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Engineering

January 01, 2018 12:00 AM
3D digital representations of experimentally characterized polycrystalline microstructures can be used to validate simulations, infer properties of microstructural constituents, and enable high-fidelity computational models to investigate materials phenomena and design materials with improved properties. Although such digital representations are already possible, current methods for their generation are time intensive and require the use of synchrotron radiation that can only be obtained at a few locations worldwide. For some types of microstructures, a newly developed characterization method called 3D surface microscopy has the ability to characterize all of the crystallographic degrees of freedom from 2D surface observations, and can be performed in standard electron microscopes that are available broadly. For through-thickness grained materials, full 3D microstructural reconstructions should therefore be possible with a great reduction in time and cost as compared to existing methods. To validate the accuracy of 3D surface microscopy measurements we collect EBSD scans from the top and bottom surfaces of polycrystalline metals, register the two scans, and assemble them into a full 3D digital representation of the microstructure, from which estimates of the grain boundary plane normals can be obtained (which are not available from traditional surface scanning techniques) The grain boundary normals obtained will then be compared to those measured using 3D surface microscopy on the same samples to estimate the accuracy of this new technique.
January 01, 2018 12:00 AM
Microfluidic chips have moved to the forefront of innovation and development in biological analytics, by reducing volume sizes, employing micro-scale physics, and incorporating many procedures into a single device. One application that is particularly well suited for microfluidics is polymerase chain reaction (PCR). PCR is the staple method used to amplify DNA, and essentially, relies on thermal cycling of a special chemical mixture. In this work, we present the optimization of hardware for performing PCR on microfluidic instruments at speeds as fast as 2 sec/cycle, which is up to 60 times faster than other applications and the fastest currently reported in the world. With the future goals of this project in mind, it became apparent that we needed to more thoroughly understand potential improvements for the fluid transport on the chip in order to increase control and replicability of results, which would then allow us to move on to more advanced testing. The design of our microfluidic chip required 8 significant iterations of channel design. The chips were judged on a performance scale in the categories of: ease of manufacture, failure rate, speed control, pressure drop, surface area, and thermal gradient. Failure rates decreased as we identified flaws in the manufacturing process and addressed new methods to avoid them. Significant changes included a new bonding and port gluing method, the introduction of rounded corners, a decreased surface area that influenced both chip adsorption and experienced pressure, and an improved method for imposing the thermal gradient across the chip. The future work of this project is very exciting: As all the aspects of this project are developed and brought together, the entire system will operate in a preconfigured manner that will eventually result in an accessible tool for while-you-wait DNA diagnostic tests.
January 01, 2018 12:00 AM
Electromagnetic (EM) motion tracking systems have been tested extensively and found suitable for many research and clinical applications. Such systems consist of a transmitter and multiple sensors that provide the position and orientation of each sensor relative to the transmitter. While it is easy to attach these sensors to limb segments and take measurements, extracting accurate and useful data (i.e. joint angles) from the sensors can be challenging. To do so a large and relatively complex set of steps must be followed: proper definition of Body Coordinate Systems (BCS) and Joint Coordinate Systems (JCS), proper sensor placement, the calculations governing the inverse kinematics, and the choice between different methods used to calibrate the Sensor Coordinate Systems (SCS) to the BCS. This study is a comparative analysis to understand how similar two commonly used calibration methods are: Landmark (LM) and Postural (P) calibrations. These two methods have intrinsic differences in BCS definitions. LM calibration uses the locations of skeletal landmarks relative to the SCS to define the BCS. It is commonly used by biomechanists in joint-level and cadaveric studies. P calibration uses superficial alignment of the limb segments in a known configuration to determine the BCS. P is commonly used by clinicians who study gross limb movement of subjects in-vivo. We collected EM motion tracking data from 12 healthy subjects as they performed a sequence of movements throughout their range of motion. EM sensor orientations were tracked and recorded. Inverse kinematics were performed on the same sensor data using both LM and P calibration methods. The joint angles resultant from LM and from P were then compared. The results indicated that the two methods differ in two major ways. First, there is an initial offset that is the result of innate differences in BCS definitions of LM and P. This offset is large enough in magnitude to make a significant impact on studies requiring accurate joint angle measurements. Second, the difference in joint angle values between the two calibration methods was not equal to the initial offset. Although there was high correlation in joint angle values between the calibration methods, the difference varied during the movements. Therefore, the two calibration methods are not equivalent, even for applications that focus only on relative motion (e.g. tremor). Caution should be used when choosing a method of calibration for upper-limb studies.
January 01, 2018 12:00 AM
The purpose of my research is aimed at establishing the ideal conditions for micro scale particle filtration on a microfluidic spiral channel device. Sperm washing, or filtration of sperm cells from semen, is a very important step in the process of artificial insemination. Before a sperm sample can be artificially inseminated it must be filtered of the seminal plasma present in the sample of semen. Current methods usually involve filtration by density using a centrifuge. This method, although proven effective, is damaging to sperm cells. Our goal it to improve upon this method by utilizing microfluidic devices with spiral channels as a method of filtration that is faster and isn’t as damaging to cells. This filtration technique works due to curvature of the channels in combination with the principals of inertial lift and Dean drag forces. These conditions result in partials of different diameters lining up at different positions along the channels width allowing filtration of partials due to size. To model this system we use a mixture of deionized water and micro-fluorescent beads that are 3 microns in size to represent the seminal plasma and sperm cells. The bulk of my research has been to collect data images of the separation observed when mixtures of deionized water and the fluorescent beads are run through the device at different speeds and concentrations in order to determine the speed and outlet size that results in the fastest filtration time. The next step was to evaluate each of the images collected to determine how wide the collection channel needs to be in order to collect the cells while minimizing the amount of fluid collected with the cells. Using the recorded speed at which the fluid was pushed through the device and the data collected from processing the images, the last step will then be to calculate the ideal speed to push fluid though the device to maximize filtration while minimizing the time it takes to completely filter a sample. From the data collected and evaluated thus far, we expect that ideal speed at which to run a sample through the device will be around .5 ml/min. We also expect that with adjustments to the collection outlets of the device the total time to filter an average size sample will take less than 20 minutes.
January 01, 2018 12:00 AM
Hitting coaches work constantly to improve player swings, and often differ in opinion about how to do this. Once such difference concerns the axis of rotation for the bat on its way to impact with the ball. Some instructors assert that the bat should rotate about the rear forearm, while others say it should rotate about the trunk. The purpose of this study was to determine which axis of rotation is more dominant, if either, in home run (HR) swings executed by NCAA Division I softball players, and if there are any advantages to either. To do this, 27 HR swings by DI players were analyzed using high speed video (100 Hz) and Direct Linear Transformation (DLT). 3D kinematics were analyzed for every frame from the onset of the swing until ball impact. The angle of the bat to the forearm and to the trunk were measure in each frame. It was then determined which axis was more perpendicular to the bat’s path for each frame. The percentage of each swing for which each axis dominated was calculated. These percentages were correlated to swing parameters to discover potential relationships. No relationships were found between dominant axis and bat speed, swing time, bat acceleration, or ball exit velocity. About 52% of the sample swings utilized a forearm-dominant axis, while the remainder utilized a trunk-dominant one. These results suggest that in the current sample, the dominant axis predicts no measurable outcome, and that there is room for variability in swing style.
