Silicon Nanoparticle and Cellulose Nanocrystal Reinforced Polymer Composites

Cellulose and Silicon are two of the most abundant natural materials in the world, thus it is only “natural” to combine the two materials. Specifically, cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) have been attractive sustainable additives for the mechanical reinforcement of polymers and silicon can be easily converted to silicon nanoparticles (SiNPs) for use in biosensing, coatings, and used as quantum dots in optical films, and medical and display applications.

Developing a Sensitive and Quantitative Opioid Detector for Use in a Clinical Setting

The opioid epidemic is a serious health crisis in Canada, North America, and globally and has worsened during the COVID pandemic. Opioid treatment strategies are at the forefront of efforts to tackle this crisis. To improve the replacement therapy currently used, an estimate of tolerance is required. This proposal takes an existing proof-of-concept opioid detection device and adapts it for use in the clinical setting to address this challenge.

Sensible, and Sprayable Antifouling Coatings

This project aims to develop sprayable coatings to prevent the prevent the attachment of bacteria on tables, door handles and other countertops. This will be obtained by modifying the surface with natural materials (such as vitamin B5 mimicking polymers and cellulose nanocarriers) that can deter bacterial attachment upon contact. The spray coated surfaces will sense the bacterial adhesion on the surface and will undergo color change, indicating the surface fouling and need to reapply the coating on the surface as needed.

Developing a real-time early warning system for potable water sources

Healthy freshwater ecosystem plays a vital role in every Canadian’s daily life as primary drinking water source and sustains the social and economic status of Canada. However, Canada’s freshwater ecosystem has been negatively impacted by population growth, urbanization, industrialization, agriculture, and climate changes.

Lipid mediators of growth for cellular agriculture

Cellular agriculture aims to generate more sustainable approaches to the production of agricultural products, and this nascent field requires the development of new tools to enhance controlled cell growth. In this project, we will investigate the use of insect cell biomass to produce specific phospholipids that can be used to enhance cellular growth. We will examine known pathways that are activated by exogenous phospholipids in mammalian cells. We will determine optimal compositions and formulation of the lipids for stimulating cell growth in multiple cell lines.

Self-Optimizing Supercritical Fluid Extractor for the Recovery of Cannabinoids

Despite the promise of cannabis containing goods as medicines and consumer products, the lab-intensive and time-consuming extraction process impedes applications of these compounds. Consequently, there is an urgent need to develop more effective extraction methods to access these high-value materials. Carbon dioxide supercritical fluid extraction is the typical technique to recover cannabinoids from cannabis plants with high levels of enrichment.

Development of a simple method for the direct determination of rare earth elements in refractory materials

The multi-elemental analysis of solids typically requires their dissolution, which is time-consuming and very difficult, and sometime virtually impossible. During this project, a new method will be developed for the direct analysis of solids that are notoriously difficult to dissolve. The sample will be inserted into a small furnace whose temperature will be changed in steps in order to selectively vaporize the elements of interest into the detection system. To facilitate the process, gases that can react with the solid in the furnace will be introduced into the furnace.

Development of natural antimicrobial topical product from traditional Philippine medicinal plants

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) occurs when antibiotic drugs and products stops working, making it difficult to treat infections and diseases which could lead to further health complications and death. Therefore, development of antibiotic products is needed to control the increasing cases of AMR. Medicinal plants are a great source of natural antibiotic compounds to make antibiotic drugs and products.

Development of shatter-proof greenhouse window panels from recycled PMMA

This project aims to develop a new polyrotaxane-based additive compatible with a poly(methyl methacrylate) matrix using called controlled radical polymerization technique, which is much tolerant to impurities, and thus can be carried out at a much lower cost than anionic polymerization. The new additive will provide great impact resistance to rigid poly(methyl methacrylate) at low concentrations (ideally, 1-2% by weight).

Optimization of the synthesis and processing of novel ketone functionalized polydicyclopentadiene polymers

Polydicyclopentadiene (PDCPD) is a tough, heavily crosslinked thermoset polymer. An extensive network of crosslinks gives PDCPD a very high impact resistance, good resistance to chemical corrosion, and a high heat deflection temperature. University of Victoria (UVic) recently achieved the creation of the first functionalized polydicyclopentadiene (f-PDCPD) that does not give up the robust thermal stability that makes PDCPD so useful. Poly V Technology has been launched to translate this novel functionalized polymer to a commercial setting.