Principal investigator: Caroline Schauer

University: Drexel University

Industry partners: LIA Diagnostics

Drexel has a rich history of use-inspired and translational research, academic-industry collaboration, experiential learning, and cooperative education, as well as a bright future in the greater Philadelphia region’s economic development activities. Drexel’s College of Engineering is a regional leader in advanced manufacturing, engaging in research that significantly impacts the entire manufacturing process by bridging the gap between basic science and product design in a wide range of industries. LIA Diagnostics has developed water-dispersible and 100% biodegradable assays and diagnostic kits. LIA’s assays and kits are made entirely from cellulose, meaning they contain no plastic, glass fibers, or nitrocellulose-key elements found in nearly all single-use, diagnostic kits available on the market today. In an effort to improve conjugate clear-out and improve overall test time, LIA Diagnostics is partnering with Professor Caroline Schauer in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Drexel University to modify the substrate surface through electrospinning and electrospraying. Schauer’s knowledge of processing natural polymers into films and fibers will ensure that the modifications to the substrate will continue to be 100% biodegradable.