Fiber and Polymer Science Graduate Students Receive Research Grants
Two Wilson College of Textiles doctoral students recently received funding for their research projects through the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) Foundation. Recipients Tushar Bambharoliya and Radhika Vaid are both members of Dr. Martin King’s Bio-Medical Textiles Research Group, conducting research focused on developing biodegradable medical materials that can be reabsorbed into the body.
Bambharoliya received a grant for his project, titled “Design and development of biotextile stent to prevent post-procedural debris embolization after stent angioplasty.” His current research centers on drug-coated stent covers knitted from biodegradable fibers, with the aim of prevented post-surgical complications such as embolisms.
“I would like to thank AATCC for providing me this grant,” he said. “Receiving this grant is not just the honor but it will also help me to carry forward my research with much needed motivation. With the help of grant funding, we will be focusing on research on my project for design and development biomedical textile product. I would also thank Dr. Martin W. King for his continuous support and encouragement.”
Bambharoliya is a graduate research assistant currently working toward his Ph.D. in Fiber and Polymer Science. He serves as president of the NC State student chapter of the Society for Biomaterials and was secretary of the Textiles Association of Graduate Students at NC State from 2016 to 2017; in 2016, he interned with the Welspun Group as a healthcare textile intern. He holds a bachelor of pharmacy from Maliba Pharmacy College and a master of pharmacy in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Biopharmaceutics from Nirma University, and worked as a senior executive in research development at Nano Therapeutics Pvt. Ltd. in Gujarat, India, for four years.
Vaid won a grant for her project, titled “To study the Poly-4-hydroxybutyrate (P4HB) degradation at different pH and enzymatic conditions so as to mimic in vivo environment of use for sutures.” P4HB is a polymer made from materials produced naturally from microorganisms, made into a variety of medical devices; once their intended purpose is achieved, devices made from P4HB will naturally degrade and be eliminated from the body.
She also won an award for the best poster at the Aachen-Dresden-Denkendorf International Textile Conference in Stuttgart, Germany, on her Ph.D. dissertation, the “Integration of experiments and MD simulations to determine degradation of P4HB for surgical suture applications.” Hers was one of three posters chosen from among 104 contenders at the conference.
“While stepping forward in my Ph.D. research, these small accomplishments and fortifications instill confidence in me toward what I am doing,” she said. “Getting recognized provides me with an impetus to work even harder in the direction of achieving my research goals, and contribute in the field of medical applications of textiles.” She is conducting her research under the advisement of Dr. King and Dr. Melissa Pasquinelli, associate department head and director of Graduate Programs in the department of Textile Engineering, Chemistry and Science.
This is the second time she has been selected for a student grant from AATCC and the third time she has won an award with scholarship.
Vaid is pursuing her Ph.D. in Fiber and Polymer Science at the Wilson College of Textiles, with a research focus on determining polymer degradation for biomedical applications. This past summer, she interned in R&D at Avery Dennison; previously, she worked for Lulu Press as a B Corporation clinic consultant here in Raleigh and as a scientist and assistant manager for Aditya Birla Science and Technology Company in Navi Mumbai, India. She holds a bachelor of technology from the Jawaharlal Nehru Government Engineering College and a master of technology in Fiber Science and Technology from the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi, India.
The AATCC Foundation’s mission is to promote “the science and knowledge of textile design coloration, materials, processing and testing through research and education,” and they offer scholarships to students at all levels and in all textile-related fields.
“This is a great achievement to be selected from among the many applications nationwide,” said Dr. King. “We are proud of you Radhika and Tushar, knowing that you will serve as excellent ambassadors for our Wilson College of Textiles at meetings and AATCC conferences during the coming year.”