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California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

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Articles 1 - 30 of 104

Full-Text Articles in Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology

Compositional Optimization Of Amyloid-Graphene Oxide Nanohybrids For Biomaterials, Claire L. Drewery Jun 2019

Compositional Optimization Of Amyloid-Graphene Oxide Nanohybrids For Biomaterials, Claire L. Drewery

Materials Engineering

Amyloid nanofibrils are natural materials capable of self-assembling into precise structures with tunable functionalities, while exhibiting excellent mechanical properties. In combination with highly conductive graphene oxide (GO), the 1-D amyloid nanofibrils and 2-D nanosheets of GO can produce a robust and bio-functional nanohybrid, hypothesized to exhibit multi-domain functional properties useful for enzyme sensing, water purification, drug delivery, and tissue scaffolding applications. Here, we examine the properties of an amyloid-graphene oxide nanohybrid film made with amyloids derived from hen egg white lysozymes in an attempt to explore the diverse toolbox of amyloid derivatives and establish ideal fabrication methods and formulations of ...


Fabrication Of Miniaturized Paper-Based Microfluidic Devices (Micropads), E. Brandon Strong, Spencer A. Schultz, Andres Martinez, Nathaniel W. Martinez Jan 2019

Fabrication Of Miniaturized Paper-Based Microfluidic Devices (Micropads), E. Brandon Strong, Spencer A. Schultz, Andres Martinez, Nathaniel W. Martinez

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Microfluidic paper-based analytical devices (microPADs) are emerging as cost-effective and portable platforms for point-of-care assays. A fundamental limitation of microPAD fabrication is the imprecise nature of most methods for patterning paper. The present work demonstrates that paper patterned via wax printing can be miniaturized by treating it with periodate to produce higher-resolution, high-fidelity microPADs. The optimal miniaturization parameters were determined by immersing microPADs in various concentrations of aqueous sodium periodate (NaIO4) for varying lengths of time. This treatment miniaturized microPADs by up to 80% in surface area, depending on the concentration of periodate and length of the reaction time ...


Adapting Cell-Free Protein Synthesis As A Platform Technology For Education, Grace W. Chu, Max Z. Levine, Nicole E. Gregorio, Javin P. Oza Oct 2018

Adapting Cell-Free Protein Synthesis As A Platform Technology For Education, Grace W. Chu, Max Z. Levine, Nicole E. Gregorio, Javin P. Oza

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

Cell-free protein synthesis (CFPS) has emerged as an enabling biotechnology for research and biomanufacturing as it allows for the production of protein without the need for a living cell. Applications of CFPS include the construction of libraries for functional genomics and structural biology, the production of personalized medicine, and the expression of virus-like particles. The absence of a cell wall provides an open platform for direct manipulation of the reaction conditions and biological machinery. This project focuses on adapting the CFPS biotechnology to the classroom, making a hands-on bioengineering approach to learning protein synthesis accessible to students grades K-16 through ...


Characterization Of Reagent Pencils For Deposition Of Reagents Onto Paper-Based Microfluidic Devices, Cheyenne H. Liu, Isabelle C. Noxon, Leah E. Cuellar, Amanda L. Thraen, Chad Immoos, Andres W. Martinez, Philip J. Costanzo Aug 2017

Characterization Of Reagent Pencils For Deposition Of Reagents Onto Paper-Based Microfluidic Devices, Cheyenne H. Liu, Isabelle C. Noxon, Leah E. Cuellar, Amanda L. Thraen, Chad Immoos, Andres W. Martinez, Philip J. Costanzo

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Reagent pencils allow for solvent-free deposition of reagents onto paper-based microfluidic devices. The pencils are portable, easy to use, extend the shelf-life of reagents, and offer a platform for customizing diagnostic devices at the point of care. In this work, reagent pencils were characterized by measuring the wear resistance of pencil cores made from polyethylene glycols (PEGs) with different molecular weights and incorporating various concentrations of three different reagents using a standard pin abrasion test, as well as by measuring the efficiency of reagent delivery from the pencils to the test zones of paper-based microfluidic devices using absorption spectroscopy and ...


