Thomas J. Webster, Ph.D.

AIMBE College of Fellows Class of 2013
For outstanding contributions in nanotechnology and regenerative medicine as well as leadership, education, and community outreach in biomedical engineering.

Expert urges adoption of biotech innovations for poverty alleviation

Via Ashe News | January 11, 2024

Expert urges adoption of biotech innovations for poverty alleviation

The Director of Biotechnology, Precious Cornerstone University, Ibadan, Prof. Charles Adetunji says biotechnology innovations can help in alleviating poverty and creating impact in the community.

Adetunji disclosed this in a telephone interview on Wednesday in Abuja.

He said that adoption of biotechnology innovations would also provide tools for easy livelihood.

Responding to questions on the recently concluded 3rd Recent Advances in Biotechnology Conference and Workshop held at the University, he disclosed that Nigeria should leverage on readily available technologies… Continue reading.

Opinion: Do universities help or hurt innovation?

Via Open Access Government | January 10, 2024

Do Universities help or hurt innovation? Find out in this 25-year academic entrepreneur’s anecdotal perspective of starting companies and developing implants. Thomas J. Webster shares his opinion here

Top research U.S. Universities and others worldwide, sometimes along with respective government funding agencies (like the NSF and the NIH in the U.S.), have spent billions of dollars trying to translate their faculty’s research to industry to develop real commercial products.

Whether establishing University technology transfer offices (whose objective is to foster faculty research translation), paying IP lawyer fees for patents, establishing incubator spaces for University faculty spin-out companies, or issuing grants aimed at research primed for industry adoption, it is clear that U.S. Universities are in the high stakes and high funding game of entrepreneurship, and have been so for the last several decades… Continue reading.

Nanovis Surpasses 500th Surgery Utilizing Nanotechnology Designated Screws

Via Market Watch | October 17, 2023

Nanovis, a pioneer in nanotechnology solutions, is thrilled to announce the successful completion of its 500th surgery using the groundbreaking FortiFix(TM) pedicle screws. This milestone is not just a numeric achievement but a testament to the innovative application of FDA-designated nanotechnology, ensuring enhanced patient recovery and surgical success.

FortiFix(TM) pedicle screws, distinguished as the first FDA-cleared pedicle screw with a nanotechnology designation, have demonstrated a remarkable track record in facilitating biologic fixation that increases and accelerates bone-to-implant interface for osseointegration. Over 3,000 pedicle screws have been implanted in the initial 500 surgeries, with patients experiencing positive outcomes, including no known infections or non-fusions noted in the Maude database. The system has proven its efficacy across a spectrum of surgeries, including degenerative, deformity, trauma, and revision surgeries… Continue reading.

Learn more about Nanovis here.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and biomaterials: A perfect BandAId™

Via Open Access Government | October 6, 2023

Thomas J Webster, Ph.D., Professor and Entrepreneur, is investigating the potential of AI in medical applications and biomaterial production

What is Artificial Intelligence?

According to the Webster’s dictionary definition, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is: a branch of computer science dealing with the simulation of intelligent behaviour in computers, and/or the capability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behaviour. (1)

Much has already been said about AI and, unfortunately, most of it is negative. (2) From students using ChatGPT to write term papers and college admission essays to AI self-driving cars that can crash and cause injuries (3), AI has certainly received a lot of negative press lately. As usual, however, some of this negative press is by those who are not scientists and do not understand the positive impacts AI can have, especially in medicine… Continue reading.

Thomas J. Webster’s Nano-optimized Predictive Equation

Via YouTube | July 11, 2023

This is a video of the first equation (called the Thomas J. Webster Equation) ever made that can predict the size of nanometer surface features one can place on an implant, medical device, or tissue engineering material to promote tissue growth, inhibit infection, and limit inflammation. This equation will increase the lifetime of your implant without using antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, or drugs of any kind. This animation describes how it works.

