Making bioreactors cheaper is an important hurdle to making better drugs. Chemical engineering Ph.D. student Tram Nguyen is addressing this need by helping University of Utah startup Applied Biosensors create disposable sensors for single-use bioreactors. This will allow companies to reduce their capital and operation costs as well as improve their production times, safety and product changeover flexibility. Under the direction of Jules Magda, a chemical engineering professor, Nguyen is developing the “smart gels” used in the sensors to measure glucose, lactate, pH and osmolality. “The work is important to me because it allows me to bring research into practice and help improve current technology,” said Nguyen, a native of Vietnam, who received her bachelor’s degree in Russia.
Find this article and a lot more in the 2016 “Student Innovation @ the U” report. The publication is presented by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute to celebrate student innovators, change-makers and entrepreneurs.