Engineering of Nanostructured Materials for
Applications in Biomedical Research
Kadir Aslan, Ph.D.
Morgan State University
Department of Chemistry
1700 East Cold Spring Lane, Baltimore, MD 21251
Tel: 443-885-4257, Fax: 443-885-8286
Dr. Kadir Aslan has obtained his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Chemical Engineering from Hacettepe University and Middle East Technical University, respectively in Ankara, Turkey. In 1999, he moved to Chicago, Illinois and obtained his Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology in 2003. During his Ph.D. research studies, he developed a new method for the surface modification of gold nanoparticles and demonstrated their subsequent use in a fluorescence-based biosensing scheme. He completed his postdoctoral studies at the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, in 2005. Dr. Aslan joined Morgan as an Associate Professor in 2009. Dr. Aslan has published 104 peer-reviewed journal articles, 14 book chapters and has presented his work at numerous international scientific meetings. His research interests include biotechnology and several aspects of nanotechnology including metal-assisted crystallization, plasmonic biosensors and nanoparticle-enzyme hybrid biofuel cells.
CRYSTALLIZATION OF DRUG CANDIDATES AND PROTEINS
There has been increased interest in the area of controlled crystal formation in the pharmaceutical industry, particularly in the area of crystal size control and solid form purity. Typically, the synthesized drugs are crystallized in the purest form possible and marketed in the forms of pills, tablets, etc. In addition, crystallization is also used for understanding of the molecular structures and interactions of proteins to develop new drug treatments that target specific human, animal, and plant diseases. Despite the existence of plethora of crystallization techniques, there is still a need for a technique that affords better control over the crystallization process. We have developed a new technique, called Metal-Assisted and Microwave-Accelerated Evaporative Crystallization (MA-MAEC), which is based on the combined use of metal nanostructures and low power microwave heating. At the laboratory bench scale, the MA-MAEC technique affords for the selective growth of the desired polymorphs of amino acids and pharmaceutical compounds "on-demand" in a fraction of the time as compared to the conventional evaporative crystallization, which take up to an hour or longer.
Scientific and Commercial Impact: The MA-MAEC technique is expected to significantly improve the crystallization processes of drug candidates and proteins. The idea of crystallization of drug candidates will be patented and can potentially be licensed for commercial applications in the drug industry. This research is funded by a Maryland Innovation Initiative Award.