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April 4, 2014

CBEE Undergraduate Cheli Arussy Featured on UMBC web site

CBEE Undergraduate student Cheli (Sara) Arussy is conducting research in Dr. Mark Marten's lab and has recently been featured on the UMBC web site. Read the entire article here: “Determining the Effects of Autophagy on Morphology of Aspergillus nidulans”

April 3, 2014

Congratulations to Alum Andy Gotsch!

Gotsch%20headshot.jpgCBEE departmental alumni Andy Gotsch (B.S. 2012) helps Fiberight win Autodesk Small Business Success Award and is featured in video describing his work at Fiberight - turning trash into energy.

Link to Video

March 31, 2014

Doug Frey Chosen As Yale’s Horvath Memorial Lecturer

frey_sm.jpg Doug Frey, Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, will be this year’s Horvath Memorial Lecturer at Yale University.

The prestigious Csaba Horvath lecture series is in memory of Professor Csaba Horvath, who is responsible for developing High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), without which modern chemistry and biotechnology would be difficult, if not impossible. The lecture is sponsored by Yale’s School of Engineering and Applied Science and The Goizueta Foundation.

Dr. Frey will speak on new methods and applications for the chromatography of biological macromolecules at Yale on April 16.

March 26, 2014

CBEE Presentations at Graduate Research Conference, Thurs. 3/26

CBEE is proud to announce participation in the Graduate Student Association's 36th annual Graduate Research Conference on March 26th, 2014. This event showcases graduate students and their work on our campus.

The following students will give oral presentations in Commons 332:

9:45am – Kiranmayi Mangalgiri “Photolysis of organoarsenicals in agricultural waste”

10:00am – Hilda Fadaei Khoei “The effect of activated carbon amendment on bioaccumulation of PCBs in fish”

10:15am – Adil Zuber “Two‐dimensional chromatography for applications with purification in point-of-care manufacture of therapeutic proteins”

10:30am – Ke He “Adsorption and biodegradation of fluoroquinolone antibiotics in the activated sludge treatment”

The following students will be presenting posters in UC 310:

11:00am – Sheniqua Brown “Non‐invasive glucose sensor using fluorescent labeled glucose binding protein”

11:15am – Opeyemi Ajayi “Staphylococcus aureus biofilm formation on micropatterned surfaces”

11:30am – Arundhathi Venkatasubraman “Beta‐amyloid fibrils and their interplay in Alzheimer’s disease through physico-chemical, signaling, and epigenetic mechanisms”

11:45am – Zachary Hopkins “Ozone treatment of oxybenzone: Transformation kinetics and removal of UV absorbance”

March 2, 2014

Groovy Science Night 2014

Graduate students from the department participated in an outreach event at a local elementary school called "Groovy Science Night." UMBC students helped the elementary students learn about rheology, microscopy and polymer science... all while having fun! For more pictures see the UMBC GSN web site.

December 19, 2013

Congratulation to Bill Moss and Aditi Bhaskar

Congratulations to Bill Moss (mentor Mark Marten) and Aditi Bhaskar (mentor Claire Welty), both of whom graduated with their Ph.D. Degrees.



December 12, 2013

Nuno Dos Santos Pinto successfully defends Ph.D.

Congratulations to Nuno Dos Santos Pinto, who successfully defended his Ph.D. on December 8th, 2013. His research was performed in the Frey Lab; the title of his dissertation was Novel hybrid chromatofocusing methods for protein purification

December 6, 2013

Ph.D. Dissertation Defense Announcement - Nuno Dos Santos Pinto - Dec. 8th

Date: Sunday, Dec. 8th, 2013

Time: 10:00 am
Location: TRC 206

Light refreshments will be served at 9:45 am

Dissertation title: Novel hybrid chromatofocusing methods for protein purification


The efforts made to-date to alleviate the downstream challenges faced by the biopharmaceutical industry have been mainly focused on developing novel chromatographic column packings with either higher ligand densities to accommodate larger production capacity requirements or novel ligand groups that exhibit more than one interaction mode to increase selectivity. However, despite this earlier work, there are still unexploited interactions associated with the functional groups present on the column packings that, if optimized, may lead to novel chromatographic separation techniques. Thus, the rational behind the studies investigated here is to provide innovative separation methods based on hybrid chromatofocusing techniques and employ these unexploited interactions which may be useful in protein purification process development for the biopharmaceutical industry.

