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Virtual and Blended Liquid Chromatography Laboratories for Chemical and Biological Engineering Education

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Laboratories and Projects in BME

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1662.1 - 22.1662.8



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Paper Authors

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Yakov Cherner ATEL, LLC

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Sonia Sparks Wallman


Margaret Bryans Montgomery County Community College

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Principal Investigator of the NSF Advanced Technological Education (ATE) funded Northeast Biomanufacturing Center and Collaborative (NBC2) and instructor of biotechnology at Montgomery County Community College.

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Marina Taranova Southern Federal University, Russia

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Ms. Marina Taranova is a graduate student at Southern Federal University (Russia) The area of
her research is advanced simulation-based virtual environments and e-learning tools.

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Virtual and Blended Liquid Chromatography Laboratories for Chemical and Biological Engineering EducationThe paper presents a blended educational environment which comprises atraditional hands-on laboratory using a BioLogic LP Chromatography System anda simulation-based virtual laboratory, as well as a variety of printed and onlinelearning resources. This analytical and production hybrid laboratory has beenjointly developed by the Northeast Biomanufacturing Center and Collaborative(NBC2) and the Massachusetts based company ATeL, LLC to address theeducational and training needs of biomanufacturing, but other chemical andbiological engineering disciplines will benefit as well.The simulations which form the core of the virtual laboratory can be run in threemodes. The first mode enables students to use animations and 3D images to studythe design and functionality of major system components and their connections andinteraction with each other. In this mode students can zoom-in on a component,explore its parts and read the description. The second mode introduces students tothe operation of the system in an interactive and engaging way. The third modeenables students to perform virtual experiments that exactly match experimentaltasks that students face in workplace or in actual college labs. Using computermouse and keyboard students can manipulate materials and virtual labware,connect components, set up and program the system, as well as collect and handleexperimental data.In addition to simulations, the virtual lab comprises an expandable set of scenariosand instructions for particular online experiments and interactive lessons, whichfacilitate “just-in-time” learning, along with a glossary, assessment quizzes,glossary, PowerPoint presentations, and other online resources.The proposed blended learning cycle recommends a five-step approach to studentlearning: 1. use simulations and online materials to learn the theory and basic principles underlying protein purification; 2. use simulations to become familiar with chromatography system components and their function; 3. perform virtual experiment(s); 4. evaluate knowledge and virtual skills, using a built-in assessment tool, before granting access to the real chromatography system; 5. conduct similar hands-on experiments using the real BioLogic LC Chromatography System.We believe that the combination of online and hands-on learning ensures integrationof theoretical knowledge and practical skills and enhances students’ understandingand workplace performance. Students report that using the virtual chromatographysystem with the real chromatography system equipment allows them to bettercomprehend process workflow and much quickly assemble and accurately use thereal chromatography system to purify biopharmaceutical proteins.The suggested approach can be applied to various areas of technical andengineering education and corporate training.Figure 1. Actual (right) and virtual (left) experiments on LP Chromatography.Simulation enables students to zoom-in system major components and explore theirdesign (bottom right) and operation, watch how to use a chromatogram todetermine the HETP (bottom left) and then print the chromatogram and madehands-on measurements and calculations by him/herself, as well as to program asystem controller (bottom middle)

Cherner, Y., & Wallman, S. S., & Bryans, M., & Taranova, M. (2011, June), Virtual and Blended Liquid Chromatography Laboratories for Chemical and Biological Engineering Education Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18361

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