Making a Big Impact on Modern Medicine

Two professors at the South Dakota School of Mines are behind the technology for the start-up company “Nanofiber Separations,” and the research they are conducting at the school could ultimately have a big impact on modern medicine and the pharmaceutical industry.

Dr. Todd Menkhaus and Dr. Hao Fong are behind this technology, using tiny nano fibers that provide a highly efficient filtration mechanism.

This technology replaces all processing steps with a single step that can purify a material all at once, ultimately helping to reduce costs and waste.

The company recently won the Governor’s Giant Vision Business Competition and has received nearly $710,000 to help commercialize and produce nano fiber filters for lower cost pharmaceutical purification’s.

“Because we can offer a much lower cost of production opportunity for a company making the pharmaceutical product, the goal would be that those savings that the company creates by manufacturing it with our product, would be passed on to the consumer, you would end up with a low cost pharmaceutical that you would have to pay for,” said Dr. Todd Menkhaus, an Associate Professor in the Chemical and Biological Engineering at the School of Mines.

This technology can also be used for water and air purification, greatly reducing the cost and waste as well.