Academic Profile : Faculty

Terry W.J. Steele.jpg picture
Assoc Prof Terry W.J. Steele
Associate Professor, School of Materials Science & Engineering
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Dr. Terry W.J. Steele currently holds an Associate Professor position at Materials and Science Engineering-NTU. Currently he focuses energetic engineering students, eccentric technicians, and idiosyncratic graduate students into a research dream team, striving to solve today’s most pressing vascular-related ailments. Formerly, Dr. Steele has studied pulmonary drug delivery at the Philipps-Marburg University in Marburg, Germany and earned his PhD in Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Minnesota. His research interests include vascular medical devices, bioadhesives, and biodegradable polymers.
Surface Functionalization of Thin Films

Surface functionalization of biocompatible materials is an area under tremendous development for medical implants. The medical implant bulk materials often lack the required surface properties needed for blood compatibility (hemocompatibility), tissue adherence, or promotion of host-cell growth. Secondary surface modifications attempt to address these issues with the grafting of known biocompatible polymers.
To address the significant need for a highly versatile surface coating, we have designed a surface function methodology that incorporates water based ‘green chemistry’, acrylate-based combinatorial libraries, and living polymerization techniques. This strategy will be applicable to most known materials typically employed for solid medical implants, while providing an unprecedented versatility with a wide choice of functional groups, surface densities, and layer thicknesses.

Ocular Delivery Through Periocular, Unidirectional, Biodegradable Discs

We propose an innovative practical and proactive strategy to circumvent the practical hurdles in delivering the anti-CMV drug to the retina, in a safe, effective and affordable manner. We propose to develop a unidirectional nano-drug delivery technique that remains periocular (subtenon’s space) but provides drug delivery into the vitreous over a prolonged or intermittent period yet maintain an adequate concentration at the retina. We will design a biodegradable disc with selective permeability on the two surfaces. The surface adjacent to the sclera will be permeable for unidirectional drug delivery into the eye, while the other surface will be non-permeable, thus obviating the risk of diffusion of the drug externally.
The aim of the therapy is to suppress viral replication, halt the progression of disease, minimize retinal damage, prevent drug resistance, prevent local complications and preserve visual function. In short term, the proposed biodegradable disc will aim to deliver the optimal concentration of the drug near site of lesion and the concentration of the drug will remain sustained over period of six months thereby preventing the need for repeated intraocular injections and also prohibit the patient to come to clinic for repeated injections. Removable after six months won’t be necessary as well, as the polymer components are designed to slowly dissolve and be metabolized into the tissue.

Blood Vessel Joining (Anastomosis) With Adhesive Biodegradable Inserts

Anastomosis—the joining of two blood vessels—requires precise placement of sutures through the two blood vessels that need to be healed together. The technique is technically challenging and requires a long learning curve through practice on cadavers, in vivo animal sacrifices, or both. The suturing practice of today has been nearly the same for 100 years.
As the surgical theatre continues toward laparoscopic and keyhole surgeries, catheter based methods for surgical anastomosis will be sorely needed. Practical limitations to vascular surgeon’s abilities limit sutures to only the most easily accessed vessels and vessel diameters greater than 1 mm. New methods are needed for impossible to access areas such a cerebral blood vessels (i.e. stroke treatments). Methods to join micro-vasculature—such as arterioles and venules—are needed to advance severed limbs and associated limb or organ transplants.
Pipe sleeves in construction and plumbing are commonly used to join gaps, protect pipes from the environment, and repair damaged or leaky plumbing. Similarly, we have designed biodegradable pipe sleaves made from FDA approved implantable polymers.
In our design, the polyesters would be cast into thin film cylinders, no longer than 1-2 cm, 0.5-5 mm in diameter, and 100-500 micrometers thin. These cylinders would incorporate pressure sensitive adhesives on their outer surface to seal and join two opposing blood vessels.
  • Directed Energy Materials (DEM) for Advanced Manufacturing - WP 1, WP 2 & WP4 : Industry Science, Thermoplastic prepreg production & consolidation, ssNMR
  • Directed Energy Materials (DEM) for Advanced Manufacturing [Holding]
  • Directed Energy Materials (DEM) for Advanced Manufacturing.
  • Electrocuring Resins for Advanced Manufacturing
  • Functional Magnetic Nanocomposites: Syntheses & Applications
  • Nontoxic carbene photoinitiators for sustainable biomaterials
  • REDOXIVE: Water activated adhesives and antiviral coatings
US 2015/0315434 A1: New Photoactive Bioadhesive Compositions (2018)
Abstract: A novel diazirine-based biocompatible polymer that can be used as on-demand or tunable bioadhesive and applied across various clinically important surfaces. The biocompatible polymer comprises a single strand of repeating units and up to 5,000 photoreactive diazirine groups covalently attached to it. A bioadhesive composition comprises the polymer of the present invention and suitable solvents, surfactants, stabilizers, fillers and other additives. The composition may additionally contain metallic particles of size less than 50 micron made of rare earth elements and has UV or NIR transparency less than 1 optical density unit per 1 centimetre. The poly-diazirine surface grafted thin films can be used for minimally invasive surgeries.

US 2013/0281977 A1: A Device For Controlled Release Of A Bioactive Agent (2017)
Abstract: Present invention relates to a device for controlled release of a bioactive agent. The device comprises a thin film located on the surface of the device, wherein said thin film comprises a bioactive agent-containing layer comprising a polymeric matrix and at least one bioactive agent.

US 2016/0331861 A1: Electroactive Bioadhesive Compositions (2016)
Abstract: The present invention relates to electrochemically initiated bioadhesive compositions comprising biocompatible polymers containing derivatives of diazonium, arylsulfonium, or diaryliodonium in general, and to their use in tissue fixation, in particular.