Meet our Monthly Maker: Greg Fridman
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
I am Dr. Greg Fridman, owner and founder of AAPlasma LLC. I was born into a family of plasma physicists and grew up with grad students for babysitters—playing “air hockey” with a drop of liquid nitrogen on an optical table was one of my favorite pastimes (still is!). I love engineering implementations of interesting scientific discoveries. I’ve worked in various labs since I was 6 years old until July 2019 when I decided to change my life completed—I got married and left my Research Professor position to lead AAPlasma in its R&D efforts. Together with my COO Charles Bailey, we design and prototype cold plasma systems to solve societal problems: from cancer, to food safety, to litter box odor control, etc.
WHAT DO YOU MAKE/ WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON?
With COVID-19, we were asked by the Defense Logistics Agency to “retool” of fresh produce disinfection system to do the same for PPEs. In a matter of weeks, and in collaboration with NextFab, Drexel, and Xenex Disinfection Services, Inc. we were able to design, develop, and manufacture 3 prototype systems. The prototypes are now being evaluated by Drexel and 3M teams with the goal to receive the FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). We are now manufacturing 100 prototypes for distribution to essential businesses. After COVID-19, we will go back to using these for fresh produce disinfection; so, there is use for these units beyond the pandemic.
WHAT’S THE HARDEST PART?
I am a bioengineer who spent his whole life in the lab. Now I have to fight with distribution chain issues, make agreements with manufacturing partners, talk with funders, and work with corporate, patent, and FDA lawyers—all in one day. It sounds tough, but it’s a lot of fun! The hardest part? Having to learn all of this on-the-fly and, well, clicking the “Send” button, hoping that this was the right decision.