Development of the library of nanoparticle contrast probes for tissue clearing 3D microscopy compatible with multi-modal imaging in fluorescence, dark field, MRI, CT and electron microscopy modalities

High resolution 3D microscopy is a rapidly growing area of biomedical research, which has high potential to replace traditional 2D histology used for the analysis of tissue biopsies of cancer and other diseases. However, currently there is a limited availability of contrast agents that can label organs, biological tissues, and cells in a live animal and are compatible with these techniques. Mitacs fellows will work to develop a commercial line of labeling probes which are fully compatible with the 3D microscopy.

Probiotics to prevent the Progression of Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis to Cirrhosis

As a result of increasing obesity, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is now the most common chronic liver disease. Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is the pathogenic form of NAFLD and can progress to cirrhosis and need for liver transplantation. There is currently no Health Canada-approved therapy for the treatment of NASH. The intestinal microbiome has been shown to contribute to the development of NASH.

Synergistic Ionic Liquids - Chitin Nanowhiskers (CNWs) - Epoxy Nanocomposites for Improved Mechanical Properties

Chitin is an abundant resource in the form of shell waste from food industry in Canada and the world. BOCO Bio-Nanotechnologies has currently the infrastructure in place for scalable extraction of chitin nanowhiskers (CNWs) from crab shells. CNWs are the crystalline form of chitin molecules, possessing high strength, stiffness and aspect ratio, making them an ideal candidate for polymer reinforcement. A significant market opportunity for BOCO is to incorporate CNWs in epoxy to develop epoxy nanocomposites with tremendous mechanical properties.

Advanced Algorithms and Development for Four-Dimensional Flight Trajectory Optimization for Airline Route Planning

The efficient optimization of aircraft flight plans is the main focus of flitePLAN. This problem devolves in a 1st iteration of determining a flight plan that minimizes the cost of the flight. That done, a 2nd iteration of the innovation attempts to optimize simultaneous major area traffic flows using the same business logic. The main problem in the 1st iteration is in developing a mathematical approach which allows a precise numerical calculation of the costs of arcs and using an optimization algorithm that efficiently minimizes the total cost.

Optimisation of multistage mixer-settler solvent extraction process for the recovery of value metals in leaching of low-grade ores and secondary materials

The demand for elements such as nickel, cobalt, zinc and silver in various applications has increased significantly. Innovation to recover these elements now plays a major role in metallurgical processes as established technologies have challenges in treating available ores while meeting the increasingly stricter environmental regulations. Additionally, secondary sources have become a valuable resource that requires further research.

Thermal imaging for conservation and restoration success

Land surface temperature can tell us a lot about the health of ecosystems, forests and trees. Generally, the healthier, greener and more diverse a forest is, the colder it is, as plants use solar energy to grow, rather than releasing it as heat. This project focuses on using images of temperature measurements from satellites, space station and drones to monitor the health and development of conservation and restoration areas and find patches where the plants are stressed, and therefore hotter, due to disease, drought, pests or any other issue.

Phytotechnologies Monitoring Impacts and Resilience of Native Species and Northern Climates

The Phytoremediation Pilot Project is a collaborative effort between Aya Kitchens and Landscape Architect Pete North to create a buffer system that will stabilize soil contamination left by historic industrial activity at 1551 Catepillar Rd., Mississauga. The site borders the Little Etobicoke Creek, a tributary to the Etobicoke Creek and designated a Significant Natural Area, and prior to the installation of the Phytoremediation Pilot Project groundwater had been transporting contaminants from the soil to the creek.

Mechanical study and failure analysis on steel spirally tungsten inert gas (TIG) welded tubes

Spiral tubes and rings have been broadly used in the manufacturing sector, especially for the automobile industry. However, the failure of the rings will significantly shorten the service life of components, even leading to a disaster when the part is under operation. Generally, these tubes and rings are made from steel sheets spirally using the tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding method.

Assessing the impact of cell positioning via micropatterning on throughput, precision, and reproducibility of cell-based tests

In recent years, the concern with data reproducibility in preclinical research data has increased significantly. A survey performed by Nature showed more than 70% of published research is not reproducible and the issue is more concerning when it comes to biomedical research with only 10% of published work able to be reproduced. Scientists study the effect of drugs on cells before human trials and market entry.

Machine learning-based optimization of a small-molecule suppressor of the cellular prion protein

A reduction in the levels of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) is expected to ameliorate cellular toxicity in both Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and prion diseases. The latter are invariably fatal diseases that include Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as ‘Mad Cow Disease’, in cattle. To identify a rational method for reducing PrPC levels, the Schmitt-Ulms group has been studying the evolution, function and molecular environment of PrPC for more than ten years.

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