Belfort Group

Biomolecular Separations Research Group
Howard P. Isermann Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
and Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Troy, NY 12180, USA

High-throughput Membrane Modification

We have developed, to our knowledge, the only high throughout synthesis, screening and selection method for modifying surfaces (i.e. synthetic membranes) with 100s of polymers in a very short period (<a day). We have demonstrated (i) the efficacy of both photo-oxidation and atmospheric plasma, (ii) the reproducibility, and (iii) the wide applicability of the method to select for useful interfacial chemistry, i.e. discover surfaces that repel proteins and humic acids and allows stem cells to grow sans differentiation.

We are now using combinatorial chemistry to synthesize new materials not commercially available and seeking new surfaces to allow stem cells to grow and form retinal pigment epithelium cells. We also seek to understand why these surfaces behave the way they do using sum frequency generation measurements and simulations (Shekhar Garde, RPI). We also collaborate with Sally Temple, The Neural Stem Cell Institute and Yubing Xie, CNSE, Albany.

Gu, M., Vegas, A. J., Anderson, D. G., Langer, Kilduff, J. E. and Belfort, G. (2013) Combinatorial synthesis with high throughput discovery, Biomaterials, in press.
Zonca Jr. M. R., Yune, P. S., Heldt, C. L., Belfort, G. and Xie, Y. (2013) High-throughput screening of substrate chemistry for embryonic stem cell attachment: Expansion and maintaining pluripotency, Macromol. Biosci, 13(2) 177-90.
Gu, M., Yildiz, H., Carrier, R. and Belfort, G. (2013) Discovery of low mucus adhesion surfaces, Acta Biomaterialia, 9 (2) 5201-5207.
Gu, M., Kilduff, J. E. and Belfort, G. (2012) High throughput atmospheric pressure plasma-induced graft polymerization for identifying protein-resistant surfaces, Biomaterials, 33 (5) 1261-1270.

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