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2019

Chemical Engineering

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Full-Text Articles in Engineering

Customized Boron And Magnesium-Based Reactive Materials Prepared By High Energy Mechanical Milling, Xinhang Liu Dec 2019

Customized Boron And Magnesium-Based Reactive Materials Prepared By High Energy Mechanical Milling, Xinhang Liu

Dissertations

New reactive materials need to be developed having biocidal combustion products. When ignited, such material can add chemical biocidal effects to the common effects of high temperature and pressure. Biocidal combustion products are capable of deactivating harmful spores or bacteria, which can be released by targets containing biological weapons of mass destruction. Research showed that halogens, especially iodine, are effective as biocidal components of reactive material formulations. Recently, magnesium combustion product MgO is also found to have a biocidal effect. Thus, advanced formulations containing both magnesium and iodine are of interest; such formulations are prepared and investigated here.

Reactive materials ...


Impact Of Stirrer Speed And Media Type-Loading On The Breakage Kinetics During Wet Stirred Media Milling Of Griseofulvin, Nathaniel Parker Dec 2019

Impact Of Stirrer Speed And Media Type-Loading On The Breakage Kinetics During Wet Stirred Media Milling Of Griseofulvin, Nathaniel Parker

Theses

The aim of this study is to investigate the impact of stirrer speed (2000-4000 rpm) and bead loading (~20-60%) on the breakage kinetics-energy consumption during milling of griseofulvin, a poorly soluble drug, and compare the performance of crosslinked polystyrene (CPS) beads with that of yttrium-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) beads. Laser diffraction, SEM, viscometry, and XRPD were used for characterization. A microhydrodynamic model was used to interpret the breakage kinetics. An increase in stirrer speed led to faster breakage due to more frequent and forceful CPS bead-bead collisions. Despite causing slight decrease in maximum contact pressure, an increase in CPS bead loading ...


Corrosion-Resistant Non-Carbon Electrocatalyst Supports For Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells, Cheng He Dec 2019

Corrosion-Resistant Non-Carbon Electrocatalyst Supports For Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells, Cheng He

Engineering and Applied Science Theses & Dissertations

Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are a promising portable power source due to their low operating temperature, minimal pollutant generation and fast startup. However, several challenges remain concerning lifetime, reliability, and cost. A critical issue is PEMFC component durability. Platinum supported on high surface area carbon has been one of the most widely used electrocatalysts in PEMFCs. However, carbon corrosion over the course of normal PEMFC operation occurs due to the relatively low standard electrode potential for the carbon dioxide/carbon redox couple (0.207V vs. standard hydrogen electrode). Considering this challenge, it is imperative to identify alternative support ...


Contemporary Problems In Aerosol Aggregation And Gelation, Pai Liu Dec 2019

Contemporary Problems In Aerosol Aggregation And Gelation, Pai Liu

Engineering and Applied Science Theses & Dissertations

Aggregation of nanoparticles in aerosols is a fundamental phenomenon with important implications to diverse fields ranging from material synthesis to pollutant control. The past few decades have witnessed extensive research on investigating the structure and growth mechanism of aerosol aggregates with sizes spanning across several orders of magnitude. This dissertation focuses on some contemporary problems that remain unaddressed in this topical area. Aerosol aggregates in sub-micron regimes, which are formed via the irreversible collision and aggregation of solid nanoparticle monomers, are fractal-like in their morphology. A mathematical description of this seemingly random structure dates to the seminal works by Forest ...


Anion Exchange And Bipolar Membranes For Electrochemical Energy Conversion And Storage, Zhongyang Wang Dec 2019

Anion Exchange And Bipolar Membranes For Electrochemical Energy Conversion And Storage, Zhongyang Wang

Engineering and Applied Science Theses & Dissertations

Anion exchange and bipolar membrane fuel cells generate electrical energy directly from chemical fuels and have attracted considerable interests as alternate power sources for large market applications, such as transportation (hydrogen fuel cells) and unmanned vehicles (sodium borohydride fuel cells). Anion exchange membrane (AEM), generally composed of a polymer with covalently tethered ionic groups, is the central component of the fuel cell serving as the electrolyte, conducting hydroxide ions from cathode to anode, where fast ionic conduction is directly related to power output. However, AEMs currently used in fuel cells (H2 fuel cells and sodium borohydride fuel cells) exhibit ion ...


