Introductory Remarks | AIChE

Introductory Remarks

Research Interests:

Improvement of water treatment techniques designed to recover wastewater and provide drinking water is critical for protecting public health and environment and has gained many attentions in the last decades. Efficient detection and removal of chemical contaminants in water-based solutions such as heavy metals, cyanides, and dyes is necessary to recover water for human consumption and agricultural applications. Membrane-based separation techniques are considered as promising candidates to remove chemical contaminants form wastewater. Membrane processes are able to produce high quality water, isolate relatively small organic pollutants, and integrate with other separation systems. Compared to traditional treatment techniques, membranes can offer a simple, easy-to-operate, and low-maintenance separation process. The recovery of minor but valuable components from a mainstream using membranes can be done without substantial additional energy costs. Besides chemical impurities, pathogens (as microscopic biological organisms capable of causing disease) include viruses (comprising DNA or RNA with a protein coating), bacteria, protozoa and toxins released by algae should also be reduced from the wastewater or deactivated before the reuse in the agriculture. Pathogenic contamination of water cause disease outbreaks and contribute to background disease rates around the world. Regarding that, it is needed to develop synthetic biological interfaces that enable sensitive and rapid capture and enrichment of microorganisms from infected water-based solutions.

Keywords: Pathogen detection; bio interface; surface chemistry; wastewater treatment; membrane

PhD Dissertation: “Bio-functionalized polymer interfaces for sensitive and selective detection and isolation of microbial pathogens from infected solutions”

Under supervision of Dr. Ryan R. Hansen, Tim Taylor Department of Chemical

Engineering, Kansas State University, USA

Research Experience:

Enhancing nano-biomaterials and chemical methods for environmentally infected samples has been the main target of my research. This includes developing treatment methods to isolate chemical and biological contaminants from water-based solutions. I’ve been working in Department of Chemical Engineering at Kansas State University (with the collaboration of Division of Biology) on the design of nanostructured biointerfaces that detect and capture bacterial contaminants from solutions with high sensitivity using inexpensive materials. These interfaces can also be used in tissue engineering and to detect and isolate other biomolecules and cancerous cells. In particular, my research focused on systematic investigation of physical and chemical surface parameters that influence microbial pathogens capture over the lectin-functionalized polymer interfaces. Project included micro/nanofabrication, Surface physico-chemical characterization (FTIR, 1H-NMR AFM, SE), and Bacteria culture/growth and development. Findings applied to construct surfaces with significantly enhanced bacteria detection sensitivity. The range of detection sensitivities achieved for the proposed biointerfaces also offer potential use in a variety of applications including diagnosis of UTI, blood infections, and detection of bacterial targets in water-applications where lectin-based capture has traditionally been limited. As another direction, I’ve also studied the membrane-based separation techniques and adsorption process to isolate and recovery of chemical and heavy metal contaminants from environmental samples. Here I particularly focused on application and optimization of Electrodialysis (ED) method for the efficient removal of ionic pollutants from water and waste-water streams. My research targeted various type of contaminants in waste-water solutions released from pharmaceutical companies, absorption chillers and leachate such as sodium sulphate and lithium. With collaboration of Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, I’m currently working on studying membrane biofouling processes in wastewater treatment systems. Here we focus on understanding the fundamental mechanisms that drive biofilm formation over these membrane surfaces and developing chemical and physical treatment methods to alleviate biofouling. The long-term goal of this work is to understand the key mechanisms of membrane biofouling and cell-surface interactions that occur in anaerobic membrane bioreactors (AnMBR) systems. During these years, I was also able to face the challenges of a corresponding author’s role for publishing 3 research papers. I believe my analytical skills on functional materials such as surface/material characterization, environmental separation techniques, and statistical analysis, would nicely help me to continue my career as post-doc.

