Professors receive technology development grants

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Seven professors at Clemson University will receive research grants to help them complete the final steps in technology development.

A statement from the university highlighted the professors and their research projects, which range from vascular grafts for diabetic patients in need of surgery to technology that would help mitigate the environmental impact of fabric-dyeing processes.

The grants will range from $15,000 to $60,000 and are funded by the Clemson University Research Foundation.

“The Technology Maturation Fund is a unique program that affords researchers the opportunity to further develop their technologies through licensing or industry collaboration,” said Chris Gesswein, CURF’s executive director, in a statement.

The professors and projects receiving the grants are:

  • Kendall Kirk, precision agriculture engineer at the Edisto Research and Education Center, to pursue construction of five pre-production hay yield-monitor prototypes to be used in test and evaluation field trials. The monitoring system, which can be retrofitted to existing hay balers currently in the market, will allow hay growers to generate precision yield data for zones within a specific field.
  • Alexey Vertegel, associate professor in the department of bioengineering, to further develop a polymeric coating that can cling to metal implants. The technology can significantly reduce the burden of orthopedic implant pin site infections through the utilization of highly adhesive anti-microbial drug-eluting polymeric coatings.
  • Liang Dong, professor of electrical and computer engineering, to create efficient all-solid photonic bandgap fiber lasers based on a three-level laser scheme system. The system, which operates at a 976-nanometer wavelength, will improve scale precision processes in industrial micromachining.
  • Igor Luzinov, professor in the materials science and engineering department, to further develop a textile dyeing and finishing technology, created in conjunction with the University of Georgia, for exceptionally efficient and sustainable textile-dyeing machinery using nanocellulosic fibers. The refined technology will decrease the amount of water, salt, and alkali used in cotton/blended fabric-dyeing processes to mitigate the environmental impact of these byproducts.
  • Jiro Nagatomi, professor in the bioengineering department, to work to develop a novel mesh-adhesive system for abdominal hernia repair by combining a bifunctional polyamine hydrogel adhesive with a surface modification technology. This method does not have the drawbacks of traditional processes used to repair abdominal hernias and will be valuable in delivering a patient-specific solution for hernia repair.
  • Dan Simionescu, professor in the bioengineering department, to continue development of vascular grafts that are resistant to diabetes. Numerous surgeons use small-diameter synthetic grafts during bypass surgery to salvage failing limbs or hearts in diabetic patients; however, many of these grafts fail dramatically in diabetic patients. This targeted approach solves the unmet need for “off-the-shelf” graft solutions that are resistant to complications associated with diabetes.
  • Christopher Post, professor in the forestry and environmental conservation department, to further develop a commercial color-sensor smart-phone application that can be used for soil evaluation. Assessment of soil color has traditionally been accomplished by matching soil color with color chips. This innovative color sensor will greatly improve the soil classification process.
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