academy of Engineering Indo-America Frontiers of Engineering Symposium, 2008
Fellow, American Council on Education, 2006
Fellow, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, 2006
AORF Research Prize, Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Osteosynthesefragen (AO) Foundation, Switz., 2006
The Governor's Young Scientist Award for Excellence in Scientific Research, 2006
Invited Presenter, 4th Annual National Academies Keck Futures Initiative Conference, 2006
National Society for Histotechnology C.F.A. Culling Lecture Award, 2006
Clemson University College of Engineering and Science Outstanding Young Alumnus Award, 2006
Invited Presenter, 3rd Annual National Academies Keck Futures Initiative Conference, 2005
Invited Presenter, Mammary Gland Biology Gordon Research Conference, 2005
Department of Defense Era of Hope Scholars Award, 2004
Named to MIT Technology Review's TR100 Young Innovators List, 2003
Invited Participant, National Academy of Engineering, Ninth Annual Symposium "Frontiers in
Engineering", 2003
Invited Presenter, National Academy of Sciences Annual Symposium "Frontiers of Science", 2002
Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) recipient, 2002
Invited Presenter, Biomaterials and Biocompatibility/Tissue Engineering Gordon Research
Conference, 2001
National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career (CAREER) Award recipient, 2001 

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