Bioengineering; Division of Research
General research areas: Diagnostics, viral particle capture, chromatography, separations, imaging, antibodies
Overview: I am currently working with Ken Marcus (Clemson, Chemistry) to develop an ELISA-based point of care device for early detection of SARS-CoV-2 antigens. Our group at Clemson University has developed an efficient, cost-effective method of virus isolation using patented capillary-channeled polymer (C-CP) fibers to remove virus particles from bodily fluids via hydrophobic interaction chromatography. The fibers are made of commodity polymers, so they are inexpensive, and can be modified to provide specific affinities to SARS-CoV-2 capsid biomarker proteins. The fibers may be packed into columns to create an efficient isolation platform or extruded as films for a lateral flow immuno-assay (LFIA) for use in rapid diagnostics (<15 min) from blood, saliva, urine or other bodily fluid samples without the need for laboratory equipment. As members of the current state-wide COVID-19 task force diagnostics group, Marcus and I will utilize our C-CP fiber technology to assist with antibody purification for development of ELISA-based serological tests for the state. Our technology will be further utilized to increase the overall sensitivity of these tests, which will be a vital part of the return to work policies for health care workers in S.C.
General research areas: Assay development, instrumentation, electrophysiology, imaging, commercialization
Overview: I am interested in investigating the viroporin ion channel-like activity associated with the E protein using electrophysiological and imaging techniques. I also have a small business (Circa Bioscience) with experience in SBIR/STTR grants, which could serve as a commercialization partner for university-developed technology.
General research areas: Sensors, medical device, instrumentation, design, low-resource settings
Overview: I am the Clemson lead for the Serological Testing and Diagnostics Working Group part of the COVID-19 coalition between Clemson, MUSC, Prisma Health and University of South Carolina. I am managing meetings and coordinating with the different subgroups to figure out what the needs are. In terms of COVID-19 related research projects, I'm working with Mark Blenner, Teri Bruce, and Ken Marcus to create more sensitive tests for detecting antibodies to COVID-19 in alternative body fluids (saliva) and detecting viral particles in urine for both diagnostics and community health monitoring of waste streams. I am also working on design of personal negative pressure spaces for patients in the hospitals with John DesJardins and Clemson Creative Inquiry students.
STEPHEN H. FOULGER
Materials Science and Engineering
General research areas: Drug delivery, medical imaging
Overview: I do research in medical imaging and drug delivery through the use of nanoparticles.
BRUCE Z. GAO
General research areas: Biochemistry, nano technology, biomedical engineering, biofabrication, bioimaging
Overview: Ya-Ping Sun and I have developed specially designed carbon nanoparticles that have high two-photon emission efficiency for label-free imaging tracing. We will collaborate with MUSC’s eye institute professor Rohrer Baerbel to coat our nanoparticles with COVID-19 viral envelopes to study how COVID-19 virus attacks human eyes and accordingly explore a protection strategy.
General research areas: Big data, machine learning, high performance computing, mobile and wearable devices
Overview: My research expertise is in high performance computing, big data, machine learning, and Internet of Things. It can be instrumental to drug design through machine learning inspired and high performance computing enabled simulation, and remote diagnoses and symptom recording through mobile and wearable devices.
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
General research areas: Computationally guided design of materials, quantum chemical calculations, multiscale modeling, magnetic nanoparticles, metal-organic frameworks, adsorption, structure property relationships
Overview: We do computational design of materials using methods such as quantum chemical simulations, molecular dynamics, multiscale modeling, and machine learning. We can aid in providing fundamental understanding of and developing structure function relationships for materials being used to diagnose/treat/etc. COVID-19. We are collaborating with Thompson Mefford's group. We are members of the MADE in SC initiative.
General research areas: Point-of-care diagnostics, biosensors
Overview: Our work focuses on development of inexpensive, point of care biosensors for quantification of wound infection. Our thought is that this work could be retooled from detection of bacterial infection to viral infection.
General research areas: N95 masks, personal protective equipment, reprocessing, reuse, decontamination, sterilization, global health
Overview: I am Director of the Clemson University GreenMD program focused on medical device recycling and reprocessing. As part of the COVID-19 Bioengineering Innovation Working Group between Clemson University, USC, MUSC, and Prisma Health, I am the Clemson lead for personal protective equipment (PPE) reprocessing projects. My efforts are focused on new technology for cleaning N95 masks and validating a cleaning process that can be used by hospitals to effectively remove biological contaminants on PPE before sterilization. This technology is designed to integrate with existing reprocessing practices and is intended for rapid deployment in healthcare settings. Clinical translation of this technology involves integration with the hydrogen peroxide vapor sterilization systems available at Prisma Health and includes their sterile processing department and Jeremy Mercuri at Clemson. I am also working with Mike Matthews at USC and Mark Johnson at Clemson to potentially integrate this cleaning technology with a carbon dioxide disinfection system. In addition, I am working with Delphine Dean and John DesJardins and Clemson Creative Inquiry students to address other industry applications for this technology and to meet global health needs.
