Materials World Network: Designer Nanodiamonds for Detoxification
|Anticipated Total Funding||$314,000.00|
|Anticipated End Year||2008|
We have assembled a multidisciplinary team of Russian and U.S. researchers who are experts in experimental/computational Materials Science and Medical/Agricultural Research. This team will create hydrosols of functionalized diamond nanoparticles that act as designer gastrointestinal enterosorbents for mycotoxins. Mycotoxins, which are the toxic by-products of molds, are a major problem in developing countries where food shortages make disposing of potentially moldy feed impractical. The designer diamond nanoparticles being developed by our team are a completely new and novel set of enterosorbent materials that can be made in bulk quantities and tuned to bind specific toxins while minimizing harmful side effects. The U.S. team is composed of Prof. Don Brenner and Prof. Tzy-Jiun Mark Luo from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at North Carolina State University, and Dr. Olga Shenderova, Senior Scientist and Dr. Varvara Grichko, Consultant, from the International Technology Center (ITC), Research Triangle Park, NC. The primary role of the U.S. researchers is to use accurate ab initio and molecular modeling methods to efficiently explore diamond nanoparticle surface structures in terms of stability and target multi-functionality, and using a proprietary glow discharge atmospheric plasma experimentally process and then spectroscopically characterize diamond nanoparticles based on the results of the modeling studies. Multi-functionality refers to the ability of the diamond nanoparticles to remain as stable and well dispersed hydro/organosols while yielding biological activity for targeted anti-toxin applications. The lead researchers of the Russian counterpart effort are Dr. Vladimir Bondar and Dr. Alexei Puzur of the Institute of Biophysics (IB), Russian Academy of Sciences, Siberian Branch, Krasnoyarsk, Russia. Dr. Bondars and Dr. Puzurs primary role in our team is to provide size-selected diamond nanoparticles for processing at the ITC, and to carry out the in vitro and in vivo studies of the biological activity, both desirable and harmful, of the materials after processing by the U.S. team. This institute is one of the international leaders in the development and testing of enterosorbents for livestock and human medical uses. As part of this effort we are training a new generation of Materials Science graduate students to perform research at the interface of Materials Science/Medicine/Agriculture, as well as providing these students first-hand experience with how theory, modeling and experiment can interact and aid progress in each area. This effort also gives students experience working within an industrial setting and provides the students with intimate knowledge of technology transfer.