January 01, 2018 12:00 AM
Most high-pressure combustion systems use water slurries to transport coal particles to the combustor. This is inefficient as a fraction of the energy released during combustion must be used to vaporize the water. Transporting coal with a gas would minimize this energy loss and improve combustor efficiency. However, transporting densely packed particles with gas at high pressure is challenging. This research evaluated the feasibility of using gas to transport dense phase coal through a simple pipe and identified the preferred initial coal distribution in the pipe to reduce particle removal times. CO2 was used to push coal through a 10-cm long, 0.635-cm diameter pipe to test the removal time when the gas mass flow rate and the initial position of coal particles was changed. Using Barracuda computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software, cases with differing flow rates and initial coal positions were simulated until 99% of the coal particles had exited the pipe. The time for removal was compared for each case. It was found that a greater gas mass flow rate will remove the coal particles from the pipe faster. At lower mass flow rates, a large amount of particles exited quickly, but the coal remaining trickled out very slowly, elongating the removal time and weakening the transport efficiency. More total energy would be required at the lower mass flow rates for the remaining particles to be slowly removed. Furthermore, the initial position of the coal particles proved to be a very impactful variable. When the mass of particles was distributed in half of the pipe from bottom to top, more time was required for 99% removal at every gas mass flow rate. Because of the set-up, particles had to essentially climb over one another to leave the pipe. This caused a build-up at the end of the pipe that took a long time to empty. Distributing the same amount of particle mass in the first half of the pipe from left to right resulted in much shorter times to empty. The trends identified with the test data can be extrapolated to larger systems to find the ideal method to fully remove coal from a pipeline and into a combustion chamber when using carbon dioxide gas.
January 01, 2018 12:00 AM
The foot plays a vital role in understanding lower limb joint kinematics and kinetics, as it is the first link in the kinematic chain that contacts the floor during gait. Even with the advent of advanced motion analysis techniques, the foot is often studied as one single rigid body segment, despite the numerous bones and joints throughout. Several foot models have recently been developed to independently investigate motions of the hindfoot, midfoot, forefoot, and hallux. However, these models still combine multiple bone motions into one rigid body for each of these segments. The purpose of this research was to determine the motion of the first and fifth metatarsals as their own dynamic system, rather than consider them a rigid body as was done in previous research. Three subjects were imaged with dual fluoroscopy (DF) while descending a set of stairs. This technique uses two x-ray cameras, placed approximately 90° from one another, to record continuous x-ray images of the subject. This allows for in vivo bone motion to be determined within the three-dimensional (3D) volume of the combined field-of-view of the fluoroscopes. Separately, a CT image stack was acquired of each subject and the first and fifth metatarsals segmented. Projections through these segmentations were used to generate artificial x-rays of each metatarsal from numerous perspectives. A custom model-based markerless tracking software package was then used to align the artificial x-rays with the DF images to quantify the position and orientation of each bone in 3D space. A coordinate system was defined for both metatarsals. From which, the relative motions of the first and fifth metatarsals were compared during the weight bearing portions of stair descent. Since the metatarsals are dynamic systems, a rigid body assumption ultimately limits the understanding of foot kinematics. We hypothesize that the first and fifth metatarsals will demonstrate different motions during the loading and unloading portions of stair ascent. The comparison of the first and fifth metatarsals will allow us to determine if differences exist between first and fifth metatarsal kinematics, which could be particularly useful for future clinical diagnoses and investigations of various foot pathologies.
January 01, 2018 12:00 AM
To reverse the catastrophic effects that are impending due to climate change requires a drastic change in the way that people consume energy and view its production. Enough energy reaches the earth from the sun to provide 6000 times the current world’s consumption. The challenge is to construct solar power frameworks in such a way that people adopt and use it. The goal of this research is to create a reduced size solar array attachment that can easily and affordably turn any surface, including benches, bus stops, and trash cans, into a mobile device charging station and collect data concerning its use. A previous study by the BYU Open Access Solar group created a solar table capable of charging a mobile phone. The current Solar table would reach a financial break-even point in a minimum of 23 years. At that price only altruistic organizations and individuals would invest in such a product. Because the current solar table produces more power than needed to charge a single phone, the main objective of this research is to determine what size and arrangement of solar array and battery is necessary for a mobile device charging station, create an effective data logging and charging mechanism that can withstand the elements, and place prototypes in public places to determine how much potential power the Solar Patches can produce and how much energy is consumed as people charge their devices. This data will be used to determine if it is possible to further reduce the size of the array or the battery, and therefore minimize the cost and maximize the usability of the Solar Patch concept. In the coming months we will explore a variety of options for materials and design features. As we converge on the best ideas we will refine the design into a prototype which we will test by placing it around BYU campus and monitor the public use of the charging stations. A low-cost Solar Patch design will be at the forefront of bringing power production to where people use power. This will initiate a fundamental and creative change in the way people think about how their power is produced. Solar Patches will help people to feel that they are a part of this energy revolution. It is expected that this research will be published in Sustainability, be presented at the IEEE SusTech conference.
January 01, 2018 12:00 AM
Purpose: Wrought magnesium alloys have excellent strength to weight ratio and could therefore be used for lightweighting the auto body structure; however, they have poor formability at room temperature and are highly anisotropic. The feasibility of stamping these alloys in sheet form can be carried out by numerical simulation, but the inputs to the model are flow stress curves for different temperatures, strains, and strain rates, obtained by a long, expensive experimental campaign. Another approach to obtaining the needed input data is to model the behavior of the alloy as a function of texture and deformation mechanism for the range of strain rates, strain levels, and temperatures needed for the stamping simulation. Research Methodology: The current work proposes to employ the well known viscoplastic self-consistent (VPSC) model for magnesium alloy AZ31B, where twinning and slip are active in different proportions, depending on the temperature and the strain rate. Flow stress curves for the rolling direction, 45°, and transverse directions were generated at several temperatures (50-, 75-, and 100-) and several strain rates (0.001, 0.01, 0.1 and 1) by the VPSC approach and then used as input to a finite element model of a punch stretching experiment, carried out at different temperatures. The surface strains on the sheet were measured by digital image correlation (DIC) and compared to the model results. The simulations are validated using the force vs displacement curves from the experiment, as well as using the strain patterns that were obtained by DIC. Conclusions: The validation process will allow us to study the quality of the VPSC outputs indirectly, by comparing the finite element simulations to our stretch forming experiments. If successful, this approach provides a new low-cost approach for engineers to generate the data they need for modeling intricate forming operations in desirable, but complex alloys. Additional validation could be performed via tensile tests at different temperatures and strain rates.