NINA CHRISTINE HUBIG
General research areas: Contagion models, fraud detection, missing values, probabilistic methods
Overview: I am a machine learning researcher, emphasizing model explainability and interpretability and on large data sets. Relative to COVID-19, my research is applicable to contagion models.
SCOTT M. HUSSON
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
General research areas: Bioprocessing, proteins, DNA, mRNA, purification
Overview: My expertise related to COVID-19 is the development of rapid purification tools for bioprocessing environments. Specifically, my group develops affinity membranes for the rapid purification of proteins, plasmid DNA, and mRNA. Of note, mRNA-based vaccines have emerged as leading contenders for the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with at least one mRNA-based coronavirus vaccine already in clinical trials. Industrial mRNA production lacks the tools necessary for rapid purification, which may become a limiting factor for the production of a coronavirus vaccine. In addition to my university research group, I am the founder of Purilogics, LLC in Greenville. The company is translating university research to commercialization, and is highly experienced with SBIR grant development.
General research areas: resource allocation, staffing, risk management
Overview: My research interests include management of service operations including healthcare, resource allocation and capacity planning, workforce management, simulation and stochastic modeling/optimization. A review of these areas during the COVID-19 pandemic can facilitate quality improvements. I am currently collaborating with Prisma Health.
General research areas: Robotics, teleoperation, human-robot collaboration, remote diagnosis and treatment
Overview: My research focuses on robotics and human-robot collaboration. My research can create robotics technologies to enable doctors to conduct diagnosis and treatment from a distance without close physical contact with patients.
Materials Science / Center for Advanced Manufacturing
General research areas: Materials, manufacturing, energy, infrastructure, partnerships
Overview: Advanced manufacturing process and partnerships for safe decontamination and reuse of N95 masks. Advanced manufactur in ng of medical equipment and supplies, including additive manufacturing, flexible response.
General research areas: Crowd modeling, multi-agent simulation, robot navigation, AI
Overview: I'm an expert in multi-agent navigation, with my prior work on modeling human crowds having received high accolades by the scientific and popular press, and led to some of the most popular agent-based models used by academia and industry. My work can be combined with optimization-based techniques to provide guidelines for safe use of essential public spaces such as grocery stores and urgent care clinics. In addition, it can enable the deployment of robots to perform tasks in a timely manner (e.g., deliver food in hospitals or disinfect areas).
Electrical and Computer Engineering
General research areas: Sensors
Overview: My expertise is on development of wearable sensor systems with capability to detect COVID-19 symptoms from measurement of multiple physiological parameters, and performing remote cloud-based analysis, and providing feedback in real time.
General research areas: Medical device, cardiopulmonary, physiology, modeling, fluid mechanics, pneumatics, prototyping
Overview: I have expertise in medical device development, modeling, and testing. My lab has experimental fluid and pneumatic setup that can mimic in-vivo cardiopulmonary conditions, computational models of human cardiopulmonary physiology, as well as hardware-in-the-loop technology for medical device testing with simulated physiologic feedback. I can assist in the development of low-cost versions of critical medical devices such as respirators, ECMO machines, etc.
Electrical and Computer Engineering
General research areas: Machine learning, deep learning, robotics
Overview: My research interests include machine learning, deep learning, and robotics. In particular, we have designed, prototyped, and fabricated a type of tactile glove with pressure sensors, which can be used for remote control to assist contactless treatment in COVID-19. In addition, the tactile glove could provide force feedbacks to better analyze and localize the medical work for doctors. It can also help visualization for both doctors and patients, when integrated with AR/VR.
General research areas: Deep learning, machine learning, bioinformatics
Overview: My research interests are in the areas of deep learning and application, computational genomics and genetics, high throughput biological data analysis, data-intensive bioinformatics, network biology, bio-image, big data analytics. This technology is key in analyzing and garnering intensive COVID-19 data.
Materials Science and Engineering
General research areas: Surface modification, functional polymer coatings, polymer materials
Overview: My research involves the modification of any surfaces (plastic, metal, textile, glass, ceramic, paper) with robust coatings that may kill/inactivate COVID-19.
General research areas: Microfluidics, lab on a chip, diagnostics
Overview: My lab can supply expertise in the design, manufacturing, validation and scalability of microfluidics devices and platforms for sample preparation, specifically separation, enrichment, purification and lysis, as well as high throughput experiments featuring small reagent volumes, single cell and/or cell culture.
