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Kadir Aslan

Morgan State University Receives First-Ever Full Patent for New Technology

Professor’s ‘Metal-Assisted and Microwave-Accelerated Evaporative Crystallization’ Device Will Advance Precision Medical Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease

Subsequent to the groundbreaking research of Kadir Aslan, Ph.D., in the area of technology-assisted treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, Morgan State University was awarded its first-ever U.S. patent, on Jan. 26, 2016. The patent (U.S. Patent No: 9,243,017) was received for Dr. Aslan’s invention of an improved crystallization technique that may provide better treatment for patients suffering from the deadly brain disorder. Dr. Aslan is assistant dean for Research and Graduate Studies and professor at MSU.

The understanding of the three-dimensional structures of protein targets, made available by the field of crystallography, has the potential to greatly accelerate drug discovery. However, current crystallization equipment takes a minimum of one hour or longer to complete the protein crystallization process. What Dr. Aslan discovered and was able to create through his research was a faster and more effective crystallization technique.

This Metal-Assisted and Microwave-Assisted Evaporative Crystallization (MA-MAEC) technique is based on the combined use of plasmonic nanostructures and microwave heating, which demonstrated capabilities to crystallize amino acids in less than 30 seconds, compared with the room temperature crystallization process, which takes up to one hour from a 20-ml initial solution. Moreover, Dr. Aslan’s MA-MAEC technique demonstrated the crystallization of proteins in less than one hour, a process that usually takes a week using conventional techniques.

Dr. Aslan is now testing his improved and patented crystallization technique on an amyloid precursor protein (APP). APP is most commonly studied as the precursor molecule whose proteolysis generates beta amyloid (Aβ42) peptide, the primary component of the amyloid plaques found in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients. As a result, MSU’s patented crystallization device has the potential to help drug development research organizations and pharmaceutical companies accelerate a more effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Aslan has been with Morgan since 2009.

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