Nanobiotechnology & Biomedical Systems
Ultrasonic Blood Pressure Sensor
Current blood pressure sensing technology, the sphygmomanometer, causes discomfort and pain due to its compressive cuff. Additionally, it is limited by its inability to continuously acquire blood pressure measurements. Our device provides a non-compressive and non-invasive continuous blood pressure sensor that employs piezoelectric ultrasound sensing technology. Our device can benefit patients suffering from blood pressure related medical conditions, including hypertension, hypotension, and white coat hypertension, as it removes the necessity for repeated and painful measurements, and instead provides a comfortable and pleasant experience.
Group members: Jasper Chow, Yuddish Manna, Glendon Ngo, Savanah Wille
RatTattooille: Painless and Precise Lab Animal Marking
Lab animals are critical for medical research around the world and clear tracking of these animals is essential for reliable data collection. Using a biocompatible microneedle patch, our tattooing platform presents a novel method for marking lab animals which significantly improves upon current painful and unreliable identification practices. The microneedle arrays are made using a quick and simple micropatterning technique scalable for industrial use. This system will allow for easier, more accurate, and humane tracking of laboratory animals.
Group members: Yohan Laffitte, Lauren McMillan, Emma Reesor, Ulises Schmill
Quartz Crystal Microbalance Sensor for Internal Bleeding Detection
Internal bleeding is a major concern for patients who have undergone surgery. 5-7% of cardiac surgery patients experience excessive blood loss during recovery which is associated with an eightfold increase in mortality rate. Currently, patients are monitored in hospitals following surgery, placing a financial burden on both the patient and the hospital. Consequently, medicine today is moving toward healthcare monitoring at a distance, allowing patients to recover in the comfort of their own home. We are working in partnership with NERv Technologies to create a platform that remotely detects internal bleeding.
Group members: Ivana Jaciw-Zurakowsky, Alicia Veilleux, Erica Wintjes, Brandon Yee
High-performance and Lightweight Devices for Long-term Oxygen Therapy
Those who find themselves with Lung Cancer, Cystic Fibrosis, or any other pulmonary disease are always short of breath and need to carry heavy breathing equipment with them everywhere they go. By using an oxygen-absorbing nanomaterial, our lightweight and slim wearable technology can replace heavy devices such as oxygen tanks and air compressors. Our tech will someday become an invisible part of people’s lives who are affected by these illnesses, letting them breathe easier.
Group members: Pablo Enrique, John Grousopoulos, Chris Hajduk, Mostafa Saquib
Advanced Contact Lens for the Treatment and Monitoring of Glaucoma
Glaucoma is the second most common eye disease to cause blindness due to elevated eye pressure. Typical treatments to lower eye pressure are administered by eye drops, but only a small fraction of the active agent reaches the cornea. Hydrogels are a common material used in the production of contact lenses. We designed an advanced contact lens using a hydrogel that contains the glaucoma drug and controls its release. This new form of treatment is revolutionized by real-time monitoring of eye pressure by the integration of a pressure sensor in the contact lens. This will enable optometrists to tailor the drug dose to individual patients based on their eye pressure response to the delivered drug.
Group members: Shannon Banero, Tina Dekker, Rhiannon Lohr, Lori Pollit
Colour Correspondence of BAC Threshold Levels for Prevention of Impaired Driving Incidents
In the past, drinking and driving was a regular occurrence to many individuals. The issue arises when one wants to enjoy a night out, have an alcoholic beverage and decide whether they are okay to drive home. Having to make the decision off intuition as to whether one is physically okay to drive or not, given different alcohol tolerances, has to be eliminated. Our proposal of a non-invasive and fast-acting saliva-based alcohol test can directly provide the individual with a visual estimate of their blood alcohol concentration (BAC), effectively eliminating the pressing question of being suitable to drive and allowing the individual to relax and ultimately enjoy their time out.
Group members: Arjun Dayal, Sarvagya K. Dixit, Giovanni Scarlato, Anujen Thedchanamoorthy
MEMs & Nano Fluidics
Lead Contamination Separation in Water via Microfluidic Lab-on-Chip
Heavy metal contamination in water supplies is a serious health issue even in modern society. A microfluidic chip was designed, that is capable of isolating and concentrating lead contaminants in a sample. When feeding a conventional lead detection system, the chip improves the sensitivity and reliability of measurements. The fabrication process uses inexpensive materials and techniques, leading to an affordable and mass-producible product.
Group members: Jared Gour, Chris Leonard, Jeff Watchorn
Graphene Oxide Enhanced Filtration
A common and life threatening water pollutant is heavy metal ions, caused by nearby industry. This project’s goal is to provide cost effective, simple water treatment options to combat dangerous levels of heavy metals. A conventional water filter was enhanced with a nanoparticle suspension that adsorbs dangerous heavy metal ions. This filter will be a portable system, overcoming limitations of traditional filtration systems and making contaminated water safe to drink.
