Student PI: Andres Munevar

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Marwa El-Sayed

Abstract: In the past two decades, images have surfaced depicting severe smog and air pollution conditions blanketing urban environments. While shocking, these images shine light on the increasing level of pollution in the atmosphere. One pollutant of particular concern is Particulate Matter (PM), which is defined as any solid and/or liquid particles suspended or dispersed in the atmosphere. Atmospheric particulate matter (PM) has been identified as a detrimental criteria pollutant causing several adverse impacts to humans and the environment. Current monitoring strategies are designed to measure PM pollution and thus enforce regulations based on the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). Nonetheless, these conventional technologies are limited in capturing variations in atmospheric PM concentrations at fine temporal and spatial scales, in addition to their inherent limitations due to their high cost and size. In the last decade, low-cost sensors (LCS) have proliferated in an effort to address the shortcomings of these monitoring PM procedures and in an effort to advance research and curve the effects of PM in the atmosphere. Low-cost PM sensors (LCPMSs) rely on the light-scattering properties of atmospheric particles, including Rayleigh and Mie scattering, or gravitational methods to measure particle concentrations. This novel sensor technology is relatively low-cost, with prices varying from $30-500 per sensor. The inexpensive nature of LCPMS makes PM research and data collection more attainable than ever before for individual and academic use. Also, the lightweight and compact nature of most LCPMS means they are prime candidates for use on unmanned aircraft (UA).

Of particular interest are LCPMS mounted on drones, which promises to be advantageous due to their lower cost, size and weight as well as their capability to operate in areas and altitudes impossible or impractical in the past. UAS provide access to elevations Oft to 400ft above ground level, which is within the Earth's boundary layer where significant atmospheric mixing occurs. This means drone-based PM measurements are now possible above ground level and also below manned aircraft altitudes, which has potential to advance PM research beyond current ground-level measurements. This will advance scientific understanding of PM concentrations and composition at varying altitudes. The new generation of LCPMS devices on the market have flaws in their computation and general use, including but not limited to: build quality, mis-calibration, unstable calibration and erroneous readings in non­standard settings.

This research proposal examines the effectiveness and viability of using LCPMS on UA to collect data at varying altitudes. The benefit will be improved LCPMS technology that enables expanded coverage and improves spatially and temporally resolved data. Yet, many uncertainties are associated with this novel sensor technology, especially its reliability, repeatability and robustness. This work has implications for devising preventive and/or corrective measures to protect the environment in highly polluted urban areas, where monitoring is not spatially sufficient, as well as remote areas, where monitoring is often underestimated. Hence, the aim of this study is to characterize LCPMS, setup a long-term PM monitoring station on Embry-Riddle's campus, fly PM sensors on UA and train undergraduate engineers and pilots about outdoor data collection, calibration, calibration drift, data post-processing and presenting research results. Embry-Riddle is in a unique position to combine skills from pilots and engineers to advance the state-of-the-art in PM sensing. The engineers will set up an outdoor PM sensing station with sustained, long-term monitoring; the engineers will work with pilots to install PM sensors on UAS; and the pilots will fly sensor-specific missions to collect data relevant to air quality science. Ultimately, the better characterization of LCPMS on UA will enhance society's understanding of PM, how it travels in the atmosphere and stimulate remedies for air pollution-stricken areas.

Student PI: Aria Jafari

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Foram Madiyar

Abstract: Skin disease proves an issue of urgency, as they are the fourth most common cause of human disease, impacting nearly one-third of the global population. Due to the cost and complexity of topical products, ranging from creams to assisted technology, an alternative solution for wound healing and skin lesion treatment is desired. Additive manufacturing has been used for various applications in healthcare, including personalized prosthetics, implants and models for surgical education. According to literature, the use of 3D printing as a means of development for personalized topical dosage forms and wound dressings is promising, as it allows for use of materials with various physical and mechanical properties. Although this is the case, current 3D printed applications for wound healing dressings are generic regarding their dosage forms and require personalization to provide individuals with an appropriate quantity in accordance with weight, genetics, age and health conditions. The primary objective of this study is to resolve generic drug delivery systems through proving the broad applicability of 3D printing in the production of wound healing dressings. In this study, the active drug delivery of neomycin will be tested through three dressings of parallel, crosshatched and 45 degree crosshatched patterns. The wound healing dressings will be tested through the use of thermally responsive and pH responsive polymers in an in vitro study to assess effectivity of the dressing under conditions similar to that of an inflamed wound site. The durability of the wound healing dressing will also be tested through the evaluation of the degradation of hydrogel through incubation and dialysis bag techniques.

