This project is a knowledge exchange programme funded by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan. It is a two-year research project coordinated by the Institute for Combustion Problems (ICP), Al-Farabi Kazakh State National University, with Dr Carol Howell the project lead at the University of Brighton. The consortium also consists of industrial partner Mast Carbon International Ltd, UK and Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan.
The partners are working together to develop novel activated carbon based structures for medical applications, using rice husk as the precursor material. Kazakhstan has a large amount of rice husk as a waste material, which has no current commercially viable use. These adsorbent activated carbon monoliths will be tested for their ability to adsorb inflammatory molecules and uremic toxins with the potential to be used as a blood purification device to augment current treatment strategies for patients with chronic kidney disease.
The project ran from 2012 to 2014.
The project aims to develop activated carbon based 3D structures from rice husk precursor for the removal of inflammatory molecules and uremic toxins from the blood of patients with chronic kidney disease, that are poorly removed by current therapies.
The partners will achieve this aim through knowledge exchange visits between Kazakhstan and the UK industrial partner MAST in order to synthesise nanoporous activated carbon monolithic columns from rice husk and to optimise the porous structure for removal of uremic toxins. The University of Brighton will be pivotal in the testing of the novel adsorbents, for adsorption performance and their biocompatibility using clinically reflective in vitro tests.
Through the knowledge exchange activities it has been possible to optimise the synthesis of the activated carbon adsorbent monoliths produced from rice husk waste as the precursor, via transfer of expertise from the UK collaborator MAST Carbon to ICP in Kazakhstan.
These adsorbent monoliths were then characterised in terms of their porous nanostructure, and their adsorption capacity investigated for a range of biological toxins that are relevant to chronic kidney disease. The monoliths with the most developed nanostructure showed good removal of uremic toxins in a clinically reflective study using healthy donor blood.
The project adapted ISO cytotoxicity and haemocompatibility assays to investigate the adsorbent monoliths and demonstrated their potential for use in blood purification applications.
Dr Carol Howell
Dr Susan Sandeman
Where is the output?
Institute for Combustion Problems (ICP), Al-Farabi Kazakh State National University.
School of Engineering and Centre for Life Sciences, Nazarbayev University (NU).
MAST Carbon International