Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Textiles have long stood as a barrier between humans and their surroundings, and are globally ubiquitous. By improving the properties and functionalities of textile materials, textile engineers are creating a new generation of textiles that are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also, can sense and respond to their environment, provide protection from diseases or threats, prevent and treat injury and illness and enhance comfort and quality of life.
In the Atmospheric Plasma Laboratory at the College of Textiles at North Carolina State University, a multidisciplinary team is working to create textiles that have the potential to significantly improve global health and well-being. This presentation will provide an overview of several research projects, and will highlight work on a new scalable and sustainable production technology that combines atmospheric gas plasma treatment and electrospinning to produce robust, multifunctional nanofiber-enhanced composite fabrics. These fabrics can be tailored to exhibit high volume-to-mass ratio, excellent filtration efficiency, desirable wettability and absorption capacity, and controlled bioactivity. Applications for these materials are wide-ranging and include chemical/biological/insecticidal protective clothing, filtration, medical devices, wound care and diagnostics.
Marian G. McCord, Ph.D. is an associate professor with appointments in the Department of Textile Engineering, Chemistry, and Science at North Carolina State University, Raleigh, the Joint UNC/NCSU Department of Biomedical Engineering in Raleigh and Chapel Hill, and an adjunct associate professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. McCord is the Director of Global Health Initiatives in the Office of International Affairs at NCSU. She received her Sc.B. in biomedical engineering at Brown University, and an M.S. in bioengineering and Ph.D. in textiles and polymer science at Clemson University. McCord has 18 years experience in development and characterization of protective and medical textiles, and has been active in consulting for the medical device industry. McCord sees her research field as “textiles as interventions”—i.e., textiles that prevent or treat disease, or improve human health and well-being. Some of her global health related projects include nonchemical insecticidal bed nets and low cost hemostatic bandages. She is a scientific advisor to Sustainable Health Enterprises, a social venture dedicated to meeting the needs for safe and affordable sanitary products for women in the developing world. McCord has been the codirector of the Atmospheric Plasma Laboratory at the College of Textiles at NCSU for 10 years, and is a cofounder of Katharos, Inc., a company that aims to provide phosphate filtration solutions for end-stage renal disease patients.