• Optimizing residence time for recalcified blood in a microfluidic mixer

      Huber, Rebecca E.; Sorrells, Matthew; Neeves, Keith B.
      Many research laboratories are currently using microfluidic devices to model blood vessels to gain a better understanding of blood disorders and how to treat them. By using a continuous recalcification method, experimentation time can be elongated, and more complex systems can be studied. In order to use this method effectively, it should be known how long the blood and the recalcification buffer should be mixing for minimal platelet activation, but still hold the ability to activate given a chemical stimulus. By using varying lengths of effluent tubing, different residence times were studied to give an improved understanding of how the blood reacts upon recalcification. By labeling the effluent blood samples with antibodies, flow cytometry can reveal the activation state of platelets. The results of this experiment suggest no significant difference in activation between residence times of one and ten minutes.
    • Neutron shielding capabilities of 3D printing filaments

      Mendoza, J. A.; King, Jeffrey C.
      3-D printers have improved significantly as time has passed. This has allowed the cost of printers to go down and has made them more commercially accessible. The increasing accessibility of 3D printing has allowed more and more engineering disciplines to incorporate additive manufacturing. Nuclear engineering is no exception since the costs for any sort of nuclear reactor and apparatus is still quite high, and the ability to create parts that can protect against radiation and be made on-site is very valuable. This research project determined the neutron shielding properties of readily available plastic filaments for 3D printers.
    • Thermal cycling chamber to determine effects of temperature cycling on window samples

      Griffen, Kayleah; Singh, Abhishek; Toberer, Eric
      Single pane windows are a source of energy loss, however in many cases it is not economical and not structurally suitable to replace them for energy efficient windows. A new window technology is being developed to create energy efficient, single pane windows. Thermal cycle testing (ASTM Standard Designation: E2264 − 05) is a requirement for new windows and the presented work is focused on the design, analysis and construction of a thermal cycling chamber for small window samples without a frame.
    • Simulation of silicon-based solar cells using finite element analysis (FEA)

      Schenken, Will; Airuoyo, Idemudia; Collins, Reuben T.
      Amorphous silicon (a-Si) and crystalline silicon (c-Si) are some of the most commonly used materials in modern solar cells due to their abundance, inexpensiveness, and performance in photovoltaics. New designs are being tested for enhancing the performance of solar cells that utilize silicon. The ability to accurately model and simulate devices incorporating both a-Si and c-Si allows for more effective and efficient ways of optimizing adjustable parameters and extracting useful information not easily obtainable through experimentation.
    • Synthesis of heterotriangulene electron-transport material for perovskite solar cells

      Meyers, Erin E.; Schloemer, Tracy H.; Koubek, Joshua T.; Sellinger, Alan
    • Design and construction of a thermal conductivity system for low thermal conductivity materials

      Martinez, Ramon; Singh, Abhishek; Toberer, Eric
      Modern day laser flash apparatuses can only measure the thermal conductivity of materials if the thermal conductivity (K) is between 0.1 and 100 W/mK. Our goal was to create a system that could relay reliable data for materials with an expanded thermal conductivity range down to 0.001 W/mK. To accomplish this, a more powerful laser flash was used in conjunction with a circuit designed to amplify the signal so that the thermal conductivity could be deduced.
    • All optical magnetic field sensor

      Van Sickle, Sam; Czerski, John; Sarkar, Susanta K.
    • Inverse polymer mesoporous silica nanoparticle controlled release device

      Duncan-White, M.; Adams, M.; Evans, T.; Trewyn, Brian
    • Hydrogen-bonded polyaramid brush growth on silica surfaces

      Graham, Emily; Reese, Caleb; Boyes, Stephen G.
    • Isolation of an uncharacterized methanogen of class thermoplasma from an anaerobic wastewater treatment reactor

      Gagen, Sonja; Pfluger, Andrew; Vanzin, Gary; Munakata Marr, Junko; Figueroa, Linda A.
      Conventional wastewater treatment plants account for approximately 3% of the United States’ energy demand1. A potential energy-positive alternative is anaerobic wastewater treatment, which generates methane-rich biogas while producing less biosolids. One challenge of AnWT is ensuring that wastewater is continuously meeting effluent standards. To ensure that this is happening, the mechanism of wastewater transformation in relation to environmental conditions needs to be well understood. At two AnWT in Colorado, namely Plum Creek and Mines Park, established microbial communities consist of numerous anaerobic microbes, including methanogens. Vadin CA 11 is an uncharacterized methanogen of the Thermoplasmata class that could represent up to 7% of the microbial community. Its abundance is different from compartment 2 to compartment 3 of the Mines Park AnWT. Further, Vadin CA 11’s presence has been observed to change with temperature. The goal of this study was to isolate Vadin CA 11 from the Mines Park AnWT. The methanogens with the highest observed relative abundance in the system are Methanobrevibacter, Methanosaeta, and Vadin CA 11. Methanobrevibacter’s metabolism is hydrogeotrophic. Methanosaeta’s metabolism is aceticlastic. Vadin CA 11’s metabolism is expected to be hydrogen dependent methylotrophic.
    • From poop to gold: an examination of energy-positive wastewater treatment in an anaerobic reactor system

