Value added monomers and polymers from renewable sources

Enormous research and commercial activities on utilization of bio-based materials to replace petroleum-based chemicals are currently taking place around world, aiming at the reduction of pollution and global warming. Among them, L-Cysteine which contains a thiol (-SH), amino (-NH2) group and carboxylic acid (-COOH) group. It is considered to be a unique building block for construction of a variety of functional compounds and polymers. Therefore, a series of high molecular weight polymers from L-cysteine based diketopiperazine (DKP) have been synthesized through simple and clean processes.

White pine endophytes: improving tolerance to white pine blister rust

White pine blister rust is a serious disease of pine, an ecologically and economically important forest species in Ontario and the Maritime Provinces. In western Canada, this pathogen has virtually eliminated pine as a commercial species and the disease now threatens eastern Canada. Endophytes are fungi that live in the leaves of various plants including conifers. In collaboration with the Miller lab, JD Irving, Limited has invested in the potential of spruce endophytes to increase tolerance to an insect pest, the spruce budworm.

New methods and applications for monitoring bacteria inwater

We have previously developed and commercialized a bacteria detection technology that is now being marketed for testing E. coli and coliform bacteria in water. The work proposed here will provide tests for additional bacteria types, and new applications of current tests. Each new test will be a combination of new sample handling methods and additional test ingredients, as needed. Our partner is Pathogen Detection Systems, Inc. (PDS), a subsidiary of Veolia Water in Veolia's Endetec group.

Cyclodextrin-based ordered polymeric frameworks and investigation of their gas uptake properties and applications

This research will be focused on the development of cross-linked framework materials which contain ?-cyclodextrin (?-CD) and bifunctional cross-linker units at variable composition. Several questions will be addressed: i) the role and relative contribution of multi-functional adsorption sites (inclusion vs. non-inclusion) of the framework material, ii) the role of framework structure and composition on permanent porosity and surface area effects.

Enhancing Corrosion Resistance of Superheater Alloys

The efficiencies of biomass-fueled power plants are much lower than those of natural gas and coal-fueled plants because exit steam temperatures are restricted to inhibit corrosion of superheater tubes. Nexterra needs to raise steam conditions from 403?C to 460?C in future systems in order to satisfy customer demands. The raise in the probability of corrosion issues due to contaminants in the fuel. In order to achieve the more aggressive steam conditions it is necessary to modify boiler design to include selection of the boiler tube materials that are resistant to corrosion.

Rational design of a red fluorescent protein displaying increased quantum yield

The longer emission wavelengths of red fluorescent proteins (RFPs) make them useful for whole-body imaging because cells are more transparent to red light. However, RFPs are typically less bright than other types of fluorescent proteins that emit at shorter wavelengths due to their lower quantum yields. The goal of this project is to increase the quantum yield of RFPs by rational design. We hypothesized that restricting the conformational flexibility of the RFP chromophore would decrease radiationless decay, thereby resulting in
higher quantum yields.

Direct analysis of food by electrothermal vaporisation coupled to inductively coupled plama optical emission spectrometry

With the help of a graduate student, develop methods based on electrothermal vaporisation (ETV) coupled to ICP-OES for the direct multi-element analysis of food, with a focus on food items, such as rice-based or soy-based products that may contain significant levels of toxic elements. If there is time, develop a method allowing the direct speciation analysis of elements, whose chemical form determines toxicity, in the solid so as to determine the portion that is actually toxic.

Interaction Between Lantibiotics and beta-Lactoglobulin by MALDI-Mass Spectrometry

Beta-lactoglobulin (?-LG) is a major whey protein found in the milk of many ruminant species. As a lipocalin, it is suspected to be involved in the transport of small hydrophobic molecules, and some evidence suggests that it can bind to vitamin A. ?-LG is an antigen in milk, causing allergic reactions in some individuals. This is due to the presence of several epitopes, or antigenic binding sites. Lantibiotics are antimicrobial peptides produced by Gram positive bacteria. Lantibiotics are generally regarded as safe for consumption by both humans and animals.

Bio-hybrid material chemistry

A certain number of key challenges exist for the rational design of bio-hybrids, which limit their innovative potential.

Harmful algal blooms: Links between lake ecology, chemistry, and drinking water treatment

Overall project:
Human activities can profoundly alter aquatic ecosystems and create major challenges for the provision of safe drinking water. For example, high nutrient loads can dramatically increase algal productivity. This in turn can alter lake chemistry and ecology, which can have significant effects on water treatment processes. Ecological changes can include the occurrence of harmful algal blooms. An increase in the frequency and severity of algal blooms is a major concern across Canada and globally.