Paper Microzone Plates As Analytical Tools For Studying Enzyme Stability: A Case Study On The Stabilization Of Horseradish Peroxidase Using Trehalose And Su-8 Epoxy Novolac Resin, Kirsten A. Ganaja, Cory Chaplan, Jingyi Zhang, Nathaniel W. Martinez, Andres W. Martinez May 2017

Paper Microzone Plates As Analytical Tools For Studying Enzyme Stability: A Case Study On The Stabilization Of Horseradish Peroxidase Using Trehalose And Su-8 Epoxy Novolac Resin, Kirsten A. Ganaja, Cory Chaplan, Jingyi Zhang, Nathaniel W. Martinez, Andres W. Martinez

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Paper microzone plates in combination with a noncontact liquid handling robot were demonstrated as tools for studying the stability of enzymes stored on paper. The effect of trehalose and SU-8 epoxy novolac resin (SU-8) on the stability of horseradish peroxidase (HRP) was studied in both a short-term experiment, where the activity of various concentrations of HRP dried on paper were measured after 1 h, and a long-term experiment, where the activity of a single concentration of HRP dried and stored on paper was monitored for 61 days. SU-8 was found to stabilize HRP up to 35 times more than trehalose ...


An Assessment Of Potential False Positive E.Coli Pyroprints In The Cplop Database, Skyler A. Gordon Feb 2017

An Assessment Of Potential False Positive E.Coli Pyroprints In The Cplop Database, Skyler A. Gordon

Master's Theses and Project Reports

The genetic information found in each species of organism is unique, and can be used as a tool to differentiate at the molecular level. This has caused rapid genotyping methods to become the cornerstone of a new area of research dependent on reading the genome as a form of identification. One of these specific identification methods, known as pyroprinting, relies on the small variation of DNA sequences within the same species to develop a unique, reproducible fingerprint. By simultaneously pyrosequencing multiple polymorphic loci within the ribosomal operons known as the intergenic transcribed spacers, a reproducible output is obtained, known as ...


Phthalate Plasticizers Covalently Linked To Pvc Via Copper-Free Or Copper Catalyzed Axide-Alkyne Cycloadditions, Aruna Earla, Li Longbo, Philip Costanzo, Rebecca Braslau Dec 2016

Phthalate Plasticizers Covalently Linked To Pvc Via Copper-Free Or Copper Catalyzed Axide-Alkyne Cycloadditions, Aruna Earla, Li Longbo, Philip Costanzo, Rebecca Braslau

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Plasticization of PVC was carried out by covalently linking phthalate derivatives via copper-free (thermal) or copper catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloadditions. Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate derivatives (DEHP-ether and DEHP-ester) were synthesized and appended to PVC at two different densities. The glass transition temperatures of the modified PVC decreased with increasing content of plasticizer. PVC-DEHP-ether gave lower glass transition temperatures than PVC-DEHP-ester, reflecting the enhanced flexibility of the ether versus ester linker.


An Examination Of Student Outcomes In Studio Chemistry, Alan L. Kiste, Gregory E. Scott, Jesse Paul Bukenberger, Miles Markmann, Jennifer Moore Dec 2016

An Examination Of Student Outcomes In Studio Chemistry, Alan L. Kiste, Gregory E. Scott, Jesse Paul Bukenberger, Miles Markmann, Jennifer Moore

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Twenty years ago, a major curriculum revision at a large, comprehensive university in the Western United States led to the implementation of an integrated lecture/laboratory (studio) experience for our engineering students taking general chemistry. Based on these twenty years of experience, construction of four purpose-built studio classrooms to house the majority of the remaining general chemistry courses was completed in 2013. A detailed study of the effects of the entire ecology of the studio experience on student success was initiated at that time. Data from content knowledge pre- and post-tests, learning attitudes surveys, and student course evaluations show positive ...


