Category: Seminars

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.


Chemical Engineering Grain Processing Lecture April 5th:

April 5th: Chemical Engineering Grain Processing Corporation 2011-12 Graduate Lecture Series
Tarun K. Dam, Michigan Tech, Department of Chemistry;
Thursday, April 5, 2012, 1:00-2:00 P.M., Chem. Sci. & Engineering
Room 102

Topic: Glycan biding proteins in health and disease

More than half of the proteins in our body possess
covalently attached glycan or carbohydrate molecules. These
glycan molecules are recognized by a special group of proteins
known as glycan binding proteins (GBP) or lectins. Lectins play
important roles in numerous biological processes including
immune defense and pathogen invasion. Lectins interact with
their glycan ligands through a unique recognition process.
Specific examples of lectin-glycan interactions in cancer and
bio-detection and their clinical significance will be discussed.


Dr. Bruce Lee: Mussel-Inspired Adhesives and Coatings

Chemical Engineering Grain Processing Corporation 2011-12 Lecture Series:
Friday, February 24, 2012; 10:00 a.m. Chem. Sci. & Engineering Room 102;
Dr. Bruce P. Lee, Michigan Tech Department of Biomedical Engineering; Title: “Mussel-Inspired Adhesives and Coatings”

Abstract: Mussel-Inspired Adhesives and Coatings

Bioadhesives have a wide range of important applications in the biomedical field.  Tissue adhesives simplify complex surgical procedures to achieve effective wound closure and surgical repair. Despite these important functions, currently available adhesives seldom meet the basic requirements for because of possible disease transmission, poor adhesive quality, or toxicity concerns. Thus, there is an ongoing need for the development of tissue adhesives with improved characteristics. Nature provides many outstanding examples of adhesive strategies from which chemists and materials scientists can draw inspiration in their pursuit of new biomaterials. Of particular interest is the mussel adhesive protein (MAP) secreted by marine mussels. MAP is initially secreted as a proteinaceous fluid, and then subsequently harden which allow mussels to bind tenaciously to various types of surfaces underwater. One of the unique structural features of MAP is the presence of L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA), an amino acid post-translationally modified from tyrosine, which is believed to fulfill the dual role as the adhesive moiety and the crosslinking precursor. My research had focused on the incorporation of DOPA and its derivatives in creating synthetic mimics of MAPs for various medical applications. In this seminar, I will discuss the design and application of these biomimetic adhesive materials.


Dr. Cornelius F. Ivory, Paul M. Hohenschuh Distinguished Professor – Grain Processing Seminar Series in Chemical Engineering

Friday, March 23, 2:00 p.m.
Chemical Sciences & Engineering 211

Dr. Cornelius F. Ivory, Paul M. Hohenschuh Distinguished Professor
Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering
Washington State University

Concentration and isolation of low-abundance proteins from serum using microchip isotachophoresis

Isotachophoresis (ITP) is used to isolate very low-abundance basic proteins from the high-abundance proteins in serum and then concentrate them about 20,000-fold. This is done using a PMMA microchip which contains a reducing union that decreases the channel’s cross-sectional area by a factor of 100. Proteins migrating in ITP “peak” mode will concentrate 200-fold in the approach channel, and then will concentrate another 100-fold as they pass through the reducing union.

This paper reports both the experimental application of ITP under basic,acidic and neutral conditions as well as the 3D numerical simulation of ITP in this type of chip. In particular, several challenges had to be met in each different ITP system including formation of carbonate ion at alkaline pH and the adsorption or precipitation of serum proteins at low pH.

Refreshments will be served


Active Control of Amphiphiles

Friday November 18, 2011
10:00 a.m. Chem. Sci. & Engineering Room 211

Dr. Nicholas Abbott
Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering
University of Wisconsin-Madison

This presentation will describe approaches leading to reversible control over the self-assembly of amphiphiles at interfaces, in bulk solution and with biomacromolecules, by using redox-active and light-responsive amphiphiles in combination with electrochemical and photochemical methods. Because the changes in state can be spatially localized, these approaches also provide ways to generate well-defined gradients in properties of aqueous amphiphile systems. This talk will describe the dynamic and equilibrium properties of these novel systems, and sketch results that illustrate the potential application of these systems for spatial and temporal control of gene delivery.


Clearance of Biological Impurities using Improved Membrane Adsorbers

Friday, October 28, 2011 10:00 a.m.; Chem. Sci. & Engineering, Room 211

Dr. Mark Etzel, Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering,
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Clearance of biological impurities such as viruses, DNA, and host-cell protein (HCP) is a challenging and highly regulated processing step during the manufacture of cell line-derived biopharmaceuticals. We evaluated the ability of a strong anion exchange membrane adsorber to clear biological impurities across a range of operating conditions. We observed a large log reduction value (LRV) for an acidic virus independent of salt concentration, but for a more neutral virus, and for HCP, LRV dropped from a high value to near zero after addition of salt. Protein therapeutics typically must have salt present to prevent aggregation. To overcome the limitation of salt intolerance, new ligands were found. Our goal was to find a ligand that maintained a large LRV independent of salt concentration. Results from this study should aid in the design of improved membrane adsorber systems and ultimately lead to increased product safety.


Industrial Symbiosis for GigaWatt-Scale Photovoltaic Manufacturing

Friday September 30, 2011 – 10:00 a.m.; Chem. Sci. & Engineering Room 211

Dr. Joshua Pearce, Associate Professor, Materials & Science Engineering; Electrical & Comp Engineering; Michigan Technological University

In order to stabilize the global climate, civilization must drastically reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. One of the most promising methods of curbing GHG emissions while maintaining or improving our standard of living, is a world transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy. Solar photovoltaic (PV) cells, which convert sunlight directly to electricity, offer a technically sustainable solution to projected future energy demands and PV is currently one of the fastest growing industries in the world. This presentation explores utilizing industrial symbiosis to obtain economies of scale and increased manufacturing efficiencies for solar PV cells in order for solar electricity to compete economically with highly-subsidized fossil fuels. The concept of industrial symbiosis engages traditionally separate industries in a collective approach to competitive advantage involving physical exchange of materials, energy, water, and/or by-products. The keys to industrial symbiosis are collaboration and the synergistic possibilities offered by geographic proximity. Here we apply it to solar PV. We will discuss the basics of PV engineering, the state of PV manufacturing, the market and the effects of scale on all three. The requirements necessary to construct a multi-gigaWatt PV factory will be outlined and the technical requirements for a symbiotic industrial system will be explored to increase the manufacturing efficiency while improving the environmental impact of PV. The results of preliminary analysis show that an eight-factory industrial symbiotic system can be viewed as a medium-term investment, which will not only obtain direct financial return, but also an improved global environment. The technical concepts to this approach have been analyzed and it was found that symbiotic growth will help to mitigate many of the limitations of PV and will help reach the enormous untapped market for low-cost PV.