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The National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL) recently announced it will provide funding for an S&T researcher’s biopharmaceutical manufacturing project. The S&T project is one of 14 sharing $10 million for research in technology, workforce development and global health.
Dr. Sutapa Barua’s research project, titled “Rapid Endotoxin Detection and Removal Technologies to Overcome Low Endotoxin Recovery” involves collaborative work to address an industry need for more effective endotoxin detection and removal. The improved process could mean bringing safe pharmaceutical treatments to the market quicker and cheaper, which in turn would help patients save on costs and receive potentially lifesaving treatments faster.
An assistant professor in chemical and biochemical engineering, Barua studies the detection and removal of endotoxins. Endotoxins are toxins inside bacterial cells that are released when the cell disintegrates. They are released into the body when antibiotics or the human immune system destroy gram-negative bacteria. An infection of gram-negative bacteria can result in numerous diseases, including septic shock, which is potentially fatal.
Her research team is evaluating the efficiency of fluorophore-based endotoxin detection measurements in medicines containing amino acids, buffer, cell culture media, serum and surfactants. The group is also measuring the performance of a polymeric nanoparticle-based filter to remove endotoxin from vaccines while maintaining high product recovery.
NIIMBL is a public-private partnership whose mission is to accelerate biopharmaceutical innovation, support the development of standards that enable more efficient and rapid manufacturing capabilities, and educate and train a world-leading biopharmaceutical manufacturing workforce, advancing U.S. competitiveness in the industry.