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NEMs, Nanoelectronics and Nanofluidics
An Optomagnetic Sensor Using NV Centers in Diamond For Biomedical Applications
Keely Duke, Daniel Pepler, Jake Rochman, Benjamin Workman
A diamond crystal on an optical fiber tip is used to realize an opto-magnetic sensor for surgical monitoring of magnetic nanoparticles linked to biomolecules. Such a device overcomes current limitations of in-situ surgical monitoring methods by offering a tool that can provide real-time detection of individual biomolecules such as cancerous tumour cells. The sensor consists of a micron-sized diamond crystal attached to an optical fiber tip, where an optical response from photoluminescent nitrogen-vacancy defects in the diamond is used to measure the local magnetic field.
Silver Nanowire Integrated Pressure Sensor (SNIPS)
Nathan Holwell, Nachiket Sherlekar, Petar Todorovic, Bryan Yates
Hospital patients confined to their beds end up suffering from unwanted chronic health complications such as pressure ulcers or bedsores. While bedsores are not directly fatal, they can be extremely uncomfortable and can lead to more complications if not dealt with promptly. We propose a nanosilver based pressure sensor to monitor the pressure on risk-prone areas on bedridden patients. The device provides pressure readings through the measurement of a capacitance change between two nanosilver-embedded poly(dimethylsiloxane) layers.
Design of Graphene Oxide Materials for Supercapacitors
Donovan Chaffart, Bryce Robson, Alvin Tsou, Jeremy Vandenberg
The goal of our group is the creation of a high performance supercapacitor using reduced graphene oxide as the cathode material. Supercapacitors are currently of great interest due to their extremely rapid charging and discharging times, and their ability to fill the need for a power supply that is in-between that of a capacitor and battery. Our design, using reduced graphene oxide, will aim to push the boundaries of the state of the art while maintaining low manufacturing costs. Supercapacitors have a wide range of applications available, including capturing waste energy from the braking system of vehicles, being short term redundant power supplies or supplementing backup power devices. The design goal of this project is to produce a supercapacitor device to demonstrate the feasibility of these applications.
GraFET: Graphene Based Nano-Electronic Harmful Gas Sensor
Laura Bahlmann, Eric Beauregard, Wenbo Cui, Stuart Murray
With greenhouse gas emissions on the rise, it is more important now than ever to monitor personal exposure of toxic gases. GraFET is a sensor that uses a graphene based transistor and a dipole detection method to achieve both rapid and sensitive detection of toxic gases, in an area smaller than the pixels in HDTVs. Individual devices, capable of being incorporated into smartphones or wearable electronics, could also communicate with each other in real-time to create a dynamic air quality map of our cities.
Instrumentation and Nanophotonics
Sensor for Engine Oil Replacement using Fluorescence Detection and Molecularly Imprinted Polymers
Allan Hamzic, Huai-An Jeng, Brandon Potter, Michael Veltri, Qiuru Zhu
An engine is only as good as its lubricant: as motor oil degrades through use, it loses its ability to effectively lubricate the engine and to prevent wear and corrosion. Despite the importance of the lubricant’s role in engine functionality, current Oil Life Monitoring (OEM) technologies measure oil quality indirectly. In an effort to improve these systems, we have developed a device which can directly measure the quality of one’s oil using the fluorescence of a key molecule related to oil degradation. Our solution eliminates the uncertainty surrounding motor oil life to ensure that your oil gets changed on time, every time.
Multiplexed Fluorescence Sensing in a Small Form Factor Device
Nicholas Liko, Kenneth McCoubrey, Gagan Minhas, Trong Shen
Genetics is a very powerful science with impact in medicine and beyond, including disease detection, prescription personalization and sterilization sensing. We have partnered with Spartan Bioscience, a leader in rapid genetic testing, to develop an improved genetic test system, based on the fluorescence tag method. We leverage a new algorithm and demonstrate an inexpensive, compact, four-fluorophore evaluation system without complex optics. This offers the advantage of multiplexed testing, while maintaining compatibility with current PCR gene amplification tests.
