Biophysical and Polymer Radiation Laboratory
The Biophysical and Polymer Radiation Laboratory, directed by Professor Mohamad Al-Sheikhly, is located in the Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Building and is utilized in conjunction with the University of Maryland Radiation Facilities. The laboratory has two distinct experimental facilities devoted to polymer modification research and radiation biophysics. The laboratory facilities allow for the study of the effect of radiation on a wide range of polymers. The crosslinking, degradation, and synthesis of polymers with the use of gamma-ray and electron beam radiation is investigated for applications such as medical implants, fuel cells, biochips, adhesives and waste water treatment. Techniques such as Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) Spectroscopy, Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) provide a measure of a number of important materials properties. In addition polymer microtomy can be used to prepare materials for thin films analysis, Soxhlet extraction provides a measure of crosslink fraction, and an optical pulse radiolysis set-up allows reaction kinetics measurements in liquid solutions. The radiation biophysics area is equipped with state-of-the-art cell culture instruments which allow investigation into the effects of varying LET radiation on biological systems, as well as targeted drug delivery systems for the treatment of cancer.
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