I&EC Research’s 2021 Class of Influential Researchers

ChE/BioE Associate Professor Eno Ebong, ChE Assistant Professor Sidi Bencherif, and ChE Associate Professor Richard West were featured on the cover of I&EC Research as 3 of 36 scientists recognized as the 2021 Class of Influential Researchers.


Regeneration and Assessment of the Endothelial Glycocalyx To Address Cardiovascular Disease
Selina Banerjee, John G. Mwangi, Theodora K. Stanley, Ronodeep Mitra, and Eno E. Ebong

Endothelial cell (EC) glycocalyx (GCX) loss permits blood circulating particle infiltration of the vessel walls and leads to vascular dysfunction, atherosclerosis, and serious downstream cardiovascular events, motivating EC GCX regeneration to treat cardiovascular disease. This review discusses the benefits and drawbacks of current options for EC GCX regeneration and assessment. Existing pharmaceutical therapies are being explored for their applicability to EC GCX regeneration, while nutraceuticals are under development as primary EC GCX regeneration approaches, and novel therapies continue to emerge. Promotion of increased efficacy of these therapies by using novel targeted drug delivery approaches is proposed. In addition, development of intravital (and intravascular, if possible) detection tools for assessment of GCX health and GCX regeneration efficacy is recommended. The work presented in this review encourages continued development of GCX regeneration and detection approaches, which could lead to breakthrough solutions for addressing cardiovascular disease.

Avian Egg: A Multifaceted Biomaterial for Tissue Engineering
Shahriar Mahdavi, Armin Amirsadeghi, Arman Jafari, Seyyed Vahid Niknezhad, and Sidi A. Bencherif

Avian eggs offer a natural and environmentally friendly source of raw materials, and many of their components hold great potential in tissue engineering. An avian egg consists of several beneficial elements: the protective eggshell, the eggshell membrane, the egg white (albumen), and the egg yolk (vitellus). The eggshell is mostly composed of calcium carbonate and has intrinsic biological properties that stimulate bone repair. It is a suitable precursor for the synthesis of hydroxyapatite and calcium phosphate, which are particularly relevant to bone tissue engineering. The eggshell membrane is a thin protein-based layer with a fibrous structure composed of several valuable biopolymers, such as collagen and hyaluronic acid, also found in the human extracellular matrix. As a result, the eggshell membrane has found several applications in skin tissue repair and regeneration. The egg white is a protein-rich material that is under investigation for the design of functional protein-based hydrogel scaffolds. The egg yolk, composed mainly of lipids, also contains diverse essential nutrients (e.g., proteins, minerals, and vitamins) and has potential applications in wound healing and bone tissue engineering. This review summarizes the advantages and status of egg components in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine as well as their current limitations and future perspectives.

Extensive High-Accuracy Thermochemistry and Group Additivity Values for Halocarbon Combustion Modeling
David S. Farina Jr., Sai Krishna Sirumalla, Emily J. Mazeau, and Richard H. West

Standard enthalpies, entropies, and heat capacities are calculated for 16 813 halocarbons using an automated high-fidelity thermochemistry workflow. This workflow generates conformers at density functional tight-binding (DFTB) level, optimizes geometries, calculates harmonic frequencies, and performs 1D hindered rotor scans at DFT level, and computes electronic energies at a Gaussian 4 (G4) level. The computed enthalpies of formation for 400 molecules show good agreement with literature references, but the majority of the calculated species have no reference in the literature. Thus, this work presents G4-computed thermochemistry for thousands of novel halocarbons. This new data set is used to train an extensive ensemble of group additivity values and hydrogen bond increment groups within the Reaction Mechanism Generator (RMG) framework. On average, the new group values estimate standard enthalpies for halogenated hydrocarbons within 3 kcal/mol of their G4 values. A significant contribution toward automated mechanism generation of halocarbon combustion, this research provides thermochemical data for thousands of novel halogenated species and presents a self-consistent set of halogen group additivity values.

Related Faculty: Eno E. Ebong, Richard West

Related Departments:Bioengineering, Chemical Engineering