Arylla: Verification of Fluorescent Anti-Counterfeit Inks
Perry Everett, Justin Raimbault, Benjamin Rasera, Graham Thomas
Counterfeit trade costs the global economy up to two trillion dollars every year. Arylla Inc. is a Waterloo start-up company aiming to put an end to counterfeit trade through the use of a next-generation ink that is virtually impossible to replicate and can be applied to a product for minimal added cost. We have developed a low-cost, rapid scanner that can be used to detect and authenticate goods that have been flagged with Arylla’s ink. By making use of our solution, corporations will be able to reliably authenticate their materials, thereby strengthening brand value, recovering lost revenue, and ensuring consumer safety.
Chromaticare: A Novel Detection Platform
Cody Bechberger, Rick Lu, Ryan Marchewka, John Tse
Chromaticare is a novel detection platform designed to be used as a chemical sensor. The system relies on the ability of one molecule (beta-cyclodextrin) to quench the pink colour of another molecule (phenolphthalein) by encapsulating it. Addition of specific chemical species can break this encapsulation, resulting in a pink colour. By attaching both of these molecules to polymer backbones, we aim to create a self-healing gel, which will change colour in the presence of a specific chemical species.
Conductive Hydrogel Vest for Infant Breathing Rate Monitoring
Amr Abdelgawad, Abdulaziz AlMutairi, Rahul Purandhara, Hasaan Waseem
Conceiving a baby is one of the most rewarding experiences for any parent. Sadly, some parents lose their infants due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), where infants stop breathing while they are asleep. We are introducing an innovative solution, a polymeric vest, which has the potential to save a lot of lives. The vest can detect the absence of breathing as soon as it occurs, and transmits the data wirelessly to the parents. It is also lightweight so that it doesn’t impede the infant’s movement or stunt its growth.
NanoTitan: Self-Cleaning Hydrophobic Film
Kasper Gruszczynski, Sina Moradian, Kimoon Yoo, Xuzhou Zhao
A significant amount of a solar panel’s performance can be lost to dirt and grime build-up. Current solutions include hiring a cleaning service or installing sprinkler systems, but these methods are inconvenient and costly. Our solution is to cover the solar panels with a clear and durable nanostructured film that will passively keep them clean. This film is more versatile than current solutions and compatible with existing solar panel technologies.
Tempasyl: Temperature Stabilized Synthetic Leather
Ann Demaiter, Norbert Feher, Johan Israelian, Nicola Muzzin
Imagine a leather car seat that stays cool when left in the sun while you complete your trip to the grocery store. Tempasyl is a PVC-based synthetic leather that uses microencapsulated phase change materials (MEPCMs) dispersed throughout the upper PVC layer to store the excess thermal energy from the sun. This solution does not draw any power and has the potential to reduce the need to blast the air conditioning in your car, particularly if implemented as paneling, seat covers, and headrest covers.
Antimicrobial Plastic for 3D Printing of Food-Safe Items
Kojo Adjei-Afriyie, Jonathan Dorogin, Ryan Kearns, Alex Vena
3D printing has several limitations preventing widespread adoption. For food contact applications in particular, the layer-by-layer manufacturing process creates havens for bacteria within the material that are effectively impossible to clean. Our group has solved this problem by inventing an antimicrobial and food-safe plastic for use in consumer 3D printers. Our material is safe, strong, simple to use, and can be cleaned effectively in the dishwasher.
Nanotize Superhydrophobic Antimicrobial Coating
Kavish Kaup, Harish Krishnakumar, Kissan Mistry, Aly Mitha
Nanotize is a self-cleaning, water repellant and germ killing coating. It has primarily been designed for use in healthcare settings such as hospitals and clinics where it will prevent healthcare acquired infections which affect approximately 1 in every 9 Canadian patients. A single application of Nanotize will exterminate germs on a variety of surfaces and ultimately avoid the need for repeated sterilization.
Electrospun Nanofibrous Face Mask Material
Myung Sik Kim, Zhi Yuan Lin, Marvin Luu, Wenyi Zheng
Today, air pollution presents a major challenge in ensuring the citizens’ health in some countries. For example, in urban Chinese cities, the only way to minimize the air pollution’s effects is to use commercial filter masks and some of the problems that exist with them are effectiveness, and comfort. With these problems in mind, we seek to offer a solution by apply electrospinning technique to fabricate electrospun nanofibrous filter material.
