Academic Profile

Academic Profile

Assoc Prof Terry W.J. Steele

Associate Professor, School of Materials Science & Engineering

Assoc Prof Terry W.J. Steele

Dr. Terry W.J. Steele currently holds an Assistant Professor position at Materials and Science Engineering-NTU. Currently he focuses energetic engineering students, eccentric technicians, and idiosyncratic graduate students into a research dream team, striving to solve today’s most pressing vascular-related ailments. Formerly, Dr. Steele has studied pulmonary drug delivery at the Philipps-Marburg University in Marburg, Germany and earned his PhD in Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Minnesota. His research interests include vascular medical devices, bioadhesives, and biodegradable polymers.
Research Interests
Surface Functionalization of Thin Films

Surface functionalization of biocompatible materials is an area under tremendous development for medical implants. The medical implant bulk materials often lack the required surface properties needed for blood compatibility (hemocompatibility), tissue adherence, or promotion of host-cell growth. Secondary surface modifications attempt to address these issues with the grafting of known biocompatible polymers.
To address the significant need for a highly versatile surface coating, we have designed a surface function methodology that incorporates water based ‘green chemistry’, acrylate-based combinatorial libraries, and living polymerization techniques. This strategy will be applicable to most known materials typically employed for solid medical implants, while providing an unprecedented versatility with a wide choice of functional groups, surface densities, and layer thicknesses.

Ocular Delivery Through Periocular, Unidirectional, Biodegradable Discs

We propose an innovative practical and proactive strategy to circumvent the practical hurdles in delivering the anti-CMV drug to the retina, in a safe, effective and affordable manner. We propose to develop a unidirectional nano-drug delivery technique that remains periocular (subtenon’s space) but provides drug delivery into the vitreous over a prolonged or intermittent period yet maintain an adequate concentration at the retina. We will design a biodegradable disc with selective permeability on the two surfaces. The surface adjacent to the sclera will be permeable for unidirectional drug delivery into the eye, while the other surface will be non-permeable, thus obviating the risk of diffusion of the drug externally.
The aim of the therapy is to suppress viral replication, halt the progression of disease, minimize retinal damage, prevent drug resistance, prevent local complications and preserve visual function. In short term, the proposed biodegradable disc will aim to deliver the optimal concentration of the drug near site of lesion and the concentration of the drug will remain sustained over period of six months thereby preventing the need for repeated intraocular injections and also prohibit the patient to come to clinic for repeated injections. Removable after six months won’t be necessary as well, as the polymer components are designed to slowly dissolve and be metabolized into the tissue.

Blood Vessel Joining (Anastomosis) With Adhesive Biodegradable Inserts

Anastomosis—the joining of two blood vessels—requires precise placement of sutures through the two blood vessels that need to be healed together. The technique is technically challenging and requires a long learning curve through practice on cadavers, in vivo animal sacrifices, or both. The suturing practice of today has been nearly the same for 100 years.
As the surgical theatre continues toward laparoscopic and keyhole surgeries, catheter based methods for surgical anastomosis will be sorely needed. Practical limitations to vascular surgeon’s abilities limit sutures to only the most easily accessed vessels and vessel diameters greater than 1 mm. New methods are needed for impossible to access areas such a cerebral blood vessels (i.e. stroke treatments). Methods to join micro-vasculature—such as arterioles and venules—are needed to advance severed limbs and associated limb or organ transplants.
Pipe sleeves in construction and plumbing are commonly used to join gaps, protect pipes from the environment, and repair damaged or leaky plumbing. Similarly, we have designed biodegradable pipe sleaves made from FDA approved implantable polymers.
In our design, the polyesters would be cast into thin film cylinders, no longer than 1-2 cm, 0.5-5 mm in diameter, and 100-500 micrometers thin. These cylinders would incorporate pressure sensitive adhesives on their outer surface to seal and join two opposing blood vessels.
Current Projects
  • 3D-Printing of Electro-Curing Nanocomposite Living Electrodes for Cardiac Tissue Regeneration
  • 3D-Printing of Electro-Curing Nanocomposite Living Electrodes for Cardiac Tissue Regeneration
  • Aesthetic Applications of CaproGlu Bioadhesives
  • CaproGlu double-sided wet-tissue adhesives
  • CathoGlu Bioadhesives—preventing catheter extravasation and skin infections
  • Coil Expanding Layers (COELS) for Intravascular Repairs
  • Development Of Novel Paramagnetic Nanoparticles For The Extraction Of Urinary Stone Fragments During Lithotripsy
  • Development of sustained release ganciclovir implant for treatment of CMV retinitis in HIV-AIDS patients
  • Diazirine Bonding Technology for Tennis and Golf balls
  • Drug Loaded Microparticles Encapsulated into Bioadhesive Films, Locally Delivered by Angioplasty Balloons
  • Drug-Eluting Balloons (DEB) Controlled Delivery through Nanoparticulate Coating
  • Enhancing biocompatibility of medical devices through living polymerization surface functionalization
  • Fast, two minute surgical procedure for splicing of blood vessels
  • Footwear Plasma Adhesion Test
  • Mechanochromic rubbers for biomedical applications
  • Microprocessor-based methods of composite curing
  • Novel light activated, diazo protecting groups
  • Photochrome aptamer switch assay: A universal bioassay device
  • Rapid Development of Biocompatible Surfaces Through Acrylate Combinatorial Libraries
  • Reversible, electrocuring adhesives
  • Smart Cranial Implants
  • Smart Cranial Implants With CaproGlu Micro-sensor Arrays
  • Tailored soft-tissue bioadhesvies for site-specific therapy
  • Virtual Laboratory Tutorials For Experiential Learning Of Plastic Core Concepts
Selected Publications
  • Steele, Terry; Loo, Joachim; Venkatraman, Subramaniam. (2010). Adhesive Films For In Vivo Local Drug Delivery. US Provisional Patent Application , .
  • Steele, T.W.J, W. Thomas Shier. (2010). Dendrimeric alkylated polyethylenimine nano-carriers with acid-cleavable outer cationic shells mediate improved transfection efficiency without increasing toxicity.. Pharmaceutical research, 27(4)(4), 683-698.
  • Podetz-Pedersen, Kelly; Bell, Jason; Steele, Terry; Wilber, Andrew; Shier, W. Thomas; Belur, Lalitha; McIvor, Scott; Hackett, Perry. (2010). Gene expression in lung and liver after intravenous infusion of polyethylenimine complexes of Sleeping Beauty transposons.. Human Gene Therapy, 21(2)(2), 210-220.
  • Kissel, T., Steele, T.W.J, Nguyen, J. (2009). Poly[vinyl-3-(dialkylamino)alkylcarbamate-co-vinyl acetate-co-vinyl alcohol]-graft-poly(d,l-lactide-co-glycolide) for siRNA delivery" PATENT APPLICATION. Patent Application, .
  • *Steele, T.W.J, *Nguyen, J., Merkel, O., Reul, R., Kissel, T. *Shared co-authorship. (2008). Fast degrading polyesters as siRNA nano-carriers for pulmonary gene therapy. Journal of Controlled Release, 132(3), 243-251.

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