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Surface Mechanical Attrition Treatment (SMAT) of 7075 Aluminum Alloy to Induce a Protective Corrosion Resistant Layer

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This paper investigates Surface Mechanical Attrition Treatment (SMAT) and the influence of treatment temperature and initial sample surface finish on the corrosion resistance of 7075-T651 aluminum alloy. Ambient SMAT was performed on AA7075 samples polished to 80-grit initial surface roughness.

This paper investigates Surface Mechanical Attrition Treatment (SMAT) and the influence of treatment temperature and initial sample surface finish on the corrosion resistance of 7075-T651 aluminum alloy. Ambient SMAT was performed on AA7075 samples polished to 80-grit initial surface roughness. Potentiodynamic polarization and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) tests were used to characterize the corrosion behavior of samples before and after SMAT. Electrochemical tests indicated an improved corrosion resistance after application of SMAT process. The observed improvements in corrosion properties are potentially due to microstructural changes in the material surface induced by SMAT which encouraged the formation of a passive oxide layer. Further testing and research are required to understand the corrosion related effects of cryogenic SMAT and initial-surface finish as the COVID-19 pandemic inhibited experimentation plans.

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2020-05

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Structure-function study of N-isopropylacrylamide copolymers with enzyme degradable GAPGLF and GAPGLL side chains

Description

With an increased demand for more enzyme-sensitive, bioresorbable and more biodegradable polymers, various studies of copolymers have been developed. Polymers are widely used in various applications of biomedical engineering such as in tissue engineering, drug delivery and wound healing. Depending

With an increased demand for more enzyme-sensitive, bioresorbable and more biodegradable polymers, various studies of copolymers have been developed. Polymers are widely used in various applications of biomedical engineering such as in tissue engineering, drug delivery and wound healing. Depending on the conditions in which polymers are used, they are modified to accommodate a specific need. For instance, polymers used in drug delivery are more efficient if they are biodegradable. This ensures that the delivery system does not remain in the body after releasing the drug. It is therefore crucial that the polymer used in the drug system possess biodegradable properties. Such modification can be done in different ways including the use of peptides to make copolymers that will degrade in the presence of enzymes. In this work, we studied the effect of a polypeptide GAPGLL on the polymer NIPAAm and compare with the previously studied Poly(NIPAAm-co-GAPGLF). Both copolymers Poly(NIPAAm-co-GAPGLL) were first synthesized from Poly(NIPAAm-co-NASI) through nucleophilic substitution by the two peptides. The synthesis of these copolymers was confirmed by 1H NMR spectra and through cloud point measurement, the corresponding LCST was determined. Both copolymers were degraded by collagenase enzyme at 25 ° C and their 1H NMR spectra confirmed this process. Both copolymers were cleaved by collagenase, leading to an increase in solubility which yielded a higher LCST compared to before enzyme degradation. Future studies will focus on evaluating other peptides and also using other techniques such as Differential Scanning Microcalorimetry (DSC) to better observe the LCST behavior. Moreover, enzyme kinetics studies is also crucial to evaluate how fast the enzyme degrades each of the copolymers.

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2018-05

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In situ SEM Testing for Fatigue Crack Growth: Mechanical Investigation of Titanium

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Widespread knowledge of fracture mechanics is mostly based on previous models that generalize crack growth in materials over several loading cycles. The objective of this project is to characterize crack growth that occurs in titanium alloys, specifically Grade 5 Ti-6Al-4V,

Widespread knowledge of fracture mechanics is mostly based on previous models that generalize crack growth in materials over several loading cycles. The objective of this project is to characterize crack growth that occurs in titanium alloys, specifically Grade 5 Ti-6Al-4V, at the sub-cycle scale, or within a single loading cycle. Using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), imaging analysis is performed to observe crack behavior at ten loading steps throughout the loading and unloading paths. Analysis involves measuring the incremental crack growth and crack tip opening displacement (CTOD) of specimens at loading ratios of 0.1, 0.3, and 0.5. This report defines the relationship between crack growth and the stress intensity factor, K, of the specimens, as well as the relationship between the R-ratio and stress opening level. The crack closure phenomena and effect of microcracks are discussed as they influence the crack growth behavior. This method has previously been used to characterize crack growth in Al 7075-T6. The results for Ti-6Al-4V are compared to these previous findings in order to strengthen conclusions about crack growth behavior.

