Matching Items (128)

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Synthesis of Hybrid DNA-Protein Nanostructures

Description

While DNA and protein nanotechnologies are promising avenues for nanotechnology on their own, merging the two could create more diverse and functional structures. In order to create hybrid structures, the protein will have to undergo site-specific modification, such as the

While DNA and protein nanotechnologies are promising avenues for nanotechnology on their own, merging the two could create more diverse and functional structures. In order to create hybrid structures, the protein will have to undergo site-specific modification, such as the incorporation of an unnatural amino, p-azidophenylalanine (AzF), via Shultz amber codon suppression method, which can then participate in click chemistry with modified DNA. These newly synthesized structures will then be able to self-assemble into higher order structures. Thus far, a surface exposed residue on the aldolase protein has been mutated into an amber stop codon. The next steps are to express the protein with the unnatural amino acid, allow it to participate in click chemistry, and visualize the hybrid structure. If the structure is correct, it will be able to self-assemble.

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2017-05

A Study of the Mechanical Behavior Of Nanocrystalline Metals Using Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS)

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The study of the mechanical behavior of nanocrystalline metals using microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) devices lies at the intersection of nanotechnology, mechanical engineering and material science. The extremely small grains that make up nanocrystalline metals lead to higher strength but lower

The study of the mechanical behavior of nanocrystalline metals using microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) devices lies at the intersection of nanotechnology, mechanical engineering and material science. The extremely small grains that make up nanocrystalline metals lead to higher strength but lower ductility as compared to bulk metals. Effects of strain-rate dependence on the mechanical behavior of nanocrystalline metals are explored. Knowing the strain rate dependence of mechanical properties would enable optimization of material selection for different applications and lead to lighter structural components and enhanced sustainability.

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2014-05

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Designing and Testing of Large 2D Arrays of DNA Origami

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Repeating tiles made of DNA were used to try to form an indefinitely large structure. Both the tiles and structure were 2D. Two different patterns were tested, one corrugated and one not. Corrugation means that the tiles alternated between facing

Repeating tiles made of DNA were used to try to form an indefinitely large structure. Both the tiles and structure were 2D. Two different patterns were tested, one corrugated and one not. Corrugation means that the tiles alternated between facing up and facing down, canceling out any curvature to the tile and creating a slightly corrugated but largely 2D pattern. Annealing methods were also experimented with. Annealing the structure in two, separate steps as opposed to one was tested. Another experiment was comparing cyclic versus linear annealing. A linear decrease in temperatures defines the linear annealing, and a cyclic method involved a linear drop to a certain temperature, followed by a slight increase in temperature and cooling back down again. This cycle is done several times before it continues linear cool down. It was seen that both corrugated and non-corrugated structures could be made. In both cases tiles that make up a larger section of the overall pattern were more successful. This is especially important for the non-corrugated pattern. Linear and 2step annealing methods seem to yield the best results.

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2015-05

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DNA Nanotechnology for Protein Co-Crystallization & Vaccine Delivery

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DNA nanotechnology is ideally suited for numerous applications from the crystallization and solution of macromolecular structures to the targeted delivery of therapeutic molecules. The foundational goal of structural DNA nanotechnology was the development of a lattice to host proteins for

DNA nanotechnology is ideally suited for numerous applications from the crystallization and solution of macromolecular structures to the targeted delivery of therapeutic molecules. The foundational goal of structural DNA nanotechnology was the development of a lattice to host proteins for crystal structure solution. To further progress towards this goal, 36 unique four-armed DNA junctions were designed and crystallized for eventual solution of their 3D structures. While most of these junctions produced macroscale crystals which diffracted successfully, several prevented crystallization. Previous results used a fixed isomer and subsequent investigations adopted an alternate isomer to investigate the impact of these small sequence changes on the stability and structural properties of these crystals. DNA nanotechnology has also shown promise for a variety biomedical applications. In particular, DNA origami has been demonstrated as a promising tool for targeted and efficient delivery of drugs and vaccines due to their programmability and addressability to suit a variety of therapeutic cargo and biological functions. To this end, a previously designed DNA barrel nanostructure with a unique multimerizable pegboard architecture has been constructed and characterized via TEM for later evaluation of its stability under biological conditions for use in the targeted delivery of cargo, including CRISPR-containing adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) and mRNA.