Optimizing Biomaterials: Nanomaterials Improving Implant Success

Via Open Access Government | July 6, 2023

Discovering “Nano-optimized” science and the possibilities of nanotechnology, Prof. Webster and his research team are solving some of healthcare’s biggest problems

Prof. Thomas J. Webster is an entrepreneur at heart. While he has a passion for teaching the next generation of biomedical engineers to solve some of our healthcare’s biggest problems, he has also been solving our healthcare’s biggest problems on his own.

In over 20 years serving as a Professor and directing over 200 student research projects, his research has formed over a dozen active companies. Impressively, his research has led to the commercialization of over a dozen FDA approved products now in over 20,000 patients, with no cases of implant failures (via NanoVis Medical and NanoVis Spine). No infections. No chronic inflammation. No tissue non-unions. Most of these products have been in the area of orthopedics and nanotechnology. Zero orthopedic implant infections is clearly much better than the current industry standard of 5 – 10% failures and its predicted increase by 137% by 2030 due to growing concern over antibiotic-resistant bacteria… Continue reading.


How entrepreneurship and industry saved COVID fighting nanotechnology?

Via Open Access Government | April 14, 2023

Here Thomas J. Webster, Ph.D. explores how Nanotechnology was crucial in the battle against COVID-19 and how entrepreneurship helped it thrive

COVID changed the world forever. Although viruses are nothing new to mankind, COVID highlighted significant deficiencies in our current global healthcare system

Our healthcare system was ill-prepared for a viral pandemic, as well as many other health crises. Our only recourse when COVID emerged was to shut everything down and tell people not to interact for fear of spreading the virus. Stay home. Cancel trips. Do everything virtually. There are few examples of larger healthcare failures than COVID, when the only way to stop a virus from spreading was to tell people to stop seeing each other… Continue reading.

Emerging Nanomaterials and Nano-based Drug Delivery Approaches to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance

Via Elsevier | December 7, 2022

Emerging Nanomaterials and Nano-based Drug Delivery Approaches to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance focuses on recent and emerging trends surrounding nanomaterials and nano-drug delivery approaches to combat antimicrobial resistance. The relationship between nanomaterials and antimicrobial activity needs to be deeply explored to meet the challenges of combating antimicrobial resistance. The content of this book is divided into three main topic areas, including (i) how to overcome the existing traditional approaches to combat antimicrobial resistance, (ii) applying multiple drug delivery mechanisms to target multi-drug resistant microbes, and (iii) how nanomaterials can be used as drug carriers. This is an important reference source for those looking to understand how nanotechnology plays an important role in combatting disease and infection. As antimicrobial resistance threatens the effective prevention and treatment of an ever-increasing range of infections caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses, and fungi, this is a timely resource… Learn more.

Insight of noise stress on gastric secretion via stimulation of corticosteroids and management options: A review

Via Royallite Global | December 7, 2022

Keywords: Noise, corticosteroids, gastric secretions, animal models, therapeutics


One of the toughest sources of restrictions on the environment and the workplace is noise. Numerous impacts of noise on the immune system, hormone levels, and the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems are well recognized. In this regard, noise induced stress imparts a very serious effect on the body and is considered the richest element of pollution in the environment. It is well documented in the research arena that noise affects immune functions, hormonal levels, and cardiovascular and respiratory systems through the secretion of hormones. The excessive secretion of acids leads to an acid bounce or the peptic juice secretion that ends with gastric as well as the peptic ulcers… Continue reading.

November 5-6, 2022 – Healthy Masters Forum International Conference

Via Healthy Masters | November 1, 2022

An AIMBE Fellow and world-renowned expert in nanotechnology and regenerative medicine, Tom Webster, will speak at the 2022 Healthy Masters Forum International Conference in Braga, Portugal. Please click here for more detail.