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2018-05

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Simulation of Atomic Structure around Defects in Anatase

Description

Titanium dioxide is an essential material under research for energy and environmental applications, chiefly through its photocatalytic properties. These properties allow it to be used for water-splitting, detoxification, and photovoltaics, in addition to its conventional uses in pigmentation and

Titanium dioxide is an essential material under research for energy and environmental applications, chiefly through its photocatalytic properties. These properties allow it to be used for water-splitting, detoxification, and photovoltaics, in addition to its conventional uses in pigmentation and sunscreen. Titanium dioxide exists in several polymorphic structures, of which the most common are rutile and anatase. We focused on anatase for the purposes of this research, due to its promising results for hydrolysis.

Anatase exists often in its reduced form (TiO2-x), enabling it to perform redox reactions through the absorption and release of oxygen into/from the crystal lattice. These processes result in structural changes, induced by defects in the material, which can theoretically be observed using advanced characterization methods. In situ electron microscopy is one of such methods, and can provide a window into these structural changes. However, in order to interpret the structural evolution caused by defects in materials, it is often necessary and pertinent to use atomistic simulations to compare the experimental images with models.

In this thesis project, we modeled the defect structures in anatase, around oxygen vacancies and at surfaces, using molecular dynamics, benchmarked with density functional theory. Using a “reactive” forcefield designed for the simulation of interactions between anatase and water that can model and treat bonding through the use of bond orders, different vacancy structures were analyzed and simulated. To compare these theoretical, generated models with experimental data, the “multislice approach” to TEM image simulation was used. We investigated a series of different vacancy configurations and surfaces and generated fingerprints for comparison with TEM experiments. This comparison demonstrated a proof of concept for a technique suggesting the possibility for the identification of oxygen vacancy structures directly from TEM images. This research aims to improve our atomic-level understanding of oxide materials, by providing a methodology for the analysis of vacancy formation from very subtle phenomena in TEM images.

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2019-05

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2D or Not To Be: The Story and Science of Graphene

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The story of graphene truly began in what was simply a stub in the journal Physical Review not two years after the end of World War II. In 1947, McGill University physicist P.R. Wallace authored “The Band Theory of Graphite”

The story of graphene truly began in what was simply a stub in the journal Physical Review not two years after the end of World War II. In 1947, McGill University physicist P.R. Wallace authored “The Band Theory of Graphite” and attempted to develop a foundation on which the structure-property relationship of graphite could be explored; he calculates the number of free electrons and conductivity of what he describes as “a single hexagonal layer” and “suppos[es] that conduction takes place only in layers” in bulk graphite to predict wave functions, energies at specific atomic sites in the hexagonal lattice, and energy contours using a tight binding approximation for a hypothesized version of what we now call ‘armchair-style’ graphene. While Wallace was the first to explore the band structure and Brillouin Zones of single-layer graphite, the concept of two-dimensional materials was not new. In fact, for years, it was dismissed as a thermodynamic impossibility.

Everything seemed poised against any proposed physical and experimental stability of a structure like graphene. “Thermodynamically impossible”– a not uncommon shutdown to proposed novel physical or chemical concepts– was once used to describe the entire field of proposed two-dimensional crystals functioning separately from a three-dimensional base or crystalline structure. Rudolf Peierls and Lev Davoidovich Landau, both very accomplished physicists respectively known for the Manhattan Project and for developing a mathematical theory of helium superfluidity, rejected the possibility of isolated monolayer to few-layered crystal lattices. Their reasoning was that diverging thermodynamic-based crystal lattice fluctuations would render the material unstable regardless of controlled temperature. This logic is flawed, but not necessarily inaccurate– diamond, for instance, is thermodynamically metastable at room temperature and pressure in that there exists a slow (i.e. slow on the scale of millions of years) but continuous transformation to graphite. However, this logic was used to support an explanation of thermodynamic impossibility that was provided for graphene’s lack of isolation as late as 1979 by Cornell solid-state physicist Nathaniel David Mermin. These physicists’ claims had clear and consistent grounding in experimental data: as thin films become thinner, there exists a trend of a decreasing melting temperature and increasing instability that renders the films into islands at somewhere around ten to twenty atomic layers. This is driven by the thermodynamically-favorable minimization of surface energy.