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2021-05

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Environmentally responsible use of nanomaterials for the photocatalytic reduction of nitrate in water

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Nitrate is the most prevalent water pollutant limiting the use of groundwater as a potable water source. The overarching goal of this dissertation was to leverage advances in nanotechnology to improve nitrate photocatalysis and transition treatment to the full-scale. The

Nitrate is the most prevalent water pollutant limiting the use of groundwater as a potable water source. The overarching goal of this dissertation was to leverage advances in nanotechnology to improve nitrate photocatalysis and transition treatment to the full-scale. The research objectives were to (1) examine commercial and synthesized photocatalysts, (2) determine the effect of water quality parameters (e.g., pH), (3) conduct responsible engineering by ensuring detection methods were in place for novel materials, and (4) develop a conceptual framework for designing nitrate-specific photocatalysts. The key issues for implementing photocatalysis for nitrate drinking water treatment were efficient nitrate removal at neutral pH and by-product selectivity toward nitrogen gases, rather than by-products that pose a human health concern (e.g., nitrite). Photocatalytic nitrate reduction was found to follow a series of proton-coupled electron transfers. The nitrate reduction rate was limited by the electron-hole recombination rate, and the addition of an electron donor (e.g., formate) was necessary to reduce the recombination rate and achieve efficient nitrate removal. Nano-sized photocatalysts with high surface areas mitigated the negative effects of competing aqueous anions. The key water quality parameter impacting by-product selectivity was pH. For pH < 4, the by-product selectivity was mostly N-gas with some NH4+, but this shifted to NO2- above pH = 4, which suggests the need for proton localization to move beyond NO2-. Co-catalysts that form a Schottky barrier, allowing for localization of electrons, were best for nitrate reduction. Silver was optimal in heterogeneous systems because of its ability to improve nitrate reduction activity and N-gas by-product selectivity, and graphene was optimal in two-electrode systems because of its ability to shuttle electrons to the working electrode. "Environmentally responsible use of nanomaterials" is to ensure that detection methods are in place for the nanomaterials tested. While methods exist for the metals and metal oxides examined, there are currently none for carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene. Acknowledging that risk assessment encompasses dose-response and exposure, new analytical methods were developed for extracting and detecting CNTs and graphene in complex organic environmental (e.g., urban air) and biological matrices (e.g. rat lungs).

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2013

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Selenium Removal with Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment Using Conductive Copolymer Sorbents

Description

Heavy metals such as selenium can be especially important to limit because they can cause serious health problems even at relatively low concentrations. In an effort to selectively remove selenium from solution, a PAABA (poly(aniline-co-p-aminobenzoic acid) conductive copolymer was synthesized

Heavy metals such as selenium can be especially important to limit because they can cause serious health problems even at relatively low concentrations. In an effort to selectively remove selenium from solution, a PAABA (poly(aniline-co-p-aminobenzoic acid) conductive copolymer was synthesized in a selenic acid solution, and its ability to remove selenium was studied. Analysis of the Raman spectra confirmed the hypothesized formation of PAABA polymer. Constant voltage cycles showed success in precipitating the selenium out of solution via electroreduction, and ICP-MS confirmed the reduction of selenium concentrated in solution. These results indicate the PAABA synthesized in selenic acid shows promise for selective water treatment.

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2020-05

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INNOVATION SPACE: A STUDY ON THE LEGAL IMPLICATIONS OF DEVELOPING A NANOTECHNOLOGY-BASED PRODUCT

Description

I will be redacting my thesis on a project I will be a party of over the next two semesters through Innovation Space. This program is a joint venture between the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, Ira A.

I will be redacting my thesis on a project I will be a party of over the next two semesters through Innovation Space. This program is a joint venture between the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering and W.P. Carey School of Business in which we form an interdisciplinary team to work on and develop products that create market value all the while serving societal needs and minimizing environmental impacts. In short we are an entrepreneurial venture that will go through every facet of bringing a project from the imagination to market. My role in this project will be to conduct research while brainstorming potential applications of my results. I will be in addition sharing and exercising my expertise in the field of Supply Chain management and business in general to support the other disciplines on my team. Furthermore, as a business student I will be personally responsible for developing a strategic plan once we have determined a potential product, I will analyze any sort of market forecast applicable to my topic and ideate any sort of customer relations to follow through with our product. To add to these tasks, I will also ensure a positive cash flow for the project in general. As the thesis specific part of the project I will be writing about the legal implications involved in the development of an idea into a marketable and financially viable product. I will be analyzing various aspects of patent law as well as potentially private international law in regards to sourcing.

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2013-05

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Study of photoluminescence from amorphous and crystalline silicon nanoparticles synthesized using a non-thermal plasma

Description

High photoluminescence (PL) quantum yields reported from amorphous (a-Si) and crystalline (c-Si) nanoparticles have opened up lots of possibilities for use of silicon in optical applications such as light emitting diodes (LEDs), photonics and solar cells with added processing and

High photoluminescence (PL) quantum yields reported from amorphous (a-Si) and crystalline (c-Si) nanoparticles have opened up lots of possibilities for use of silicon in optical applications such as light emitting diodes (LEDs), photonics and solar cells with added processing and cost benefits. However, the PL response and the mechanisms behind it are highly dependent on the matrix in which the nanoparticles are grown and on the growth method. While, the bottom-up approach for deposition of free standing nanoparticles seem to be perfectly suited for large area deposition for LED and solar cell applications, the dominant growth techniques (laser ablation and pyrolysis) have been shown to suffer from limitations in control over size distribution of nanoparticles and the requirement of equipment capable of withstanding high temperature. This led to the exploration of plasma based synthesis methods in this work.

