Xuanhong Cheng, together with ChemE professor James Gilchrist, have been awarded a grant to further their research in bionanoparticles.
Bionanoparticles, such as viruses and vesicles, are primarily found in the areas of clinical diagnoses, defense surveillance, and food safety monitoring. Conventional methods to process them, such as high-speed centrifugation and nanofiltration, are impractical because they are both instrument- and labor-intensive. These challenges motivated Cheng and Gilchrist to develop a new microfluidic method for nanoparticle processing.
Success of the proposed research will have a broad impact in viral sample processing for clinical diagnostics of infectious disease, homeland security surveillance, and food safety.
The interdisciplinary research should provide excellent opportunities for undergraduate and graduate student training, contributing to course development in both the undergraduate and graduate curriculum. Cheng and Gilchrist plan to actively participate in K-12 outreach programs to motivate and attract talented students to STEM fields, particularly those of underrepresented groups.