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2018-05

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Dynamic Changes in Heart Rate and Cerebral Blood Flow During Acute Vagal Nerve Stimulation

Description

Vagal Nerve Stimulation (VNS) has been shown to be a promising therapeutic technique in treating many neurological diseases, including epilepsy, stroke, traumatic brain injury, and migraine headache. The mechanisms by which VNS acts, however, are not fully understood but may

Vagal Nerve Stimulation (VNS) has been shown to be a promising therapeutic technique in treating many neurological diseases, including epilepsy, stroke, traumatic brain injury, and migraine headache. The mechanisms by which VNS acts, however, are not fully understood but may involve changes in cerebral blood flow. The vagus nerve plays a significant role in the regulation of heart rate and cerebral blood flow that are altered during VNS. Here, we examined the effects of acute vagal nerve stimulation on both heart rate and cerebral blood flow. Laser Speckle Contrast Analysis (LASCA) was used to analyze the cerebral blood flow of male Long\u2014Evans rats. Results showed two distinct patterns of responses whereby animals either experienced a mild or severe decrease in heart rate during VNS. Further, animals that displayed mild heart rate decreases showed an increase in cerebral blood flow that persisted beyond VNS. Animals that displayed severe decreases showed a transient decrease in cerebral blood flow followed by an increase that was greater than that observed in mild animals but progressively decreased after VNS. The results suggest two distinct patterns of changes in both heart rate and cerebral blood flow that may be related to the intensity of VNS.

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2018-05

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Image Analysis for Registration, Segmentation, and Intensity Measurement of 2-Photon Microscope Images using MATLAB

Description

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major concern in public health due to its prevalence and effect. Every year, about 1.7 million TBIs are reported [7]. According to the According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 5.5%

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major concern in public health due to its prevalence and effect. Every year, about 1.7 million TBIs are reported [7]. According to the According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 5.5% of all emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths from 2002 to 2006 are due to TBI [8]. The brain's natural defense, the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB), prevents the entry of most substances into the brain through the blood stream, including medicines administered to treat TBI [11]. TBI may cause the breakdown of the BBB, and may result in increased permeability, providing an opportunity for NPs to enter the brain [3,4]. Dr. Stabenfeldt's lab has previously established that intravenously injected nanoparticles (NP) will accumulate near the injury site after focal brain injury [4]. The current project focuses on confirmation of the accumulation or extravasation of NPs after brain injury using 2-photon microscopy. Specifically, the project used controlled cortical impact injury induced mice models that were intravenously injected with 40nm NPs post-injury. The MATLAB code seeks to analyze the brain images through registration, segmentation, and intensity measurement and evaluate if fluorescent NPs will accumulate in the extravascular tissue of injured mice models. The code was developed with 2D bicubic interpolation, subpixel image registration, drawn dimension segmentation and fixed dimension segmentation, and dynamic image analysis. A statistical difference was found between the extravascular tissue of injured and uninjured mouse models. This statistical difference proves that the NPs do extravasate through the permeable cranial blood vessels in injured cranial tissue.

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2018-05

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Optical Feedback Mechanism for Detecting Cerebrospinal Fluid Leaks During Spinal Surgery

Description

For my honors thesis, I developed a proof of concept alpha prototype of a biomedical device for detection of cerebrospinal fluid leaks during spinal surgery. Cerebrospinal fluid leaks are a consequence of tears in the dura mater of the spinal

