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Tutorial Course Descriptions

Detailed Syllabus

C-215 Vacuum Coatings and Plasma Processing for Biomedical Applications

This course is essentially introductory in its content, with appropriate balance of some advanced, state-of-the-art content. It is aimed at researchers and technologists from both industry and academia who are interested in getting familiar and/or involved with the current and potential applications of thin-film coatings (vacuum coatings) for biomedical applications. The course is motivated by the versatility and robustness of vacuum deposition and plasma processes and their application potential for the rapidly growing biomedical sector. The course will start with justifying and rationalizing the need and use of vacuum coatings and plasma processes for biomedical applications. After making the so called Thin-is-In case, a range of current and potential applications of vacuum coatings and plasma processing in biomedical engineering will be presented and discussed in the form of case studies, including value-adding to existing products such as bone implants and screws and tissue-engineering scaffolds. This will be followed by discussing the relevance of plasma processing for the emerging fields of plasma-medicine, nano-medicine, and tissue engineering. Some future research studies aimed at generating key fundamental and practical outcomes will be discussed for thought provoking and possible collaboration.

Topical Outline:
  • Introduction: Vacuum coatings and plasma processing for biomedical applications - making the case for Thin-is-In!
  • Motivation and Potential: Versatility and robustness of vacuum deposition and plasma processes and their application potential for the biomedical sector. Relevance of plasma processing for the emerging fields of plasma-medicine, nano-medicine, and tissue engineering
  • Case studies: Some key results and discussion on a range of case studies where vacuum coatings and plasma processing have been demonstrated to lead to new technologies and add value to the existing ones
  • Future ideas and challenges: Some thought-provoking ideas for generating key fundamental and practical outcomes
Course Details:

  • Introduction - Current and potential applications of thin-film coatings (vacuum coatings) and plasma processing in biomedical engineering, including value-adding to a range of existing products such as bone implants and screws; building the case for: Thin-is-In!
  • Motivation - Versatility and robustness of vacuum deposition and plasma processes and their application potential for the biomedical sector; the relevance of plasma processing for the emerging fields of plasma-medicine, nano-medicine, and tissue engineering.
  • Case studies - some key results and discussion on: surface bio-functionalization by plasma processing; inducing bioactivity in inert biomaterials by vacuum coatings and plasma processing; compositional and functionally graded plasma-CVD silica as a bioactive coating onto solid (dense) and porous (3D) bone implant materials; plasma sterilization; and plasma processing/cleaning for molecular level removal of residual biomolecules from common medical/dental instruments, biomedical packaging materials, and recycling of medical instruments.
  • Future ideas and challenges - some proposed fundamental studies relevant to biomedical engineering such as: nanoscale morphological and chemical gradients prepared by sputtering (charged cluster model); roll-to-roll coating and bio-functionalization of inside of narrow lumen polymeric tubes; easy-clean and robust coatings such as parylene; employment of thin-film characterization techniques for biomedical applications; plasma-based methods for generating nanostructured substrates for: protein adsorption studies and cell assays on the nanoscale (manipulation of biomolecules); and nanoscale topographical and chemical gradients (manipulating cell differentiation and growth).

Instructor: Sunil Kumar, CoatingsMantra Science and Technology Consulting - Adelaide, Australia
Sunil Kumar

currently directs an independent scientific consulting business (named CoatingsMantra) based in Adelaide, Australia. Prior to directing this consulting business, he held a professorship at the University of South Australia, Adelaide. His research is centered on investigating plasma-based methods for depositing and processing biomedical coatings and biomaterials (healthcare sector). Application of plasma processing, nanomaterials and surface engineering for cleantech is a research area Kumar has recently started to build. Kumar has published 80 peer-reviewed papers (with over 1250 citations) and well over 100 conference papers, including several invited talks. Kumar performs several professional roles, ranging from membership of editorial board of research journals to peer-reviewing of research manuscripts and proposals.


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