Atomic Tiles: Manipulative Resources For Exploring Bonding And Molecular Structure, Alan L. Kiste, Rebecca G. Hooper, Gregory E. Scott, Seth Bush Oct 2016

Atomic Tiles: Manipulative Resources For Exploring Bonding And Molecular Structure, Alan L. Kiste, Rebecca G. Hooper, Gregory E. Scott, Seth Bush

Chemistry and Biochemistry

A simple manipulative resource, Atomic Tiles, is described for scaffolding the learning of Lewis structures without using algorithmic, rule-based methods of drawing. Students use Atomic Tiles to (1) create models of bonding that lead to drawing Lewis structures, (2) use the structures they create to infer patterns required for rational structures and common organic functional groups, (3) translate between Lewis structures and molecular models, and (4) use molecular models to identify isomers.


Protein Crystallization Tray Protocol Development, Brooke Connell Aug 2016

Protein Crystallization Tray Protocol Development, Brooke Connell

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

In the field of protein crystallography the transfer of the protein crystals from the crystallization plate/tray, where the crystals are initially grown, to the site of analysis is a difficult and lengthy process. A new crystallization tray has been designed and 3D printed to eliminate this intermediate step which is called crystal fishing. The crystallization tray allows crystals to be grown directly on grids that are attached to the pins that are used for analysis of the crystal. The efficacy of protein crystallization using the aforementioned tray was tested in order for a protocol to be developed for potential ...


Comparative Analysis Of In Situ Fibronectin Using Tof-Sims, Spi-Ms, And Dropdesi-Ms In A Microfluidic Reactor, Shannon Fasing, Xiao-Ying Yu, Juan Yao, Jiachao Yu Aug 2016

Comparative Analysis Of In Situ Fibronectin Using Tof-Sims, Spi-Ms, And Dropdesi-Ms In A Microfluidic Reactor, Shannon Fasing, Xiao-Ying Yu, Juan Yao, Jiachao Yu

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

Fibronectin is an important biomolecule due to its role in cell differentiation, growth, kinesis, and adhesion. Such biological responses are mediated through membrane recognition and signaling; where fibronectin is found. Studying the outer molecular surface of fibronectin allows deeper insight into the microbiological reactions that occur during these processes. In situ mass spectrometry analysis in aqueous solution accurately represents fibronectin’s chemical components, made possible by a vacuum compatible microfluidic reactor, SALVI (System for Analysis at the Liquid Vacuum Interface). SALVI was paired with the analytical tools: time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometer (ToF-SIMS), single photon ionization mass spectrometer (SPI-MS) and ...


Production And Harvest Of Microalgae In Wastewater Raceways With Resource Recycling, Alexander Colin Roberts Dec 2015

Production And Harvest Of Microalgae In Wastewater Raceways With Resource Recycling, Alexander Colin Roberts

Master's Theses and Project Reports

Microalgae can be grown on municipal wastewater media to both treat the wastewater and produce feedstock for algae biofuel production. However the reliability of treatment must be demonstrated, as well as high areal algae productivity on recycled wastewater media and efficient sedimentation harvesting. This processes was studied at pilot scale in the present research.

A pilot facility was operated with nine CO2-supplemented raceway ponds, each with a 33-m2 surface area and a 0.3-m depth, continuously from March 6, 2013 through September 24, 2014. The ponds were operated as three sets of triplicates with two sets continuously ...


