Elijah Nyairo is an instructor of Chemistry and faculty member in the Department of Physical Sciences at Alabama State University. Nyairo is also a key member of the ASU Bone Tissue Regeneration Research Group.
Nyairo’s research interest is in nanostructured biomaterials for bone tissue repair and regeneration. His team aims to develop bioactive polymeric scaffolds from biodegradable polymers that mimic the functionality of native extracellular matrix (ECM). Scaffolds serve as temporary matrices that accommodate cells and support tissue regeneration. Scaffolds based on FDA approved biodegradable polymers and modified carbon nanofibers are fabricated using electrospinning to achieve improved mechanical properties, uncompromised cell growth and facilitate repair of damaged tissue.
Nyairo’s research group further explores the development of nanobiomaterials for drug delivery. One study is aimed at understanding the mechanism involved in the adsorption and release of therapeutics in a controlled manner from nanofiber polymer scaffolds. Scaffolds are fabricated by electrospinning polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) encapsulated with varying concentrations of detonated nanodiamonds (DND). The surface energy of the DND’s makes it relatively straightforward to adsorb or covalently attach therapeutic molecules. Thus, the team’s research focuses on the potential use of DND to more effectively deliver therapeutics and to minimize compatibility concerns associated with using carbon-based nanomaterials (i.e., cytotoxicity).
Keywords: polymeric scaffolds; nanobiomaterials; nanofibers; electrospinning; bone and tissue repair; biodegradable polymers; drug delivery; mechanobiology
Working Group(s): Working Group 2: How do cells adapt to and change their mechanical environment?