3940 N Elm St., Denton, TX 76207

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Melanie Ecker, Assistant Professor from Department of Biomedical Engineering at University of North Texas will give a seminar for interested faculty and students at Discovery Park.



What makes polymers smart, and how can they be used in the (bio) medical field? One class of smart polymers are shape memory polymers. They can remember a previous shape after being programmed into a so-called temporary shape. Once the right trigger is applied, they will switch back to their original shape. This talk will explain the shape memory effect in more depth and how shape memory polymers can be utilized for biomedical applications. Two particular examples from our lab will be covered. The first example is on self-softening polymeric substrates for bioelectronic devices. The second example will cover the translation of heat shrink tubing to the biomedical field.



Dr. Ecker is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of North Texas (UNT) and the director of the Ecker Lab – Smart Polymers for Biomedical Applications. Her research interests lie at the intersection of polymer science and biomedical engineering. Dr. Ecker obtained her doctoral degree in 2010 for a research on shape memory polymers at the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM), Germany, and then moved to the University of Texas at Dallas as a postdoctoral scientist in the Advanced Polymer Research Lab of Dr. Walter Voit in close collaboration with the Neural Networks and Interfaces Lab of Dr. Joseph Pancrazio. Dr. Ecker has published 29 peer-reviewed publications with over 650 citations; she holds two patents and has given numerous presentations at national and international conferences. She started her lab at UNT in the Fall of 2019 and is currently mentoring a group of five undergraduate and six graduate students from diverse and multidisciplinary backgrounds. Dr. Ecker is a member of various professional societies, including the American Chemical Society (ACS), Materials Research Society (MRS), Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), and Society for Biomaterials (SfB).

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  • Fabian Chinonye Onunwa

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