For my honors thesis, I developed a proof of concept alpha prototype of a biomedical device for detection of cerebrospinal fluid leaks during spinal surgery. Cerebrospinal fluid leaks are a consequence of tears in the dura mater of the spinal cord and can result in potentially life-threatening conditions and are overall a large burden not only on the patient but upon the clinical teams managing the patient postoperatively. What I created was an optical sensor that I programmed to be sensitive to detecting green wavelength light. The device would ideally be attached to surgical drain tubing and used in conjunction with fluorescein (a green fluorescent dye) infused lumbar punctures into the spinal canal of patients. As the dye circulates through the spinal cord, any tears in the dura mater would cause the fluorescein to leak out with cerebrospinal fluid into the incision site. This fluid may then be collected by the surgical drain where the sensor may detect the fluorescein, triggering a buzzer response that would notify the patient or the surgeons of an ongoing leak that requires repair. The time I spent on my thesis involved sensor validation to ensure it could differentiate between colors, testing the sensor's color sensitivity by performing a fluorescein aliquot, and running proof of concept testing that could show the sensor can detect fluorescein drain tubing and provide an adequate response. The sensor was able to differentiate between varying concentrations of fluorescein in solution and provided exceptional results in its proof-of-concept testing. Next steps will be to re-run the sensor validation study with different dyes as well as consolidating the device's electrical hardware onto a single circuit board as development of beta and gamma prototypes move forward.

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2018-05

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Customized Endovascular Treatment Fixture Construction for Patient-Specific Cerebral Aneurysm Repair

Description

Cerebral aneurysms are pathological bulges in blood vessels of the brain that can rupture and cause brain damage or death. Treating aneurysms by isolating them from circulation can prevent aneurysm rupture. Endovascular techniques for cerebral aneurysm treatment are preferred because

Cerebral aneurysms are pathological bulges in blood vessels of the brain that can rupture and cause brain damage or death. Treating aneurysms by isolating them from circulation can prevent aneurysm rupture. Endovascular techniques for cerebral aneurysm treatment are preferred because they are minimally invasive and have a shorter recovery time, and endovascular coiling is considered the gold standard as a result. The coils used in endovascular treatment come in standard shapes and sizes, mass-manufactured by medical device companies. Clinicians select the coils for treatment based on the aneurysm volume. However, cerebral aneurysms have unique shapes and dimensions, and vary on a patient-specific basis. Therefore, customizing the coils to fit a unique aneurysm morphology by using shape memory alloys could potentially improve endovascular treatment outcomes. In order to shape set a shape memory alloy into a customized coil configuration a fixture based on the aneurysm morphology must first be developed. Digital surface models of aneurysm patient cases were collected from an online repository and isolated from surrounding vasculature. Anchors used to assist in winding coils around these models were then added to create a computational fixture model. These fixtures were 3D printed in stainless steel, and tested on their ability to maintain their shape after being exposed to high temperatures needed in shape setting processes. The study demonstrated that customized fixtures can be created from patient-specific images or models, and manufactured with high levels of accuracy without deformation at high temperatures. The results suggest that 3D printed stainless steel fixtures could be used to develop customized endovascular coils for cerebral aneurysm treatment.

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Date Created
2017-05

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Development of a Wearable Haptic Feedback System for Use in Lower-Limb Prosthetics: Proof of Concept and Verification

Description

Skin and muscle receptors in the leg and foot provide able-bodied humans with force and position information that is crucial for balance and movement control. In lower-limb amputees however, this vital information is either missing or incomplete. Amputees typically compensate

Skin and muscle receptors in the leg and foot provide able-bodied humans with force and position information that is crucial for balance and movement control. In lower-limb amputees however, this vital information is either missing or incomplete. Amputees typically compensate for the loss of sensory information by relying on haptic feedback from the stump-socket interface. Unfortunately, this is not an adequate substitute. Areas of the stump that directly interface with the socket are also prone to painful irritation, which further degrades haptic feedback. The lack of somatosensory feedback from prosthetic legs causes several problems for lower-limb amputees. Previous studies have established that the lack of adequate sensory feedback from prosthetic limbs contributes to poor balance and abnormal gait kinematics. These improper gait kinematics can, in turn, lead to the development of musculoskeletal diseases. Finally, the absence of sensory information has been shown to lead to steeper learning curves and increased rehabilitation times, which hampers amputees from recovering from the trauma. In this study, a novel haptic feedback system for lower-limb amputees was develped, and studies were performed to verify that information presented was sufficiently accurate and precise in comparison to a Bertec 4060-NC force plate. The prototype device consisted of a sensorized insole, a belt-mounted microcontroller, and a linear array of four vibrotactile motors worn on the thigh. The prototype worked by calculating the center of pressure in the anteroposterior plane, and applying a time-discrete vibrotactile stimulus based on the location of the center of pressure.

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2018-05