Two-Ply Channels For Faster Wicking In Paper-Based Microfluidic Devices, Conor K. Camplisson, Kevin M. Schilling, William L. Pedrotti, Howard A. Stone, Andres W. Martinez Oct 2015

Two-Ply Channels For Faster Wicking In Paper-Based Microfluidic Devices, Conor K. Camplisson, Kevin M. Schilling, William L. Pedrotti, Howard A. Stone, Andres W. Martinez

Chemistry and Biochemistry

This article describes the development of porous two-ply channels for paper-based microfluidic devices that wick fluids significantly faster than conventional, porous, single-ply channels. The two-ply channels were made by stacking two single-ply channels on top of each other and were fabricated entirely out of paper, wax and toner using two commercially available printers, a convection oven and a thermal laminator. The wicking in paper-based channels was studied and modeled using a modified Lucas–Washburn equation to account for the effect of evaporation, and a paper-based titration device incorporating two-ply channels was demonstrated.


How Many Particles Are Present In The Air? Bioaerosol Detection Using An Air Particle Counter, Angie Pamela Rivera, Parag Vaishampayan Aug 2015

How Many Particles Are Present In The Air? Bioaerosol Detection Using An Air Particle Counter, Angie Pamela Rivera, Parag Vaishampayan

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

Relative cleanliness in terms of particle abundance in spacecraft assembly facilities is determined by particle counts carried out in clean rooms during resting conditions. Particle counters assess total particles and particle size distribution, but do not distinguish inert particles from biological particles, which may include bacterial spores that are resistant to standard cleanroom sterilization procedures. Current cleanroom certifications do not fully assess the effects of human presence on spacecraft contamination since humans are known symbionts to enumerate microorganisms and assessments are performed at rest when there is no human presence. In this study, contamination risks and bioburden in spacecraft assembly ...


Fatty Acid Recovery And Identification In Mars Analogue Soil Samples, Kimberly E. Lykens Aug 2015

Fatty Acid Recovery And Identification In Mars Analogue Soil Samples, Kimberly E. Lykens

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

A primary goal of NASA’s Mars 2020 mission is to gather and store samples of Mars soil that could possibly be returned to Earth in a future mission for investigations into past or present life. In years leading up to a potential sample return mission on Mars and potentially other worlds, samples taken from Chile’s Atacama Desert, the most arid, biologically limited desert in the world, are valuable in developing a capacity for biosignature detection, specifically when exploring fatty acid abundance. Eighteen samples were collected from two sites in the Atacama characterized by biological soil crusts (BSC). BSCs ...


Poly(N-Isopropylacrylamide) Hydrogels For Storage And Delivery Of Reagents To Paper-Based Analytical Devices, Haydn T. Mitchell, Spencer Schultz, Philip Costanzo, Andres W. Martinez Jul 2015

Poly(N-Isopropylacrylamide) Hydrogels For Storage And Delivery Of Reagents To Paper-Based Analytical Devices, Haydn T. Mitchell, Spencer Schultz, Philip Costanzo, Andres W. Martinez

Chemistry and Biochemistry

The thermally responsive hydrogel N,N'-methylenebisacrylamide-cross-linked poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) was developed and evaluated as a reagent storage and delivery system for microfluidic paper-based analytical devices (microPADs). PNIPAM was shown to successfully deliver multiple solutions to microPADs in specific sequences or simultaneously in laminar-flow configuration and was found to be suitable for delivering four classes of reagents to the devices: Small molecules, enzymes, antibodies and DNA. PNIPAM was also able to successfully deliver a series of standard glucose solutions to microPADs equipped to perform a colorimetric glucose assay. The results of these tests were used to produce an external calibration ...


