Cato T. Laurencin, director of the Institute for Regenerative Engineering at the Univ. of Connecticut Health Center, has been recognized by National Geographic in a special issue of its magazine devoted to “100 Scientific Discoveries that Changed the World.” Laurencin, who is also chief executive officer of the Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science, and the Van Dusen Endowed Chair in Orthopaedic Surgery, was cited for his research breakthroughs that may revolutionize the treatment of tears of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) — one of the most common knee injuries. Laurencin’s research includes a new approach to ACL regeneration that incorporates the use of a biocompatible and degradable synthetic braided scaf-fold that would be surgically implanted to create ligament tissue. The scaffold would stabilize the knee and facilitate the creation of ligament tissue.
According to the National Geographic article, “The burgeoning field of regenerative medicine seeks nothing less than to provide patients with replacement body parts.” The article further states that Laurencin and his team have shown “the promotion of new blood vessel and collagen growth within 12 weeks.” Along with tissue engineering, Laurencin’s research has focused on biomaterials, drug delivery systems, nanotechnology, and stem cell science.
Laurencin was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2011, and is also a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. In 2009, he received the Pierre Galletti Award, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering’s highest honor.
He was previously recognized by Scientific American magazine as one of the top 50 innovators for his work in tissue regeneration. In 2008, AIChE named Laurnencin among “100 Chemical Engineers of the Modern Era.”