Bloodstain Pattern Analysis on Fabrics Workshop
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For a number of animals, including birds, fish and mammals, there is evidence that magnets are used for orientation. However, little is known about how these organisms build these magnets. For magnetotactic bacteria we have isolated a protein that will drive the formation of magnetic particles. We using this protein to discover how these bacteria produce magnets by the process called biomineralization.
Engineering 3D biomimetic scaffolds that incorporate both biochemical and mechanical properties required for cell culturing is critical for many biotechnology applications. Hydrogel-based scaffolds are widely used due to their biocompatibility, tunable biochemical properties, and tissue-like water content. In contrast to hydrogels, microfibers have high mechanical strength and are used as the building blocks to create highly porous scaffolds.
The Critical Materials Institute (CMI) is developing new capabilities in the search for new materials or substitutions in existing compounds to reduce or eliminate rare earth elements in energy critical technologies. We are developing a new method to produce large number of new compounds rapidly using advanced laser processing. While there has been a considerable effort in combinatorial synthesis, there are few efforts in bulk combinatorial synthesis especially for metals.
Validated phase diagrams are the bedrock of alloy design and optimization.
Modern material design increasingly relies on controlling small scale morphologies. Multi-block polymers are well suited to this as they can provide highly tunable structures with applications ranging from structural materials to specialized uses such as fuel cells and separation membranes.
Nanoscale materials with precise structure and composition offer unique opportunities in the development of catalytic processes for green and sustainable chemistry. Following a long tradition of successful undergraduate researchers and summer interns in our lab, SULI students in the Vela group will apply principles of nanomaterial synthesis, green chemistry, and catalysis to investigate photochemical transformations of renewable and alternative energy sources, with an emphasis on carbon dioxide (CO2) and biomass-relevant substrates.
A significant challenge for the widespread use of hydrogen as a practical alternative to fossil fuel is the successful development of safe and efficient storage materials for H2. One of the promising candidates, light metal hydride MgH2, suffers from the slow kinetics and high temperatures required for H2 absorption/desorption.
Microwave heating of a metal oxide in the presence of multi-walled carbon nanotubes may result in the reduction of the metal oxide to the neutral metal containing a network of carbon nanotubes. This metal matrix composite may have properties with increased the metal hardness, reductions in density, and enhanced electrical and thermal conductivity.