January 01, 2018 12:00 AM
About 9 million people worldwide die each year due to air pollution related problems. The purpose of our project is to develop an innovative solution to the increasing air pollution problem in Utah, specifically Ozone and PM2.5. Although our project is targeted towards the specific needs of Utah, the research and solutions that we propose here will be applicable globally. Utah has a population of roughly 3 million people and research suggests that by 2050 that population will double, leading to increased emissions from vehicles, homes, and businesses. A recent survey suggests that for Utahns, poor air quality is the greatest negative attribute of their quality of life and one of their strongest concerns. Utah has geographically unique problems contributing to air pollution in that it sits in a valley with mountains surrounding it making a “bowl” shape which allows inversions. An inversion occurs when cooler air settles in the valley, trapping pollutants, forming thick smog. This prevents sunlight from warming the ground, reducing air movement. The cold air stagnates and can’t be removed until a pressure change occurs with an incoming storm. The smog consists of NOx, SOx, CO2, CO, PM10, PM2.5, and ozone, which cause various environmental and health problems. Our solution is a build solar updraft towers (SUTs) at multiple locations around the valley. A solar updraft tower consists of a large area of clear greenhouse material connected to a very tall, central tower or stack. The sun passes through the greenhouse material, warming the ground and air underneath. This results in a net flow of air toward and up the tower. The SUT can reduce air pollution and prevent the associated health problems in three ways. 1) The thermally generated wind at the base of the tower can be harnessed using wind turbines to generate electricity. This will be green energy that does not require the burning of fossil fuels. 2) Electrostatic and absorption filters will be installed within the tower to remove pollutants from the incoming air. 3) During an inversion, the wind turbines can be externally powered to move cold air out of area, removing pollutants, thus reducing the length of the inversion.
January 01, 2018 12:00 AM
Alternatives to fossil fuels is a vast field of opportunity that is still being optimized. In the area of biofuels, organisms such as algae and bacteria that are used for the production of biofuels often die as a result of accumulating hydrocarbons on the cell membrane. The solution to this problem could lie in the use of ionic liquids (ILs), which could serve as a way to collect the hydrocarbons being produced without disturbing the cells, and in turn allow for a continuous extraction process. Hydrocarbon-based biofuels produced by bacterial cells in an aqueous solution can be extracted with water-immiscible ionic liquids. The ionic liquid-biofuel mixture is separated from the cell-containing aqueous solution for isolation of the hydrocarbons. The ionic liquids themselves are “green” in that they can be recycled, mostly due to the fact the structure of the IL is unchanged following extraction and can easily be recovered for further extraction cycles. The ionic liquids are optimized to be non-toxic to the biofuel-producing organisms, and to maximize their solvation properties of hydrocarbons. The main structural properties contained within these new ionic liquids include organic cations to increase hydrocarbon solubility, and anions to improve water immiscibility. The successful production of ionic liquids that have hydrocarbon carrying capacity and non-toxic cellular activity would be a major breakthrough in the cost effectiveness of biofuel production.
January 01, 2018 12:00 AM
Wing Commander A.J. Lyle Raf, identified a trend throughout warfare. He theorizes that an adopted perception often drives technological development and the justified advancement of its use. This is the case with drones and their subsequent participation in military operations. During the last seven years nearly 60,000 articles and journals concerning drones and their relation to current and future effects on the battlefield were published. This represents a dramatic increase from the decade before. The topic of this proposed research will focus on the military use of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), commonly known as drones, and their effect on the global society. The primary research issue is; does the use of military drone strikes degrade cultures, norms, and social cohesion of the five basic institutions found in every global society? In essence, will the institutions of a target government, economics, education, religion and families, receive irreparable harm as direct result of military drone operations. Chamayou, Gregoire and Gregory, Derek called attention to the degradation of culture and the societies in which these actions are performed. Stanford-NYU report states that people must cope with the realization that they cannot defend themselves. Cohn, Marjorie and Mirer, Jeann found evidence that a human right of peace is not affordable to those who live in these partnership zones. Further, they indicate that if a signature strike is ordered then all combat eligible males are prospective targets. This strike could happen at their homes, schools, places of employment, weddings and even funerals. Ahmad Shakeel adds that with local governments seen as ineffective and unable to protect the civilians, a radicalization can occur. Hudson, Leila; Owens, Colin S; Flannes, Matt published a paper in Middle East Policy, that coins the term accidental guerrilla. This phenomenon is a result of casualties among non-combatants in these designated strike zones. The authors continue that the resultant conflicts could be blowback from the perception of America’s infractions as a United Nation country. This reveals a plausible feedback loop that could undermine global ties as we know them. The proposed research will utilize qualitative methods, with a supporting mix of quantitative data collection analysis, that should result in a high probability confidence toward accurately identifying the answer to the posed question. The preliminary literary review indicates a support for the conclusion to the proposed issue and identified theoretical hypothesis that drone strikes do have a detrimental effect on the world’s societies.
January 01, 2018 12:00 AM
Interest in microfluidic devices has grown significantly within the past decade. We believe that microfluidic devices may help with current in vitro fertilization techniques. In this work, we will compare devices constructed with multiple types of polymers to those constructed of a single type of polymer. Specifically, we show that devices made of multiple types of polymers provide better stability, better flexibility, and a simpler fabrication. The fabrication of these devices varies according to the material used, but all processes include polymer binding, exposure to heat, and pressure. Our results indicate that with the correct combination of heat, pressure, and polymers, we can create devices able to withstand the moderate pressures and flow rates of the operating device. While we now hope to use these devices to refine and improve in vitro fertilization, we believe that they can also be used in other microfluidic devices to, for example, improve cancer diagnosis and polymerase chain reaction.
January 01, 2018 12:00 AM
The process of creating new structures has been a challenge for many engineering applications. Until recently, engineers and scientists have been unable to comprehensively modify materials’ microstructures for any given application. Now, with advanced manufacturing techniques, researchers are more able to tailor a material at the microscale level to improve material properties at the macroscopic level better than ever before. One of these promising techniques is additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing. Pores can be introduced into a structure with 3D printing to create light-weight, permeable materials with desired strength. My research studies the behavior of 3D printed porous polymer structures, predicting their behavior in compression through numerical and experimental studies. 3D printed porous samples will be tested in a compressive setup. This compressive setup is chosen to be compressive to minimize anisotropy, which tends to be high in 3D printed polymer structures. The experimental data will serve as a validation tool for the numerical models. Multiple pore structures with various pore sizes and shapes will be tested. The validated models will be used to determine the representative volume elements of each structure using sub modeling techniques. It is predicted that regular cubic pores will exhibit less stiffness than regular cylindrical pores for the same volume fraction of porosity. This prediction is based on the smaller cross section of supporting material between cubic pores, which serves to reduce overall resistance to deformation. These results can be used to improve the strength of existing porous structures by creating the structure with the highest strength shapes and sizes for the application.