Research projects:

- Studied the biofilm formation and early colonizing microbes over anaerobic membrane bioreactor

(AnMBR) substrates (Collaborated with civil and environmental engineering)

- Developed a nanostructured lectin-based biointerface relevance to isolation of bacteria targets from infected clinical and environmental samples (Collaborated with division of biology)

- Used micro/nano fabrications to generate reactive surfaces of an azlactone-based biofunctional block co- polymer for biomedical/environmental applications

- Investigated membrane separation techniques to remove chemical/ionic contaminants from water and waste-water samples

Future Direction:

I see these interdisciplinary projects as the starting point for my long-term research on enhancing materials and methods for environmental detection, isolation and separation. During my academic career, I’ve obtained experiences related to chemical engineering, biology and environmental science and am highly motivated to broaden my knowledge on improving nano-biomaterials and bio interfaces for bioengineering and biomedicine purposes. This include investigating the detection and isolation of microbial pathogens and cancerous cells from infected samples such as blood. Besides, considering the universal need for reliable access to safe water for public health and safety and the fact that unsafe water is responsible for more human deaths, my interest is also to work on designing environmental separation processes targeted chemicals and ionic contaminants existing in wastewater.

Selected Publications:

1- M. Masigol, N. Fattahi, N. Barua, B. S. Lokitz, S. T. Retterer, T. G. Platt, R. R. Hansen, “Identification of Critical Surface Parameters Driving Lectin-Mediated Capture of Bacteria from Solution”ACS Biomacromolecules, 20 (2019) 2852-2863

2- M. Masigol, N. Barua, B. S. Lokitz, R. R. Hansen, " Fabricating Reactive Surfaces with Brush-like and Crosslinked Films of Azlactone-Functionalized Block Co-Polymers", Journal of Visualized Experiments, 136 (2018) e57562.

3- M. Masigol, N. Barua, B. S. Lokitz, S. Retterer, R. R. Hansen, "Chemical Co-patterning Strategies Using Azlactone-Based Block Copolymers", Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology B, 35 (2017) 06GJ01.

4- M. Masigol, W. Poonlapdecha, L. E. Erickson,R. R. Hansen, K. Tuitemwong and P.

Tuitemwong, “Nanomaterials for foodborne pathogen detection and isolation. (in preparation)

5- M. Masigol, A. Moheb, A. Mehrabani-Zeinabad, "An Experimental Investigation into Batch Electrodialysis Process for Removal of Sodium Sulfate from Magnesium Stearate Aqueous Slurry, Desalination,300 (2012) 12-18.

6- M. Masigol, A. Moheb, A. Mehrabani-Zeinabad, "Comprehensive Study on Interactive Effects of Operational Parameters by Using Response Surface Method for Sodium Sulfate Removal from Magnesium Stearate Aqueous Slurry via Electrodialysis Process", Desalination and Water Treatment, 56 (2016) 14145-14157.

7- A. Ehsanian Mofrad, A. Moheb, M. Masigol*, M. Sadeghi, F. Radmanesh, “Electrochemical Properties of PES/PVP Blend Heterogeneous Cation-Exchange Membranes by Using Design of Experiment Method”, Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 532 (2018) 546-556.

*Corresponding Author

8- N. Parsa, A. Moheb, A. Mehrabani-Zeinabad, M. Masigol, "Recovery of Lithium Ions from Sodium Contaminated Lithium Bromide Solution by Using Electrodialysis Process", Chemical Engineering Research and Design, 98 (2015) 81–88.

9- M. Bazrgar Bajestani, A. Moheb, M. Masigol*, “Hydrothermal synthesis of high capacity spinel ion-sieve composite adsorbents with improved stability for selective removal of lithium from aqueous solutions, “ACS Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research”, 58 (2019)


*Corresponding Author

10- N. Parsa, G, Khajouei, M. Masigol*, A. Moheb, H. Hasheminejad, “Application of Electrodialysis Process for Reduction of Electrical Conductivity and COD of Water Contaminated by Composting Leachate”, Civil Engineering Journal, 4 (2018) 1034-1045.

*Corresponding Author