Research Interests

Margaritis Research Team

Margaritis Research Team:
Left to Right: Isabela, Reyna, Landi, Dr. A. Margaritis, Cody, Dirk and David

Biochemical and Bioprocessing Engineering Topics

Novel Fluidized Bioreactor Systems

  • Mixing, heat and mass transfer in novel fluidized bioreactors and slurry column bioreactors
  • Applications to fermentation and waste water treatment processes

Free and Immobilized Yeast Fermentation

  • Alcohol(ethanol) fermentation from corn and other renewable materials, i.e. lignocellulosic materials. Use of free and immobilized yeast cells in fluidized bioreactors.
  • Enzymatic and acid hydrolysis of lignocellulosic materials to sugars
  • Beer fermentation using free and immobilized yeast cells

Production of Bio-products from renewable raw materials via Fermentation

  • Lactic acid from corn using lactic acid producing microorganisms
  • Citric acid from corn using citric acid producing microorganisms

Biopharmaceutical Products via Fermentation

  • Cyclosporin A from fungus Tolypocladium inflatum
  • Cyclosporin A is an immunosuppressant drug used by organ transplant patients to prevent immune rejection of transplanted organs, heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, etc.

Biological Hydrogen Production for Fuel Cells Applications

  • Use of different bacteria to convert sugars into Hydrogen gas in fluidized bioreactors

Mammalian Cell Culture in Membrane Immobilized Bioreactor Systems

  • New hybridonia cell line developed and produced monoclonal antibodies to detect the bioinsecticide protein, delta-endotoxin from Bacillus thuringiensis

Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Extraction of High Value Pharmaceutical Products

  • Developed a novel process for the selective extraction of the immunosuppressant drug Cyclosporin A from the fungus Tolypocladium inflatum and anticancer drug Taxol from Taxus brevifolia
  • This extraction process in environmentally friendly and may replace the use of toxic solvents

Biopolymer Production via Fermentation

  • Microbial production of biopolymers from renewable resources, such as lignocellulosic materials, Helianthus tuberous (Jerusalem Artichoke) inulin sugars, sugar beets and starch
  • Bioprocess development for biopolymer production, separation and purification

Nanoparticles for Drug Delivery

  • Production of chitosan, alginate and polyglutamic acid polymeric nanoparticles for the encapsulation and controlled release of biopharamceuticals, including doxorubicin and erythropoietin and taxol

Development of Novel Bioseparation Systems

  • Protein separation using ion-exchange resins in fluidized bioreactor systems
  • Controlled release of biopharmaceuticals from biodegradable biopolymers

Environmental Engineering Topics

Biosorption of Heavy Toxic Metals from Waste Waters

  • Removal of Cu, Pb, Zn, Hg, Cd, Al from wastewater using dead yeast cells and calcium alginate gels.

Biological Treatment of Petroleum Contaminated Waste Waters

  • Biodegradation of diesel fuel in contaminated water using immobilized soil bacteria

Bioleaching of Gold Ores

  • Bioleaching of pyrite gold ores using the bacterium Thiobacillus ferrooxidans

Aerobic and Anaerobic wastewater treatment using activated sludge process

Research Group

Current StudentsDegreeResearch Topic
Shahram Amirnia Ph.D. Biosorption and Removal of Toxic Metals from Industrial Wastewater
Cody Bulmer MESc. Encapsulation and Controlled Release of rHu-Erythropoietin from Chitosan Biopolymer Nanoparticles
Landi Cheng MEng. Preparation and Characterization of Chitosan Biopolymer Nanoparticles for Controlled Drug Delivery
David Hudson MEng. Biopolymer Nanoparticle Production for Controlled Release of Biopharmaceutical
Martin Flatley Ph.D. Biodegradation of Naphthenic Acid using an Immobilized Fibrous Bioreactor
Reyna Gomez-Flores Ph.D. Bioconversion of Lignocellulosic Biomass to Biobutanol Using Immobilized Cell Bioreactors
Peter Kilonzo Post-Doc. A Novel Fibrous-Bed Airlift Bioreactor for Recombinant Yeast Fermentation
Dirk Kreyenschulte MESc. Production and Purification of γ-Polyglutamic Acid for the Preparation of Nanoparticles
Isabela Reiniati Ph.D. Production and Purification of Microbial Nanocrystalline Cellulose