BioMorph Lab receives two USAF contracts

Mar 3, 2020 | Applied and Natural Sciences, Innovation, Research

Louisiana Tech’s BioMorph Lab, directed by professor Dr. David Mills, recently received a pair of research contracts from the U.S. Air Force that call for the development of an antimicrobial filament for 3D medical device printing and a multifunctional bandage.

The antimicrobial filament is a bioplastic that contains agents to kill bacteria, fungi, and other elements that cause infection. The bandage will be multifunctional because it can be used in combat, at a military hospital, or for civilians. Components of the bandage will be printed.

This is the first time the BioMorph Lab has received a USAF grant, but the Lab has had Department of Defense funding in the past.

“I am thrilled to be able to assist our military in my research group’s efforts toward creating more effective treatment options,” Mills said.

The contract is classified as Phase I, which is for 90 days. Mills’ major goal is to locate a military medical partner for his Phase II proposal. Specifically, the research contracts are a collaboration between the USAF, Tech’s BioMorph lab, and Mills’ two startups, organicNANO and Nano Medicine.

The BioMorph Lab is focused on the development of nano-enhanced biomedical applications including drug delivery, anticancer and antimicrobial medical devices, 3D printed bioactive medical implants, and bioprinted tissue for bone defect repair.

Officially, the contracts are from the AFWERX program, established in 2017 by the Secretary of the Air Force and reporting to the Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force. AFWERX is a catalyst for agile Air Force engagement across industry, academia, and non-traditional contributors to create transformative opportunities and foster an Air Force culture of innovation. Its ultimate aim is to solve problems and enhance the effectiveness of the Air Force.

AFWERX awarded 30 research contracts this year; Tech’s two are the second-most among United States universities.