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Nanomedicine and New Molecular Medical Devices

Friday, September 20th, 2013 at 11:00 am 

Nedderman Hall Rm 100

Refreshments will be served at 10:40am.

Rutledge Ellis-Behnke, Ph.D.

Dr. Ellis-Behnke

Dr. Ellis-Behnke is the Director of the Nanomedicine Translational Think Tank at the Medical Faculty Mannheim of the University of Heidelberg in Germany. In addition, he holds affiliate faculty positions at M.I.T., as well as Wake Forest and University of South Florida medical schools. Previously he was Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Hong Kong, as well as Associate Director of the Technology Transfer Office. He has multiple worldwide patent applications and his “Nano Neuro Knitting” and “Immediate Hemostasis” technologies have each been licensed to companies for translation to humans. Technology Review named his “Nanohealing” discoveries one of the “Top 10 Emerging Technologies.” Ellis-Behnke received a PhD from MIT in Neuroscience; a Bachelor of Science from Rutgers University and graduated from Harvard Business School’s Advanced Manager’s Program (AMP).


The intersection of nanotechnology and healthcare forces us to completely rethink how to approach restoration or enhancement of the body. Tissue engineering is no longer taking a cell, placing it in a particular scaffold, putting it back in the body and hoping that everything will reconnect and function properly. It is the ability to influence an environment either by adding, subtracting or manipulating that environment to allow it to be more conducive for its purpose. This also drives the understanding of how nanomaterials interact during manufacture, during and post application, and how the environment can change the structure.

The use of nanomaterials will be shown in 1. CNS regeneration: specifically the restoration of vision after trauma using self-assembling nanomaterials. 2. How physical measures can be used as a diagnostic for glaucoma at the nanoscale, years before current diagnosis, using nanoindentation or Femtosecond laser. 3. Immediate hemostasis. Hemostasis is a major problem after trauma and during surgery; as much as 50% of surgical time can be spent packing wounds to reduce or control bleeding, with few effective methods to stop it. We showed that hemostasis can be achieved in less than 15 seconds, using selfassembling nanomaterials without relying on heat, pressure, platelet activation, adhesion, or desiccation to stop bleeding.

Finally, how some of these technologies and materials are fundamentally causing us to rethink how we practice medicine, from diagnosis to surgical intervention (Crystal Clear Surgery).