Reagent Pencils: A New Technique For Solvent-Free Deposition Of Reagents Onto Paper-Based Microfluidic Devices, Haydn T. Mitchell, Isabelle C. Noxon, Cory A. Chaplan, Samantha J. Carlton, Cheyenne H. Liu, Kirsten A. Ganaja, Nathaniel W. Martinez, Chad Immoos, Philip Costanzo, Andres W. Martinez Apr 2015

Reagent Pencils: A New Technique For Solvent-Free Deposition Of Reagents Onto Paper-Based Microfluidic Devices, Haydn T. Mitchell, Isabelle C. Noxon, Cory A. Chaplan, Samantha J. Carlton, Cheyenne H. Liu, Kirsten A. Ganaja, Nathaniel W. Martinez, Chad Immoos, Philip Costanzo, Andres W. Martinez

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Custom-made pencils containing reagents dispersed in a solid matrix were developed to enable rapid and solvent-free deposition of reagents onto membrane-based fluidic devices. The technique is as simple as drawing with the reagent pencils on a device. When aqueous samples are added to the device, the reagents dissolve from the pencil matrix and become available to react with analytes in the sample. Colorimetric glucose assays conducted on devices prepared using reagent pencils had comparable accuracy and precision to assays conducted on conventional devices prepared with reagents deposited from solution. Most importantly, sensitive reagents, such as enzymes, are stable in the ...


Bacterial Expression Of Plant Pyruvate Kinase, Kristina Fuller Jan 2015

Bacterial Expression Of Plant Pyruvate Kinase, Kristina Fuller

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

Pyruvate kinases serve an important role in regulating glycolysis pathways. Different pyruvate kinase isozymes can dictate which of several different products will be formed during the final step of glycolysis. Being able to reliably copy active pyruvate kinases (PK) would allow study of the different isozymes, with the goal of eventually creating plants that are more nutritionally beneficial for humans. This study focused on improving the protocol for replicating each of two isolated PK isozymes from the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Previous attempts had resulted in the PK denaturing and consequently precipitating out of solution and so we manipulated the ...


Bacterial Expression Of Plant Pyruvate Kinase, Kristina Fuller Jan 2015

Bacterial Expression Of Plant Pyruvate Kinase, Kristina Fuller

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

Pyruvate kinases serve an important role in regulating glycolysis pathways. Different pyruvate kinase isozymes can dictate which of several different products will be formed during the final step of glycolysis. Being able to reliably copy active pyruvate kinases (PK) would allow study of the different isozymes, with the goal of eventually creating plants that are more nutritionally beneficial for humans. This study focused on improving the protocol for replicating each of two isolated PK isozymes from the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Previous attempts had resulted in the PK denaturing and consequently precipitating out of solution and so we manipulated the ...


Xrf Analyses Of Prehanford Orchards, Komal Rana Aug 2014

Xrf Analyses Of Prehanford Orchards, Komal Rana

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

Subsequent to 1943, the use of Lead Arsenic was banned from the Orchards standing on the Hanford site. This use of Lead Arsenate pesticide was popular among the orchard owners and was dispersed over the site in a myriad of ways. The presence of the traces of lead and arsenic are found today, more than half a century later. Using a portable X-ray florescence analyzer (XRF), the values of lead and arsenic are evaluated while determining the efficiency of the equipment itself. Samples from different decision sites were collected, with lead arsenic values in the low, high and medium range ...


Characterizing The Response Of Multidrug-Resistant Klebsiella Pneumoniae Species To The Application Of A Phage Cocktail, Steven Liu Jun 2014

Characterizing The Response Of Multidrug-Resistant Klebsiella Pneumoniae Species To The Application Of A Phage Cocktail, Steven Liu

Symposium

Project Summary: The application of bacteriophages to treat bacterial infections is known as phage therapy, which takes advantage of bacteriophage’s natural ability to infect and lyse bacterial hosts. Phages have been shaped by billions of years of evolution to be highly specialized deliverers of bactericidal agents to the cytoplasm of their target bacteria. Ever since discovery of bacteriophages in 1915, phage therapy was recognized as a potentially powerful tool for eliminating bacterial infections. The effectiveness of phage therapy can be increased by creating a mixture of multiple phages to target a wider variety of bacterial strains. Furthermore, phage therapy ...


