Rezabeigi, who has won eight awards for conference presentations, is doing research on what has the potential to be an ideal successor to bone substitution.
Under the supervision of professors Paula Wood-Adams, also Concordia’s Dean of Graduate Studies, and Robin Drew in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, he is developing in three distinct phases a lightweight implant that can be surgically inserted into the body to support and promote bone regrowth.
Phase one involved synthesizing bioactive glass particles that are capable of feeding bone cells and helping them to grow. In phase two, he developed a novel technique of creating a highly porous polymer foam (a polymer is a structure made up of many molecules in a long chain).
This polymer foam has high-performing mechanical properties: It’s strong, and it can be used in load-bearing parts of the body like the shoulders and knees. The third phase of Rezabeigi’s research consists of combining the bioactive glass particles with the polymer to make a brand-new composite material: a bone scaffold.
“The ideal scaffold has the same properties as bone. This is the goal we’re striving toward,” Rezabeigi says. The scaffold must be highly porous to allow for vascularization — the formation of blood vessels. This is, in part, what allows for bone growth. Meanwhile, small pores in the scaffold allow for cell attachment.