The Science of Body Sugaring

Sugarbush Spa is a London-based company that specializes in the removal of unwanted body hair by a method known as sugaring. The method, used for centuries in the Middle East, has several notable advantages over traditional waxing. Commercially available sugaring pastes suffer from inconsistency in production and unsatisfactory performance. At its core, the creation of sugaring paste is a synthetic organic chemical reaction, hydrolyzing the disaccharide sucrose to the two monosaccharides glucose and fructose.

Evaluation of Biomaterial Sorbents for Leachate Removal

The build-up and transport of contaminants in aquifer systems occurs through a variety of processes. The leaching of contaminants from industrial waste and debris in landfill sites during rainfall events represents a major source of water borne contaminants which threaten ground and surface aquifer systems. This internship research involves the design of nanofiltration media which involve studies of their equilibrium and time dependent uptake properties toward leachate samples obtained from a landfill site in Mexico.

Water-Safe UV Curable Antimicrobials Nanoscale coatings for Plastics

The treatment of Hospital acquired infections from pathogenic bacteria continues to be a serious and significant burden on health care resources both nationally and globally. Currently, about 1 in 10 persons will acquire an HAI as result of a medical procedure which can result in an additional hospital stay, treatment and in some severe cases, death. To counter HAI’s, we propose the use of a new UV-curable antimicrobial coatings which will protect common touch surfaces (hospital beds, plastic items) from pathogenic bacteria.

Extraction, isolation and identification of activemolecules in Kisameet Clay

Initial studies on the Kisameet Bay Clay Deposit by Dr. Ernest Hauser of MIT in the early 1950's showed the unique properties of this clay deposit. To build on this early research and make clear a distinction between Kisolite and other clays on the market, we have chosen to invest in modern research. As such, a research intern from the University of British Columbia will use and evolve modern chemical characterization techniques to isolate and identify the biologically active (i.e. antimicrobial) organic components of Kisolite.

Design and Synthesis of Specific Inhibitors of CYP26 for Blocking Retinoic Acid Metabolism: A Safer Approach to Retinoid Therapy for Skin Disease Year Two

Acne is a common human skin disease which is highly prevalent during adolescence, and often continues into adulthood. Retinoids, such as isotretinoin (Accutane/Roaccutane), have been particularly effective systemically in the treatment of acne. Although, millions of patients have been treated with Accutane/Roaccutane which for many years generated more than $1B U.S. in annual sales, the side effects, such as birth defects and inflammatory bowel disease, can sometime be severe. The market opportunity of an effective treatment with a better safety profile than isotretinoin is significant.

Metagenomic study of dechlorinating microbial communities invitro and in situ, part 2

The project is focused on study of commercial microbial cultures for biological remediation of soils and ground waters contaminated by chlorinated organic compounds. The successful elaboration and improvement of the products requires analysis on molecular-genetic level and detailed understating of organization of the microbial communities. The work benefits to industry partner by providing comprehensive information on functional and taxonomic structure, metabolic models of the studied microbial communities and key microorganisms involved in dechlorination of chloroform.

Tailoring Microencapsulation Strategies for New Applications

The application of microencapsulation technology provides for separation between reactives and curatives, allowing 2-part systems such as adhesives, to be formulated and applied with the inherent stability of a 1-part system. Release and subsequent curing can be controlled to occur “on demand”, for example upon the mechanical fastening of a screw, which results in capsule rupture. This is often highly dependent on the careful design of a specific system.

Numerical and Empirical Investigations of Hot Embossing for Scalable Hot Embossing of Customized Microfludiic Devices

Microfluidic devices (MFDs) are microchips for handling liquids in channels smaller than the width of a human hair allowing reduced consumption of reagents and integration with biosensors. The microfluidics market for biodiagnostics and pharmaceuticals was valued at $1.59 billion igrowing (Markets and Markets, 2013) . Traditional methods of manufacturing MFDs are too slow and costly to meet the demands of a growing market. A need for rapid prototyping and scalable production is indicated.

High-Throughput Charaterization of Metagenomic Glycosidase Library

Enzymes, Nature’s catalysts, are increasingly used for the degradation of complex sugars such as starch and cellulose in industries such as food processing, brewing and biofuels. New enzymes are normally found by the slow process of assaying individual cultured microorganisms. Discovery can be speeded up enormously through metagenomics, wherein DNA is extracted from samples such as soil and useful genes, hence enzymes, identified by sequencing and screening. Importantly this also allows access to the otherwise inaccessible 95% of genes from non-culturable organisms.

Developing Reliable Computational Models for Redox-Induced Electron Transfer

Spintronic materials have the potential to improve the density of computer memory and the speed of computer chips. The key feature of spintronic materials is that electronic changes (e.g., electron addition to a molecule) are coupled to changes in magnetic properties. We are particularly interested in transition-metal compounds that undergo redox-induced electron transfer (RIET) because these molecules have unique electronic and magnetic properties.