Biomolecular and Metabolic Engineering Laboratories
The Biomolecular and Metabolic Engineering Laboratories employ the tools of "functional" genomics to understand the regulation of genetic circuits during applied stresses. In particular, DNA microarrays are used for analyzing gene expression on a global basis. This, coupled with transcriptional promoter probes, quantitative RT-PCR, Northern and Western analyses ultimately enables close to real time detection of gene expression in targeted circuits. The group is currently focusing on stress-related and nutritionally- regulated pathways such as those involving s32, sS,and sN. The group's objective is to alter the intracellular environment to improve cellular processes, including the production of recombinant proteins. It is also developing new analytical tools to monitor gene expression both in vivo and in vitro.
See also: The Biochip Collaborative
Functional Macromolecular Laboratory
The Functional Macromolecular Laboratory focuses on the synthesis, characterization and processing of novel polymer-based nanostructured systems used in a variety of technological fields, ranging from medicine and pharmaceuticals to energy storage and microelectronics. The lab features a comprehensive set of characterization equipment for polymer mechanical, thermal, dielectric, conductive properties. Current projects include the design of polymers, hydrogels, and molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) for use in blood-coagulation, intelligent food packaging capable of detecting pathogenic bacteria, hemodialysis, vaccine production, the selective binding of viruses and proteins, and electrolytes for flexible batteries and energy storage systems.
Professor Jackson's research group works on several projects related to solid oxide electrochemical cells, PEM fuel cell systems and electrocatalysis, and catalytic and solar thermal reactors for energy conversion and H2 production. THeir research includes a combination of fundamental experiments and design model development and validation, which has made an impact in both the scientific and industrial R&D communities.
Maryland MEMS & Microfluidics Laboratory
Research in the Maryland MEMS & Microfluidics Laboratory (MML) spans a range of microscale and nanoscale technologies, including tools for high throughput biomarker discovery and analysis, low-cost microfluidic diagnostics for world health, interfaces coupling microfluidics to mass spectrometry, microscale platforms for probing lipid membranes and ion channels, and new polymer micro/nanofluidic fabrication technologies. MML researchers also develop silicon and piezoelectric MEMS technologies for novel analytical and microactuation platforms. Microfabrication is performed using dedicated facilities in the MML cleanroom, and in the FabLab located in the Jeong H. Kim Engineering Bldg.
Molecular Mechanics and Self-Assembly Laboratory
The Molecular Mechanics Laboratory focuses on investigating molecular level interactions using high resolution force microscopy. Atomic force microscopy and optical tweezers are utilized to understand protein-protein interactions, the nanomechanics of macromolecules, and the structure-function relationship of biological molecules. Current research projects are focused on understanding molecular mechanism of protein aggregation disease, DNA-biomaterial interaction, and self-assembling peptides. Understanding the nature of these interactions will allow us to design novel biomaterials with well-defined nanostructural properties that will be useful for biomedical and nanobiotechnology applications.
Sang Bok Lee Research Group
Professor Lee's expertise in nanomaterials synthesis and electrochemistry forms the foundation of his research program. The Lee Group is, in general, interested in the synthesis of 1-D nanotubular and nanowire structures with various materials, since the 1-D structure has many attributes that other nanostructures do not have. The group is also interested in application of these various 1-D naostructures in the biomedical, materials, and energy fields. Current research projects may be categorized into three major areas: (1) synthesis and characterization of nanotube structures with various electronic and/or electrochemical materials and their application to ultrafast electrochromic display and high-power energy storage devices, (2) synthesis and characterization of bio-nanotubes for biomedical applications such as targeted drug delivery and biosensors, and (3) investigation of fundamental physical and chemical properties of nanostructured materials such as diffusion and reaction problems in a confined geometry of silica nanotube.
Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials Laboratory
The Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials Laboratory uses the principles of both engineering and life sciences to develop biomaterials that improve the quality of life of ill or injured patients. The lab is used to fabricate polymers into easily implantable biomaterials by first synthesizing novel hydrolytically degradable biomaterials. Molecular and cellular biology principles are then incorporated to understand the interaction of cells, tissues, and higher life systems with these novel biomaterials. Areas of focus in the lab include the study of biomaterials for the delivery of therapeutics, scaffolds for orthopedic tissue engineering applications, and the interaction of biomaterials and tissues.