College of Engineering,
Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Department,
Nano Research Area
- Health & Bio-Nanotechnology
Dr. Carbonell’s research group strives to understand how molecules in solution interact with interfaces, with specific applications to bio-separations, diagnostics, and transport processes in compressible fluids.
The main thrust of the bio-separations and diagnostics efforts deals with the use of solid phase combinatorial peptide libraries to screen for small peptides that will bind specifically to bio-molecules such proteins, viruses, and bacteria. These small peptides exhibit great potential as ligands for large-scale affinity chromatography of therapeutic proteins to be obtained from complex mixtures such as human blood plasma, milk, and fermentation broth. In addition, they can be used to develop robust sensing elements to detect low concentrations of analytes in medical diagnostics and process control applications. Some of these applications require new support devices for these ligands, and we currently are investigating the use of nonwoven fabric membranes as affinity supports for separation, removal, and detection.
Our group has helped to develop novel coating processes that utilize both supercritical carbon dioxide and liquid carbon dioxide as the coating solvent. For example, we were the first to design and operate a liquid CO2-based spin coating process to form uniform films of photoresists on silicon wafers. In addition, we are currently studying the use of liquid and supercritical carbon dioxide for precision cleaning, to carry out extractions of solutes from fermentation broth, and to carry out enzymatic reactions.