OLIN THOMPSON MEFFORD
Materials Science and Engineering
General research areas: Drug delivery, magnetic hyperthermia, MRI contrast agents, surface modification of colloids, biosensing, polymer synthesis
Overview: My research focuses on developing stable, polymer-iron oxide nanoparticle complexes and composites for biomedical applications. These applications include: developing materials for magnetic hyperthermia, MRI contrast agents, and drug delivery systems. Specific expertise includes the synthesis and functionalization of colloidal nanomaterials that are biocompatible, have surface functionalization to prevent protein fouling, and the ability to be functionalized with a wide range of materials including, adhesions for pathogen binding, optical markers, antibodies for disease detection, and other imaging modalities. This expertise will be especially useful in developing seriologic testing for COVID-19. The laboratory can quickly create metal ferrite-based nanomaterials, silica based materials, and specialized polymers via ring opening polymerizations with narrow molecular weight distributions.
General research areas: Advanced filtration materials, material modeling and design
Overview: My expertise is in multiscale computational model development that can aid the design of advanced filtration materials that slow the spread of infectious respiratory diseases, such as COVID-19. I am collaborating with Hongseok Choi to work on the development of high-performance filtration materials that can be used in masks and respirator filters. Our vision for future filtration materials is that they will be extraordinary in two aspects - durability and self-sensing/self-cleaning function, which are not yet achieved in currently available masks and filters. Through our collaboration on the molecularly informed design of mechanical-robust and piezoelectric nanofibers, we will seed an effort towards our vision.
General research areas: transportation, disadvantaged populations, traffic, motor vehicle crashes, policy
Overview: My research relates to the travel patterns associated with COVID-19, and the relative decreases in traffic levels, congestion, and motor vehicle crashes and resulting deaths and injuries. I'm interested in the policy decisions and impacts on travel choices by geographic region and how travel is affecting the spread of the virus. Also of interest are the potential increased susceptibility of disadvantaged populations due to their reliance on public transportation.
General research areas: Anomaly detection, prediction
Overview: Integration of sensor systems with novel AI can be utilized to determine correlation models between recorded biodata and physiological anomalies associated with various health conditions including COVID-19.
General research areas: AI, hypothesis generation, literature analysis
Overview: Scientific literature underpins research, providing the foundation for new ideas. But as the pace of science accelerates, many researchers struggle to stay current. To expedite their searches, scientists leverage AI hypothesis generation systems, which can automatically inspect published papers to uncover novel implicit connections. With no foreseeable end to the driving pace of research, we expect these systems will become crucial for productive scientists, and later form the basis of intelligent automated discovery systems. The pandemic of COVID-19 is precisely one of the cases when such systems can play an extremely important role in coping with the coronavirus.
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
General research areas: Protein, molecular simulations, ligand docking
Overview: Our group is an expert in molecular simulations of materials including biomolecular systems. We can perform simulations of proteins and protein assemblies. We can use this toolset to perform molecular simulations of COVID-19 proteins especially simulations such as ligand binding and structural changes of SARS-CoV-2 dimeric main protease. The protease has been used as one of the targets for inhibition.
General research areas: Optimization, operations research, resource allocation, transportation and logistics, scheduling, emergency response
Overview: Resource allocation decisions, such as transportation and logistics, staffing and scheduling, etc., play critical roles in combating COVID-19 pandemic, as they deal directly with the distribution of life-saving medical supplies and mobilization of medical workers to meet urgent patient needs. These operations planning decisions for relief efforts under COVID-19 pandemic face significant challenges due to the fast-evolving COVID-19 situations on patient needs, medical supply availabilities, as well as their evolving forecasts. These dynamically evolving uncertainties present significant challenges for dynamic resource allocation decision making by federal and state emergency management agents. We would like to apply optimization modeling and algorithmic framework to support life-saving medical resource allocation decision making by state emergency management departments and local health care providers amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Epidemiologists have made forecasting tools and data for COVID-19 widely available online, making it amenable for emergency managers and health care administrators to utilize the so-called look-ahead policies for prescribing resource allocation decisions over time. We aim to develop a decision-support tool for dynamic allocation of life-saving medical supplies (such as ventilators and PPEs) under various sources of uncertainty, to provide a timely decision support for state emergency management departments and health care providers in mobilizing and distributing of critical medical resources, utilizing available rolling forecasts on the COVID-19 situation.
JOSHUA DAVID SUMMERS
General research areas: Engineering product design
Overview: My research focuses on engineering design of mechanical systems. I have led student efforts on design of automated "bagging" (ventilation) for developing countries (India) for low cost solutions to replace parents and family members manually bagging the infants. I design and build (prototype) mechanical solutions.
