ME-led team of researchers is awarded Keck Foundation Grant

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The W.M. Keck Foundation has awarded the UCSB campus $1,000,000 for a project entitled: "Nanoelectrofluidic Systems: New Tools for Nanoparticle Analysis." The PI's are: Sumita Pennathur (ME), Frederic Gibou (ME), Todd Squires (ChemE), Paul Atzberger (Math and ME), and Andrew Cleland (Physics).

We are very excited about this team, and about the scientific breakthroughs that this sort of funding will enable. The abstract of this new project is given below:

"A technology able to separate, detect and analyze nanoparticles and molecules according to size and charge has tremendous implications for future medical diagnostics and nanoparticle technology. If these operations could be performed cheaply and quickly, our technology could result in new tools to be used, for instance, in a doctor’s office for rapid and precise molecular based diagnoses. At the same time, applications toward efficient nanoparticle and molecular synthesis, purification, and characterization could be of critical importance to the burgeoning nanomanufacturing industry. Our goal is to develop a revolutionary platform, capable of detection, analysis and sorting of biological and synthetic nanoparticles, based on the integration of two complementary techniques: (1) Size-based detection and sorting of individual unlabeled nanoparticles, and (2) gel-free electrophoretic separation of nanoparticles in nanochannels. The strong interdisciplinary nature of our group has the diversity of perspectives offering powerful new insights and approaches for the development of novel solutions. The result of our proposed project would be groundbreaking technology that has the potential to revolutionize the current state-of-the-art. The support of the W.M. Keck Foundation is key to realizing this goal."