Caryn Heldt (ChE) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $300,000 research and development grant from the National Science Foundation. The project is titled “Driving Forces in Aqueous Two-Phase Systems for Vaccine Development.” This is a three-year project totaling $300,000.
Worldwide, there is a need for less expensive vaccines. To achieve better vaccine coverage, vaccine production processes need to be low-cost and allow for continuous operation, which is not possible with current vaccine production technology. A primary objective of this project will be to explore aqueous two-phase systems (ATPSs) to fulfill the need for new viral particle purification processes that could reduce the cost of vaccines and be run as a continuous operation. ATPS could also reduce the development time for a new vaccine, allowing for pandemic vaccines to come to market sooner. In addition to vaccines, a better understanding of ATPS could aid in future cell separations for advanced cell therapeutics.