The award consisted of $569,120 in new NSF funding and will fund a project that will likely have a significant impact on biomedical research. The grant will allow Li to study, develop and experiment with magnesium based nanoporous material.
Nanoporous materials are extremely light-weight often multi-functional, and have excellent energy absorption qualities. They are essentially materials with a multitude of tiny "nanopores", and thus are very useful for processes that require light and strong materials as well as applications involving material with very high surface area.
The biomedical application of nanoporous materials has primarily been for biomedical joint and bone replacements. However, UNR Scientist Qizhen Li hopes to expand the biomedical usefulness of these materials, as well as improve upon earlier nanoporous materials, which are iron or titanium based, with her new research with magnesium.
(image of nanoporous spheres courtesy of Science Watch)
Li hopes that her new magnesium based materials will improve upon, and hopefully replace the current titanium and iron materials.
In addition to the biomedical application of Li's research, she said that her magnesium nanoporous material has a "variety of potential applications, such as in energy storage....and structural parts such as auto body parts.”
The NSF Career Award is one of the most competitive awards for university scientists. It is given to the very best junior faculty members who exemplify research and educational excellence in their fields. Manos Maragakis, Dean of the College of Engineering, praised Li's accomplishment saying, “This nationally recognized standard of excellence is a major accomplishment for Qizhen....An award like this speaks well for the excellence of the faculty and the research programs in our College."
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