Our faculty are working on high-impact research on medical diagnostics and devices and understanding the nature and cause of air pollution. Research results from Professors Magda and Silcox and their respective groups are featured here.

SEM Micrograph of Glutathione-Imprinted Microparticles Synthesized at Utah
SEM Micrograph of Glutathione-Imprinted Microparticles Synthesized at the University of Utah

Glutathione is a natural antioxidant produced by the human body in order to reduce excessive amounts of free radicals produced by exposure to UV radiation, smoking, or as a consequence of various diseases such as Alzheimer’s. The medical community has interest in measuring the concentration of glutathione in the body as an indicator of disease onset, but unfortunately the current method of measuring glutathione is costly, invasive, and time consuming. Hence Professors Magda and Mohanty are developing a low cost non-invasive sensor for monitoring the glutathione level of a patient. Toward this end, Professor Magda and his chemical engineering graduate student, Seung Hei Cho, have used the process of molecular imprinting to synthesize a new type of hydrogel microparticle with an extremely high binding affinity and binding capacity for glutathione. In contrast to glutathione-binding articles synthesized by previous researchers, the microparticles synthesized at Utah contain the metal cobalt in order increase their binding affinity for glutathione. The research will lead to an inexpensive, portable device that can be used to monitor the glutathione levels of Alzheimer’s patients at home or of military personnel during training exercises.