Wassanai Wattanutchariya is an Associate
Professor in Industrial Engineering, Department
of Industrial Engineering, Faculty of
Engineering, Chiang Mai University. He received
a Ph.D. from Department of Industrial and
Manufacturing, School of Engineering, Oregon
State University in 2002. He has experience in
Fabrication Technology for Energy, Chemical, and
Biological Systems, as well as the Development
of Biomaterials and Biomedical Devices. His
teaching and research interests include
Precision Engineering and Modern Manufacturing,
along with Product Design and Process
His research projects have been funded by many Thai funding agencies including the National Research Council of Thailand, the Thailand Research Fund, and the Agricultural Research Development Agency (Public Organization). Examples of his research projects include the fabrication of fuel cell equipment, the product or process improvement for agricultural products, as well as the development of natural based biomaterial for medical application.
A recent research project on the “Development of Bone Substitute from Local Materials” was honoured with the 2015 Inventor Award by the National Research Council of Thailand. This was a collaboration between his engineering team and medical doctors from the Faculty of Medicine.
Speech Title: The biocompatibility and occlusion ability of a zein-based biomaterial for bone surgery
Abstract: During surgical procedures on bone, a common method of producing haemostasis at bleeding cancellous bone is the occlusion of blood vessels. This is often achieved with bone wax, which is not bioresorbable, unlike the zein-based biomaterial investigated in the present research. Zein is a prolamin derived from the protein-rich by-product of corn flour production, and has been gaining importance as a bio-medical material. Taking advantage of its solubility in ethanol-water solvents but insolubility in water, a zein-based viscoelastic solid can be produced which effectively occludes the flow of fluids through a porous surface modelling cancellous bone. Zein powder was dissolved into a 70% ethanol-in-water solution, and the ethanol was later leached out through exposure to an alcohol-free media. The insoluble zein 'resin' produced could occlude water flow through a porous surface. Experiments were conducted to determine the optimum composition of the precursor zein solution, varying the proportion of zein dissolved in the ethanol-water solvent. A 0.7 w/v composition was selected as the preferred ratio. A cell viability test using the resazurin assay showed that unleached ethanol in the zein-based biomaterial does not pose a threat, as the metabolic activity of osteoblasts on zein resin outperformed that on bone wax after 24 hours of incubation.