January 01, 2018 12:00 AM
Biofuels are an increasingly popular alternative to the dwindling supply of fossil fuels, affording a cheaper, recyclable, and more environmentally friendly solution to high-impact extraction methods. Current methods of biofuel production require energy intensive methods to isolate the product from the biological cultures. Ionic liquids provide an efficient solvent to extract the biofuels; however, the separation from the ionic liquid is done by distillation, which is an energy intensive and therefore expensive method. This research explores the use of carbon dioxide at room temperature to switch biofuel solubility, thus providing a inexpensive, green, and energy efficient method of separation. This affords less energy expenditure in the recycling of the ionic liquid and potentially allow for a continuous process method of biofuel production.
January 01, 2018 12:00 AM
Hazardous algal blooms (HABs) are a serious environmental issue worldwide. HABs occur when water conditions (temperature, solar insolation, nutrients) foster rapid growth of cyanobacteria (blue green algae) and other microalgae. As photosynthetic organisms, microalgae like to grow at the surface of the water, so that they can obtain as much sunlight as possible. When the microalgae reach high concentrations, incoming sunlight is blocked, preventing photosynthesis. This results in death of the microalgae, which release endotoxins that are harmful to other organisms, including humans. The purpose of this research project is to control the microalgae content of Utah Lake, which will help prevent HABs, while still allowing the microalgae to live and participate in the ecosystem. For this project we designed a floating harvester to collect cyanobacteria directly from the lake. The design includes a barge fitted with electric water pumps, a generator, special microalgae filters, and electric trolling motors. The boat will travel around the shoreline of the lake, because that’s where most of the microalgae grow. As it moves through the water at 2.2 mph, the pumps bring 2400 gallons per minutes of lake water into the filters where most of the microalgae is captured. The cleaned water is returned to the lake. The harvested microalgae are air dried on-shore and used as a biofuel to produce carbon-neutral energy.
January 01, 2018 12:00 AM
WSe2 nanoplates have strong potential applications in solar energy, catalysis, and optoelectronics. They have been observed to display screw dislocation growth, forming a variety of shapes including triangles and hexagons, with properties dependent on the shape of the dislocation. So far, properties of these nanoplates have been uncontrollable. The objective of this study is to develop methods that will control the properties of these nanoplates. The WSe2 nanoplates were synthesized via annealing and UV-O3 exposure and were characterized by Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), Raman Spectroscopy, and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). Data showed that UV-O3 exposure increased WOx content, 4% after 30 minutes of exposure. The WSe2 nanoplates began decomposition via annealing around 880-950 °C, while annealing at 880 °C produced cleaner surfaces by removing dirt from nanoplate surfaces.
January 01, 2018 12:00 AM
Machine learning is a branch of artificial intelligence which focuses on a machines ability to learn rules that make decisions based on some input without the rules being explicitly programmed. This project focuses on Relational Reinforcement Learning (RRL). This is a theory based on the combination of reinforcement learning and inductive logic programming. Reinforcement learning is the idea of learning which sequence of choices achieves the highest reward. Inductive logic programming is learning logical rules that consist of a set of features that are used to describe a situation. One of the problems that is prevalent in RRL is the curse of dimensionality. This means that as the dimensionality of data is increased the complexity of describing and analyzing the data increases, sometimes exponentially. The central research question of this study is to reduce the curse of dimensionality when RRL is used. To achieve this, our theory is that adding better situated features would reduce the curse. To test this theory, we studied the chess endgame of King and Rook vs. King on a 4x4 board. To learn our RRL rules we set up chess-board states of checkmate, checkmate-in-one, and checkmate-in-two. We found that for checkmate there were 40 possible board states, checkmate-in-one had 120 possibilities and checkmate-in-two had 1369 possibilities. We found that for checkmate we needed 30 features per rule, with checkmate-in-one we also needed 30 features and with checkmate-in-two we needed 1239 features. The ratio of features to board-states was 30/40 = .75, 30/120 = .25, and 1239/1369 = .905. The number of features per board-states should be shrinking instead of growing. This is an example of the curse of dimensionality. In order to begin to solve this we created two features that incorporated Rook moves that ended up in the same location. The projected outcome is that the number of features in a rule that are required to describe the board states should decrease by 20%-30%. Therefore, by modifying the set of rules, the curse of dimensionality would be reduced.
January 01, 2018 12:00 AM
Fogging lenses are a problem in athletics, science, health, mining, and other industries. Several studies have concluded that fogging goggles lead to injury and dramatically affect the performance of a user. Fogging on lenses is caused by the scattering of light by microscopic water droplets that form from by means of condensation. Using a hydrophilic layer chemically bonded to a polycarbonate substrate, water can be absorbed uniformly rather than in droplets. This allows the water to condense without giving up any clarity. The research conducted used a carboxymethyl cellulose and chitosan dip layer coating on polycarbonate. To strengthen the formed coating citric acid was used as a crosslinker. Polycarbonate slides with 15 bilayers of polysaccharides and a crosslinking solution comprised of citric acid and a catalyst of sodium hypophosphite exhibited excellent anti-fog properties and a robust coating.
January 01, 2018 12:00 AM
The process of creating conductive paint, done by mixing water-based acrylic paint with a conductive substrate, typically has used graphite as a substrate. While graphite has been investigated by many research groups, the optimal conditions for embedding graphite into the paint matrix needs more investigation. Our research focuses on wood sourced charcoal as the source for the graphite substrate, an affordable and simple methodology. We explored the ratio of substrate to matrix, substrate sources, and substrate particle size to determine what might produce the best conductive paint.
January 01, 2018 12:00 AM
The purpose of my project is to assess submillimeter rapid fabrication techniques used in the field of microfluidics. Rapid fabrication is important because the current methods used are very time consuming, slowing down medical and scientific findings. The three major methods we used in creating our devices were the laser cutter, the knife plotter, and the 3D printer. There are advantages and disadvantages to each method used. Generally, the laser cutter is good for industrial manufacturing applications, and is known for leaving an edge with a high quality surface edge. But when we used it for cutting certain materials, the edges were melted and not very clean, creating problems in the devices. The knife plotter is used for cutting out specific crafts and is known for leaving uniform material. However, there have been some complaints about inconsistencies when attempting to cut submillimeter sized shapes. The 3D printer creates a three-dimensional object by adding materials one layer at a time. But when trying to develop submillimeter sized devices, the edges of the channel were very rough and inconsistent. From our research, we were successful in characterizing different fabrication techniques. This is important because it provides a framework for future decisions made for those students attending Utah Conference of Undergraduate Researchin the State of Utah Center of Excellence for Biomedical Microfluidics, as well as all those in the field of microfluidics.
