Choi receives Baxter award for nanomaterials work
MechSE PhD student Jonghyun Choi has received a Baxter Young Investigator Award for his work in applying the unique properties of 2D nanomaterials to further bio-sensing systems.
Choi completed his undergraduate education at Hanyang University in 2012 and is now in his fifth year of graduate school pursuing his PhD in mechanical engineering. He works in Assistant Professor SungWoo Nam’s research group, working on graphene characterization and functionalization.
As a whole, Nam’s research laboratory focuses on the nano-engineering of graphene and 2-dimensional material based nanostructures and devices. Choi, within that focus, works with those 2-dimensional nanomaterials (specifically graphene and molybdenum disulfide) to research how their intrinsic properties can be applied to biomedical devices.
“Such 2D materials have drawn significant attention from both the academic and industrial community due to their extraordinary physical, chemical, and biological properties,” Choi said.
When exposed to the external environment, 2D materials have a high sensitivity to the absorption of molecules that induce significant property changes. Choi used this characteristic of 2D materials to demonstrate a highly sensitive and real-time bio-sensing system with glucose and cortisol as the sensing targets. The accurate and time-efficient monitoring of glucose and cortisol are invaluable to those affected by diabetes, anxiety disorders, and a number of other conditions.
Treating these sorts of conditions is what Baxter specializes in—the company’s focus is medical technology and advancements that work to save and sustain lives. Baxter offers the Baxter Young Investigator Award as a chance to celebrate and promote innovative, medically inclined research done by North American graduate and post-doctoral students.
“Jonghyun’s research has been focused on establishing a unique approach to generate controlled deformation (‘architecting’) of 2D materials for advanced biomedical sensors and multi-functional coatings,” Nam said. “I am delighted to see his scientific contribution being recognized by the Baxter Young investigator Awards and I am certain that he will continue to make a big impact in his research field.”
The award is given to demonstrate appreciation for the young researcher’s contribution to the medical science community. It does not need to be used on furthering the winner’s research, but in Choi’s case it will have an impact on his work.
“This award encourages me to explore even more advanced healthcare systems such as wearable and low-power health-monitoring devices with direct and real-time sensing capability of the biomolecules from human sweat.”
Choi was also awarded a Fellowship from FMC technologies, a company that develops and provides technology for the oil and gas industry. Although he is considering taking an academic career path, Choi said he has interest in doing work similar to that of FMC technologies in industry.