Our activities involve synthesis and development of advanced polymeric membrane material constructs for both fundamental and application-oriented research. Activities span topics including membrane transport, membrane formation and structure, fouling, process design, and integrated applications. Primary emphasis is on development and fabrication of advanced membranes for precise molecular separation under critical environmental conditions. Our research is multidisciplinary involving complementary methodical approaches from materials sciences, polymer engineering, chemical engineering, and environmental science and engineering.
Most living cells contain specialized “water-channels” in the cell membrane which transport water and exclude salt with very high efficiency. Our group aims to model and understand the function of the natural water channel and build a hybrid synthetic membrane which mimics the natural function.
The application of biological cells and enzymes as biocatalysts has been widely spread within the area of biotechnology and biochemical engineering. Apart from being able to biologically regenerate from small quantities, such bio-based catalysts can be designed in such a way that it can mediate only a specific type of reaction. Nowadays, despite the emergence of new types of catalysts, biocatalysts have been one of the most reliable and acceptable substitutes compared to its synthetic counterparts. In order to tackle the specificity and selectivity of a biocatalysts, the genes responsible for the production of a particular enzyme for bioconversion can be enhanced or perhaps over-expressed within another host. Our research focuses on the applied aspects of using enzymes and living cells to manufacture chemicals, pharmaceuticals and food ingredients.
Primary interests are in processes involving purification of microbial-produced biomolecules such as proteins and polysaccharides and their separation from or release from within the cell. Research topics include, but not be limited to, nanobioprocessing, bioactive biomaterials, biosensing, upstream bioprocessing, and biomolecular engineering and modeling. We plan of focusing on modeling and simulation techniques to investigate the behavior and thermodynamics of biological molecules in solutions and in inhomogenous environments such as surfaces.
Biological materials’ interaction and behavior in an electromagnetic (EM) Field
Research deals with mathematical modeling and prediction of the dielectric properties of biological materials for purposes of electromagnetic heating applications. Dielectric heating of biomaterials is investigated from the physical, chemical, and electrical properties perspectives. Primary focus is on the electrical properties, especially dielectric properties, and their relations to the structure-function of the biological molecule in an electromagnetic field. The specific objectives of the research are: 1) to investigate the nature of the EM phenomenon and the mechanisms of its application on biological materials at Industrial, Scientific, and Medical frequencies, especially the MW and RF of the spectrum; 2) to investigate the relations between system thermodynamic and chemical properties and their material dielectric behavior; 3) to establish a physical-chemical basis of dielectric behavior in biological systems as a mean of predicting dielectric properties at various frequencies of interest in dielectric heating processes.