In the treatment of kidney disease, many patients require dialysis to remove waste products from their blood. The dialysis process can take up to four hours and during this time, the blood from the patient is passed through a dilayzer where the blood is filtered and returned to the patients bloodstream in a continual process. A typical dialyzer is shown in the illustration. It works by passing blood through perforated tubes encased in a cassette within the dialyzer. Blood flows in one direction down the tubes and a filtration fluid, diaysate, flows in the opposite direction. Diffusion and convection drive the exchange of solutes through a number of tiny channels that connect the tubes and thereby clean the blood. Sophisticated mathematical models of this process allow practitioners to gain insights into this complex process thereby allowing them to tailer treatments to the individual needs of a patient.
This project is led by Prof. Bohun
In the computational nanobiophysics lab – the cNab.Lab – computer simulations are used to study biophysical systems, often with biomedical and nanotechnology applications. Research topics include the design of nanofluidic devices, such as nanopores and nanopits, for the characterization of biomolecules including DNA and proteins, optimizing the efficacy of magnetic nanoparticles as contrast agents in MRI, modeling the motion of “twitcher” bacterial cells moving across surfaces, and exploring applications of “green” nanoparticles derived from corn.