Enzyme engineering and nanotechnology; nanostructured biocatalysts for biotransformations.
Ping Wang recently joined the BioTechnology Institute with a background in chemical engineering and a research focus on nanotechnology and enzyme engineering. Benefiting from the latest advances in enzymology, nanoscale science and materials technology, he explores powerful biocatalysts for bioproducts and bioenergy.
Nanostructured materials are currently a hot research topic. Merging these materials with biomolecular catalysts is providing unprecedented opportunities in biodetection, drug synthesis and delivery, and energy harvesting.
Conceiving and realizing nature-inspired multienzyme reaction pathways in vitro for important biotransformations is one major thrust in his recent research. That involves the efficient use of chemical, solar and electrical power to drive desired transformations of renewable chemicals, such as sugars, lipids, CO2 and water, into value-added fuels, chemicals and materials.
Functional and smart biomaterials and coatings are another important area in Wang's research. Wang recently developed a thin plastic film containing active enzymes with potential application as a functional coating. By spin-coating a plastic disk with a thin layer of stain-removing enzyme embedded within layers of modified polystyrene and several binding chemicals he created a durable coating that actively digests proteins. The ability to coat plastic surfaces and other inorganic materials with active enzymes could lead to the development of clothes that digest stains as soon as they occur or kitchen surfaces able to kill bacteria. A single surface could be given multiple functions by simply coating it with a variety of enzymes.
Other research activities in Wang's lab cover a wide range of enzyme-based biotechnology including enzymatic synthesis of biofuels, biopolymers and specialty chemicals; biofuel cells; artificial cells; and liquid membrane bioreactors.
WANG HOME PAGE
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