2021 Research Projects

Projects are posted below; new projects will continue to be posted. To learn more about the type of research conducted by undergraduates, view the 2021 Research Symposium Abstracts (PDF) and search the past SURF projects.

This is a list of research projects that may have opportunities for undergraduate students. Please note that it is not a complete list of every SURF project. Undergraduates will discover other projects when talking directly to Purdue faculty.

You can browse all the projects on the list or view only projects in the following categories:

Biotechnology Data Insights (2)


Real time analysis of viral particles for continuous processing approach 

Arezoo Ardekani
Preferred major(s):
Chemical Eng, Biological Eng, Biomedical Eng, Physics, Mechanical Eng
Desired experience:
This project requires lab work and presence on campus, however, an online version can be offered to focus on coarse-grained modeling of proteins/cells.

The increasing worldwide demand for vaccines along with the intensifying economic pressure on health care systems underlines the need for further improvement of vaccine manufacturing. In addition, regulatory authorities are encouraging investment in the continuous manufacturing processes to ensure robust production, avoid shortages, and ultimately lower the cost of medications for patients. The limitations of in-line process analytical tools are a serious drawback of the efforts taken in place. In line analysis of viral particles are very limited, due to the large time required for the current techniques for detection, qualitative and quantitative analysis. Therefore, there is a need for new alternatives for viral detection.

More information: https://engineering.purdue.edu/ComplexFlowLab/


Synthetic neuron 

Chongli Yuan
Preferred major(s):

Neurons convert biochemical information (through binding of a neurotransmitter) to electrical signal (via action potential) and back to biochemical signal (through the release of neurotransmitters). These distinct and separable processes can be reconstituted in a synthetic neuron by using natural and engineered proteins, and a synthetic neuron platform can be used to understand the rules governing the emergence of the present morphology of a neuron and the architecture of the neuronal system. This project thus aims to construct a synthetic neuron with a modular design and a programmable synthetic neuronal network capable of recapitulating basic functions of a natural neuronal system (e.g., action potential, synaptic communication, and basic computation) and with a long-term vision of incorporating more advanced computation and potentiation.