Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

U-M, Shanghai Jiao Tong University fund joint energy, biomedical projects

As part of an ongoing collaboration, seven joint research teams from U-M and Shanghai Jiao Tong University have won funding for research projects that explore the potential of nanotechnology in energy and biomedical applications.

The energy projects will team up investigators who are working on promising new technologies for advanced batteries, solar cells, and LEDs.

The biomedical teams will focus on a novel drug-delivery system for treating cancer, a new approach to treating certain breast cancers, and a system for identifying and collecting enzymes useful in pharmaceutical development.

This is the fourth annual round of funding for the U-M/SJTU Collaborative Research Programs for Energy and Biomedical Technology. The programs bring together teams with complementary perspectives and areas of expertise to address challenges in energy and health that transcend national borders.

The programs fund projects that have commercial potential and that are likely to attract follow-on research funding from the U.S. and Chinese governments, as well as from industry.

The biomedical projects are:

Development of high-efficient NIR light-triggered spatiotemporal delivery mechanism of anticancer therapeutics with novel functionalized dendrimer-integrated upconversion nanoparticles
Principal investigators: Seok Ki Choi, U-M Department of Internal Medicine and Michigan Nanotechnology Institute, and Kang Sun, SJTU School of Materials Science and Engineering
Goal: Develop a novel drug delivery system that uses deep-penetrating infrared light to trigger the targeted release of cancer therapeutics.

Fluorescence-activated Droplet Sorting System for Improving Enantioselectivity of CALB toward Profens
Principal investigators: Katsuo Kurabayashi, U-M Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Yan Feng, SJTU School of Life Sciences and Biotechnology
Goal: Develop a high-throughput, chip-based system that uses fluorescence to identify enzymes with specific properties that can be collected for use in pharmaceuticals.

CCL5 as a Potential Target for Immunotherapy against Triple Negative Breast Cancer
Principal Investigators: Raoul Kopelman, Michigan Nanotechnology Institute for Medicine and Biological Sciences, and Xiaojing Ma, SJTU School of Life Sciences and Biotechnology
Goal: Develop a safe, and effective nanotechnology to target a specific molecule that enables tumor growth certain breast cancers.

The energy projects are:

Synthesis, In Situ Characterization, and Full-Cell Testing of Nanoporous Electrodes for Next Generation High Power Lithium-Ion Batteries
Principal Investigators: Bart M. Bartlett, U-M Department of Chemistry, and Kaixue Wang, SJTU School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
Goal: Examine the potential of a variety of materials for use as electrodes with nano-sized pores to improve the performance of advanced batteries.

Application of Spontaneously Nano-wrinkled Surfaces to Increase Energy Efficiency of OPV and OLED Devices
Principal Investigators: L. Jay Guo, U-M Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Tian Yang, UM-SJTU Joint Institute
Goal: Improve the efficiency of organic photovoltaic cells and organic light emitting diodes by fabricating them with surfaces wrinkled on a nano scale.

Atomic Scale Structure and Dynamic Behavior of Extended Defects in Cu2Zn Sn(S,Se)4 Based Thin Film Solar Cells
Principal Investigators: Xiaoqing Pan, U-M Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and Xiangyang Kong, SJTU School of Materials Science and Engineering
Goal: Explore the potential of chalcopyrite, a material whose constituents are abundant, for application in low-cost, efficient solar cells.

Nanostructured Multi-functional Li-Batteries
Principal Investigators: Wei Lu, U-M Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Jun Yang, SJTU Department of Chemical Engineering
Goal: Develop battery electrode architectures that use systematically engineered nanostructures to reduce the weight of electric vehicle battery packs.

The research partnerships between U-M and SJTU are part of a broader relationship between the two schools. In 2001, U-M became the first non-Chinese academic institution approved to offer graduate engineering degrees in China, at SJTU. In 2005, U-M and SJTU formed a joint institute to manage and direct degree-granting programs offered by both universities to students of both nations.