Group members: Felicia Abbruzzese, Zachary Gingras, Gavin Wilson
DropLab is using a lab-on-a-chip technology called Digital Microfluidics (DMF) to automate experiments. Using DMF, movement of droplets can be controlled electronically on a 2 dimensional grid, allowing the user to design a wide variety of experiments using the provided software. Analyzing the results from each experiment, the DropLab software further optimizes the experiment’s procedure by applying machine learning techniques.
Group members: Kamyar Ghofrani, Abdullah Abbas, Josh Reid, Lucas Zeer
In-line Inspection of Transparent Microsized Features
This project entails the design of two new applications for FocalSpec’s LCI-1200 chromatic confocal sensor. The first application involves measuring the topography of PDMS microfluidic channels for industrial in-line quality inspection. The second application involves measuring cell confluency and apoptosis for a non-terminal method of assessing drug efficacy. Both applications are fully integrated in a conveyor-like linear motorized stage for immediate deployment in manufacturing operations. We will demonstrate the system’s ability to accurately measure microsized transparent features at low cycle times. In addition, we present a full report for the repeatability and the reproducibility of the system for a high throughput and high quality manufacturing environment.
Group members: Casimir Kuzyk, Dennis Liu, Max Pikhteryev, Brett Sherren
Flexible, Heat-Generating Materials Enabled by Joule Heating
Conventional apparel relies on insulation for ensuring thermal comfort, lacking the ability to generate heat. We seek to address this by developing heatable materials for incorporation in apparel. Passage of current through conductive materials results in heat dissipation, known as Joule heating. Leveraging this property, we produce a conductive composite which acts as a flexible heater by integrating conductive materials in a polymer matrix.
Group members: Supavannan Jeyabalachandran, Anahita Malvea, Tuba Opel, Mayuran Saravanapavanantham, Amanda Victorious
Using Nanotechnology to Improve the Mechanical Properties of Compostable Plastics
Substandard mechanical properties, water permeability, and cost have prevented compostable bags from replacing synthetic plastic grocery bags. However, new government regulation and social demand will continue to increase the economic viability of compostable solutions. Working in conjunction with industry partners, this design project introduces biopolymer nanoparticles into existing compostable film blends to optimize properties and reduce costs.
Group members: Oberon Dixon-Luinenburg, Eric Lombardi, Nathan Meadows, Scott Wheeler
Controlled Super Paramagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticle Aggregates for Removal of Heavy Metals in Water
Clean drinking water is projected to become one of the most scarce and valuable resources of the 21st century. While the human population of the Earth continues to grow, heavy industry and other sources are simultaneously polluting dwindling supplies of fresh water. New methods must be found in order to purify polluted water sources to ensure the future of life on the planet. Our group is developing reusable magnetic nanoparticles functionalized with MPTMS in order to remove heavy metals and other polluting sources from water. This novel solution promises to address the problem of clean drinking water, and yet is also useful for improving the efficiency of metal extraction processes.
Group members: Meagan Cardno, Daniel Kahn, Alexander Lee
Cationic Cellulose Nanocrystal based Flocculant
Flocculants are used in the mining industry to treat wastewater; they cause impurities to settle, allowing the clean water to be extracted and reused. Current wastewater treatment processes use synthetic polymers which have severe environmental ramifications. Our project presents the first completely biodegradeable flocculant made from the extract of tree pulp. This product offers substantial improvement over current industry solutions, in that it is environmentally sustainable and boasts superior performance.
Group members: Andrew Johnston, Thomas Lordello, Samantha Pramanick, Daniel Pinto Ramos
neptu.NE: Nanocomposite for Demulsification of Oily Wastewater
Given the planet’s rapidly declining supply of freshwater, recovering fresh water from oily wastewater is a significant environmental challenge. Existing industrial separation technologies utilize mass quantities of chemical additives that pose unknown and possibly harmful effects on the environment. The proposed solution is a nanocomposite filter with superhydrophobic (water-fearing) and superoleophilic (oil-loving) properties enabling the separation of oil from water. The filter facilitates efficient oil-water separation free of chemical additives and energy-intensive processing.
