Nanopareil LLC: Where Tiny Fibers Reap Huge Rewards.
The technology at the heart of Nanopareil revolves around nanofibers a thousand times smaller than a human hair, but its potential impact on the pharmaceutical industry could be massive.
“The pharmaceutical industry really needs this technology,” says Todd Menkhaus, Ph.D., a professor of biological and chemical engineering at South Dakota School of Mines & Technology and one of the researchers to develop the Nanopareil technology. “We developed this technology specifically to lower the costs of purifying lifesaving vaccines and medications so that they would be more accessible and more economical around the globe.”
Nanopareil LLC got its start on the SD Mines campus in 2008 when Menkhaus and Hao Fong, Ph.D., a professor in chemistry, biology, and health sciences, began collaborating on research into nanofibers and separations. They quickly found some pretty exciting results. By spraying or “electro spinning” polymer nanofibers into multiple layers, Fong and Menkhaus created sheets of a filter or sponge-like material. In its initial state, the material feels almost spongy to the touch. After final preparation, however, the sheet material feels and looks much like simple white paper.