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NANOTECH CENTER RECEIVES $12.5 MILLION IN SECOND ROUND OF FUNDING
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- An Ohio State University-led research center has been awarded $12.5 million in continued funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF).
NSF first established the Center for Affordable Nanoengineering of Polymeric Biomedical Devices (CANPBD) in 2004. The center is unique in that it is the only one among NSF’s 19 Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers that focuses solely on the development of polymer-based bio-nanotechnology.
In its first five years, the center spawned more than a dozen patents, as well as five commercial spin-off companies.
The new funding will enable the center to continue its mission for the next five years.
“I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished so far,” said L. James Lee, center director and professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Ohio State. “This new funding brings us even closer to our ultimate goal of designing and building a nanofactory -- an assembly line for affordable, environmentally friendly manufacture of nano-based medical technology.”
Among the center’s developments: polymer scaffolds that support the growth of blood vessels for transplant; techniques for shaping DNA into structures that could one day form sensors for biological agents; and a CD carved with tiny channels that transport fluids for medical testing.
The latter technology forms the basis for BioLOC, LLC, the spin-off company funded by Lee and colleague S.T. Yang, also a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering. Their CD was the first to automate a common clinical, food safety, and environmental test called ELISA. Short for “enzyme linked immunosorbent assay,” ELISA is the most common test for HIV.
Other CANPBD Spin-offs based on Ohio State research include Ikotech, a company that develops magnetic cell-sorting technology that originated from Jeffrey Chalmers, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering; Ohio Nanomed, Inc., which develops drug delivery technology from Robert Lee, associate professor of pharmaceutics; Traycer Diagnostic Systems, which develops cancer detection technology based on a material invented by Arthur Epstein, Distinguished University Professor of physics and chemistry; and Nanofiber Solutions, LLC, which develops nanofiber mats for biomedical screening based on the work of John Lannutti, associate professor of materials science and engineering.
As to future directions for CANPBD, Lee says the center will focus on system-level integration of its new nanomaterials and nanotechnologies into advanced drug and gene delivery methods and single-cell analysis methods. These will enable personalized nanomedicine through close collaboration with medical researchers at Ohio State’s College of Medicine.
Visitors to the center’s Web site (http://www.nsec.ohio-state.edu/) can view an interactive 3D model of CANPBD research. Ohio State’s Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design helped create the model, in which individual projects appear as nodes on a network, each connected by filaments to related research.
The model is not only visually engaging, but it drives home the point that all the work done at CANPBD -- in all its partner laboratories around the world -- forms a unique and ever-evolving whole.
Partner institutions include Duke University, University of Michigan, University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, State University of New York at Albany, University of Akron, Oakwood University and University of California at San Francisco. Other collaborators include more than 20 commercial companies in Ohio and around the country, Battelle, the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, the National Cancer Institute, NIST, and Wright Patterson Air Force Labs. They are also joined by international collaborators from Europe, Asia and Australia.