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Aptamer-functionalized Hydrogel for the Capture and Release of CCRF-CEM Leukemia Cancer Cells

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The main objective of this project is to create a hydrogel based material system to capture and release CCRF-CEM Leukemia cancer cells via chemo-mechanical modulation. This system is composed of an aptamer-functionalized hydrogel thin film at the bottom of a

The main objective of this project is to create a hydrogel based material system to capture and release CCRF-CEM Leukemia cancer cells via chemo-mechanical modulation. This system is composed of an aptamer-functionalized hydrogel thin film at the bottom of a microfluidic channel, which changes its film thickness as the temperature of the fluid in the system changes. The functionalized hydrogel film has been created as the primary steps to creating the microfluidic device that could capture and release leukemia cells by turning the temperature of the fluid and length of exposure. Circulating tumor cells have recently become a highly studied area since they have become associated with the likelihood of patient survival. Further, circulating tumor cells can be used to determine changes in the genome of the cancer leading to targeted treatment. First, the aptamers were attached onto the hydrogel through an EDC/NHS reaction. The aptamers were verified to be attached onto the hydrogel through FTIR spectroscopy. The cell capture experiments were completed by exposing the hydrogel to a solution of leukemia cells for 10 minutes at room temperature. The cell release experiments were completed by exposing the hydrogel to a 40°C solution. Several capture and release experiments were completed to measure how many cells could be captured, how quickly, and how many cells captured were released. The aptamers were chemically attached to the hydrogel. 300 cells per square millimeter could be captured at a time in a 10 minute time period and released in a 5 minute period. Of the cells captured, 96% of them were alive once caught. 99% of cells caught were released once exposed to elevated temperature. The project opens the possibility to quickly and efficiently capture and release tumor cells using only changes in temperature. Further, most of the cells that were captured were alive and nearly all of those were released leading to high survival and capture efficiency.

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2016-12

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Breakdown and classification of skill transfer type between a hockey slap shot and golf drive

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There is surprisingly little scientific literature describing whether a hockey slap shot positively or negatively transfers to a driving golf swing. Golf and hockey use a similar kinematic sequence to send the ball / puck towards a target, but does

There is surprisingly little scientific literature describing whether a hockey slap shot positively or negatively transfers to a driving golf swing. Golf and hockey use a similar kinematic sequence to send the ball / puck towards a target, but does that directly translate to positive skill transfer between the two sports, or are there other important factors that could result in a negative skill transfer? The aim of this study is to look further into the two kinematic sequences and determine their intertask skill transfer type. A field experiment was conducted, following a specific research design, in order to compare performance between two groups, one being familiar with the skill that may transfer (hockey slapshot) and the other group being unfamiliar. Both groups had no experience in the skill being tested (driving golf swing) and various data was collected as all of the subjects performed 10 golf swings. The results of the data analysis showed that the group with experience in hockey had a higher variability of ball distance and ball speed. There are many factors of a hockey slapshot that are likely to develop a negative intertask skill transfer, resulting in this group's high inconsistency when performing a golf swing. On the other hand, the group with hockey experience also had higher mean club speed, showing that some aspects of the hockey slapshot resulted in a positive skill transfer, aiding their ability to perform a golf swing.

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2021-05

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Ionic Liquids in Simplifying Cryogenic Electron Microscopy

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The goal of this thesis was to simplify the sample preparation process for cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM), clearing the way for the imaging of larger biomolecules and further expansion of the field. Various protic ionic liquids (PILs) were chosen for

The goal of this thesis was to simplify the sample preparation process for cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM), clearing the way for the imaging of larger biomolecules and further expansion of the field. Various protic ionic liquids (PILs) were chosen for synthesis according to their pH and other physical properties. After several failed synthesizes, one PIL, cholinium dihydrogen phosphate, was chosen for further testing. This solution was put through a series of vitrification tests in order to understand its crystallization limits. Once limits were understood, cholinium dihydrogen phosphate was combined with ribosomal proteins and viewed under a transmission electron microscope to collect negative stain images. After adjusting the ratio of PIL to buffer and the concentration of ribosomes, images of whole intact ribosomes were captured. Samples were then placed in an EM grid, manually dipped in liquid nitrogen, and viewed using the the cryo-EM. These grids revealed ice too thick to properly image, an issue that was not solved by using a more aggressive blotting technique. Although the sample preparation process was not simplified, progress was made towards doing so and further testing using different techniques may result in success.

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2020-05