Luo Wins MRS Silver Award

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Dr. Xiaolong Luo.

Postdoctoral research associate and alumnus Dr. Xiaolong Luo (Ph.D. '08) won a Graduate Student Silver Award at the Materials Research Society (MRS) Spring 2009 meeting this April. He was recognized for his paper titled "Biofabrication and Enzymatic Functionalization of Free-standing Chitosan Membranes in Microfluidic Network," the research for which was initiated during his graduate studies under his advisor, bioengineering affiliate professor Gary Rubloff (Materials Science and Engineering/Institute for Systems Research). Luo received a $200 prize and a certificate.

The paper demonstrates the formation of enzymatically active semi-permeable membranes in bioMEMS (microelectromechanical systems) exploiting the pH-responsive solubility of the amino-polysaccharide chitosan (a natural polymer found in the shells of crustaceans). The chitosan-based porous membrane they created during the study was shown to have expanded functionality as a versatile biointerface to enable site-specific, electrode-free, enzyme immobilization for metabolic engineering applications in bioMEMS.

Luo continues to work on the project in his role as a research associate at the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, collaborating with former advisor Rubloff and Fischell Department of Bioengineering Professor and Chair William Bentley. The group is pursuing more complex microfluidic networks, flow recipes, and control systems that are promising for various applications of the free-standing chitosan membrane.

The MRS Graduate Student Awards are designed to honor students who show promise for significant future achievement for their excellence in materials research.

Published May 5, 2009