A comprehensive optimization method capable of exploiting the synergetic effects both the pH and ionic strength on ion-exchange column packing has not yet been developed. Consequently, one primary research objective of this study is to establish the usefulness of employing combined pH and ionic strength gradients to obtain elements of “orthogonal” two-dimension chromatography in one ion-exchange column that is suitable for the preparative purification of proteins in both dilute and non-dilute regimes. Another main objective is to take the concepts developed in this study for ion-exchange chromatography and apply them in affinity and mixed-mode chromatography, where the ligands on the column packings may exhibit electrostatic interactions as well as hydrophobic, hydrogen bonding and/or affinity interactions, and where pH gradients play a major role in the protein adsorption/desorption process. Lastly, this work aims to increase the understanding of the technique of chromatofocusing based on the use of modern theoretical and experimental tools, and to use this understanding to develop novel hybrid chromatofocusing methods. For this purpose, the development of a computer-aided optimization methodology was also performed which allows efficient chromatographic system identification and optimized design. In this way, the computer simulation methods described here go well beyond any previous attempts at simulations in this area.

November 13, 2013

Aditi Bhaskar and Shaunak Uplekar successfully defend Ph.D. theses

Aditi Bhaskar successfully defended her Ph.D. on November 12th, 2013. Her research was performed in the Welty Lab.

Shaunak Uplekar successfully defended his Ph.D. on November 12th, 2013. His dissertation was entitled "Impact of process parameters on product titer and quality attributes during cell culture scale down."

November 7, 2013

Ph.D. Dissertation Defense Announcement - Shaunak Uplekar

Date: Tuesday, Nov. 12th, 2013

Time: 12:00 pm

Location: TRC 206

Light refreshments will be served at 11:45 am

Dissertation title: Impact of process parameters on product titer and quality attributes during cell culture scale down


Quality by Design and Process Analytical Technology regulatory initiatives aim to achieve consistent production of biopharmaceutical products of predefined quality. Extensive process development studies are imperative to establish such a production process. Currently, these studies are primarily being carried out in bench scale systems. However, bench scale bioreactor studies are costly, tedious and time consuming to set up. An in-house developed, novel high-throughput minibioreactor system shows a significant potential to improve and streamline process development studies. However, in order to fully qualify this system as a scale down model, comparability between the two scales needs to be established. Comparability of product titers and product quality aspects such as glycosylation profile, which is considered to be one of the major product quality attributes, would be of greatest relevance.

Here, we investigate cell culture scale down on monoclonal antibody titers and their N-glycan profiles produced by serum free mammalian cell culture in these two systems. Methods for purification of monoclonal antibody using protein-A chromatography followed by ion exchange chromatography and N-glycan analysis using high pH anion exchange chromatography (HPAEC) with pulsed amperometric detection (PAD) were developed. Structural determination of glycans was done using MALDI TOF mass spectrometry. A comparability experiment indicated that DO (dissolved oxygen) and pH profiles, cell growth, glucose and lactate profiles were similar in bench scale bioreactors and minibioreactors. Although the relative areas of major N-glycans obtained by HPAEC were found to be comparable in two systems, antibody titers in bench scale bioreactor were about 50% higher than in minibioreactor. While investigating this, a noticeable difference in the glutamine consumption in two systems was observed. Evidence in the literature related glutamine consumption to pCO2 levels. In order to investigate the role of pCO2, a novel pCO2 sensor patch was modified for use in mammalian cell culture. This sensor revealed a difference between the pCO2 profiles in both systems. CO2 stripping studies were conducted in order to have comparable pCO2 stripping rate. A comparability study conducted at comparable pCO2 stripping rate showed similar pCO2 profiles and a significant improvement in product titers in minibioreactors was achieved. Finally, the effect of dissolved oxygen (DO) in minibioreactors and bench scale bioreactors was investigated. Effects of DO on cell growth, viability, glucose and lactate profiles, product titers and their N-glycan profiles were found to be comparable. This project attempted to understand the changes that occur during scale down in the cell culture environment, that are significant enough to impact critical process outcomes such as product titer and product quality . This understanding proved to be crucial to provide the comparability of these miniaturized systems with the bench scale systems and to establish them as a scaled down model.