Student PI: Ashlyn Thorpe

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Foram Madiyar

Abstract: Currently, there are several ways to model cell behavior in a lab setting for testing and simulation. As more of these methods are developed, more is discovered about how dynamic cell culture reacts to different stimuli and environments. This proposal discusses the prospects of magnetic actuation as a method of dynamic cell culture manipulation and simulation. This proposal seeks to use the biocompatible, tunable magnetic-PLGA porous composite that is interfaced with a magnetic actuation system until a new, easier method of observing cell culture in a magnetic field is developed. Currently, magnetic actuation of dynamic cell culture could serve as a more accurate, seamless way to control biological samples and investigate their reactions in an easily controlled environment. The investigation of this form of cell culture observation aims to provide an easily programmable system that can be easily altered for use in various sectors of medicine and astrobiology.

Goal: Develop a facile method to observe the effects of magnetic fields on dynamic cell culture as well as the prospects of biocompatible magnetic-PLGA porous composites for cell culture manipulation and simulation.

Aim 1: Develop successful magnetic-PLGA porous composite scaffolds.
Aim 2: Determine accuracy and precision of magnetic actuation set-up and alter as needed to eliminate sources of error.
Aim 3: Observe cell culture in various conditions simulated by magnetic actuation.

Student PI: Giulia Stewart

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Foram Madiyar

Abstract: Environments exposed to substantial amounts of radiation, such as space, present a series of challenges to organisms and biological systems. Amongst the risks associated with radiation exposure, the increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) represents a major threat, as these compounds are highly unstable and damage cellular DNA. Commonly referred to as free radicals, ROS and RNS induce tissue damage and have been linked to disease mechanisms and aging processes. This project aims to optimize natural melanin’s antioxidant properties by producing synthetic melanin nanoparticles that counter the cytotoxic effects of free radicals. This will be achieved by synthesizing melanin nanoparticles and investigating their antioxidant potential in mice cancer cells ATCC-CRL3210 after exposure to UV radiation using an antioxidant assay kit and α,α-diphenyl-β-picryl hydrazyl assays.

Student PI: Joshua Hollins

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Victor Huayamave

Abstract: Developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) is a disease where the acetabulum and the femoral head have been improperly formed due to external factors. The exact cause of DDH is unknown, but it has been attributed to numerous factors including improper breech position, genetic condition affecting the ligaments and improper evaluation using the Barlow and Ortolani maneuvers. Since physical examinations are typically the best way for physicians to find out if an infant has DDH, assistance devices have been made to help teach residents and interns. The Barlow and Ortolani maneuvers help to detect this abnormality by dislocating and relocating the femoral head in the acetabulum. Improper training of these two procedures can decrease the chances of detecting this abnormality in infants, therefore, creating a proper model to practice performing these maneuvers on is important. The team is developing a model that will improve upon the existing model that is currently used. This will help to detect DDH more accurately in infants so they can receive the proper care to correct the issue. This model will provide an improved visual representation of the Barlow and Ortolani maneuvers with an emphasis on the tactical feedback of the dislocation and reduction of the hip.

Student PI: Justin Hartland

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Sergey Drakunov

Abstract: The purpose of this project is to design and manufacture a 1U, 3U and 6U CubeSat testbed for autonomous control systems utilizing reaction wheels. The testbed will include three separate reaction wheels, each mounted on its own respected axis of the rotation plane. On the rotation plane is the CubeSat to control the attitude in 3 degrees of freedom. The final goal of the 1U CubeSat testbed is to be integrated into a website where anyone online can upload their own controls algorithm and watch a live stream of how their algorithm performs on hardware in real-time.

Student PI: Kyle Walker

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Rafael Rodriguez

Abstract: Project FROZO is a team of Mechanical Engineering, Energy Systems track students. The project is to design a portable cold storage system that can hold up to 500 vials of the COVID-19 vaccine maintained at -70°C. The goal of the system is to maintain the design temperature of -70°C for 10 consecutive days between recharges. This project will solve a gap in the current cold-chain for the transportation of the COVID-19 vaccine between cold storage facilities and distribution centers, especially in underdeveloped countries. Filling this gap will allow for the effective distribution of vaccines to populations at greater distances away from the current distribution and storage facilities. The project will be submitted to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) 2022 Applied Engineering Challenge.