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CBE Graduate Student Presentations


2/27/2018 at 12:30PM


2/27/2018 at 1:30PM


155 DeBartolo Hall


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William Schneider

William Schneider

VIEW FULL PROFILE Email: wschneider@nd.edu
Phone: 574-631-8754
Website: http://www.nd.edu/~wschnei1/
Office: 370 Nieuwland Hall


Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Dorini Family Chair of Energy Studies and Department Chair
College of Engineering Dorini Family Chair of Energy Studies and Department Chair
The goal of research in the Schneider group is to develop molecular-level understanding, and ultimately to direct molecular-level design, of chemical reactivity at surfaces and interfaces. This heterogeneous chemistry is a key element of virtually every aspect of the energy enterprise, and is ...
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2018 Outstanding Paper: Yizhou Zhang

Nanomanufacturing of high-performance hollow fiber nanofiltration membranes by coating uniform block polymer films from solution

Manufacturing membranes with well-defined nanostructures and robust performance in a controllable manner is of critical import to meeting the growing demand for highly selective membranes in the water treatment, pharmaceutical, and electronics industries. Due to their high density of nanoscale pores with a uniform size distribution, self-assembled block polymer membranes are an ideal platform for the development of advanced membrane-based applications. In this study, we demonstrate the development of high-performance self-assembled block polymer nanofiltration membranes in the hollow fiber geometry. Specifically, dual-layer hollow fiber membranes were fabricated by combining the dip-coating archetype and the self-assembly and non-solvent induced phase separation (SNIPS) methodology to coat uniform block polymer films onto the shell side of the hollow fiber membrane support. A set of optimized membrane fabrication conditions (e.g., polymer solution concentration, dip-coating parameters, and solvent evaporation time) that generate high-performance hollow fiber nanofiltration membranes were identified by using a combination of electron microscopy analysis and transport experiments to guide the construction of nanoscale architecture of block polymer thin-film at the interface between the hollow fiber support and the self-assembled membrane. In this manner, ultra-thin (as thin as 200 nm) block polymer thin films with ordered nanostructures were produced. These membranes had a pore radius of 2.5 nm and a hydraulic permeability value of 27 L m-2 h-1 bar-1.

The block polymer coating was based on a polyisoprene-b-polystyrene-b-poly(N,N-dimethylacrylamide) (PI-PS-PDMA) macromolecular precursor, which allowed the separation selectivity of the membrane to be further tailored using a carbodiimide coupling reaction to covalently attach sulfonic acid moieties to the pore walls of the membrane. The inherently charged, nanoconfined polyelectrolyte brush constrict the pore radius down to a value of 1 nm and result in an extremely high solute selectivity by fully fractionating solutes with only a 4 Å difference in radius. The use of the strong polyelectrolyte also generates a robust membrane that operates reliably in complex environments. Specifically, the transport performance of this membrane was examined over a broad range of solution pH (1 ≤ pH ≤13) and ionic strength solutions (1mM ≤ I ≤ 2.5 M). The membrane demonstrated a constant hydraulic permeability 4 L m-2 h-1 bar-1, which is consistent with a polymer brush that lines the pore walls and holds a constant conformation, thus exhibiting a robust separation performance in response to the presence of external stimuli. These dual-layer hollow fiber membranes are promising candidates for fabrication of novel nanofiltration membrane based application devices for a variety of separation needs.

2018 Outstanding Candidacy: Franklin Mejia Frias

Design of Liposomal Formulations for Improved Drug Delivery Across the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB)

The Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) is a complex, dynamic system that protects the brain from exposure to pathogens and toxins, as well as establishing tight control in the traffic of nutrients into and out of the brain. While this has proven favorable in an evolutionary context, it also represents one of the main challenges in treating diseases in the Central Nervous System (CNS) with >98% of current small molecule therapeutics being restricted from reaching the brain. A potential solution is the use of nanoparticle-based drug delivery systems (DDS) that take advantage of receptor-mediated transport (RMT), one of the body’s natural mechanisms for molecule trafficking.  Rational design of individual elements in the DDS, including thermodynamics and kinetics implications as well as a combination of in vitro and in vivo techniques allow for better understanding of the system and its successful implementation. Using a highly reproducible liposome preparation method, we show how proper selection of targeting ligands and linkers design can drastically affect nanoparticle uptake by brain endothelial cells. During this talk we’ll go over current progress in the development of dual-targeted nanoparticle formulations that seek to improve delivery across the BBB with the added potential for improved selectivity of the treatment, as well as the system’s characterization and the interesting challenges the project entails. 

Seminar Speaker:

Yizhou Zhang and Franklin Mejia Frias

University of Notre Dame

2018 Outstanding Paper: Yizhou Zhang

Yizhou Zhang is a 5th year Ph.D. candidate in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department at the University of Notre Dame. He received his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota in 2013. In the same year, he joined the Water purification and Advanced Transport Engineering Research (WATER) laboratory as a graduate research assistant. Yizhou’s graduate research is focused on the development and application of self-assembled block polymers as nanofiltration membranes. In particular, he has focused on tailoring the transport performance of these membranes through nanostructural and chemical modifications. He is a Center for Environmental Science and Technology Bayer fellow. Yizhou’s research interests extend beyond the lab; his interest in the chemistry of cuisine has led to many recent attempts to engineer the best borscht soup based on tomato.

2018 Outstanding Candidacy: Franklin Mejia Frias

Franklin Mejia is a 3rd year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (CBE) at the University of Notre Dame.  Under the advisement of Prof. Basar Bilgicer, his research is multidisciplinary in nature and spans the interfaces of chemical engineering, biology and biochemistry. Currently, Franklin’s research focuses on the development of nanoparticle-based drug delivery systems for crossing the Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB). Other research interests include immunoengineering, antibody purification and site-specific antibody modification. Franklin obtained his B.S. in Chemical Engineering at Monterrey Institute of Technology in Mexico (2014) and worked in Prof. Hsueh-Chia Chang’s lab before joining the graduate program. At Notre Dame, he’s the recipient of a Faculty Fellowship Award. Outside the lab, Franklin is involved in the CBE Grad Student Organization as a social chair and is actively involved in the Ultimate Frisbee and Climbing clubs. 

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