Yuliang Xie, assistant professor in the Roy J. Carver Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Iowa, has been awarded a National Institutes of Health (NIH) R01 grant to design a new surface for medical devices that can self-clean and prevent infection.
Xie is targeting medical devices that encounter mucus, such as airway devices and eye prostheses. Mucus often clogs these devices
, leading to bacterial infection and airway blockage, and the devices require frequent cleaning and replacement.
Under the R01 grant, Xie would design a surface for the medical devices that recapitulate mucociliary transport (MCT), a natural process that clears mucus and forms the first line of defense against infection in respiratory and genital tracts.
The Research Project Grant (R01) is the original and historically oldest grant mechanism used by NIH.
The R01 award, titled “An Engineered Surface of Mucociliary Transport for Medical Devices,” is from the National Institutes of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB). The grant obligates $319,029 for the first year and an expected $1.3 million over four years.
Xie will serve as the principal investigator on the project. Xuan Song, assistant professor of industrial and systems engineering, and Anthony Fischer, assistant professor of pediatrics-pulmonary medicine, are co-investigators on the project.