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Morgan Chemistry Professor Receives Maryland Innovation Award

photoAslan-1Dr. Kadir Aslan, Professor of Chemistry at Morgan State University, has recently described and demonstrated the use of a new crystallization technology, called metal-assisted and microwave-assisted evaporative crystallization (MA-MAEC). The MA-MAEC technology was the subject of Morgan’s first ever patent full application in its over 140-year history. At the laboratory bench scale, the MA-MAEC technology affords for the selective growth of the desired polymorphs of amino acids and pharmaceutical compounds “on-demand” in a fraction of the time as compared to the conventional evaporative crystallization.

Based on the commercial promise of the MA-MAEC technology, Dr. Aslan was awarded a $100,000 Maryland Innovation Initiative (MII) Award in March 2013. Dr. Aslan and his research group will develop several new crystallization products for commercial use with the MA-MAEC technology. The crystallization products are: 1) three new circular polymer crystallization platforms for commercially available microwave ovens (i) low sample load (21 samples), (ii) medium sample load (95 samples) and (iii) high sample load (204 samples). 2) “iCrystal system”: a high-end integrated device that offers a superior control over the crystallization process.

Potential users of the new crystallization products include researchers in academic institutions and industry, who can immediately use the new crystallization platforms in a commercially available microwave oven for the semi-quantitative assessment of their products. The iCrystal device will exclusively work with the new crystallization platforms. Consumers will be able to crystallize up to 204 samples “on demand” with a high degree of control over the microwave heating and thus the crystallization process, which is not offered by conventional microwave ovens. Beyond the MII funding, Dr. Aslan will seek other small business or technology grants and investor funding to develop this device for commercial applications.

Created by the General Assembly and administered by the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), the Maryland Innovation Initiative (MII) promotes the commercialization of research conducted in five qualifying Maryland universities. The initiative encourages universities to partner on commercialization proposals, strategies, and funding sources. The MII program facilitates technology transfer from university labs to start-up companies and boosts economic development in Maryland.

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Media contact: Dr. Victor R. McCrary, VP for Research & Economic Development
443-885-4631 or

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