Gannon University Hosts Student Night Sponsored by World Renowned Organization

Posted: November 12, 2015

Davide Piovesan, Ph.D., assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Gannon University and director of the biomedical engineering program, will present "Antibiotic Impregnation of Metal Rod for Treatment of Compound Fractures" on November 12 at 6 p.m. at Room 104 of Gannon University's Zurn Hall, 143 W. Seventh St.

The presentation will be part of student night at Gannon University sponsored by the Northwestern Pennsylvania Chapter of ASM International, the world's largest association of materials engineers and scientists.

Piovesan will present research on a concept for an orthopedic implant designed to be inserted into the central marrow canal of a bone across a fracture site. The device gives structural support and maintains proper alignment while the bone heals, allowing patients to use their extremity much sooner. It also contains timed-release antibiotics to fight infection and promote healing. The device is made of tantalum, a metal that can be manufactured in porous shapes, allowing new, healthy tissue to grow while keeping the same structural support that a titanium rod would give a healing bone.

The concept won the top prize and a $2,000 cash award for a team of Gannon University students in the Second Annual Erie Collegiate Innovation Showcase in late April. The team, which named the concept Bio-Conduit, included Kristin Bates, Jordan Felice, William Hendrix and Taylor Mahle.

"Erie has been one of the most prestigious manufacturing towns in America," said Piovesan, a native of Venice, Italy. "We hope that the new materials and manufacturing processes utilized in the field of biomedical engineering will be a new opportunity to create new manufacturing businesses and research companies."

Piovesan is a graduate of the University of Padua in Italy. From 2004 to 2008 he was a visiting scholar and post-doctoral fellow at the Ashton Graybiel Spatial Orientation Lab at Brandeis University. There, he worked on the effect of microgravity environments on mechano-biology as part of a NASA extramural funding program. He joined Northwestern University in 2008, working as a post-doctoral fellow at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago in the field of rehabilitation robotics.

Admission to the event is free, and complimentary pizza and beverages will be served.