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.

Michigan Tech Students Head to Detroit for Alternative Spring Break

Members of Michigan Tech’s chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) are in Detroit to participate in an alternative spring break 2012 week. Eight members of the Michigan Tech student chapter of the NSBE will visit six middle schools and one high school to talk with students. They will also conduct Family Engineering events at three schools. Family Engineering includes fun, hands-on activities for the whole family, such as “Mining For Chocolate” and “Glue Is The Clue.” The program, developed at Michigan Tech and now available across Michigan and nationwide, is designed to engage and inspire young people and their families to consider careers in engineering and science. Read More

Chemical engineering students showcase their latest research

Graduate students in the chemical engineering department went to the 2012 Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME) annual meeting held Feb. 11-16 in Seattle, Wash., to showcase their latest research. This year graduate students, with Professor S. Komar Kawatra as their adviser, took first and third place in the minerals processing division.

The posters and presentations were judged by SME members working in the mining industry.

PhD candidate Brett Spigarelli took first place with a poster, “An Equilibrium Analysis of Carbon Dioxide Absorption in Alkali Solutions.”

PhD candidate Howard Haselhuhn took third place with a poster, “Water Chemistry Effects on Zeta Potential of Concentrated Hematite Ore.”

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