Kagya Amoako, Ph.D.

Kagya Amoako Image
Interim Chair, Mechanical & Industrial Engineering
Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering, Graduate Coordinator

Chemistry, Chemical Engineering & Biomedical Engineering
Tagliatela College of Engineering
School of Health Sciences

Dr. Amoako will be on sabbatical during the Fall 2024 semester.

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Biomaterials, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI, and University of Washington, Seattle WA
Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI
M.S.E in Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI
B.S. in Physics and Mathematics, Delaware State University, Dover DE

About Kagya

Kagya Amoako is an expert in device-related infection and cardiovascular and lung assisted medical devices. His research focuses on understanding the mechanisms of artificial materials and blood interaction. In a key finding, he and his team discovered that polymer-bound nitric oxide can inhibit the growth of bacteria and, at the same time, does not damage the viability of surrounding cells.

His work focuses on how to stop the spread of infections associated with implanted medical devices including catheters, pacemakers, stents, vascular grafts, heart valves, artificial lungs, artificial kidneys, and glucose sensors.

With over 200 million implantable devices used in patients in the U.S. alone, and about a four percent infection rate, Dr. Amoako’s research could impact more than eight million people each year who have device-related infections, improving patient health and reducing hospitalization time and healthcare costs.

As the director of the University of New Haven’s Biomaterials and Medical Device Innovation Laboratory, Dr. Amoako leads teams of graduate students developing new biocompatible surfaces and medical device prototypes and conducting device biocompatibility tests to determine how well the devices would work in clinical practice. His ultimate research goal is to develop the next generation of medical devices that will provide long-term support for cardiovascular and pulmonary disease patients.

In 2017, he published "Achieving Totally Local Anticoagulation on Blood Contacting Devices" in Advanced Materials Interfaces, which examined the challenges of biomaterial surface interaction with blood, biomaterial properties and their influence on coagulation, and old and new surface anticoagulation methods.

His wide-ranging research work includes the development of polymer materials that can be used in the living spaces in spaceships. With support from the NASA Connecticut Space Grant Consortium, Dr. Amoako is developing new surfaces that stop the growth of bacteria in the areas astronauts use daily in space.

He and a student researcher are also developing a prototype of a low-cost prosthetic arm for the more than 2.4 million below-the-elbow amputees who live in developing countries and can’t afford a prosthetic arm.

Dr. Amoako is director of the University of New Haven’s master’s degree in biomedical engineering, which includes students from the U.S., China, Nigeria, India, Turkey, Iran, and Myanmar. He received his B.S. in physics and mathematics from Delaware State, and his M.S.E. in mechanical engineering and his Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the University of Michigan.

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Selected Peer Reviewed Publications

Surbhi Gupta, KAAmoako, Ahmed Suhaib, Keith E. Cook. Multi-modal, surface focused anticoagulation using poly-2-methoxyethylacrylate polymer grafts and surface nitric oxide release. Advanced Material Interfaces. 2014, doi: 10.1002/admi.201400012

Harihara Sandaram, Xia Han, Ann K. Nowinski, Norman D. Brault, Yuting Li, Jean-Rene Ella- Menye, KAAmoako, Keith E. Cook, Patrick Marek, Kris Senecal, and Shaoyi Jiang. Achieving One-step Surface Coating of Highly Hydrophilic Poly(Carboxybetaine Methacrylate) Polymers on Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Surfaces. Advanced Materials Interfaces. 2014, doi: 10.1002/admi.201400071

Hitesh Handa, Elizabeth J. Brisbois, Terry C. Major, Lahdan Refahiyat, KAAmoako, Robert H. Bartlett and Mark E. Meyerhof. Hemocompatibility comparison of biomedical grade polymers using rabbit thrombogenicity model for preparing nonthrombogenic nitric oxide releasing surfaces. Journal of materials chemistry. B, Materials for biology and medicine. 2014, 2(8): 1059-1067

Hitesh Handa, Elizabeth J. Brisbois, Terry C. Major, Lahdan Refahiyat, KAAmoako, Gail M. Annich, Robert H. Bartlett and Mark E. Meyerhof. In vitro and in vivo study of sustained nitric oxide release coating using diazeniumdiolate-doped poly(vinyl chloride) matrix with poly(lactide- co-glycolide) additive. Journal of materials chemistry. B, Materials for biology and medicine. 2013,1(29): 3578-3587

KA Amoako, Montoya JP, Major TC, Meyerhof ME, Bartlett RH, Cook KE. Fabrication and In vivo Thrombogenecity Testing of Nitric Oxide Generating Artificial Lungs. J Biomed Mater Res A. 2013, 101(12): 3511-3519

KA Amoako, Archangeli C, Major TC, Meyerhoff ME, Annich GM, Bartlett RH. Thromboresistance Characterization of Extruded Nitric Oxide Releasing Silicone Catheters ASAIO Journal2012; 58: 238 -246

Major TC, Brant DO, Burney CP, KAAmoako, Annich GM, Meyerhoff ME, Handa H, and Bartlett RH. The hemocompatibility of a nitric oxide generating polymer that catalyzes S-nitrosothiol decomposition in an extracorporeal circulation model. Biomaterials2011; 32: 5957e5969

KA Amoako, Cook KE. Nitric oxide-generating silicone as a blood-contacting biomaterial. ASAIO Journal2011; 57:539–544

D. Pokrajac, KAAmoako, Patel H, Brooks J, Cenat N, Marcus K, Darden S. Data Mining in Geosciences. TELSIKS 2003; 534-537

Teaching Interests

Dr. Amoako’s teaching interests are in Biomaterials and Design and Application of Biomaterials in Medicine. His teaching philosophy include providing the connection between learning material and the "big picture", treating students with respect, diversifying teaching methods to accommodate both visual and auditory learners, using assessment tools to evaluate teaching methods, and having plans for growth as an educator.

Research Interests

Dr. Amoako’s research focuses on bio-inspired polymer surface and bulk modification to incorporate anti-clotting functions of the endothelium on biomaterials. His research goal is to address cardiovascular diseases through medical device development. He has worked on medical device fabrication, surface modification, and in vivo testing. Examples of blood contacting devices that he has studied, using animal test models, include artificial lungs and catheters.

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News and In the Media

The Charger Blog

Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering Recognized as a National Leader in his Field

Whether he’s working to improve artificial lungs or increasing access to ventilators during the pandemic, Kagya Amoako, Ph.D., has been making an important impact in the field of biomedical engineering. Recently inducted into Marquis Who's Who, he is also devoted to providing the “best classroom and laboratory research experience” for the next generation of researchers and leaders.