Performance Modeling Of Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Zigzag-Channel Printed Circuit Heat Exchangers, Katrine Birgitte Bennett Dec 2019

Performance Modeling Of Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Zigzag-Channel Printed Circuit Heat Exchangers, Katrine Birgitte Bennett

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

Supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) is currently being studied as the working fluid in power producing Brayton cycles due to its excellent physical and thermodynamic properties, especially near the critical point. Printed circuit heat exchangers (PCHEs) are being considered for use as condensers and recuperators for this purpose due to their high strength and compact designs. Many experimental and numerical studies are being conducted to characterize and optimize sCO2 PCHE operation and develop correlations to describe their thermal-hydraulic performance. Additionally, a few experimental and numerical structural assessments of these PCHEs have been conducted, but all have been somewhat limited due to ...


Cfd Simulation Investigating The Effects Of Groove Geometry On Heat Transfer For Internally Grooved Tubes, Richard Zaven Saroukhanoff Dec 2019

Cfd Simulation Investigating The Effects Of Groove Geometry On Heat Transfer For Internally Grooved Tubes, Richard Zaven Saroukhanoff

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

This numerical study investigates the thermal performance of internally grooved tubes used in heat exchangers. In order to enhance the performance of heat exchangers, turbulence promoters are inserted along the streamwise flow. The use of inserts, grooves, and augmentations along the axial length of the tube creates disturbances that improve the overall heat transfer due to enhanced fluid mixing and greater surface contact boundary walls. However, the implementation of tube wall augmentations creates an increase in pressure drop across the tube which must be compensated for with additional pumping power for the working fluid. Therefore, in order to analyze the ...


An Investigation Of The Chemistry, Thermodynamics And Catalytic Activity Of Molybdenum Carbides, Shanti Kiran Nayak Dec 2019

An Investigation Of The Chemistry, Thermodynamics And Catalytic Activity Of Molybdenum Carbides, Shanti Kiran Nayak

Chemical and Biological Engineering ETDs

These studies investigate the chemistry and stability of molybdenum carbides as an electrocatalyst. Due to their unique electronic properties, molybdenum carbides are purposed as electrocatalysts for reaction systems such as hydrogen evolution reaction, bifunctional water splitting and CO oxidation.

In this study, various synthesis processes were utilized to produce different types of molybdenum carbide with varying properties of particle size, surface area and excess carbon. The samples characterized by XRD accompanied by Whole Profile Fitting, Electron Microscopy, Gas Adsorption (surface area) and XPS.

These synthesis processes were refined using fundamental thermodynamic analyses. These analyses highlight regions of stability of different ...


Modeling The Effects Of Distribution System Topology On Water Quality, Chun-Ying Chao Dec 2019

Modeling The Effects Of Distribution System Topology On Water Quality, Chun-Ying Chao

Engineering and Applied Science Theses & Dissertations

Inadequate treatment of drinking water causes the formation of disinfection by-products and the regrowth of harmful microbial species. Various studies have addressed the problem of water quality monitoring, but very few have employed topological analysis, a valuable mathematical tool widely applied in biological, business, and social research. This thesis examines the relationship between the topological properties of water distribution systems and water-quality models. In particular, the research proposes a novel framework for mapping network topological attributes to water-quality models. This research adopts topological metrics to assess the accuracy of the predictions of chlorine concentrations in dead ends. It examines four ...