January 01, 2018 12:00 AM
Wakes behind objects moving in a fluid, such as a car, submarine, or airplane, are often unseen but cause drag on the object, increasing the force necessary to propel it forward. An improvement in the understanding of wake dynamics can improve building and vehicle construction to reduce drag. Computational evidence that shows an improvement to the previously accepted model has been presented, but not confirmed. Experimental confirmation of these simulations will improve the general understanding of wake dynamics.
January 01, 2018 12:00 AM
The heart is a crucial and complicated organ in our body. Once heart muscles, or Cardiomyocytes (CMs), are damaged, they cannot regenerate. Heart transplants are difficult to come by, and even with current methods of solving heart disease, heart disease is the leading cause of death today in developed countries [1]. One possible solution to the demand of transplants is through tissue engineering patient-specific cardiac tissue. There are significant problems that need to be solved before cardiac tissue can be useful. Two of these problems that we address in our research are the problems of size and vasculature. The purpose of our research is to create strong 3-dimensional samples of cardiac tissue with complete vascularization. Currently we have successfully decellularized porcine cardiac extracellular matrix (ECM), created 300 micrometer thick samples of the ECM, and make beating heart tissue by seeding in CMs derived from human induced pluripotent stem(IPS) cells into the ECM. These heart tissue samples beat for about 3 months. For future research, to increase vascularization and size, we will place CMs derived from IPS cells together with human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and caridofibroblasts (CFs) at a ratio of CMs:HUVECs:CFs, 1:1:5 [2], 1:3:6 [3], and 2:1:1 [3] onto a ECM and stack those ECMs through centrifugation for 15 minutes[4]. The action potential will be measured, and the vasculature will be seen through staining of the tissue using markers CD31 for HUVECs, Troponin T for CMs, α-actinin for CMs’ sarcomeric lengths, and Cx43 connexin 43 for CMs. By developing these cardiac tissue samples size and vasculature, we will get one step closer to creating patient specific heart implants to cure heart disease. [1] Hiroyuki Yamakawa, et. al. “Strategies for Heart Regeneration Approaches Ranging from Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells to Direct Cardiac Reprogramming,” International Heart Journal, vol. 56, no. 1, p. 1-5, 2015. [Online]. Available: https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/ihj/56/1/56_14-344/_article. [24 July 2017]. [2] Rogozhnikov, Dmitry et al. “Scaffold Free Bio-Orthogonal Assembly of 3-Dimensional Cardiac Tissue via Cell Surface Engineering.” Scientific Reports 6 (2016): 39806. PMC. [Online]. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5180231/ [26 Oct. 2017] [3] Polonchuk, Liudmila et al. “Cardiac Spheroids as Promising in Vitro Models to Study the Human Heart Microenvironment.” Scientific Reports 7 (2017): 7005. PMC. [Online]. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5539326/ [26 Oct. 2017] [4] Haraguchi, Yuji et al. “Three-Dimensional Human Cardiac Tissue Engineered by Centrifugation of Stacked Cell Sheets and Cross-Sectional Observation of Its Synchronous Beatings by Optical Coherence Tomography.” BioMed Research International 2017
January 01, 2018 12:00 AM
Jackson Podis, Westminster College In the Guna Yala archipelago, PanamÌÁ, the removal of coral species for construction of coral walls has been a common practice for the Guna Yala indigenous group. This practice has the potential to drastically alter the community structure of offshore reefs. This study analyzed three reefs offshore of islands with varying coral wall volumes to quantify macroalgae and scleractinian coral cover, diversity of scleractinian coral species, and correlation between macroalgae and scleractinian coral cover. All three study sites exhibited significant differences in scleractinian coral coverage; a significant negative correlation was shown between scleractinian coral cover and macroalgal cover, and the site with the largest coral wall volume showed the lowest rates of coral species commonly used for mining. These results are telling of the potential effects coral mining can have on coral reefs in the Guna Yala archipelago, and aim to inform the development of marine resource management plans in the future.
January 01, 2015 12:00 AM
Carlton Reininger and John Salmon, Brigham Young University Engineering Electric Vehicles (EV) are a rising alternative to standard combustion vehicles because of their energy cost savings and reduced carbon emissions. However, EVs come with limitations such as limited driving range and potentially long recharge times. The purpose of this study is to determine the feasibility of implementing an electric vehicle system into an urban environment. Using data provided by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, models are developed and generated to simulate driver shifts and analyze system level impacts from EVs on driver behavior. The models evaluate the number of charge events over the course of a shift and calculate the potential revenue lost to missed fares during charge intervals. Across the system, the results indicate that for a majority of NYC taxi drivers, EVs can be implemented without significant changes in driver behavior, while providing an economic and environmental advantage over current combustion vehicles. These preliminary findings can be used to support implementing such a system in urban environments and these models could be used as a template toward analyzing EV taxi potential in other cities.
January 01, 2015 12:00 AM
Hayley Ford, Kristen Wilding and Matt Schinn, Brigham Young University Engineering Therapeutic proteins are specially engineered proteins used to treat many large profile diseases. Such diseases include cancer, diabetes, hepatitis B/C, hemophilia, multiple sclerosis, and anemia. The use of these proteins is specific and highly successful and the demand for these proteins in rapidly increasing. One of the largest problems with the use of therapeutic proteins is the cost of making them. The cost of producing these proteins amounts to hundreds of billions of US dollars every year. There is a growing need to find better, faster, and cheaper ways to create them. As specific therapeutic proteins are coming off patent, research labs are able to explore the processes of making these drugs that have become such a large part of the pharmaceutical industry. Here we report the use of cell-free synthesis as a more cost-effective way to produce these therapeutic proteins. Cell-free protein synthesis is faster and allows for direct manipulation and control of the protein creating environment. Cell-free synthesis can produce proteins in a matter of days as opposed to the weeks it takes to produce them in vivo. The increased manipulation and control of the environment that comes with cell-free synthesis allows improved accuracy in creating the desired proteins and is more adaptable to changes if they need to be made.
