The Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering is a leader in developing advanced biomaterials for agricultural, environmental and biomedical applications. Biomedical applications include utilization of genetic materials (nucleic acids) as generic materials for cell-free protein production and super-biocompatible biomaterials and translational cell delivery devices for type 1 diabetes treatment. We are actively engaged in biomaterials for soft robotics as well as transforming carbonaceous waste feedstocks into slow-release, nutrient-enhanced soil amendments and designing green polymers for water treatment.
We also focus on biomass materials including biomass DNA, which are biodegradable and renewable. Converting biomass materials into useful thin membranes, hydrogels, adhesives, and compostable plastics is being pursued in our department for a sustainable future.