Month: October 2012

New Research Awards

The Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Program would like to recognize their respective faculty members who have recently been granted new funding initiatives.

Daniel Gage (Molecular and Cell Biology) and Leslie Shor, USDA/National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Microfluidic Studies of Signaling Between Rhizosphere Bacteria and their Predators, 2/12-2/14, $150,000.

Yu Lei, University of Connecticut Center for Science & Technology Commercialization, Naked Eye-based Standoff Detection of Explosives Using Novel Signal-Amplifying Nanocomposite and Hand-held UV Light, 8/12-12/13, $7,500.

Anson Ma, NSF, Understanding the Flow Dynamics and Transport of Nanoparticles in Simulated Tumor Blood Flows for Improved Cancer Treatment, 9/12-8/14, $150,000.

Jeffrey McCutcheon, NSF, Collaborative Research: Modified Reverse Osmosis Membranes for Forward and Pressure Retarded Osmosis, 8/12-7/15, $234,405.

Jeffrey McCutcheon, Solvay Specialty Polymers, Polymeric Membranes for Emerging Separation Processes, 1/12-4/13, $102,679.

Jeffrey McCutcheon, Chevron USA, Produced Water Treatment using Forward Osmosis; Phase 1: Membrane Performance Testing, 4/12-1/13, $45,000.

Mu-Ping Nieh, James Cole (Molecular and Cell Biology) and Douglas Adamson (Chemistry), NSF, MRI: Acquisition of a State-of-the-Art Small Angle X-Ray Scattering (SAXS) Instrument for Research and Education, 9/12-8/15, $568,398.

Richard Parnas and Tim Dowding (School of Business), University of Connecticut Center for Science & Technology Commercialization, Biomass Waste to Construction Board, 5/12-1/13, $40,840.

Ioulia Valla and Prabhakar Singh, Precision Combustion Inc., 13X Zeolite as Potential Molecular Sieve for Gas Phase Impurities Removal: Emphasis on the Characterization of the Zeolite, 7/12-7/12, $9,995.

Ioulia Valla and George Bollas, NSF, Turning Tars into Energy: Zeolites with Hierarchical Pore Structure for the Catalytic Cracking of Tars, 8/12-7/14, $188,698.

Yong Wang, NSF, CREATIV: Programming Materials via Biomolecular Engineering, 9/12-8/15, $400,000.

Professor Ma Received NSF EAGER Award

MaDr. Anson Ma of the Chemical Engineering Program has recently received NSF EAGER award (#1250661) to understand the flow dynamics of nanoparticles in simulated blood flows. Nanoparticles show great promise in delivering anticancer drugs more directly to tumors, thereby reducing the toxic side effects to normal tissues. The passive accumulation of nanoparticles in tumors is due to the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect, caused by the leaky nature of the tumor vasculature. In order to improve cancer treatment, there is an urgent need to understand the detailed mechanism of EPR.

Dr. Ma and his team will construct novel microfluidic devices that mimic blood bifurcation and leaky tumor blood vessels. The trajectory of nanoparticles in stimulated blood flows will then be characterized. The proposed research will strengthen our fundamental understanding of the EPR effect – the hallmark of passive targeted delivery of anticancer drugs. The success of the proposed research will also have far-reaching implications on the rational design of nanoparticles to allow more specific delivery of anticancer drug to tumors, thereby increasing patient comfort during cancer treatment and fulfilling a societal need.