General research areas: Simulation, optimization, staffing, emergency medicine, capacity allocation
Overview: We are supporting efforts with Prisma Health Emergency Medicine and Anesthesia that address how to plan for anticipated surge in patients and how to best allocate staff to deliver care to COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients. Studies to explore department-level staffing are ongoing to understand 1) the risks of cross-contamination of staff across facilities 2) how to maximize "care delivery hours" by accounting for staff having to be quarantined if testing positive 3) how to segregate patient populations in the ED and deliver care to each population 4) how to create robust staffing models in the ED that reduce patient handoffs and possible exposure and 5) the expected requirements of PPE and how to use overall hospital capacity to meet the surge. Many of these problems, while trying to provide support immediately, are well suited for further, more formal research.
Electrical and Computer Engineering
General research areas: AI, cellular modeling, distributed systems
Overview: My expertise relevant to COVID-19 includes artificial intelligence, computational intelligence, cellular computing, network systems, modeling of complex systems, distributed systems, distributed and parallel processing.
General research areas: Antiviral, environmental surfaces, disinfectant, chitosan
Overview: Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in community settings. Currently used surface disinfectants such as sodium hypochlorite, ethanol or hydrogen peroxide provide high level of activity for a limited period of time (typically, less than 4 hours). We developed a novel chitosan-based formulation that forms a protective biocidal film on treated surfaces. This film is resistant to rubbing by hand and shows biocidal activity on frequently touched surfaces for at least 48 hours. Such formulation could be used as a surface disinfectant either in the form of a spray or as disinfecting wipes. It is advantageous over currently available disinfectants because of its long-term antimicrobial action. In addition, chitosan is a naturally occurring antimicrobial, and its use will satisfy societal demand for greener alternatives to hazardous chemicals.
NARENDRA R. VYAVAHARE
General research areas: Targeted therapy, lung repair, drug delivery, cardiovascular diseases
Overview: We have developed specific nanoparticles that can target degraded elastin in lung and cardiovascular tissues. We have shown that these nanoparticles can be loaded with any drugs and they can slowly release the drug and inhibit inflammation or repair tissue damage that happens in COVID-19 related cytokine storm. We also are looking at repurposing already FDA approved drugs for COVID-19. Collaboration are in place to do quick clinical study.
KUANG-CHING (KC) WANG
ECE & Watt Center
General research areas: Networking, big data, sensors, IoT, video, speech
Overview: My research spans networking and computing systems (cloud, HPC, embedded, mobile), and artificial intelligence systems. I lead NSF experimental research infrastructure projects including NSF Cloud and NSF FABRIC (national high-speed future Internet), DoD's deep-learning mobile speech and video medical documentation project, and Watt Center's IBM Watson-in-the-Watt AI program. AI and deep-learning speech and video documentation and analytics holds promise for rapid documentation and safe handling of active cases of COVID-19.
YUE (SOPHIE) WANG
General research areas: Human-robot interaction, robotics, pharmaceutical manufacturing, teleoperation of robots, manufacturing automation
Overview: I have been working on several areas related to COVID-19. First of all, we have been developing intelligent robotics and automation solutions for fully automated pharmaceutical manufacturing and syringe filling to achieve improved sterility and efficiency. This is useful to address potential drug shortage and ensure supply chains for critical medicine related to COVID-19 response during the pandemic. Second, we have been investigating tele-autonomous operation of mobile robots (e.g., autonomous car-like robots, drones) and mobile manipulators to work in dangerous and/or hazardous environment under remote human supervision. This work can be utilized to help frontline nurses and clinicians to take care of patients (e.g., pick and deliver medicine and food, restocking) without the necessity of physical interaction in hospitals. Last but not the least, we have been working on human-robot collaboration and teaming solutions in assembly manufacturing plants, which can help to avoid close human-human interactions to protect workers and improve manufacturing efficiency to meet increased demand.
Electrical and Computer Engineering/SC Translational Research Improving Musculoskeletal Health (SC TRIMH)
General research areas: Virus detection, smart PPE, advanced manufacturing
Overview: My area of expertise is mainly on sensors and instrumentation that are useful to battle COVID-19. In our lab, we have been working on the design, development, fabrication and testing of various sensors which include those for detection of chemical and biological species. We can develop specialized instrumentation to work with the sensors for improved accuracy, sensitivity and data collection/analytics. We have also worked on advanced manufacturing technologies that allowed us to manufacture various custom devices and parts for medical applications. These unique capabilities uniquely position us to compact COVID-19 by providing better detection tools, better protections tools and better knowledges. We look forward to working with researchers of various backgrounds to develop better tools to combat COVID-19.