Structure and Function of a Ribonucleoprotein Particle

The Kothe research group studies the structure and function of small ribonucleoproteins which are involved in ribosome biogenesis, in particular in modification of ribosomal RNA, with the aim of better understanding how the cell assembles large RNAprotein complexes such as the ribosome.

Optimal design of experiments in geological carbon storage

The project’s aims are to conduct research on geological carbon storage from the perspective of dynamic analysis and process systems engineering, looking in particular at the dynamics between the wellhead and the CO2 storage reservoir. The main objective is to achieve closed loop operation and management of the reservoir with respect to CO2 sequestration and storage, along with enhanced oil recovery in cases where the reservoir is not fully depleted. The main thrust areas of the project are described below.

Predicting the Properties of Materials with Machine Learning

Determining the properties of materials has always been one of the primary goals of research in materials science. Computational models for materials’ property determination are hindered by their high computational cost; it can take weeks (even years) to develop and evaluate a computational model for a single property of a single material.

Cold laser ablation as a novel tool for biodiagnostic applications and biomarker discovery

We have developed a technology platform that allows us to obtain quantitative information regarding biomarkers much faster than currently possible, without the need to use expensive antibodies for detection. Our platform allows for simultaneous detection of many biomarkers at once. This reduces the time and the cost associated with biodiagnosis, and will directly contribute to public health by providing a reliable platform for early detection of many diseases.

Pain-Free Steroid Hormone Extract Analysis Using Digital Microfluidics

Quantitative steroid hormone measurements are a mainstay in the field of clinical endocrinology, due to their effects in myriad processes from maturation to hormone-sensitive cancers. Conventional steroid hormone testing protocols require a venopunture blood draw (~5 mL) followed by a time consuming immunoassay (~2 hr) each time a single  hormone is tested. In response to this problem (and opportunity) the Wheeler Lab developed a method relying on digital microfluidics coupled with liquid chromatography - tandem mass spectrometry detection (LC-MS/MS).

Macrocyclic peptides as chemical probes for protein-protein interactions

Peptides control a vast range of intra- and intercellular processes. However, linear peptides suffer from instability and poor cell permeability, which limits their application as therapeutic agents. In contrast to linear peptides, cyclic variants are more resistant to both exo- and endoproteases, which explains the therapeutic potential of this class of molecules. Peptide macrocycles have shown remarkable capacity for functional fine-tuning.

Development of high-performance electrochemical enzyme biosensors based on carbon nanotube complexes with conjugated polyelectrolytes

A simple and facile route for the construction of highly sensitive electrochemical enzyme biosensors has been proposed using carbon nanotube (CNT) complexes with a conducting poly(thiophene) polymer. Glucose oxidase was used as a model enzyme for the construction of the advanced biosensors. Glucose biosensors, exhibiting sensitivity higher than any biosensor based on CNTs and other polymers reported, were prepared by depositing CNT-polymer loaded polymer layers that contained entrapped glucose oxidase onto gold electrodes.

State-of-Charge Display Device for Disposable Batteries

In the last ten years the market for mobile devices and portable electronics has never ceased to grow, creating a rising demand for batteries. However it is practically impossible for consumers to identify their actual state-of-charge leading to the disposal of still viable batteries. In the past battery manufacturers have developed “on-board” testers allowing consumers to gauge the charge but these indicators have been discontinued due to their lack of reliability and their active feature discharging the battery while in use.

Study of the interaction of gold with organic additives in thiosulfate leaching solution

The mining industry represents a large part of the economy in Canada. Ontario is the largest producer of gold in the nation, producing 53% of Canada's total minerals production in 2007 [1]. Despite its high toxicity, cyanide is commonly employed in the extraction of gold from its ore. Its use represents an environmental hazard due to possible leakage or spills into soil and groundwater causing destructive ecological effects in the surrounding areas. Several environmental accidents around the world have been reported due to the ttse of cyanide in gold mining.