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Advanced Manufacturing of Biodegradable Medical Devices and Beyond

Michael P. Sealy
Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Alabama
President, Surface Integrity LLC

Friday, February 20, 2015
9:30 a.m.
Peralta (PRLTA) 130, Polytechnic campus [map]

Sealy’s research focuses on the interdisciplinary areas of medical device manufacturing, hybrid additive manufacturing, and process sustainability. This seminar will have two parts to illustrate my research theme. The first part presents his Ph.D. research on biodegradable medical devices. The critical problem with current orthopedic implants made of titanium, stainless steel, or cobalt alloys is that they are permanent and have a high complication rate that often requires removal with a second surgery. Secondary surgeries are costly and place undue suffering on patients. One major cause of complications is stress shielding. An alternative material that avoids stress shielding is biodegradable magnesium alloys. The technical challenge is to slow magnesium’s degradation to a suitable rate for orthopedic applications. Sealy developed a laser shock peening process that allows magnesium implants to serve their function and then degrade away at a controlled rate. This is revolutionary because patients no longer have to rely on off the shelf technology when it comes to treating their fracture. He explored the interrelationships between laser processing conditions, the resulting surface integrity, and subsequent corrosion and fatigue performance. This technology provides three key advantages over current implants: (1) avoids complications from leaving an implant in long term, (2) eliminates the need for a second surgery, and (3) is customizable so it can meet the needs of each individual patient. The second part of the seminar will give an overview on his future research theme in sustainable manufacturing and laser-based manufacturing. A case study on the basic relationships between energy consumption, process signature, and its coherent relationship with surface integrity in dry cutting will be presented. Laser cutting of biodegradable magnesium stents and surface integrity in laser additive manufacturing will also be covered.

Michael Sealy received his Ph.D. in 2014 and B.S. in 2008 in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Alabama. He is currently a postdoctoral scholar at the Consortium of Surface Integrity and Functionality at UA and President of Surface Integrity LLC, a med-tech startup developing the next generation of biodegradable orthopedic implants. He has made significant contributions to the fields of manufacturing, medical devices, and sustainability. His Ph.D. research focused on processing, surface integrity, and performance of biodegradable magnesium-calcium implants by laser shock peening, which has received national and international recognitions from ASME, SME, ASM, and MRS. He is the recipient of numerous research awards including 2nd Place at the MRS International iMatSci Competition (2014), Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student of the Year by the Alabama Society of Professional Engineers (2011), NAMRI/SME Outstanding Paper Award (2009), Pi Tau Sigma Outstanding Graduate Student in UA/ME (2009 & 2010), and Randal Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award at UA (2008). He is a member of ASME, Pi Tau Sigma, and BioAlabama.


*Seminar is FREE and available via Adobe Connect; click here for access.

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