January 01, 2015 12:00 AM
Takami Kowalski, Warren Robison, Anton Bowden, and Brian Jensen, Brigham Young University Engineering Using a coronary stent to expand a blocked blood vessel as a way to treat coronary heart disease has proved effective in the past. However, there are risks, such as thrombosis, that are a natural side effect of inserting a foreign object into the body. Creating a stent out of a hemocompatible material such as carbon-infiltrated carbon nanotubes could potentially resolve these issues and also make unnecessary treatments such as dual antiplatelet therapy as a way of decreasing the risk of adverse side effects. Previous research done in this lab has shown that carbon-infiltrated carbon nanotubes can be grown in a pattern defined by photolithography on a planar surface. The present work demonstrates preliminary results from patterning a flat, flexible substrate and rolling it into a cylindrical shape before growing carbon-infiltrated carbon nanotubes as a way to fabricate cylindrical stents, fulfilling all necessary specifications for a stent with the added benefit of hemocompatibility. We also demonstrate growth on curved substrates and explore process parameters for achieving good-quality CNT forests.
January 01, 2015 12:00 AM
Jordan Eatough, Jeremy Struk, Andrew Priest, Brady Vance, Brielle Woolsey, Steven Balls, Camille
January 01, 2015 12:00 AM
Theo Stoddard-Bennett and Steven Christiansen, Brigham Young University Engineering Damage to the human retina is often irreversible and so currently there are no established treatments of diseases such as dry age related macular degeneration (AMD). Dry AMD results in a loss of sight because of cell death in the macula, a centralized part of the retina which contains a high concentration of photoreceptor cells. One possible treatment would be to limit the rate of cell death within the macula, however this is not a comprehensive solution. Rather, regeneration of the photoreceptors within the retina is necessary to restore sight. In current research, Müller glia cells, a major glial component of the retina, can potentially be used as sources for photoreceptor regeneration in order to combat dry AMD due to their homeostatic regulation of retinal injury. Directed reprogramming would occur through a five step process. The Müller glia would need to undergo de-differentiation to Müller glia-derived progenitor cells (MGPCs), proliferation of MGPCs, migration of MGPCs, neuronal differentiation, and integration in order to generate retinal neurons. Müller cells can be isolated and cultured by dissociating retinal tissue in optimal media. Here we present the dissection and dissociation of rat retinal tissue to obtain purified proliferating Müller cell cultures. Our lab has tracked and modelled the rates of proliferation and phenotypically characterized the stages of proliferation. Using immunofluorescence and PCR tests to confirm purity, we will then expect to run a series of assays to identify growth factors, Wnt signals and cytokines to test the effects of retinal extracellular matrix proteins on Müller cell de-differentiation to MGPCs. The focus of our current research is the identification of reprogramming mechanisms that may possess beneficial data leading to both unique strategies for promoting retinal regeneration in mammals and clinical applications for those living with dry AMD.
January 01, 2015 12:00 AM
Benjamin Buttars, Jeffrey Nielson, Spencer Baker, Jonathon Thibaudeau, Angela Nakalembe, Tim
January 01, 2015 12:00 AM
Dan Barfuss, Brigham Young University Engineering Shale oil has long been seen as a source of energy that can be incorporated into existing infrastructure. It consists of kerogen (or organic matrix) bound to inorganic rock. This kerogen can be released as an oil-like substance by heating it up to high temperatures without the presence of oxygen (i.e., pyrolysis). Due to advances in NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) we were able to make an accurate structural based model that can predict the relative tar and light gas yields[1]. We modified the Chemical Percolation Devolatilization Model (CPD) of coal to fit with the more aliphatic nature of oil shale. The CPD model describes the aromatic regions as clusters and aliphatic regions as bridges. As these bridges are broken the model releases groups of clusters that will form tar. In coal the bridge breaking gives off light gases, whereas in shale oil the bridges are much heavier and mostly form tar. We built two models that accounted for this. We also used the composition of the tar and the gas found by Fletcher et. al. [2] to predict what elements would be left and the aromaticity of the carbons. We found that throughout the reaction new aromatic regions were formed. With information from this model,- we are able to better predict the products of oil shale pyrolysis, and describe what happens chemically.
January 01, 2015 12:00 AM
Adam Herron, Jared Thomas, Shawn Coleman, Douglas Spearot, and Eric Homer, Brigham Young University Engineering For many years, x-ray diffraction and electron diffraction have served as effective means to understand and classify the molecular structure of many materials. Diffraction, as a physical phenomenon, is well known and theoretical diffraction simulation is relatively simple for perfect crystalline structures of known orientation. Prior methods of diffraction simulation, however, are insufficient to predict experimental diffraction patterns of unknown crystal structures or of crystal structures with high defect density. Recent advancements in computing capability and development of atomistic simulation software have greatly enhanced our ability to predict material properties and behaviors under various conditions. Atomistic simulation has become an extremely useful tool in the analysis of dynamic chemical and mechanical systems. It can only be truly effective, however, when it models a real-world application, can be interpreted coherently, and can accurately predict future conditions. Thus, we are developing new tools that bridge the gap between electron diffraction through real materials and simulated diffraction through atomistic simulations. We present a method of generating Kikuchi Diffraction Patterns from atomistic simulation data with no a priori knowledge of the crystal structure or crystallographic orientation. Our research was inspired by the recent work of Coleman et. al. 2013 and builds on their methods of calculating diffraction intensity at discrete locations in the reciprocal domain. We improve on their method by introducing an integration of the structure factor to ensure complete capture of diffraction intensity peaks while maintaining a relatively low density of sample points. This allows us to significantly reduce the required computation time on the analysis of atomistic simulation data. We use this diffraction data to generate simulated Kikuchi Diffraction Patterns.
January 01, 2015 12:00 AM
Conner Earl, Brigham Young University Engineering The emerging field of Cell-free protein synthesis enables the efficient production of complex proteins for a number of exciting applications such as medicines that better interact with the body, vaccines, antibodies, and renewable, sustainable biocatalysts. However, progress is hampered by high costs and low yields of necessary proteins. This project is designed to improve protein yields and drive down costs by studying techniques of optimization of protein yields in Cell-Free protein synthesis. Our main area of focus is the inhibition of naturally occurring ribonucleases (RNAses) which are enzymes that degrade essential elements for protein synthesis- specifically, the mRNA used to transcribe protien. One of the techniques we intend to use for inhibition of these RNAses is by complexing the RNAse with an appropriate RNAse inhibitor protein thus limiting or eliminating its function of degrading mRNA. The aims of this research project is to: (1) Identify appropriate RNAse inhibitors (2) Design and synthesize inhibitor genes (3) Express, purify and assay RNAse inhibitors (4) Improve Cell-free protein synthesis yields utilizing RNAse inhibitors for analysis of activity and effectiveness as well as the enhancement of cell-free protein synthesis yields. Accomplishing these goals will result in more efficient systems and more accurate analysis that may lead to cheaper, more readily available vaccines and pharmaceuticals produced through Cell-free protein synthesis.
