Assessing Volatile Organic Compounds as a Measure of Crop Health

Plants produce a blend of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) quickly in response to various growing conditions and plant stressors. These compounds are released well before there are any obvious signs of stress, such as wilting or loss of chlorophyll. Blueberry and other crops with thicker leaves, are slow to show obvious signs of stress and therefore are more prone to reduced crop quality and quantity than other field crops.

Fruit Extract to Dyes - Elucidating the Mechanism of Dye Formation using Genipin to Unlock New Colours

Dyes which are either sourced directly or derived from naturally-occurring products are of growing interest in the cosmetics industry. Sourcing chemical dyes or their close precursors from natural products can significantly reduce the environmental impact of manufacture by reducing the number of derivatization and purification steps. The industrial partner, Inkbox Ink, currently uses genipin, a dye precursor derived primarily from extracts of the gardenia fruit, in their semi-permanent tattoo technologies.

Activity-based screening of DNA-Encoded libraries

Cell surface receptors are targets of ~50% of pharmaceutical and biological drugs. Still many of such receptors have no known therapeutic inhibitors because 1) the receptors are only active in cells 2) isolation and purification of the receptor is not viable and 3) determining activity of a potential therapeutic is complicated by binding that can lead to a productive (antagonism/agonism) or an unproductive response.

Nanostructured cathode material for high performance all-solid-state sodium battery

Lithium batteries are almost universally integrated in modern electronics applications due to their high efficiency and scalability. However, the liquid lithium-ion electrolyte utilized in these batteries has a multitude of safety concerns including flammability, toxicity, and the ability to explode if short-circuited. These issues lead to problems while operating in hazardous environments, more stringent transportation regulations, and pose a threat to the personal safety of consumers.

Molecular Characteristics of Cellulose and Cellulose Derivatives

Cellulose is a commercially important biopolymer. Due to its abundance, biocompatibility and renewability it has shown important commercial applications in food, pharmaceuticals, biomedical. Depending on the origin and the processing methods used, the resulting fiber dimensions, structure, crystallinity and molecular weight (MW) can vary over a broad range. MW is one of the most important parameters in polymer characterization as many of its properties depend on it. Gel permeation chromatography (GPC) has been the technique of choice for determining these properties.

Development of wine smoke-taint analysis strategies to provide more accurate risk-assessments and guide in-winery and in-vineyard amelioration methods

The proposed research project will focus on understanding the in-vineyard and in-winery mechanisms responsible for the phenomenon of smoke-taint in wines—that is, the tendency of grapes exposed to forest fire smoke to produce smoke-flavoured wines in the absence of any perceptible aroma in the grapes. Of interest here is discerning exactly how the flavoured compounds of smoke are biochemically stored within ripening grapes in addition to how they are released again by yeast enzymes during the fermentation process.

Silicon Quantum Dot Trace Explosive Sensor

Development and testing of a trace explosive sensor based on silicon nanomaterials or quantum dots. The project will involve interaction and pilot testing with the RCMP and Transport Canada. The success of the project will enable Applied Quantum Materials to introduce a new product into the security marketplace and form a platform technology for the development of drug and chemical agent detection.

Metal oxide Nanomaterial electrolytes for all-solid-state sodium-Ion battery - Year 2

Batteries are ideally suited for energy storage application due to their pollution-free operation, high efficiency, flexible energy and power characteristics to meet different grid functions, cycle life, and low maintenance. The proposed project aims to develop a non-explosive, non-toxic, non-flammable all-solid-state sodium-ion battery with a commercially competitive business case for applications in grid-scale battery storage, the electric vehicle industry, and consumer electronics.

Bipolar Membranes for Electrochemical Technologies

Bipolar membranes (BPMs) are already a commercially relevant technology as they are used in the electrodialysis process, that is, they are used to convert salt water into industrially useful acid and base products. Recent research, on the laboratory scale, has demonstrated that bipolar membranes also have useful applications in water splitting technologies that produce hydrogen gas, which can then be captured, stored and used as an alternative to fossil fuels.

Small-scale Continuous Purification of Nanoparticles and Therapeutic Proteins

Our group developed a new generation of chip-based small-scale devices for continuous purification of chemicals and nanoparticles, based on the interactions of analyte with multiple types of driving forces in an electro-fluid-dynamic (EFD) system. One series of the purification devices has the electric field in parallel with the fluid flow direction (E?F), while the other series has two orthogonal driving force fields (E?F).