Healthy Masters Forum

Nanomedicine for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 and other viruses

Via Research Outreach | July 21, 2022

While many viral infections can be prevented through vaccination, it can take a long time for vaccinations to be developed for new diseases and many people object to themselves or children taking vaccines. There is a high need for quicker, readily available alternative treatments. Serial entrepreneur Professor Thomas J Webster thinks this could be achieved using nanomaterials. Webster’s research has identified molecules which could bind to proteins on the surface of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, and inhibit its ability to infect human cells.

Since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic several years ago, multiple vaccines and treatments have been proposed to combat the disease. Most of these approaches target the virus responsible for the disease, a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. However, one limitation of these vaccines and treatments is that they are often developed for a specific form or variant of a virus – meaning they may be less effective against other, mutated forms or viruses. Recent studies have shown that current vaccines are not effective against recent SARS CoV-2 Omicron BA.4 and 5 variants… Continue reading.

Northeastern University studying nanotechnology to help curb COVID-19 spread

Via WCVB ABC | October 13, 2020

A group of scientists at Northeastern University are making progress using nanotechnology to prevent, diagnose and fight the coronavirus.

Thomas Webster, professor of chemical engineering at Northeastern University, has been working with nanotechnology for decades. Now, he and his team are finding new applications with the coronavirus.

Their goal is to find ways to keep the virus from spreading, improve testing, and create a therapy. “This is why viruses are such a huge problem, because they’re so small and pervasive… Find out more.

Northeastern Professor Partners With Audax Medical Inc., to Combat Covid-19

Via Northeastern University | May 12, 2020

The Problem At Hand

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of daily modern life; employees work from home, students attend class online, and individuals have been encouraged to stay inside, only leaving isolation for the essentials. The response has provided a mild reprieve from the rapid spread of the virus, though it is a temporary solution to a problem without a clear end in sight. Companies, universities and research labs involved in the health sciences across the world have shifted their focuses to combating COVID-19 and viral outbreaks to provide a better, more permanent solution for overcoming pandemic.

Recently, alongside Stanford University, Harvard University, and the Massachusetts Institute for Technology, the Center for Research Innovation at Northeastern University announced their support of the COVID-19 Technology Access Framework, which is a set of licensing principles that aims to make technologies that could aid research in preventing, diagnosing and treating COVID-19 more available. We took a moment to talk to Thomas Webster, a faculty researcher at Northeastern, about his work on one of these technologies.

The Inventor

Webster is a Professor at the College of Engineering at Northeastern University and heads a research lab responsible for researching and developing advanced nano-molecular technology that he calls the “Nano-Medicine Lab.” Earlier this month, Audax Medical, Inc., a Massachusetts-based company dedicated to developing medical innovations, licensed a technology developed in Webster’s lab that utilizes a nano-molecular approach to viral therapy… Continue reading.

Here’s How Nanoparticles Could Help Us Get Closer to a Treatment for COVID-19

Via Northeastern University | March 31, 2020

There is no vaccine or specific treatment for COVID-19, the disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2.

Since the outbreak began in late 2019, researchers have been racing to learn more about SARS-CoV-2, which is a strain from a family of viruses known as coronavirus for their crown-like shape.

Northeastern chemical engineer Thomas Webster, who specializes in developing nano-scale medicine and technology to treat diseases, is part of a contingency of scientists that are contributing ideas and technology to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to fight the COVID-19 outbreak… Continue reading.

Nanovis Announces Commercial Launch of New Nanosurface Technology on Spinal Interbody Implants

Via Nanovis | July 30, 2019

Nanovis today announced the commercial launch of its bioceramic nanotube enhanced FortiCore interbodies following a successful alpha launch.

The FortiCore interbodies are designed with a unique, proprietary, patent protected bio-ceramic enhanced titanium nanotube surface. The nanotubes are applied to a deeply porous, fully interconnected titanium scaffold intermolded with a PEEK core for preferred modulus and plain x-ray visualization.

A few leading innovators from select areas around the United States were the first in the world to use this new nanotechnology… Continue reading.

