Research Foundation News

January 31, 2017

Purdue researchers receive funding to commercialize new type of sodium batteries and novel antibiotic for chronic wound healing

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.  – Two Purdue University researchers will share $55,000 from the Trask Innovation Fund to further develop their innovations through the commercialization pipeline.

Vilas Pol, an associate professor in Purdue's Davidson School of Chemical Engineering and associate professor (by courtesy) in the School of Materials Engineering and an affiliate of Environmental and Ecological Engineering, received $35,000 for “Low Cost, High Capacity, Faster Charging Carbon Anodes for Sodium-Ion Batteries.”

Jean Chmielewski, the Alice Watson Kramer Distinguisher Professor of Chemistry in the College of Science, received $20,000 for “The Pharmacokinetics of Cell Penetrating Antimicrobial Peptides.”

The Trask Innovation Fund is a development program to assist faculty and staff whose discoveries are being commercialized by the Purdue Research Foundation’s Office of Technology Commercialization. Funds are awarded under the advisement of an advisory council consisting of representatives from Purdue's Office of the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships, Purdue faculty, Purdue Research Foundation and the local business community.

“The Trask funding is critical for innovators and researchers to move their technologies through the commercialization process,” said Brooke Beier, assistant director-business development for the Office of Technology Commercialization. “Because of the quality of the applicants, the selection process was very difficult. We do believe these two technologies have strong potential in impacting our world in a positive way.”

Pol’s technology manufactures carbon sheets from packing peanuts and tests them as battery anode material in laboratory and industrial settings. Developed anodes will produce low-cost sodium-ion batteries for stationary storage such as solar and wind energies and offer an alternative to traditional lithium-ion batteries.

“In addition to fundamental science, I would like to see my ideas and inventions entering into practical use benefiting our lives,” Pol said. “Trask funds are highly appreciated and will facilitate our current research and development activities on sodium-ion batteries for their commercial applications.”

Chmielewski’s technology is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that is being developed for chronic wound healing and hospital-acquired pneumonia.

“With the paucity of new antibiotics being developed, I am very excited about using the Trask funds to further develop our antibiotics to help with difficult bacterial infections,” Chmielewski said.

The next Trask Innovation Fund proposal submissions from Purdue faculty and staff are due Feb. 17. Information about submissions is available here.

About Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization

The Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization operates one of the most comprehensive technology transfer programs among leading research universities in the U.S. Services provided by this office support the economic development initiatives of Purdue University and benefit the university's academic activities. The office is managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, which received the 2016 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Award for Innovation from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. For more information on licensing a Purdue innovation, contact the Office of Technology Commercialization at For more information about funding and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at

Purdue Research Foundation Contact: Curt Slyder, 765-588-3342,

Sources: Vilas Pol, 765-494-0044,

Jean Chmielewski, 765-494-0135,

Brooke Beier, 765-588-3464,

Research Foundation News

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