Melissa Venedicto ’22 has her grandmother’s bad knees to partially thank for one of her most recent accomplishments. The first-year Ph.D. student in FIU’s College of Engineering and Computing has been named a recipient of a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship ― an award that will help her continue her work on designing and fabricating implant composites.
Venedicto lives with her grandmother, Olga, who had knee replacement surgery years ago after cancer treatment caused joint deterioration in the joints. “Even after having implants in both knees, she has been in pain because of the irritation caused by the metal,” Venedicto said. “If I could contribute something that would make her day-to-day life better, I would be happy.”
It appears that Venedicto is well on her way to doing just that. She is working on the creation of a implant composite made from biorenewable polymer sources. In recent years, scientists have increasingly explored the use of plants as renewable material and energy sources because they are environmentally friendly and sustainable. In addition to being good for the planet, Venedicto hopes that her research into a plant-based composite will pave the way for a more robust joint implant that is compatible with the human body.
Read more at FIU News.