Nanomembranes and Nanomanufacturing

We are researching the fabrication of ultrathin nano- and micro-porous membranes. These membranes are typically 1/1000th the thickness of a human hair with well controlled pore sizes. Part of our work focuses on the science behind manufacturing scale-up of nanomaterials, which typically have very low yields at extraordinary cost. The National Science Foundation has funded our laboratory’s efforts to develop nano manufacturing scale-up techniques to help integrate nanomembranes into miniaturized hemodialysis cartridges. (Support from NSF 1521373 and NSF 1660177, Gaborski Co-PI)

Cellular Microenvironments – Physiological Barrier Models

We are using ultrathin membranes to enable development of novel co-culture and barrier models as well as improved measurement and analysis of real-time barrier function. The ultrathin nature of the membranes not only enables improved physiological processes, but also optical, electrical and biochemical analysis of barrier properties. Furthermore, we can control and manipulate physical and biochemical cell-cell interactions by tuning membrane pore sizes and membrane thickness at the nanometer and micrometer scales. (Support from NIH R35 GM119623, Gaborski PI)

Separations and Analysis

An ultrathin membrane is an ideal sieve due to the lack of internal voids and high permeability. We are using ultrathin nanoporous membranes to explore simplified purification methods of biomolecules that otherwise require complex and often low-yield processes. In combination with our goals of scalable nano manufacturing, these nano membranes, we are also exploring the purification of exosomes from mesenchymal stem cell media for therapeutic applications. We have also begun research utilizing graphene oxide nano laminates to purify water-soluble and albumin-bound toxins from blood for kidney dialysis and liver support technologies in collaboration with Saeed Moghaddam at UF. (Support from NSF 1660177, Gaborski Co-PI and NIH R21 EB023527, Gaborski Multi-PI)

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