Towards this effort, the development and automation of a novel tool “Anny” for synthesis of silicon nanoparticles using non-thermal plasma chamber is reported. These nanoparticles are then accelerated due to choked flow through a nozzle leading to substrate independent deposition. The nanoparticle properties are characterized against precursor gas flow rates and RF power to identify the optimum growth conditions for a stable, continuous deposition. It is found that amorphous nanoparticles offer a wide variety of chamber conditions for growth with a high throughput, stable plasma for continuous, long term operations.

The quantum confinement model for crystalline and spatial confinement models for amorphous nanoparticles in our size regime (6-8nm) are suggested for free standing nanoparticles and we report a high PL output from well passivated amorphous nanoparticles.

The PL output and its dependence on stability of surface hydrogen passivation is explored using Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). It is shown that the amorphous nanoparticles have a better and more stable passivation compared to crystalline nanoparticles grown under similar conditions. Hence, we show a-Si nanoparticles as exciting alternatives for optical applications to c-Si nanoparticles.

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2015

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Substrate-independent nanomaterial deposition via hypersonic impaction

Description

In the nano-regime many materials exhibit properties that are quite different from their bulk counterparts. These nano-properties have been shown to be useful in a wide range of applications with nanomaterials being used for catalysts, in energy production, as protective

In the nano-regime many materials exhibit properties that are quite different from their bulk counterparts. These nano-properties have been shown to be useful in a wide range of applications with nanomaterials being used for catalysts, in energy production, as protective coatings, and in medical treatment. While there is no shortage of exciting and novel applications, the world of nanomaterials suffers from a lack of large scale manufacturing techniques. The current methods and equipment used for manufacturing nanomaterials are generally slow, expensive, potentially dangerous, and material specific. The research and widespread use of nanomaterials has undoubtedly been hindered by this lack of appropriate tooling. This work details the effort to create a novel nanomaterial synthesis and deposition platform capable of operating at industrial level rates and reliability.

The tool, referred to as Deppy, deposits material via hypersonic impaction, a two chamber process that takes advantage of compressible fluids operating in the choked flow regime to accelerate particles to up several thousand meters per second before they impact and stick to the substrate. This allows for the energetic separation of the synthesis and deposition processes while still behaving as a continuous flow reactor giving Deppy the unique ability to independently control the particle properties and the deposited film properties. While the ultimate goal is to design a tool capable of producing a broad range of nanomaterial films, this work will showcase Deppy's ability to produce silicon nano-particle films as a proof of concept.

By adjusting parameters in the upstream chamber the particle composition was varied from completely amorphous to highly crystalline as confirmed by Raman spectroscopy. By adjusting parameters in the downstream chamber significant variation of the film's density was achieved. Further it was shown that the system is capable of making these adjustments in each chamber without affecting the operation of the other.

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2015

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Potential materials for fuel cells

Description

Proton exchange membrane fuel cells have attracted immense research activities from the inception of the technology due to its high stability and performance capabilities. The major obstacle from commercialization is the cost of the catalyst material in manufacturing the fuel

Proton exchange membrane fuel cells have attracted immense research activities from the inception of the technology due to its high stability and performance capabilities. The major obstacle from commercialization is the cost of the catalyst material in manufacturing the fuel cell. In the present study, the major focus in PEMFCs has been in reduction of the cost of the catalyst material using graphene, thin film coated and Organometallic Molecular catalysts. The present research is focused on improving the durability and active surface area of the catalyst materials with low platinum loading using nanomaterials to reduce the effective cost of the fuel cells. Performance, Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, oxygen reduction and surface morphology studies were performed on each manufactured material.

Alkaline fuel cells with anion exchange membrane get immense attention due to very attractive opportunity of using non-noble metal catalyst materials. In the present study, cathodes with various organometallic cathode materials were prepared and investigated for alkaline membrane fuel cells for oxygen reduction and performance studies. Co and Fe Phthalocyanine catalyst materials were deposited on multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) support materials. Membrane Electrode Assemblies (MEAs) were fabricated using Tokuyama Membrane (#A901) with cathodes containing Co and Fe Phthalocyanine/MWCNTs and Pt/C anodes. Fuel cell performance of the MEAs was examined.

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2014