January 01, 2015 12:00 AM
Nandini Deo, University of Utah Engineering Air quality in the United States has come under scrutiny in recent years. Many pollutants are trapped in the air we breathe in the form of photochemical smog. The aim of this research is to aid the breakdown of these pollutants. Peroxyacetyl Nitrate (PAN) is a predominant smog species; the research conducted aims to decompose this molecule and capture the resulting particles using the photocatalytic properties of Titanium Dioxide Nano tubes. The research conducted thus far has focused on the following questions:What molecules does the thermal decomposition of PAN produce? Is there a metal substrate to attach to TiO2 Nano-materials that aids the breakdown of PAN and its decomposition products? Can a sustainable process/device be identified to functionalize these materials? Literature research shows that PAN thermally decomposes into CO_2, NO_2, methyl nitrate, and formaldehyde. Methyl Nitrate and CO_2 may be eliminated using specific experimental conditions. Hence, it can be determined that the substrate attached to TiO2 must decompose PAN, NO_2 and formaldehyde. Using the molecular modeling programs Avogadro and MOPAC, 50 metals were optimized in relation to Formaldehyde, NO_2, and PAN. To find each metal’s reactivity to each target compound, HOMO/LUMO (Highest Occupied Molecular Orbital/Lowest Occupied Molecular Orbital) energies were calculated and used to find the common reactive metals between the target compounds: Cobalt, Silver, Iridium, and Niobium. To test whether the most complex product of the PAN decomposition (Formaldehyde) will break down, a device was created using a 3-D printer and Cobalt functionalized nanotubes. Pure formaldehyde, a blank sample (no tubes), and a sample with functionalized tubes were run through the device in the form of vapor, in front of a solar simulator. The captured vapor’s GC/MS results show an almost complete breakdown of Formaldehyde with the use of the device containing the functionalized tubes.
January 01, 2015 12:00 AM
Scott Anjewierden, James Newton and Joshua Barrios, University of Utah Engineering Organisms in their natural environment are constantly presented with sensory stimuli. These stimuli must be filtered by the brain to select an appropriate behavioral response. A significant example of this filtering process is audiomotor prepulse inhibition (PPI). In PPI, the startle response to a loud noise is suppressed by a preceding stimulus of lower intensity. This ability to optimize behavior in response to environmental context is an essential brain function. Defects in PPI are associated with neurological disorders such as obsessive- compulsive disorder, Tourette syndrome, and schizophrenia. This project demonstrates the development of new software to analyze swim kinematics in a restrained, larval zebrafish model of PPI. Our programs automatically extract several kinematic parameters from image sequences of behaving animals and use them to classify behavior into one of three, stereotyped categories. Correct classification is reported in 96.32% of trials (n = 162). This automated analysis will now permit a more robust study of PPI in these animals, where the brain’s experimental accessibility will allow us to discover the cellular bases of sensory filtering.
January 01, 2015 12:00 AM
Steven Stanley, Brigham Young University Engineering The genetic code has long been restricted to a set of 20 fundamental building blocks called amino acids. Recent research has expanded the genetic code through unnatural amino acids (uAA), thus adding enormous possibilities to the potential chemistries of proteins. Because nature is highly selective in the protein translation process, it has proven extremely difficult to successfully insert multiple uAAs simultaneously. The incorporation of an uAA with in vitro methods typically relies on the use of the amber stop codon as a mutated insertion site. A stop codon placed at the middle of a gene can code for either the uAA or termination, thus, protein synthesis may often terminate prematurely instead of inserting the desired uAA. This inefficiency inhibits the possibility of inserting multiple uAAs simultaneously. We propose a novel method that will allow for multiple uAAs to be inserted simultaneously. Our method involves isolating a minimal set of tRNA for in vitro protein synthesis, allowing for uAA insertion to occur at codons other than the amber stop codon. My work has focused on the production of 4 versions of uAA-tRNA synthetase, a protein that charges tRNA with the uAA. We are currently growing these 4 different proteins in bulk and testing their activity. We will test them for compatibility, confirming that they do not interfere with one another and other synthetases native to our in vitro protein synthesis system. These uAA-tRNA synthetases, in conjunction with specialized tRNA, will provide the basis to efficiently incorporate multiple uAA simultaneously. The success of this project will have many practical applications ranging from new therapeutics to new methods of medical diagnosis.
January 01, 2015 12:00 AM
James Newton, Scott Anjewierden, and Sasha Luks-Morgan, University of Utah Engineering Oxytocin (OXT), a neuromodulatory peptide produced by the hypothalamus, is involved in a variety of physiological and behavioral phenomena. Exogenous OXT and drugs that mimic OXT signaling are potential treatments of a number of neurological disorders. The canonical mechanisms of OXT function are neuroendocrine in nature, as the peptide is released into circulation through the neurohypophysis. However, OXT has also been shown to exert some of its effects through direct synaptic release within the central nervous system. Using the larval zebrafish as a model, we seek to identify targets of these directly projecting OXT neurons and study what role they play in the modulation of behavior. Critical to this analysis are computer programs which enable precise quantification of anxiety, social behavior, and reward learning. Our custom-written software automatically identifies and tracks free- swimming fish, using measured positions over time to evaluate behavior in a variety of paradigms. In combination with molecular, cellular, and optogenetic manipulation of OXT networks, this project will allow a fuller understanding of the relationship between these neurons and behavior.
January 01, 2014 12:00 AM
Varvara Jones, Utah Valley University Engineering Mobile devices are promising tools today to people’s life thanks to lower-cost hardware, steep subsidies from wireless carriers and the popularity of mobile apps. Equipping with touchscreen is the point of fulfillment for all that a mobile device promises to deliver to normal users. However, few mobile devices today have been built that address accessibility and usability of the touchscreen for a wide range of physical capabilities and challenges. In this research, we investigate human capabilities, environmental factors and hardware ergonomics that can improve the usability when people with impairment disabilities use a touchscreen-equipped mobile device.
January 01, 2014 12:00 AM
Benjamin Lindsay, Brigham Young University Engineering Current treatments for cancer and diseased tissue often cause severe side effects due to drug interactions with healthy cells. In order to minimize these effects, we are developing a nano-scale near-infrared (NIR) light-responsive drug delivery system based on liposome-encapsulated perfluoropentane (PFC5) emulsions with gold nanorods in the PFC5 phase. The nanorods efficiently convert NIR light to heat, vaporizing the liquid PFC5 emulsions, which have boiling points near body temperature. Emulsion vaporization increases the volume inside the liposome enough to burst the phospholipid bilayer and release encapsulated cargo. This system will allow continuous therapeutic drug release localized at the site of NIR laser irradiation with a low-power, portable NIR laser diode. To date, we have successfully loaded PFC5 emulsions with gold nanorods and have loaded liposomes with PFC5 emulsions. Previous work in our lab has shown that a release to the cytosol of cells can be induced by ultrasound using similar liposomes. Experiments designed to demonstrate NIR laser-induced cargo release are currently in progress. We will continue to improve upon this system over the coming months to increase release and decrease the required laser power.
