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World expert to give public talk about treating lung disease

World expert to give public talk at the University of Canterbury about treating lung disease

March 14, 2014

A visiting academic to the University of Canterbury (UC) and one of the leading bio-fluid dynamicists in the world will give a public lecture on campus next week.

Professor Jim Grotberg, of the University of Michigan, runs a research group that leads the world in studying a life-saving treatment for premature babies, and adults with severely impaired lung function. He will give a public lecture at UC's NZi3 building 1pm next Tuesday, March 18.

Professor Grotberg spearheaded a NASA bioengineering institute and pioneered the lung-on-a-chip and an implantable artificial lung for patients.

"I'm the kind of person who wakes up in the morning with a burning curiosity about respiratory function and disease.

"The inside of people's lungs is coated with a thin liquid film, so when someone breathes in an aerosol, it lands there and starts to spread because the surface tensions are different between the two," he says.

To help doctors, Professor Grotberg began modelling how inhaled aerosols carrying medications spread in the lung, as well as the bulk delivery of liquid surfactant into the lung as a treatment for prematurely born infants.

UC computer modelling expert Professor Tim David says Grotberg is one of the most eminent bioengineering scientists in the world today. He is an expert on lung disease modelling.

Grotberg says his lab is continuing to pursue a number of problems involving lung liquid or gas. His talk will review his efforts in surfactant and liquid delivery into the lung, airway closure, liquid plug propagation and airway reopening, respiratory crackles, epithelial injury and liquid ventilation.


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