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Biomanufacturing, or the production of biomaterials, is an emerging economic sector with significant growth potential in states like Alabama, Maine, New Hampshire and Wyoming. Research underway in Auburn University’s Department of Chemical Engineering is poised to help these states realize that potential.

As part of a recently awarded National Science Foundation EPSCoR grant, assistant chemical engineering professor Robert Pantazes will participate on an interdisciplinary research team to develop sensors to promote quality control in the biomanufacturing sector. The four-year, nearly $6 million project – approximately $550,000 of which is designated to Auburn – combines Pantazes’s efforts with those of Jeffrey Halpern at the University of New Hampshire, Eva Rose Balog at the University of New England, Caleb Hill at the University of Wyoming and Andrew Crawley at the University of Maine to develop the biosensors and integrate a workforce development program to train a new biotechnology workforce in these jurisdictions.

Monitoring biomanufacturing processes is difficult to achieve in real time and typically requires measurements to be taken off-line from the process. The sensors developed by the research team will allow for continuous monitoring in the biomanufacturing process.

Learn more about the project here.