Development of new analytical methods for Nutraceutical and Functional food industry

A series of rapid and cost effective analytical methods will be developed to enable routine screening of feedstock material and products.  These techniques include sampling with lasers so that the need for digestion with highly corrisive acids is effectively eliminated.  These techniques will have less waste and use less hazardous materials than traditional methods and this will reduce the environmental impact of critical analytical testing.   Developing these technologies will ensure that Natural Factors continues to be an industrial leader in quality assurance and control.  The new techno

Gas Phase and Surface Chemical Consequences of Dielectric Barrier Discharge Plasmas

The proposed research will work to characterize plasmas of the type that form where the charging roll contacts the photoreceptor in a typical xerographic printer.  Laboratory experiments will form discharges under ambient atmospheric conditions and at the high-vacuum exit of a dielectric-barrier-discharge pulsed molecular beam.  Spectroscopic measurements will record fluorescence emission signatures of plasmas under these conditions, and time-of-flight mass spectrometry will monitor the presence of reactive intermediates.  

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).