Reusable Oxygen Absorber for Long-Term Food Preservation
Arsalan Beg Menhaj, Ben Crick, Hannah Mohammed, Hyun-Sik Moon
Our design is a small, reusable oxygen absorber packet for use in long-term food storage. Current alternatives can be expensive, inconvenient to use, non-reusable, and may even require installation. Our product selectively absorbs oxygen and has high absorption rates relative to size, allowing for easy implementation. Additionally, it releases oxygen and changes color when heated, allowing for easy visual recognition and re-use.
Polysaccharide Nanoparticle Emulsifier
Yazan Bdour, Stephen Delaat, Colin Hart
This design project attempts to provide a novel method creating a water in oil emulsion to be used for food applications. New and cheaper methods of producing water in oil emulsions could make common foods healthier by reducing the fat content and as a biodegradable alternative to colloidal silica. This emulsion will be stabilized by a colloid consisting of polysaccharide dendrimers that has been modified with oleophilic compounds. This creates a water in oil Pickering emulsion due to the dendrimer’s affinity for water and the compound’s affinity for oil. The product will be synthesised in aqueous media, after which it can be isolated and applied to potential food applications.
Moin Ahmed, Jeonghun Lee, John Okolo
Underarm sweat is troublesome and even embarrassing on some occasions such as business events and important presentations. Our group is designing a sweat-absorbing undershirt specifically targeting those professionals working in public environments. Using the high wicking property of bamboo fabric, the bamboo fabric is engineered such that the interior layer absorbs sweat from skin while the exterior appears clean from sweat stain.
Nanobiotechnology and Biomedical
Nanodiagnostic Classification of Antibiotic Drugs
Paul Chen, Matthew Dozois, Nicholas Petrusev, Igor Ruvinov
In the mid-20th century, antimicrobial drugs were believed to soon completely wipe out infectious diseases. However, this belief has not proved true, due in large part to the development of drug resistance in pathogens, the causative agents of infectious disease. Now, the threat of a post-antimicrobial world looms. The rapid, robust screening of pathogens is essential to improving treatment outcomes and curbing resistance, but conventional methods are ineffective and amenable only in particular settings. Here, our group demonstrates a platform based on gold nanoparticles to rapidly identify the susceptibility of a bacterial pathogen to drug.
Bryan Dang, Kiyoshi Morishita, Brendan O’Hanlon, Jasper Tam
Over the past century, vaccines have saved countless lives, but in order to maintain their viability they must be kept within a precise temperature range, from manufacturing to administration. Each year, millions of vaccines are wasted in developing areas due to improper storage. Our innovative portable vaccine carrier regulates the temperature of 50 vials within the desired range and protects them from impact. The thermoelectric cooler is powered by a battery with a lifetime of at least 24 hours. Additionally, our design includes a solar cell and USB port for recharge and an LCD screen to display temperature history. This device will greatly reduce the infrastructure required to maintain the cold chain and promote widespread vaccination.
Paper-based Microfluidic Device for Arsenic Detection in Groundwater
Mursal Ashrafi, Arnav Jatukaran, Parminder Saggu, Siddharatha Thakur
In North America, readily available clean water is taken for granted. In contrast, the World Health Organization has declared the high levels of arsenic contamination in groundwater in Bangladesh (> 50 ppb) "the largest mass poisoning in history". We are developing a portable, inexpensive (<1 USD), paper-based sensor that detects arsenic concentrations down to 10 ppb without any external power sources. Our device will allow the people of Bangladesh to regularly monitor their water sources for contamination.
Laura Edmonds, Philip Gores, Lauren LeSergent, Jae Park
Algae based biofuels are currently considered an extremely promising source of renewable energy; requiring little space to produce fuel that is compatible with fossil fuel engines. It is difficult, however, to efficiently harvest and dry the algae, which increases the cost of biofuel production. Our project uses novel charged stimuli responsive polymers to allow for faster processing of algae while using less energy, improving the cost effectiveness of the process.