Former Projects

Kelo: Integrate large DNA pieces

Students will be developing a new technology that is able to modify the DNA of living cells. An existing technology, CRISPR/Cas9 can delete DNA as needed from cells both in a dish and in animals, but this technology is limited as to the size of the DNA sequence it can add to a genome. The proposed technology combines aspects from HIV virus as well as CRISPR/Cas9 to allow for the efficient addition of new DNA to cells both in a dish and in animals. The ultimate goal of this project is to add DNA to cells in humans to cure a wide variety of diseases.

Remora: Blood platelet-aided drug delivery   

Because they are known to accumulate at tumor sites and particularly to track metastases, blood platelets could be a promising drug delivery candidate to combat cancer. It has been established that their heparin sulfate (HS) receptors mediate uptake of molecules inside the platelets alpha-granules.  This project proposes to take advantage of the HS-based loading and release to deliver drug molecules to cancer cells. Proof-of-concept experiments will use primary human platelet cells from healthy volunteers.

Sanviato: Detect blood coagulation

Anticoagulation therapy is essential for the prevention of fatal blood clots, especially following a heart attack, stroke, or pulmonary embolism. Patients taking anticoagulation drugs require regular clinical monitoring of their blood coagulation status to inform proper drug dosing and maintain a safe homeostasis of coagulation and bleeding. Anticoagulation monitoring is not well suited for low-resource settings because patients are required to regularly commute to community hospitals at least three times per week to get their blood tested. In rural Kenya, for example, patients live on average two hours from a community hospital, which confers a time and transportation cost burden to the patient and their family.

SkinMorph: Tunable second skin

SkinMorph is a tunable second skin layer that changes stiffness, color, and thermal qualities when controlled by underlying circuitry. We seek to create a new form of body decoration that is a uniquely textured and dynamically controllable skin overlay to provoke thinking of the meaning and applications of altering the texture and structure of one’s skin.

Image: Uniquely textured skin: the white patterns are dynamically tunable skin textures that stiffen when triggered by an underlying resistive heating circuitry to provide haptic feedback while serving as body decoration.

Wireless sensor of biological deposition

Our project seeks to develop a wireless sensor that can detect biological deposition, such as clot and bacterial biofilm. This sensor can be embedded in the surfaces of implantable medical device, and data from the sensor can be used to impact medical management.

Non-invasive measurement of venous pressure STATU/S

Successfully develop a medical device that non-invasively measures the pressure inside of the right internal jugular vein through acoustic signals and force sensing. We have built a prototype device to sense the walls of the internal jugular vein as peaks in a single crystal ultrasound “A-line” time domain signal. We can use the sensing of these walls coupled with a load cell that senses force to determine the force it takes to collapse a cross-section of the internal jugular vein. Through this and the contact area of our device, we can derive the pressure inside the internal jugular vein.

We want to use this MakerSpace to test our device and its automation. The procedure to test the device is to have one operator of the device and one person the device is being used on, usually in the supine position. The operator places the device over the person’s internal jugular vein and lightly presses on it with the device to measure the force it takes to collapse.

Chem-E-Car battery 2018

Chem-E-Car is an annual competition held by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers for chemical engineering undergraduates. Our goal is to build a car that is powered by a chemical reaction and to get this car to stop after a specific time. To achieve this, we need to construct a battery as a power source and an iodine clock reaction as a timing mechanism. An iodine clock reaction will be carried out using common household chemicals. Two clear solutions will be mixed and after a certain time the solution will turn black. The amounts of reactants will be varied to determine the effect on the time it takes for the solution to change color. Also, a battery will be constructed using common household chemicals and readily available materials. The battery will be charged and the output voltage and current will be tested.