Custom Affinity Separation Media
We seek to create affinity separations media for customized applications, including water decontamination and resource extraction.
Affinity separation is a powerful approach that relies on specific interactions between an analyte of interest (e.g. a contaminant or desired product) and a solid support. Typical affinity membranes and columns are fabricated through the chemical immobilization of one member of a chemical or biological binding pair to a solid support. This approach makes affinity separations expensive relative to less specific methods. Our approach leverages the BIND platform to create solid supports for affinity separations that can be made cheaply from microbes, without the need for any chemical functionalization. Current projects in the group are exploring the use of this approach for the separation of metals, toxins, and whole organisms from aqueous media.
A paper describing the use of BIND for the recovery of lanthanide ions from complex mixtures of metals:
Tay, P. K. R., Manjula-Basavanna, A., & Joshi, N. S. (2018). Repurposing bacterial extracellular matrix for selective and differential abstraction of rare earth elements. Green chemistry, 20(15), 3512-3520.
A paper describing the use of a living system for the sequestration of mercury in the field:
Tay, P. K. R., Nguyen, P. Q., & Joshi, N. S. (2017). A synthetic circuit for mercury bioremediation using self-assembling functional amyloids. ACS synthetic biology, 6(10), 1841-1850.