Day: April 9, 2012

Students Earn Awards for Research

Several Chemical Engineering students have recently won awards for their research presentations and posters.

At the eighth annual Ecosystem Science Center and Biotechnology Research Center ESC/BRC Student Research Forum, held March 30, for the graduate students, four Grand Prize Awards and six Merit Awards were presented. They were selected from among 59 posters and abstracts submitted by graduate students conducting research related to ecology, the environment and biotechnology. Each center also awarded a Grand Prize to an undergraduate researcher in a separate division of 17 undergraduate submissions. Posters will be on display in the atrium of the Forestry building through Friday, April 13 See the complete article

From the Biotechnology Research Center:

$500 Grand Prize Winner: Maria Tafur (Chemical Engineering)
“Reduction of Virus Infectivity in the Presence of Osmolytes”
Advisor: Caryn Heldt

$100 Merit Award Winner: Tayloria Adams (Chemical Engineering)
“Characterizing the Dielectric Behavior of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells”
Advisor: Adrienne Minerick

$100 Merit Award Winner: Ran An (Chemical Engineering)
“Micron-scale Ion Concentration Gradients in Nonuniform AC Electric Fields”
Advisor: Adrienne Minerick

Photos and more details Biotechnology Research Center

Apr 13: Dr. Surya K. Mallapragada – Grain Processing Seminar Series in Chemical Engineering

Friday, April 13, 10:00 a.m.
Chem. Sci. & Engineering, Room 102
Dr. Surya K. Mallapragada, Stanley Professor and Chair
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Iowa State University

Refreshments will be served prior to the lecture

Topic: Self-assembling block copolymers for gene delivery and biomineralization

We have synthesized a family of novel self-assembling pH and temperature sensitive multiblock cationic and anionic copolymers with a variety of nanoarchitectures. The copolymers exhibit pH sensitivity and thermo-reversible gelation at physiological temperatures. The cationic multiblock copolymers exhibit complexation with DNA and serve as excellent gene therapy vectors for cancer therapies. Our studies have shown that these polymeric vectors show sustained gene delivery and selective transfection in cancer cells versus non-cancer cells. Detailed mechanistic studies have shown that the selectivity arises due to intracellular differences in pH be-tween cancer and normal cells. The anionic multiblock copolymers and their micelles also serve as excellent templates for biomineralization. These hierarchically self-assembling copolymers in conjunction with mineralization proteins/peptides, form bioinspired self-assembled nanocomposites. These novel injectable insitu-forming nanocomposites show mechanical properties similar to that of native cartilage, and are being investigated for cartilage rescue to prevent post-traumatic osteoarthritis.