featuring Bratin Sengupta and Haryana Thomas
Wednesday, December 7, 2022
Miao Yu Lab Group
Membranes with high throughput and rigid, molecular-sized pores, which are stable in harsh organic solvents and at elevated temperatures/pressures, are needed in industry to decrease energy consumption for separations. Although polyamide nanofilms fabricated via facile and scalable interfacial polymerization led to membrane application in large scale water desalination, polymeric membranes are usually unstable in organic solvents, especially at high temperatures, and limited by permeability-selectivity tradeoff due to flexible pores. Inorganic membranes with stable rigid pores can extend membrane application for harsh industrial separations, involving solvents at elevated temperatures. However, there exists no inorganic counterpart to amorphous polymers, which can be scalably fabricated as interfacial thin films while having precisely tuned rigid nanopores. Herein, we report, for the first time, an ultrafast scalable interfacial reaction to generate rigid, porous, inorganic counterpart to polymeric nanofilms – carbon-doped titanium oxide (CDTO) nanofilms, for precise molecular sieving. This new class of material has the most interconnected nanopores among all reported organic solvent nanofiltration (OSN) membranes, yielding the highest solvent permeance, 2-3 orders of magnitude higher than commercial membranes, even if they are thicker. This high pore-interconnectivity establishes a new dimension in reducing transport resistance to increase permeance. CDTO, as a single membrane material, exhibits the broadest pore tunability covering the entire OSN range (200-1,000 Da) and the most precise pore size control (as small as 100 Da). With the excellent mechanical and thermal stabilities, CDTO can perform long-term, highly efficient organic separations under industrially relevant conditions, as demonstrated for the first time in this work for specialty chemical production, tolerating severe environments where polymeric membranes fail.
I am a Ph.D. candidate at the University at Buffalo, working with Professor Miao Yu. I joined University at Buffalo in Spring 2021. I got my MS from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA in December 2020 and B. Tech from National Institute of Technology Durgapur, India in July 2015, both in Chemical Engineering. My research involves synthesis of new materials to rationally design membranes for precise molecular separation.
Ford Versypt Research Group
Diabetic kidney disease is a significant burden on global public health. One of the main reasons for the rising burden of diabetic kidney disease is the lack of efficacious drugs that can remedy kidney damage. Thus, there is a need to both determine why these therapeutics are ineffective, and a need to identify new therapeutic targets that are more efficacious. In pursuit of these objectives, we repurposed a previous lupus model to build a mathematical model of kidney damage in diabetes to predict the therapeutic efficacy of different treatment approaches for diabetic kidney damage. This model enabled us to identify a main driver for therapeutic inefficacy and to propose a more efficacious treatment approach for reversing kidney damage in diabetes. This identification of better therapeutic strategies can help the development of drugs that are effective in treating diabetic kidney disease and thus reduce the health burden of diabetic kidney disease on individuals as well as the public health system.
Haryana Thomas is a doctoral candidate in Dr. Ashlee Ford Versypt’s Systems Biomedicine and Pharmaceutics Lab in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. He received his B.S. degree from Calvin University in Michigan. His research is on developing mechanistic mathematical models of kidney damage in the context of diabetes with the aim of providing clinically translatable insight. To date, Haryana has given multiple invited talks and presentations at webinar series, conferences, and mathematical societies. He has won multiple travel awards and in 2021 was named as the Leadership Development Fellow by the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.