As reported by the Hartford Business Journal, September 16, 2010.

Army Enlists UConn for Wound Research

A University of Connecticut bioengineer has won two grants totaling more than $760,000 from the U.S. Army to devise techniques for faster tissue regeneration to heal battlefield wounds, UConn says.

Lakshmi Nair said the two grants will further her study of regenerative biomaterials to regrow musculoskeletal tissue, UConn Today reports.

"We believe that by developing biomaterials that can interact with cells involved in wound healing and favorably modulate their responses - in this case, regenerative biomaterials - we could significantly alter the tissue repair process and enhance tissue regeneration." says Nair, an assistant professor and researcher in the school's Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery and Chemical, Materials, and Biomolecular Engineering.

One Army grant is a three-year, $614,372 Idea Development Award to back Nair's work with a injectable formulation derived from natural sugar chains that exists as a liquid when cooled and becomes a solid at body temperature.

Some of Nair's work in this area has been published, including articles in The Laryngoscope and the journal Biomacromolecules.

The second grant is an 18-month, $150,000 Hypothesis Development Award, to develop a new protein-based injectable that could be used to induce the regeneration of bone and cartilage.

Nair is part of a team of scientists who joined Dr. Cato T. Laurencin when he arrived in 2008 as dean of the UConn Health Center came from the University of Virginia.