Paper-Based Standard Addition Assays, Cory A. Chaplan, Haydn T. Mitchell, Andres W. Martinez Jan 2014

Paper-Based Standard Addition Assays, Cory A. Chaplan, Haydn T. Mitchell, Andres W. Martinez

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Standard addition assays conducted on paper-based microfluidic devices are introduced as an alternative to external standards for calibrating quantitative tests. To demonstrate this technique, a colorimetric, paper-based, standard addition assay was optimized for the determination of glucose concentrations in the range of 0 to 5 mM. Comparable results were obtained from the assay via digital image colorimetry under three different lighting conditions.


Measuring Radiation Exposure In Human Blood Using Gene Expression, Krystal Naranjo, Melissa Bentley, Harsha Konery, Matthew Coleman Jan 2014

Measuring Radiation Exposure In Human Blood Using Gene Expression, Krystal Naranjo, Melissa Bentley, Harsha Konery, Matthew Coleman

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

Mammalian cells are known to express genes that are associated with repairing damaged DNA. The transcript CDKN1A is one of several cell cycle regulator genes expressed in response to cell damage by ionizing radiation (IR). In this study, male and female lymphocytes; previously exposed ex vivo to IR, were used to demonstrate linear gene expression responses that may vary between genders. We used qRT-PCR to generate response curves for CDKN1A. No differences were identified for the endogenous control gene GAPDH. CDKN1A expression demonstrated average fold changes well above three fold for three of the four healthy patient donors at 24 ...


Synthesis And Evaluation Of Thermally-Responsive Coatings Based Upon Diels–Alder Chemistry And Renewable Materials, Dahlia N. Amato, Gregory A. Strange, John P. Swanson, Anton D. Chavez, Suzanne E. Roy, Kim L. Varney, Craig A. Machado, Douglas V. Amato, Philip Costanzo Aug 2013

Synthesis And Evaluation Of Thermally-Responsive Coatings Based Upon Diels–Alder Chemistry And Renewable Materials, Dahlia N. Amato, Gregory A. Strange, John P. Swanson, Anton D. Chavez, Suzanne E. Roy, Kim L. Varney, Craig A. Machado, Douglas V. Amato, Philip Costanzo

Chemistry and Biochemistry

A soybean based coating with thermally responsive Diels–Alder linkages has been prepared following an automotive 2-component formulation. The resulting coatings displayed the capability to be healed following physical deformation by a thermal stimulus, and such a material has significant potential for end users. Various curing agents were employed, and resulted in variation of scratch resistance and re-healablity. Different thermally responsive soybean resins were synthesized to have varying amounts reversible and nonreversible linkages when incorporated into the coating. Additionally, different isocyanates were added at differing ratios of NCO:OH in search of the optimum coating. It was found through the ...


Preservation Of Biosignature Molecules In Potential Sample Return Container Of The Mars 2020 Mission, Kimberly E. Lykens, Fei Chen Ph.D Aug 2013

Preservation Of Biosignature Molecules In Potential Sample Return Container Of The Mars 2020 Mission, Kimberly E. Lykens, Fei Chen Ph.D

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

Preservation of Biosignature Molecules in Potential Sample Return Container of the Mars 2020 Mission

Kimberly Lykens1 and Fei Chen2

1Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio 45501 2Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, 91109

One requirement for sustainable life on terrestrial planets includes the presence of organic polymers, compounds that are essential for major biological functions such as replication and catalysis. An identified goal of the Mars mission in the year 2020 is to implement a sample-return to identify and validate signs of life on Mars through the discovery of biosignature molecules in Martian core samples. Martian core samples recovered ...


