Contact: Jerry Carey
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UMDNJ Research Team Receives Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award
PISCATWAY — Dr. Barbara Brodsky, a professor of biochemistry at the UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, has led a team of researchers that the Research and Development Council of New Jersey selected as one of this year’s recipients of the Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award.
Dr. Brodsky’s patent involves a new method of transforming collagen, the most abundant protein found in the human body, into biomaterials that can, among its many uses, become artificial skin, bone substitutes, nerve regeneration tubes, artificial blood vessels and hemostatic wound dressings.
“Collagen has great potential as a biomaterial. It’s readily available from animal sources and it degrades naturally in the body,” Dr. Brodsky said. “But to be useful as biomaterial, collagen needs to be strengthened by cross-linking it with other substances, which, in the past, tended to cause toxic and immune reactions in the human body. We discovered a way to use ribose, a sugar that naturally occurs in the body, to cross-link collagen to make a biomaterial that’s non-toxic and non-immunogenic.”
Dr. Brodsky’s team will be among nine Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award winners that will be honored at the Research and Development Council of New Jersey’s annual dinner on Thursday, Nov. 2, at the North Maple Inn, in Basking Ridge.
The Research and Development Council of New Jersey is a non-profit association dedicated to cultivating an environment supportive of the advancement of research and development throughout New Jersey. The Thomas Alva Edison Patent Awards commemorate the inventive spirit of the man who received more U.S. patents than any other single person and are presented annually to recognize and encourage the technological creativity and leadership of New Jersey’s research and development community.
UMDNJ is the nation's largest free-standing public health sciences university with more than 5,500 students attending the state's three medical schools, its only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and its only school of public health, on five campuses. Last year, there were more than two million patient visits to UMDNJ facilities and faculty at campuses in Newark, New Brunswick/Piscataway, Scotch Plains, Camden and Stratford. UMDNJ operates University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, a mental health and addiction services network.