LSU ECE Professor Park Receives NSF CAREER Award
July 8, 2019
BATON ROUGE, LA – LSU Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Kidong Park recently received the NSF CAREER Award for a project he is working on called “Rolled Scaffold for High-Density Adherent Culture of Mammalian Cells,” which is supported by the NSF Biomaterials Program in the Materials Research Division. The award, which runs from June 2019 to May 2024, is worth $499,130.
Park is expected to develop a novel material called rolled scaffold (RS) and build a next-generation bioreactor based on RS for large-scale cell culture.
“With recent progress in biotechnology, animal cells are used to produce protein-based drugs and diagnostic antibodies,” Park said. “Stem cells are also investigated as effective cures for degenerative diseases that are previously incurable. These applications require large-scale bioreactors with higher efficiency and reliability than currently available ones.”
Park said RS is an ideal material for high-density adherent culture since its unique microstructure provides a high surface area-to-volume ratio and allows efficient flow of culture media through it. Unlike conventional bioreactors, the bioreactor based on RS separates the cells from the culture media reservoir, allowing sufficient aeration of media and removal of cellular bio-waste without cellular damage.
“These improvements are expected to significantly reduce the production cost in biopharmaceutical industries and facilitate the introduction of exciting clinical applications of stem cells,” Park said.
Other goals of the project are to develop self-sustainable STEM curriculums for high schools, promote STEM literacy among young students through various outreach activities, and train graduate and undergraduate students in the biomaterials area through active research participation, with priority to female and underrepresented groups in STEM.
Contact: Libby Haydel