January 01, 2014 12:00 AM
Shana Black, University of Utah Engineering Goals: The pudendal nerve (PN) was targeted in attempt to create controlled micturition via intrafascicular electrical stimulation (IES) following the onset of surgically induced incontinence. We investigated both the effectiveness of unilateral and bilateral transection of the PN in creating a model of urinary incontinence and the ability of IES of efferent fibers to excite the external urethral sphincter (EUS) in order to restore a controlled voiding pattern. High Density Utah Electrode Arrays (HD-USEAs) were used to provide IES in these studies.
January 01, 2014 12:00 AM
Anthony Bennett, Brigham Young University Engineering Foot Mouth Disease is considered to be the greatest hindrance to livestock trade in the world. The disease is extremely contagious and can transmit via aerosol, food scraps, and through blood, and tears among other transmission routes [1]. Currently, technological challenges hinder eradication efforts due to a wide variety of FMD strains, high vaccine production costs, as well as limited efficacy of vaccines across strains [2]. The countries most affected by the disease also face economic, social, and political challenges to disease eradication. Based upon historical evidence disease eradication has proven to be possible as shown in the US, the UK, and other countries [3]. In this presentation, we highlight these challenges and propose various routes to eradication in order to open up economic opportunities to developing countries as well as eliminating the threat of a disease outbreak in countries currently free of the disease. Morgan, E.R., et al., Assessing risks of disease transmission between wildlife and livestock: The Saiga antelope as a case study. Biological Conservation, 2006. 131(2): p. 244-254.Parida, S., Vaccination against foot-and-mouth disease virus: strategies and effectiveness. 2009.Perry, B. and K. Sones, Poverty reduction through animal health. Science, 2007. 315.
January 01, 2014 12:00 AM
Bryce Ostler, Utah Valley University Engineering Much of SQL’s power derives from SQL’s declarative rather than procedural nature: a programmer describes the result desired rather than how to produce the result. Systems using SQL must translate SQL’s declarative language into a procedural language in order to execute queries. Relational Algebra (RA) is a procedural language that SQL can be transformed into and executed on a computer using a RA engine. Optimizations are applied to RA code to improve the performance of a translated query. The author of this abstract will present a simple RA engine written in Python and how it has been used as part of a Database Theory course.
January 01, 2014 12:00 AM
Christopher Hutchings, Brigham Young University Engineering The biocatalysis industry has been rapidly expanding due to the fact that there has been a greater demand for ecologically friendly manufacturing processes. The benefit of biocatalytic systems is that it enables stereo-, chemo-, and regio- specificity in chemical manufacturing. This in turn reduces wasteful byproducts from chemical manufacturing. This is especially valuable in industries where removal of chemically similar but physically harmful waste products is essential. The problem with the traditional biocatalytic processes is that they are hindered from limitations in areas such as enzyme stability, leaching, recoverability, and reusability. These limitations significantly impede the cost-effectiveness of biocatalysis for industrial applications. The processes of enzyme immobilization like adsorption, entrapment, and other such forms of immobilizations provide improvements such as stability, recoverability, and reusability. Though they provide improvements they also go through enzyme leaching, complicated or even toxic conjugation procedures and have a lack of specificity to attachment location from. This ends in being counterintuitive and defeats the purpose of enzyme immobilization. It is here we start to build upon the recent advancements in unnatural amino acid and incorporating them into enzymes to demonstrate a biocompatible and covalent enzyme immobilization process that improves protein stability and enables attachment orientation control. This system we refer to as the Protein Residue-Explicit Covalent Immobilization for Stability Enhancement or PRECISE system, and it permits the covalent attachment of enzymes at potentially any location on the enzyme onto a surface. Using this process, we create reusable enzymes that are more stable and more resistant to harsh conditions. We have also concluded from this process that there is no leaching and increased stability from immobilization with the enzyme with satisfactory results in enzyme activity.
January 01, 2014 12:00 AM
Neil Hinckley, Brigham Young University Engineering Due to the increasing interest in combining the physical and digital world devices which allow users to naturally interact with digital systems are becoming much more important and prevalent. In order to improve upon standard haptic controllers and interfaces we explored compliant haptic devices, which us a compliant member to provide tunable force feedback to users. We were able to produce a prototype device and demonstrate some of the capabilities and advantages of compliant haptic devices.
January 01, 2014 12:00 AM
Daniel Smith, Brigham Young University Engineering Although it is known as a graceful sport, figure skating can take a serious toll on skaters’ bodies. Considering that figure skaters commonly train five days per week, with 50-100 jumps per day, it is not surprising that repetitive stress injuries are a serious issue in figure skating. Because the forces associated with these jumps are poorly understood (including their magnitudes, loading rate, and when they occur) training plans designed to prevent injury are incapable of preparing athletes to best avoid their negative effects.
January 01, 2014 12:00 AM
Josephine Bastian, Brigham Young University Engineering 3D immersive visualization systems, or CAVEs™, have found wide adoption for use in geosciences, planetary science, medical research, and computer science. However, much of the potential for such systems in practical civil and environmental engineering settings has been severely limited due to 1) extreme costs in both hardware and software; 2) immobility due to calibration and darkroom requirements; and 3) extensive and expensive manpower requirements for both operation and maintenance. This project presents the development and testing of a new mobile low-cost immersive stereo visualization system – the “VuePod” – that attempts to address these challenges through the use of commercial-off-the-shelf technologies, open source software, consumer-grade passive 3-D television monitors, an active tracking system, and a modular construction approach. The VuePod capitalizes on recent functional advancements and cost decreases in both hardware and software and is demonstrated herein as a viable alternative to projector-based walk-in CAVEs and their limitations. A description of the hardware and its assembly, software and its configuration, and the modular structural system is presented as well as results from several benchmark computation and visualization tests.
January 01, 2014 12:00 AM
Cameron Bell, Brigham Young University Engineering 72-hour emergency kits are often inadequately equipped; they lack means to treat water or cook food, compromising chances of survival in an extended critical situation. Dr. Jones and I aim to develop a foldable, lightweight biomass cookstove to solve this problem.
January 01, 2014 12:00 AM
Mark Lindsay, Brigham Young University Engineering The protein production industry which creates vaccines, cancer drugs, and enzymes for chemical manufacturing and biocatalysis has revenue of over $160 billion a year. However, there are several significant protein production obstacles: high production costs exacerbated by difficulties with protein purification, retention, and stability. By better understanding protein structure and function we can resolve these issues. However, traditional methods of studying protein structure and function are costly and time consuming, taking several days to even a week to study one or a few sites. We have developed a process to study up to potentially hundreds of sites simultaneously in a matter of hours.