Electrochemical sensors for microbial activities in benthic sediments: a sentry for lacustrine P biogeochemistry

Release of phosphate-P immobilized in benthic sediments poses a remnant threat to induce harmful algal blooms (HAB) despite adequate management of external loads of phosphate. This process, referred to as internal loading of P, is induced by microbially mediated alternations of sediment and porewater chemistry and bacteria that “breath” iron are mostly responsible for controlling the release of P from sediments. We have developed an electrochemical split-chamber zero resistance ammetry (SC-ZRA) technique that we can use to detect microbiological activities.

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Design of polyester scaffolds for encapsulation and release of therapeutics

The Joy Lab has developed a platform of polyesters and polyurethanes that are being utilized for the incorporation and sustained delivery of therapeutics. The undergraduate student working on the project will work specifically towards the synthesis of the polymers, incorporation of the therapeutic within the polymer and analyze the release kinetics. The student will gain experience in synthesis and characterization of polymers and in the analysis and interpretation of experimental data.

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Microbial Corrosion Monitor

There are over 300,000 miles of natural gas transmission pipeline in the US (Pipeline 101 see web addresses; P&GJ paper 2016). To meet the growing need to transport shale gas in the US, approximately 3,400 miles of new gas pipeline were constructed in 2015-2017 (ferc.gov), and that trend is likely to continue, as the US continues to develop as a major natural gas and petroleum exporter.

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Wearable Health Sensors

Our team has developed flexible, lightweight fabric materials that can selectively determine physiological information from sweat forming on the surface of the skin. The technology is the first lightweight fabric sensor to provide real-time information regarding hydration levels during exercise or training through selective determination of sodium ion levels.

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Tuning intermolecular distance to achieve tunable fluorescence

Controlling and measuring the intermolecular distance in supramolecular structures are important as well as challenaging. To achive both at the same time, we are chemically incorporating an aggregation-induced emission (AIE) luminophore into a charged macromoleculre, which can self-assemble into stable supramolecular structures of different intermolecular distances through the careful regulation of the physical interactions between the building blocks.

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Photolytically degradable, hydrolytically degradable, and chemically recyclable commodity plastics

“White pollution” is a problem of massive scale. To replace the current nondegradable commodity plastics with degradable plastics, a key challenge is that the new raw materials must be readily available at costs comparable to current monomers such as ethylene and propylene. Low-carbon footprint is highly desirable for these raw materials in order to achieve overall environmental sustainability.

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Improved techniques for early and cost effective diagnosis of pediatric sleep apnea

This project involves current work with Akron Children’s Hospital (ACH), and entails finding new and cost-effective ways of diagnosing pediatric sleep apnea using new tools such as low-cost Arduino micro-processors, new low-cost sensors, wireless technology, advanced signal procssing algorithms such Wavelets, etc. Selected students will work within a research group and may be onboarded at ACH so that they can help in clinical tests at the hospital.

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Mechanochemistry of a helical metal-ligand complex

Mechanical stress is ubiquitously present in materials and biological systems, and the force-induced bond scission and materials failure have been extensively studied. In recent years, utilizing mechanical force to do targeted and constructive chemistry, largely fueled by the concept of mechanophore, i.e., stress-responsive moiety, has become a new trend.

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Lipid modulation of membrane protein properties

In this project the student will conduct experiments to determine how lipid content is coupled to membrane protein function. Cultured cells will be supplemented with different lipid inputs, and the effects on membrane proteins will be measured using quantitative biophysical methods. This project is part of a collaborative research grant focused on neurological pathologies associated with brain lipid composition.

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