- Ph.D., Macromolecular Science and Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ, 2020
- B.S., Chemistry, Penn State University, 2016
- NAMSA ISO 10993 Series 1 Biocompatibility Testing, Evaluation and Risk Management
- Dragon’s Den Pitch Competition Winner, British Columbia Regenerative Medicine, 2021
- Jean Ann Russe Skiles Ph.D. ’87 Graduate Fellowship, 2018
- Runner-up, College of Science Roundtable Make-a-Difference Scholarship, 2018, 2019
- Interdisciplinary Graduate Education Program Fellowship, 2016
- American Chemical Society
- Adhesion Society
Dr. Wilts consults on proactive and reactive projects for materials selection, risk assessment, and failure analysis for medical devices, drug delivery, paints and coatings, and adhesives applications. She utilizes her background in polymer structure-property-processing relationships, synthesis and characterization techniques to predict how materials behave in complex manufacturing and biological settings.
Dr. Wilts has practical knowledge in free-radical, RAFT, melt step-growth, and cationic ring opening polymerization and uses thermal, mechanical, and photo/melt/solution rheology to identify bulk and solution properties. She regularly used 1H, 13C, and 31P NMR spectroscopy and FTIR for chemical characterization, DSC, TGA, DMA, and melt/solution/photo rheology for bulk polymer characterization.
She has experience creating new polymers for binder jetting, selective laser sintering, stereolithography, and extrusion additive manufacturing process and traditional manufacturing processes such as melt extrusion, reactive extrusion, and spray coating. Dr. Wilts also has extensive experience in translational medicine where she investigated processes from chemical synthesis to implantation in rodents. She is well versed in chemical risk assessment for animal studies, disease modeling, and histological characterization to determine biocompatibility of polymers and medical devices in vivo and in vitro.
Dr. Wilts completed her doctorate in Macromolecular Science and Engineering at Virginia Tech in 2020. She investigated structure-property-processing relationships of water-soluble and biodegradable polymers for 3D printing and biomedical applications. While researching personalized dosage pharmaceuticals, she synthesized varying polymer architectures of water-soluble polymers to increase binding strength of additively manufactured oral tablets and printed one of the strongest reported in literature. She also discovered a key physical property to predict printability of liquid adhesives for binder jetting using complex rheological characterization. She completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2022 at the University of British Columbia studying immunoprotective biomaterials used for encapsulation of islets for cell-therapy treatments of diabetes. She identified time-releasing anti-inflammatory agents attached to PEG-based polymer to decrease immune attack in vivo and prolong islet survival.