While the topics may change, many of the same faculty and labs participate each year.

Nanotechnology Solutions for Cancer Therapy with Professor Mansoor Amiji: Cancer is a condition, which is characterized by unregulated cell growth and invasion of these unregulated cells into nearby healthy tissues. It is a critical health concern with an estimated 21 million people expected to be diagnosed by 2030. Chemotherapy is frequently used however due to its non-specific action a number of adverse effects are observed in patients which necessitates dose reduction leading to ineffective therapeutic outcomes. Nanotechnology based delivery systems (NBDS) are nano-scale delivery systems which contain encapsulated, dispersed, adsorbed or conjugated drugs and imaging agents. These delivery systems have been successfully used to deliver anti-cancer agents specifically to tumor tissue minimizing adverse effects.

SSVEP Based Brain Interfaces for Communication and Control with Professor Deniz Erdogmus: The aim of this project is to use steady state visual evoked potentials of the brain, measured using electroencephalography, to control computers and other devices. We will build a binary communication interface to start with, and if time allows, we will extend to more control options for robot control.

Synergetic Media Learning (SMILE) Lab with Raymond Fu: SMILE lab focuses on the frontier research of applied machine learning, social media analytics, human-computer interaction, and high-level image and video understanding. Our research is driven by the explosion of diverse multimedia from the Internet, personal or publicly available photos and videos. We start by treating fundamental theory from learning algorithm as the soul of machine intelligence and arm it with visual perception. What follows is a synergetic media learning system that not only actively collects massive visual information from the environment, but also processes and responds human interactively with precise analysis and possible suggestions. Depending on the level of math and software knowledge, participants can engage in our projects with an appropriate contribution, or they can choose to develop their own project if they want.

Phosphorus Pollution of Lakes by Septic Systems via Groundwater with Ferdi Hellweger: Oversupply of phosphorus to freshwater lakes is a principal cause of harmful algae blooms and noxious plant growth. These seasonal events in turn disrupt the food chain for wildlife that live in or depend on the lake habitat, increase the treatment costs for drinking water from the lakes, limit the use of the lakes for recreation, and lower the property values of near-lake homes. One potential source of phosphorus that is not easily managed is groundwater inflow to the lakes. Septic systems serving homes and businesses near the lakes may provide phosphorus to the groundwater and eventually to the lakes via the groundwater inflow. The results will be used to stimulate further research and to develop a model for estimating phosphorus loading to lakes from near-lake septic systems.

Raman Spectroscopy of 2D Materials with Swastik Kar: The aim of this project will be to compare the Raman spectra of various atomically thin materials. Raman spectroscopy is a powerful tool for identifying the chemical composition of crystals, and, in particular, can be very useful for characterizing ultrathin materials. The YSP student will try to design a method for obtaining freely suspended atomically thin materials and measure their Raman spectrum as a function of laser intensity and photon energy.

Solar Energy and Energy Harvesting Circuits with Brad Lehman: Multiple projects are available to create smart, safe and adaptive solar panels as well as vibration/rotational energy harvesting circuits. For example, the smart solar panels will interact with the environment and the user to diagnose their failures, heal themselves and/or optimize the energy that they produce. We will build solar panels, electric harvesting circuits, solar inverters and next-generation smart fuses. The YSP student will help design various aspects of the solar photovoltaic system, including fuse holders, electric circuits, simulation models in CAD and/or MATLAB. Extensive experimentation in solar energy will occur both outside as well in the indoor lab.

Modeling the Mechanical Behavior of Origami Tissue with Carol Livermore: Tissue engineering can save lives by supplementing the supply of organ transplants and by enabling the screening of new medical therapies before any human testing takes place. However, it is also incredibly complex. Tissues cannot survive without an adequate supply of nutrients and oxygen, or without removal of metabolic byproducts. Vascular networks provide these functions in most human tissues, but it has proven difficult to create effective vasculature in engineered tissues. A seemingly simple solution would be to seed cells onto a scaffold and let the developing tissue form its own vasculature, but research has shown that the resulting vascular networks are not sufficiently well-organized to supply the tissue. The purpose of our reseasrch is to creatue tissue with excellent structural control and high througput througha scalable process.

Processing of Physiologic Optical Images and Signals for Development of an Intraoperative Burn Surgery Diagnostic Device with Hameed Metghalchi: Professor Metghalchi research includes fundamental combustion studies such as flame propagation speed, flame stability, auto-ignition and development of chemical kinetics model to save computational time for combustion modeling. Experiments are performed in cylindrical and spherical vessels. Flame structure and flame stability analyses are done in the cylindrical vessel using a high speed camera. Flame speeds have been measured using both vessels. Different fuels such as bio-fuel and other conventional fuels are used in these studies. Burning speeds of fuel/air/diluent mixtures over a wide range of pressures, temperatures and equivalence ratios are measured.

Hand and Body Gestur Recognition for Control with Robert Platt: In this project, the student will develop an application that controls a simulated robot by recognizing human hand and arm gestures using a PrimeSense RGBD camera such as the Asus Xtion Pro. First, the student will use develop an interface to the RGBD body motion tracker. Second, the student will develop an interface to a simulated robot. Finally, the student will develop a the hand-gesture recognizer.

Organization Collagen for Biomimetic Bone with Jeffrey Ruberti: The goal of the research is to produce highly-organized arrays of collagen which will be mineralized to produce biomimetic bone. The process involves concentrating collagen monomers in solution while controlling their rate of polymerization. To do this collagen solution is concentrated in controlled manner while the pH is manipulated. If the control is done properly, a solution of monomers will organized and then polymerize to form structures similar to those found in vivo.

The Role of Exercise On Hip Deformities with Sandra Shefelbine: Malformation of the hip joint can lead to functional disability, pain, and osteoarthritis. Certain bony deformities are linked to altered mechanical loading placed on the bone during growth. In this project we will analyze magnetic resonance images (MRIs) of pediatric hips for alterations in bone shape. From the image we will create 3D virtual models of the femur and characterize the shape. In particular we will look at femoral acetabular impingement (FAI), which arises when the femur impinges on the hip socket during motion and occurs in athletic children. We will also examine femoral morphology across evolution by examining femoral shape in extant animals from CT scans of land animals and correlating with loading patterns. Understanding causes of bone deformities during growth may help in developing appropriate strategies for correcting the loading on the bones to ensure normal growth.

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