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Biomedical Polymer Science Laboratory

Dr. Jean Jacob is a biomedical polymer scientist whose research interests
focus on the biocompatibility of synthetic and bio-polymers in the
ocular environment. This involves analyzing the polymer surface and the
adjacent tissue on a submicroscopic level for chemical changes in the
polymer, deposition of protein and cofactors onto the polymer, chemical
changes in the extracellular matrix adjacent to the polymer surface, and
quantitative differences in the composition in the adjacent tissue (for
example, number of macrophages, types of collagen present).

Dr. Jacob's investigation into the biocompatibility response
around ocular implants has led to improvements in several basic implant
designs (artificial cornea, total ocular replacement devices,
reinforcement membranes, and glaucoma drains). It has also led to the
identification of ways to alter the conformation of the implant surface
in order to increase cellular infiltration and, thereby, improve implant
stabilization in the biological milieu.

Current research projects include analysis of tear lipids
interactions with contact lens materials using flourescent confocal
microscopy, tear fluid component analysis using capillary electrophoresis
-mass spectrometry, development and testing of biodegradable nerve
guides for the enhanced regeneration of nerves after injury, and the ability
of specific surface-tethered proteins and amino-acid-sequence-containing
peptides to promote epithelial spreading and adhesion to biomaterials.