[New Book] Immune Aspects of Biopharmaceuticals and Nanomedicines

Via CRC Press | May 23, 2019

Tom Webster and his colleagues newly published a book titled “Immune Aspects of Biopharmaceuticals and Nanomedicines.”

Summary: The enormous advances in the immunologic aspects of biotherapeutics and nanomedicines in the past two decades has necessitated an authoritative and comprehensive reference source that can be relied upon by immunologists, biomedical researchers, clinicians, pharmaceutical companies, regulators, venture capitalists, and policy makers alike. This text provides a thorough understanding of immunology, therapeutic potential, clinical applications, adverse reactions, and approaches to overcoming immunotoxicity of biotherapeutics and nanomedicines. It also tackles critical, yet often overlooked topics such as immune aspects of nano-bio interactions, current FDA regulatory guidances, complement activation-related pseudoallergy (CARPA), advances in nanovaccines, and immunogenicity testing of protein therapeutics… Learn more.

Nanovis Named MedTech Outlook Top 10 Orthopedic Solution Provider 2019

Via Nanovis | May 8, 2019

Nanovis today announced that MedTech Outlook recognized Nanovis as a Top 10 Orthopedic Solution Provider, 2019. Its industry-leading fixation technologies offer surgeons and hospitals the best aspects of fixation, visualization, and durability. Nanovis’ developmental infection technology platforms promise to offer surgeons and hospitals much-needed bactericidal solutions.

A distinguished panel of CMIOs, CIOs, analysts, and venture capitalists, along with the editorial panel of Med Tech Outlook has selected Nanovis as a Top 10 Orthopedic Solution Provider, We congratulate Nanovis for being at the forefront of providing cutting-edge infection technology solutions; the value these solutions offer to surgeons and hospitals is evident. We anticipate hearing more about the success of Nanovis in the years to comeContinue reading.

Nanovis Wins the Global Health & Pharma 2018 Technology Awards

Via PR Web | February 5, 2019

Nanovis today announced that Global Health & Pharma magazine recognized Nanovis as the Best Nanotechnology Driven Implant Company, 2018.

Nanovis is a technology-driven growth company committed to helping surgeons and hospitals achieve excellent fixation and infection outcomes using advanced nanotechnology platforms. Its industry-leading fixation technologies offer surgeons and hospitals the best aspects of fixation, visualization, and durability. Nanovis’ developmental infection technology platforms promise to offer surgeons and hospitals much-needed bactericidal solutions.

“Nanovis is honored to be recognized for the technology award by Global Health & Pharma,” says Nanovis CEO Matt Hedrick. “It validates the progress we’ve made towards our vision of discovering, licensing and launching the best spinal implant technologies for fixation and infection… Continue reading.

Nanovis Announces FDA Clearance of FortiCore® PLIF and TLIF Spinal Interbodies with Nanosurface Features

Via Orthospine News | March 29, 2018

Nanovis, today announced the successful FDA clearance of its FortiCore® TLIF and PLIF interbodies featuring a Nanosurface-enhanced deeply porous titanium scaffold intermolded with a PEEK core.

“Implant nano surface science has advanced from the early days when we simply created nanoroughness for implants because tissues have nanoroughness. Now we understand the mechanisms by which nanotopographies can interact with cellular signaling pathways. I’m delighted that with Nanovis’ implants, patients can now benefit from a carefully designed and controlled nanotopography that harnesses this groundbreaking research,” said Thomas Webster, PhD, Chemical Engineering Department Chair, Northeastern University, who with Chang Yao, PhD, were early pioneers in the use of nanosurfaces to enhance bone growth.

Nanovis’ foundational FortiCore interbody fusion platform is well proven with over 4,250 implanted to date. FortiCore interbodies have deeply porous interconnected titanium scaffolds intermolded with a PEEK core, giving surgeons important fixation and imaging advantages. Data comparing the osseointegration strength of the FortiCore scaffold, PEEK, and allograft to the strength of trabecular host bone was published in Spine in late 2016. Now the titanium scaffolds on the FortiCore TLIF and PLIF interbodies are enhanced with a carefully designed and controlled nanosurface… Continue reading.