Physiologically-Based Pharmacokinetic Modeling For Predicting Caffeine/Theophylline-Ciprofloxacin Interactions, David M. Ng, Ali Navid Aug 2013

Physiologically-Based Pharmacokinetic Modeling For Predicting Caffeine/Theophylline-Ciprofloxacin Interactions, David M. Ng, Ali Navid

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

Dynamics of interactions between the drugs caffeine, theophylline, and ciprofloxacin are predicted using physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling. Pharmacokinetic means the model determines where the drugs are distributed in the body over time. Physiologically-based means the anatomy and physiology of the human body are reflected in the structure and functioning of the model. Multiple drugs can interact to increase or decrease their beneficial and/or undesired effects. This is important because some common substances, such as caffeine in coffee, soft drinks, and energy drinks, are actually drugs that affect the body. Ciprofloxacin is an inhibitor of caffeine and theophylline metabolism; such ...


Paper And Toner Three-Dimensional Fluidic Devices: Programming Fluid Flow To Improve Point-Of-Care Diagnostics, Kevin M. Schilling, Daisy Jauregui, Andres W. Martinez Jan 2013

Paper And Toner Three-Dimensional Fluidic Devices: Programming Fluid Flow To Improve Point-Of-Care Diagnostics, Kevin M. Schilling, Daisy Jauregui, Andres W. Martinez

Chemistry and Biochemistry

We present a new method for fabricating three-dimensional paper-based fluidic devices that uses toner as a thermal adhesive to bond multiple layers of patterned paper together. The fabrication process is rapid, involves minimal equipment (a laser printer and a laminator) and produces complex channel networks with dimensions down to 1 mm. The devices can run multiple diagnostic assays on one or more samples simultaneously, can incorporate positive and negative controls and can be programmed to display the results of the assays in a variety of patterns. The patterns of the results can encode information, which could be used to identify ...


Disocvering Ionic Liquid Resistant Genes, Bree Person, Douglass Higgins, Michael Thelen Jan 2013

Disocvering Ionic Liquid Resistant Genes, Bree Person, Douglass Higgins, Michael Thelen

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

: Plant biomass is a rich source of sugars that can be converted to biofuels by engineered microbes. However, because the lignocellulose in biomass is insoluble in aqueous conditions and recalcitrant to enzymatic degradation, thermochemical treatment is required to break apart the lignin and cellulose polymers before sugars can be released. The most effective chemicals for doing this are known as ionic liquids, which are salts that are molten at temperatures below 100° C. Although these solvents have many unique properties that are ideal for solubilizing lignocellulose, they have been found to inhibit the growth of bacterial strains used to produce ...


Using Stable Isotope Analysis Of Zooplankton To Document Trophic And Biogeochemical Changes In The San Francisco Estuary, Steven C. Westbrook, Julien Moderan Jan 2013

Using Stable Isotope Analysis Of Zooplankton To Document Trophic And Biogeochemical Changes In The San Francisco Estuary, Steven C. Westbrook, Julien Moderan

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

Zooplankton represent a vital link between phytoplankton and fish, like the endangered Delta Smelt. Human interferences (nitrates from waste water, flow alteration, invasive species introduction…) have altered the structure of the San Francisco Estuary (SFE) ecosystem. We use stable isotope analysis to improve our knowledge of the planktonic food web in the SFE and gain insights into its evolution over the past decades. We use the ratios of certain isotopes (Nitrogen, Carbon, Sulfur, etc.) in different species of zooplankton to tell us what it is feeding on as well as the trophic level it feeds in. My research focused on ...


Rescuing Acetylcholinesterase From Nerve Agent Inhibition: Protein Dynamics Driven Drug Discovery, Aiyana M. Emigh, Brian Bennion Jan 2013

Rescuing Acetylcholinesterase From Nerve Agent Inhibition: Protein Dynamics Driven Drug Discovery, Aiyana M. Emigh, Brian Bennion

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

Severe morbidity and mortality consequences result from irreversible inhibition of human acetylcholinesterase by organophosphates (OPs). Oxime-based reactivators are currently the only available treatments but lack efficacy in the central nervous system (CNS) where the most damage occurs. Computational docking and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations reveal complex structural barriers that may reduce oxime efficacy. These results may guide future drug designs of more effective countermeasures.