Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Chemical engineers discover filtration system to help biotech industry


Chemical engineers at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) have developed a new filtration system to enable scientists and engineers to separate and purify two different kinds of proteins having relatively close molecular weight. Until now, doing such separations with membrane filtration was impossible. This research was reported in the June 20, 2004 issue of Biotechnology and Bioengineering.

"This is good news," said Kamalesh K. Sirkar, PhD, distinguished professor of chemical engineering and the project’s lead researcher. "To separate the good from the bad proteins is an important engineering breakthrough. We believe that pharmaceutical companies will immediately be able to put our research to work."

Before this invention, proteins had to differ five to six times in their molecular weight, before a scientist or engineer could separate them using a process called ultra-filtration. "Now using a new kind of membrane that we invented at NJIT, the proteins can have almost the same molecular weight," said Sirkar. The process also will be more cost-effective because the machines can run on a continuous basis.

"The reason we think this process will be important to the industry is because purification of protein is important to its end use," said Sirkar. Impure proteins can’t be used in any biopharmaceutical applications. However, when scientists in the past have gone to separate proteins and remove impurities by chromatography, costs have escalated.

NJIT has funded this research to date. The next step is to seek outside funding because more work needs to be done. "We know the process will work with a mixture of two proteins. But, Sirkar speculated, will it work if the mixtures contain three or four proteins? More questions include: can it be used on viruses or endotoxins –the outer coating of a particular type of bacteria? Will the process work with non-biological macromolecules such as dextran? "We think it can be used, but we don’t know," said Sirkar. "That’s why we are seeking additional funding to continue this research."

Sirkar, a noted expert in the membrane filtration processes and holder of more than 20 patents, has been a research professor at NJIT since 1992. He is now the NJIT Foundation Professor of Membrane Separations. Sirkar also directs the NJIT Center for Membrane Technologies. The long-time Bridgewater Township resident received a master’s degree and doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois (Urbana). Meredith Feins, PhD, a June 2004 graduate of NJIT’s doctoral program in chemical engineering, worked on this research in the laboratory. Feins grew up in Cedar Grove and now resides in River Vale.

Sheryl Weinstein | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod
21.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Second research flight into zero gravity
21.10.2016 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>