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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Awardee:UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS SYSTEM
Doing Business As Name:University of Arkansas
PD/PI:
  • Susanne Striegler
  • (479) 575-5079
  • susanne.striegler@uark.edu
Award Date:09/05/2019
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 50,000
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 50,000
  • FY 2019=$50,000
Start Date:09/15/2019
End Date:02/29/2020
Transaction Type:Grant
Agency:NSF
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.041
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:I-Corps: Antimicrobial Microgels for Air Purification
Federal Award ID Number:1946566
DUNS ID:191429745
Parent DUNS ID:055600001
Program:I-Corps
Program Officer:
  • Ruth Shuman
  • (703) 292-2160
  • rshuman@nsf.gov

Awardee Location

Street:210 Administration Building
City:FAYETTEVILLE
State:AR
ZIP:72701-1201
County:Fayetteville
Country:US
Awardee Cong. District:03

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, USA
Street:345 N Campus Drive
City:Fayetteville
State:AR
ZIP:72701-3073
County:Fayetteville
Country:US
Cong. District:03

Abstract at Time of Award

The broader impact/commercial potential of this I-Corps project is to provide new cost-effective and efficient polymers for air and water purification to minimize the risk of infections caused by bacteria and other pathogens. The technology has the potential to improve or replace traditional methods for air purification in established heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems without modifications of existing equipment. While hospitals heavily rely on high-efficiency particulate air filters to fulfill their need for bacteria-free air, the required air handlers consume a significant energy, are expensive, and often cost-prohibitive for some facilities. The platform technology developed here potentially addresses these drawbacks and also accommodates a wide range of other potential applications, such as manufacturing of protective fabrics, and paints, as part of cosmetics and bandages, or as coatings of medical devices and implants without the need for specialized equipment for the end-user. The platform facilitates the integration into existing manufacturing processes and gives access to various market segments at minimal upfront investment. This I-Corps project further develops a platform for antimicrobial microgels with initial applications centering on air purification. The cross-linked polyacrylates contain immobilized transition metal complexes. The material is synthesized using UV-light initiated radical polymerization of miniemulsions at ambient temperature or below. The miniemulsions are obtained by ultra-sheering of monomer mixtures in aqueous solutions in presence of appropriate hydrophobes and ionic surfactants. The resulting suspensions show high antimicrobial activity towards Gram-positive and -negative bacteria that result from a synergy of material properties. Extended shelf-life stability and activity of the material have been demonstrated, the activity of the polymer suspensions in Petri-dish assays have been documented, and proof-of-concept data for material activity when mounted on paper have been obtained. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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