Why do Universities Leading in Research, Architecture, and Design Need Custom Furniture?
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With a current enrollment of more than 68,000 students, Texas A&M is one of the largest universities in the country. And, like Texas itself (whose population has been growing 1.80% each year), Texas A&M has been expanding rapidly as well: 2017 saw 18,000 more students on campus compared to 2011.
The Scientific research and engineering programs at Texas A&M are very well respected and well-funded — the school ranks 16th in overall research and development funding.
Laboratory scientists at Texas A&M's Inspired Nanomaterials and Tissue Engineering Lab in the Department of Biomedical Engineering recently published new research on how to encourage new blood vessels to grow in the body, a process known as angiogenesis. Their new, novel method uses nanosilicates (essentially microscopic pieces of clay) to deliver specialized proteins that stimulate new blood vessel formation.
This technique may pave the way for new methods for delivering growth factors to the body, as well as providing new clinical options for healthcare providers performing tissue implants or healing wounds. The new research may also provide insight into how to prevent cancers from generating new blood vessels that allow tumors to grow.
According to biomedical engineering assistant professor Dr. Akhilesh K. Gaharwar, "clay nanoparticles work like tiny weak magnets that hold the growth factors within the polymeric hydrogels and release very slowly." Dr. Gaharwar explains that "sustained and prolonged release of physiologically relevant doses of growth factors are important to avoid problems due to high doses, such as abrupt tissue formation."
Texas A&M is also expanding its engineering programs on campus. However, the rapid growth of students posed a problem for the Dwight Look College of Engineering. Their landmark Zachry Engineering Building, built in 1972, was woefully undersized to serve today's cohort of 18,000 engineering students, much less the expected enrollment of 25,000 students in 2025.
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