SBIR Phase I: Efficient and Scalable Production of Functionalized Electrospun Nanofiber Felts of Regenerated Cellulose with Superior Capacity and Throughput for Bioseparations
National Science Foundation
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Small Business Information
Nanofiber Separations, LLC
422 Middle Valley Dr., Rapid City, SD, 57701-6302
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractThis Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project from Nanofiber Separations, LLC will establish an innovative type of bioseparation media utilizing electrospun nanofiber felts of regenerated cellulose with high specific surface area as the support for protein adsorption ligands. Compared to competitive products (e.g., packed resin beads or microfiber adsorption membranes), these nanofiber membranes/felts will provide greatly enhanced throughput (i.e., shorter processing times), reduce the amount of waste generated, and decrease the volume of media required (i.e., lower costs and smaller operating footprints) for purification of high-value biopharmaceutical products. The study of these separation materials and processes will increase the scientific knowledge of the absorption characteristics of biomaterials at the nanoscale. This SBIR Phase I project will focus on optimization of a scalable production process for the felts, including pilot scale production of the nanofiber mats, along with functionalization of the fibers for superior capacity, elevated throughput, and highly selective bioseparations. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project centers on providing advanced separation media for the biopharmaceutical, water purification, and blood products industries. Because of the advantages of the proposed product, the innovative adsorption felts produced from electrospun nanofibers of regenerated cellulose have a tremendous amount of commercial potential. Customers will come from companies within the biopharmaceutical industry, as well as the established manufacturers of bioseparations adsorption media. In addition, the underlying fundamentals associated with nanofiber adsorption media will have a wide range of implications, including the water purification industry and the blood products and/or blood purification industries. The advantages achieved through this innovative work will lead to more efficient separation technologies across many sectors, such as faster processes, reduced energy consumption, lower materials requirements, and less waste generation. In addition to the broader scientific impacts, Nanofiber Separations, LLC is committed to creating jobs and and training highly technical staff members with expertise in the interdisciplinary fields of nanoscience/nanoengineering and biotechnology.
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