Simulation of nanoparticle adsorption and transport in microfluidic lung-on-a-chip devices

Organs-on-chips are miniature devices mimicking aspects of human organ functions. Their main purpose is to serve as an alternative to animals as a testing ground for drugs, pollutants and toxins to see their effects on organs. The lung-on-a-chip device, which is the focus of this research, has been used to demonstrate how air-born nanosized particles can irritate the lung tissues and cause inflammation. It can also help us in designing sprays and aerosols for carrying drugs into the lungs.

VAL-083 combination therapies in chemo-resistant pediatric CNS cancers

More children die from brain cancer than from any other disease in the western world. Many anti-cancer drugs are unable to cross the blood-brain barrier to reach the tumor and certain genetic mutations in the tumor cells increase resistance to chemotherapeutics. The novel chemotherapeutic drug VAL-083 readily crosses the blood-brain barrier and accumulates in brain tumor tissues and has documented activity against pediatric brain tumors in historical clinical trials.

Stability of non-Newtonian liquid/liquid flow submitted to imposed shear, application to oil-water emulsion

In case of an oil spill in a marine environment, an important aspect of an early response is to confine the oil spill and prevents it from getting dispersed. The objective of this master thesis project is to contribute to better understand the stability of a liquid/liquid flow subjected to imposed shear, as a toy model for a stratified or dispersed oil/water system. Both the rheological nature of the oil and the oil/water surface tension are key parameters.

Interacting effects of contaminants and climate change on the health of the western Arctic beluga whales

The Arctic environment is changing rapidly, and this change may influence the health of organisms that live there, such as belugas. In periods of low sea ice extent, belugas in the Beaufort Sea showed altered expression genes involved in various aspects of health. Further, polychlorinated biphenyls, contaminants of concern, were also associated with altered gene expression. These results indicate that climate change and contaminants are playing a role in the health of beluga whales.

Eye Gazing Enabled Driving Behavior Monitoring and Prediction

Automobiles have become one of the necessities of modern life, but also introduced numerous traffic accidents that threaten drivers and other road users. Most state-of-the-art safety systems are passively triggered, reacting to dangerous road conditions or driving behaviors only after they happen and are observed, which greatly limits the last chances for collision avoidances. Timely tracking and predicting the driving behaviors calls for a more direct interface beyond the traditional steering wheel/brake/gas pedal.

Use of XR to address coordination challenges in construction projects

Building design is a complex and iterative process that requires collaboration between designers from numerous disciplines. Quality of design has a direct impact on the project success and poor-quality designs are the leading cause of project delays, reworks, and cost overruns. This research aims to improve the quality of design by focussing on two themes: addressing the design coordination issues faced and getting design inputs related to constructability and maintainability from relevant end-users.

Vela Canada; Building Social Capital

Research has shown that persons with disabilities have difficulty establishing relationships and becoming involved in their communities, which can generate barriers to generating and maintaining social capital. Microboards are small groups of people who have agreed to collaborate with an individual with a disability to form a person-centered ‘board’.

Selective breeding of honey bees

Over the past eight years we have a diagnostic test for disease resistance in honey bees and then attempted to use this test to selectively breed disease-resistant bees. The bees selected in this way appear to not lose other economically important traits (e.g., honey production) but are far better equipped to deal with disease than ‘average’ bees. This then opens up many doors, some of which we would like to pursue here. First and foremost though is to get the tools we have developed into the hands of the bee industry.

Identifying significant sources of noise and their effects on the behaviour and welfare of cats in animal shelters

Admittance in an animal shelter is often an intensely stressful experience for cats, leading to serious health and behaviour consequences impacting their welfare and adoptability. Recognizing, understanding, and minimizing factors that contribute to cat stress in shelters is an identified priority and ongoing challenge for shelter managers worldwide. A suitable acoustic environment is necessary to meet animal welfare and health needs. A cat’s sense of hearing is significantly more sensitive than humans making sound volumes commonly reported over 100 dB in shelters a cause for concern.

Assessment of processes controlling naturally elevated uranium and arsenic concentrations in groundwater and surface water in the Dawson Range, Yukon, Canada

Northern Canada faces great changes from growing resource extraction and global warming, which make a timely understanding of baseline environmental conditions critical. In the Dawson Range, Yukon, naturally elevated concentrations of uranium and arsenic have recently been discovered in groundwater at levels that are susceptible to cause toxic effects in humans and wildlife. This region is also the focus of advanced mineral exploration and falls within traditional territories of several First Nations.