Welcome - Summer 2020 Newsletter

During these challenging times, users of the NCI-SW laboratories have been developing solutions for a number of issues raised by the Covid-19 pandemic. As described in this newsletter, Dr. Paul Westerhoff, faculty director of the LCnano research center, is part of a team that received funding from the National Science Foundation to study how nanoparticles propagate through face masks. Former Nanofab director, Michael Kozicki, has taken social distancing to heart and built a laboratory at home for testing how ozone can be used to sanitize PPE including face masks. And external Nanofab user Bharath Takulapalli, founder and CEO of iNanoBio, is developing a novel field effect nanopore transistor for epigenetic sequencing, under the DARPA Epigenetic Characterization and Observation (ECHO) program. The objective of the ECHO program is to develop a device capable of rapidly reading out epigenetic markers, analyzing a drop of blood in 30 minutes or less to detect if an individual has been exposed to WMD agents or infectious pathogens such as the Covid-19 corona virus. Epigenetic sequencing enables diagnosing infections and exposures even in the absence of symptoms. Work like this is going on across the NNCI and shows the value of having shared, open-access laboratory facilities available to the wider nanotechnology community even during a global pandemic.

Michael Kozicki’s laboratory at home for testing how ozone can be used to sanitize PPE including face masks