LSU AgCenter researchers receive technology transfer grants

The LSU AgCenter recently received more than $138,000 in grants that will help four researchers find industry partners for their inventions.

The grants come from LSU’s LIFT2 Fund, which was established in 2014 to promote technology transfer between LSU and the marketplace. LIFT2 grants are awarded twice a year and help researchers carry out additional development needed to show their inventions have enough market potential to attract commercial partners.

The AgCenter received grants for four technologies, which include biomedical products and composite materials.

One of the grants was awarded to Qinglin Wu, a professor in the AgCenter School of Renewable Natural Resources who developed thermoplastic cellulosic fiber granules that can be used as infill materials for artificial turf. The granules improve the turf’s strength and are resistant to termites, mold and fungi. The product is made with environmentally friendly materials.

Cristina Sabliov, a professor in the AgCenter Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, received a grant for a nanoparticle matrix she developed to be used in cataract-reducing eye drops. The matrix allows a more efficient way to deliver lutein, a carotenoid that is believed to benefit eye health. Sabliov developed the matrix with assistant professor Carlos Astete of the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering.

Witoon Prinyawiwatkul, a professor in the AgCenter School of Nutrition and Food Sciences, was awarded a grant for his water-soluble chitosan products. The products quickly solubilize chitosan — a sugar derived from shellfish — and can be used in water treatment, cosmetics, biomedicine, and food and beverages. He is working on the project with Zhimin Xu, also a professor in the School of Nutrition and Food Sciences.

The fourth grant went to Michael Vincent, a postdoctoral researcher at the AgCenter Audubon Sugar Institute who is studying how to make both hard and flexible polymers using byproducts from sugar processing. The polymers are made with bagasse and molasses, tons of which are produced when sugar is extracted from sugarcane. Vincent is working with John Pojman, an LSU chemistry professor.

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Michael Vincent, a postdoctoral researcher at the LSU AgCenter Audubon Sugar Institute, displays three samples of polymers made using byproducts of sugar processing. Photo by Olivia McClure/LSU AgCenter

8/8/2016 8:03:45 PM
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