Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering News
C. Wang Part of Winning Nanobiotech Grant Team
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering assistant professor Chunsheng Wang will collaborate on a project that has been awarded a 2009 Maryland Nanobiotechnology Research and Industry Competition Grant of $250,000 from the State of Maryland. The winning proposal, "A Micro-Direct Methanol Fuel Cell with Nanostructured Platinum Catalysts Using the Tobacco Mosaic Virus," will be carried out in collaboration with P.I. Associate Professor Reza Ghodssi (Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and affiliate, Graduate Program in Bioengineering) and Professor James M. Culver (Center for Biosystems Research, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute and affiliate, Graduate Program in Bioengineering).
The Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) and the Maryland Biotechnology Center, Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) announced the award on June 4.
The project combines the professors' expertise in micro-electro-mechanical systems and microfabrication (Ghodssi); biology and protein engineering (Culver) and fuel cells and batteries (Wang) to design and develop high-performance, low-cost, portable micro-power sources using a simple and inexpensive biotemplate: the tobacco mosaic virus (TMV).
TMV has a high aspect ratio plant nanostructure which can be genetically modified to include functional groups that facilitate electroless metal deposition and self-assembly onto gold surfaces. This biotemplating process has been integrated with standard micro-machining for the development of micro-fabricated batteries. The result is a fuel cell with surface area nano-structured electrodes.
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June 18, 2009