Thomas Webster has published a new textbook, “Immune Aspects of Biopharmaceuticals and Nanomedicines”

Via CRC Press | March 7, 2018

A stand-alone, easily accessible volume that examines and provides a broad survey of various topics pertaining to the immune effects of biopharmaceuticals and nanomedicines, both beneficial and adverse.

An essential reference for the novice and expert alike in diverse areas such as medicine, law, biotechnology, nanotechnology, pharmaceutical sciences, toxicology, drug development, regulatory science, and governmental affairs.

Highlights both cutting-edge technological advances and also addresses critical topics such as nano-bio interactions, toxicity, and FDA regulatory issues… Continue reading.

Tom Webster on National Geographic, Episode 2

Via Northeastern | May 24, 2017

ChE Chair Tom Webster, speaking about his nanotechnology research, was featured in Episode 2 of Year Million, a National Geographic television series on what life is going to be like for humans one million years in the future.

What was once conceived as science fiction is now anchored in reality. YEAR MILLION, a new six-part documentary-drama series from National Geographic, explores what it will be like to be human one million years into the future. Today’s brightest futurists, scientists, scholars and notable science fiction writers guide viewers through the very latest advances in technology, ideas and innovations that likely will power the evolution of our species.

Watch Prof. and Chair Tom Webster speak about his nanotechnology research in episode 2 and episode 4!

Thomas Webster To Run 1st International Meeting on the Advanced Applications of Natural Biomaterials

Via Northeastern | August 3, 2016

On September 29-30, a hundred researchers will gather at the 1st International Meeting on the Advanced Applications of Natural Biomaterials. This conference will be held at the Center of Natural Tropical Biomaterials located in Rionegro, Antioquia, Colombia. Attendees include researchers and graduate students from engineering as well as biomedical companies, pharmaceutical companies, and representatives from the agro-food industry.

The Center of Natural Tropical Biomaterials is a joint center between Northeastern University and the University of Antioquia, with a mission to strengthen collaborations around the use of natural materials commonly found in tropical locations for medicine.

Research at the center is of great importance to the scientific community throughout the region and the country, and has led to collaboration between Dr. Juan Jose Pavon Palacio and Dr. Thomas Webster. Most recently, Dr. Pavon Palacio travelled to Northeastern to speak at Boston Biomaterials Day for his presentation titled “Advanced Processing of Porous Titanium for Bone Tissue Repair: Multi-Factorial, Multi-Scale and Multi-Functional New Therapies”. Dr. Webster will represent Northeastern University in the conference discussion “Opportunities and Strategies to Participate in the Center of Tropical Biomaterials”.

Webster on 2016 List of Most Cited Researchers in Material Science and Engineering

Via Northeastern | July 20, 2016

ChE Chair & Professor Thomas Webster was selected as one of the 2016 List of Most Cited Researchers in Materials Science and Engineering by Elsevier Scopus Data. The list includes only the top 300 researchers in the field of materials science and engineering.

Webster Receives Acta Biomaterialia Silver Medal

Via Northeastern | July 13, 2016

ChE Chair and Professor Thomas Webster will receive the 1st Annual Acta Biomaterialia Silver Medal at the Society For Biomaterials Conference in Minneapolis in April 2017.

The Acta Biomaterialia Silver Medal intends to honor and recognize scientific contributions and leadership from academic, industry and public sector leaders in the midst of their careers. Many awards recognize outstanding young investigators or integrated contributions throughout a career. The Silver Medal is established to recognize significant research contributions that are recent and timely. Specifically, the awardee will have made significant contributions through one or more of the following means:

A theoretical or experimental discovery of a new principle in biomaterials science
Development or invention of a new process or product in the biomaterials engineering field
Distinguished leadership or service rendered to the profession of biomaterials science and engineering
The nominee should be 45 years of age or under at the end of the calendar year in which the award is announced.