      Lucio, Daniel; Pfluger, Andrew; Callahan, Jennie; Van Houghton, Brett; Munakata Marr, Junko; Figueroa, Linda A.
      Today’s current best practices for wastewater treatment involve aerobic processes that require substantial amounts of energy. Best practice aerobic wastewater treatment facilities with anaerobic digestion of biosolids are able to produce 500-700 kWh/MG, which is approximately one-third to one-half of the 1500-2000 kWh/MG used to operate the facility. On the other hand, primary anaerobic treatment has the potential to be energy-positive by using methane gas produced by anaerobic microbial communities in the system. Previous results from the pilot-scale four-compartment anaerobic hybrid reactor (anaerobic baffled reactor (ABR) – anaerobic fixed film reactor (AFFR)) at Mines Park suggest that the multiple-compartment configuration enhances COD and TSS removal while generating stoichiometric amounts of methane. Additional advantages of anaerobic wastewater treatment in multiple-compartment reactors include the production of less biosolids and low energy usage. The purpose of this research is to characterize the ABR-AFFR for COD removal, TSS removal, and methane generation during the month of July when high temperatures (22-25 ˚C) are observed. COD and TSS removal is compared to the EPA 7-day secondary standards (45 mg BOD5/L and 45 mg TSS/L). Methane flowrate is also evaluated for trends and converted to theoretical energy values. Results suggest that the ABR-AFFR is able to achieve the 7-day EPA secondary standards for BOD5 and TSS under summer conditions, while generating enough methane to theoretically power the reactor system.
    • Hydraulic selection to transform and improve activated-sludge based wastewater treatment

      Blair, Emily; Maltos, Rudy; Holloway, Ryan; Vuono, David Charles; Cath, Tzahi Y.
      A majority of wastewater plants in the United States use conventional activated sludge (CAS) in their treatment process. While CAS is a common practice, it is not without faults. One of its drawbacks is the difficulty in maintaining the process, as it is often prone to bulking, which is caused by an undesired build up of filamentous bacteria and results in sludge that does not settle. Additional drawbacks include limited space for WWTPs to expand and the energy costs required for aeration during CAS treatment. Because CAS infrastructure is so common, optimizing this technology is crucial for the prevention of water pollution. Some solutions for these problems have been developed including aerobic granulation, which allows the plant to have a smaller footprint; however, these advanced wastewater technologies are not easily implemented in existing WWTPs.
    • Polylactide coated hydroxyapatite nanoparticles for reinforced biodegradable polymer scaffolds

      Pasli, Melissa; Smith, Patrizia; Boyes, Stephen G.
      Tissue engineering involves combining cells and biomaterials to generate scaffolds that act as templates for tissue regeneration. Polylactide (PLA) is a biocompatible and biodegradable polymer, but critical problems are associated with it due to its hydrophobicity and its inadequate mechanical properties. Hydroxyapatite (HA) nanoparticles (Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2) exhibit chemical similarity to the main mineral component of bone, and promise to provide strength to compensate for the low durability of PLA. Due to the incompatibility of unmodified hydroxyapatite nanoparticles and PLA, PLA-­coated hydroxyapatite will be synthesized in order to promote successful interaction with the PLA fiber. Once the PLA-­coated hydroxyapatite is integrated successfully and is dispersed evenly into the PLA fiber, it will provide strength throughout the scaffold in a uniform manner. As the PLA surrounding the PLA-­coated HA nanoparticles degrades, the remaining HA will incorporate itself into the bone naturally, filling the targeted defect while preventing an immunogenic response from occurring in the body.
    • Python-based program for universal nuclear data extraction

      Martin, M. S.; McDonald, W.; Blair, H.; Consalvi, P.; Garbiso, M.; Grover, H.; Harget, A.; Natzke, C.; Leach, Kyle
      Over the past 70 years, nuclear and atomic physics experiments have provided a vast quantity of experimental data. As a result, extraction of this data can be cumbersome and difficult. Although the compilation, evaluation, and digitization of this data over the past several decades has dramatically changed this process, systematic study of nuclear data can still be time consuming. Furthermore, work towards understanding the detailed interactions between the atomic nucleus and its constituent electrons require the combination of several sets of evaluated data. To aide in this, a python-based data extraction tool is currently under development at the Colorado School of Mines to provide the first steps towards performing large-scale predictions of decay modes under extreme conditions using all known experimental data.
    • Treatment of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances with S-PAC and ceramic membranes

      Hedtke, Tayler; Bellona, Christopher; Liu, Charlie; Murray, Conner; Vatankhah, Hooman
    • Development of a Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Mobile Universal Surface Explorer (MOUSE)

      Crowe, Landon; Livo, Kurt; Prasad, Manika
      The purpose of the project is to develop a mobile NMR unit that can be used to determine pore size distribution of geological samples. Standard NMR machines are fairly large, expensive, and have a restricted sample size. A NMR MOUSE can be transported to take quicker preliminary readings on large samples, with decreased cost. This work is focused on the design aspect of creating an NMR MOUSE, future work will go into the build process.
    • In vitro 3D bioprinting trabecular meshwork models using organic hydrogels

      Huff, Raymond; Osmond, Matthew; Krebs, Melissa D.
      In this study, biocompatible hydrogels and 3D bioprinting were brought together to explore the construction of structurally representative models of the trabecular meshwork (TM) of the eye. Two biologically derived polymer hydrogels—sodium alginate and methacrylated gelatin—were investigated for suitability in the printing process, and optimized for print resolution. This testing lays a foundation for creating living, three-dimensional cellular models.