Abbott Lecture, Featuring Andrew Zydney - April 18 & 19, 2018

April 18, 2018 – Ricketts 211 @ 9:15 AM

Coffee & pastries – 8:45 AM – Coonley Lounge
“Purification of Plasmid DNA for Gene Therapy and Vaccines -- New Opportunities for Membrane Technology”

ABSTRACT: There is growing interest in using plasmid DNA for gene therapy applications and for the development of DNA-based vaccines against viruses like Zika and flu.  However, existing methods for DNA purification are inadequate for large-scale commercial production of these ground-breaking biotherapeutics.  This talk examines the possibility of using membrane ultrafiltration for the purification of supercoiled plasmid DNA.  DNA transmission during ultrafiltration occurs by the flow-induced elongation of the plasmid associated with the converging flow field into the membrane pores.  This enables the effective separation of different topological isoforms of DNA based on differences in their conformational flexibility.  New opportunities for enhancing DNA purification were identified using backpulsing to reduce fouling and using novel membranes with controlled pore morphology to pre-stretch the DNA in the elongation flow, thereby minimizing DNA trapping at the pore entrance.  These results clearly demonstrate the potential of using membrane systems for commercial-scale purification of DNA.

April 19, 2018 – CBIS Auditorium @ 9:15 AM
Coffee & pastries – 8:45 AM – CBIS Gallery
“The Artificial Kidney – From Hemodialysis to an Implantable Bioartificial Device”

ABSTRACT: Prior to the 1960’s, a diagnosis of total kidney failure meant a life-expectancy of less than 2 weeks.  Today, nearly one million people with chronic kidney failure are kept alive by the artificial kidney.  This talk will review some of the key technical developments that led to successful treatment of kidney disease using the artificial kidney (also known as hemodialysis), with a specific focus on the dialysis membrane that is at the heart of current devices. The development of novel membrane structures has provided better biocompatibility while significantly enhancing the removal of uremic toxins, e.g., using asymmetric membranes with very thin selective layers.  Recent efforts in our group have focused on the development of an implantable bioartificial kidney, taking advantage of new approaches in MEMS technology to develop membranes with slit-shaped pores that can facilitate removal of beta-2-microglobulin, an important uremic toxin.  We are now focused on designing a compact implantable device that can successfully replace normal kidney function.  Initial animal studies are highly encouraging and could lead to major improvements in the treatment of individuals with chronic kidney disease.

April 19th's lecture will also be live-streamed! If you are unable to attend Thrusday's lecture but are still interested in viewing it, please click here.