Group members: Brian Chan, Elizabeth Salsberg, Irene Lau, Sukrit Rajpal, Zachary Kocher
Gecko Skin Surface Print
Inspired by the unique properties exhibited by the skin of a box-patterned gecko. The gecko’s self-cleaning and superhydrophobic skin is essential to its survival in tropical environments. Our group’s biomimetic approach aims to imitate the surfaces pattern observed on the gecko’s skin. With simple microfabrication techniques and nanoimprint lithography, we are able to develop a reusable mould that can readily produce functionalized surfaces. These surfaces are perfect for immobile household appliances such as kitchen countertops, sinks, bathtubs, and other applications that require dry, self-cleaning, and bacteria-free environments.
Group members: Sangho Kim, Nam Nguyen, Travis Yeow
Mollo: A Stable Anti-wear Lubricant Additive
Lubricants are crucial in preventing failure in mechanical systems and often use particulate concentrates as anti-wear additives. These tend to suffer from agglomeration and phase separation, which presents the need for a stable and well dispersed product. Mollo is a unique concentrate containing chemically modified molybdenum disulphide particles for use as an anti-wear additive in lubricants. Our solution displays a long shelf life and exhibits high performance in a lubricant, even when used in small amounts. The fabrication process is easily scalable, allowing for mass production in industrial applications.
Group members: Marc Jaikissoon, Hirad Raisi Nafchi, Sebastian Slaman, Bradley van Kasteren
Decaffeinating Coffee Filter
Our goal is to revolutionize the coffee industry. Imagine having the power and flexibility to control the caffeine levels in drinks without any trade-off in flavor. The nanotechnology - engineered sockets of our decaffeinated coffee filters absorbs the unwanted portion of the caffeine in the liquid and retains it within the filter, creating the perfect caffeine level for any individual. Ultimately, this alternative method allows for easy, at home use on standard coffee machines, forgoing the current, costlier industrial decaffeination processes.
Group members: Wuji Cao, Xu Han, Jae Jin Lee, Luan Nha Nguyen
Nano Electronics & Photonics
UV Dimming Contact Lens
Many times when sunglasses are needed the most, such as during outdoor activities, they are the most cumbersome. We have designed a new class of soft contact lenses to be used for vision correction, which automatically dim to appropriate levels when exposed to the sun. These contact lenses not only transition in seconds, they also provide UV protection, making them an effective alternative to sunglasses, perfect for a day of outdoor fun!
Group members: Diana Askhatova, Matthew Courtney, Mathew D’Ortenzio, Alexander Frey
Handheld Virtual Reality Keyboard
Virtual reality is a growing field of technology that has not standardized a method for inputting text. The problem facing mobile virtual reality is that text input methods are complex in nature or require the user to remove the headset from one’s head. Our proposed design incorporates the use of a pair of handheld controllers operating as a Bluetooth keyboard. Each controller incorporates four buttons and one joystick that translate the user's inputs into text. The intent is to provide a quicker alternative method of typing that does not require the user to remove the headset.
Group members: Ryan Beatty, Justin Cheng, Marcus Diemand, Christopher Raphael
Enpact Motion 1
Enpact Technologies has developed a revolutionary new approach for powering wearables. Soon, you’ll never have to charge them again. We’ve created a battery-free smart insole that harvests power from human motion using triboelectric nanogenerators. We are using this platform to track fitness metrics with high accuracy and convenience. Of course, performance data is instantly communicated to your smartphone or smartwatch via Bluetooth as you move.
Group members: Sushant Bhasin, Keegan Jebb, Pritpal Kanhaiya, Tony Wu
Novel Gel Electrolyte for Efficient Rechargeable Battery
Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries have recently become infamous for causing explosions, and are known to have issues relating to efficiency. With lithium ion-based batteries so prevalent in today’s technology, the need for a safer, more efficient battery is clear. Our novel aqueous gel electrolyte includes silica nanoparticles and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) to reduce corrosion and induce thixotropy, the property of a solution becoming liquid-like when shaken or stirred and solid-like when left alone, to improve upon the safety and efficiency of the lithium-ion battery.
Group members: Sunghee (Sydney) Bang, In Sik (Brian) Cho, Jessica Ly, Hansol (Skylar) Yoo
ZnO Based Piezoelectric Nanogenerator for Touchscreen Devices
Mobile electronics have become a necessity in everyday life, and the available battery technology today cannot keep up with the demands of an ever-increasing list of features that are offered for your smart devices. As a result, chargers or battery packs need to be carried around to charge the smart devices multiple times throughout the day. Fortunately, harvesting energy at the nanoscale holds great promise for powering electronics and achieving high energy storage. The development of a transparent screen cover capable of converting the user’s touch on the device screen into electrical energy is our innovative solution which enables a smart device to truly be a mobile, and portable device. The screen cover will connect to the device’s battery and allow for continuous charging of the device as it is being used.
Group members: Gurparteek Dhream, Madhavi Sivan, Pujashree Vajha, Mahtab Zakat Roshandel