Silver-Based Microbial Check Valve For Spacecraft Potable Water Systems, Tanner Burns Dec 2019

Silver-Based Microbial Check Valve For Spacecraft Potable Water Systems, Tanner Burns

Chemical Engineering Undergraduate Honors Theses

As human space exploration increases, the development of a more efficient potable water treatment system suited for spacecraft becomes crucial. This Waste-management Education Research Consortium (WERC) challenge was designed to explore the viability of microbial control through the utilization of silver ions as a biocide for possible integration into the Tranquility Node 3 water purification system aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Current systems using iodine risk causing hyperthyroidism from overexposure; however, silver can be safely ingested without this side effect. After researching silver delivery methods including electrochemical ion production, controlled release, or a combination of the two, our team ...


Non-Invasive Detection And Assessment Of Coronary Stenosis From Blood Mean Residence Times., Javad Hashemi Dec 2019

Non-Invasive Detection And Assessment Of Coronary Stenosis From Blood Mean Residence Times., Javad Hashemi

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Coronary artery stenosis is an abnormal narrowing of a coronary artery caused by an atherosclerotic lesion that reduces lumen space. Fractional flow reserve (FFR) is the gold standard method to determine the severity of coronary stenosis based on the determination of rest and hyperemic pressure fields, but requires an invasive medical procedure. Normal FFR is 1.0 and FFR RT, to account for varying volume and flow rate of individual segments. BloodRT was computed in 100 patients who had undergone the pressure-wire FFR procedure, and a threshold for BloodRT was determined to assess the physiological significance of a ...


Stabilization Of Bimodal Colloidal Systems Via Nanoparticle Haloing In Microgravity., Luke Hawtrey Dec 2019

Stabilization Of Bimodal Colloidal Systems Via Nanoparticle Haloing In Microgravity., Luke Hawtrey

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Colloidal suspensions typically contain a multi-phase system of solid particles suspended in a liquid medium. Colloids are widely used in industrial applications such as inks, paints, motor oils, foods, cosmetics, and many more. Colloidal systems are typically formed by the interaction of the attractive van der Waals forces and one or more repulsive forces. These repulsive forces include electrostatic repulsion, steric hindrance, and nanoparticle haloing. Nanoparticle Haloing (NPH) is a phenomenon discovered in 2001 as a viable method to stabilize colloidal systems of uncharged silica microparticles using highly charged zirconia nanoparticles. For this thesis the effects of NPH were tested ...


Purification Of Biomass Hydrolyzates For The Promotion Of Xylose Diester Formation, Laura Fernandez Dec 2019

Purification Of Biomass Hydrolyzates For The Promotion Of Xylose Diester Formation, Laura Fernandez

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The application of a novel xylose isolation procedure using phenyl boronic acid esterification has been limited to the hydrolyzates of low extractive biomasses like hardwoods and agricultural resides. Hydrolyzates with lower sugar and higher extractive concentrations, like softwoods, have not yielded xylose, or even xylose diester (XDE), the first intermediate product in the new process, under the same conditions. This research applied evaporation concentration, adsorbent separation and membrane filtration to these lower performing biomass hydrolyzates to maximize the yield of the XDE formation step of the new xylose extraction process. Lab-scale tests of these techniques were applied to pine hydrolyzate ...


Applications Of Ionic Liquids In Membrane Separation, Mohanad Kamaz Dec 2019

Applications Of Ionic Liquids In Membrane Separation, Mohanad Kamaz

Theses and Dissertations

Ionic liquids represent an emerging attractive material in membrane technology. The central theme of this doctoral dissertation is to develope novel membranes using ionic liquids. Two different approaches were used to prepare ionic liquid membranes including the immobilization of ionic liquid within the membrane pores or the use of pressure assembly method to deposit a selective ionic liquid layer on the top membrane surface.

In chapter 2, imidazolium ionic liquids with three different alkyl halides were successfully synthesized and used to prepare supported ionic liquid membranes (SILMs). SILMs preraper were tested for aqueous and nonaqueous applications. For nonaqueous applications, the ...


Theoretical Investigations Of The Electronic, Magnetic, And Thermoelectric Properties Of Transition-Metal Based Compounds, Haleoot Edaan Raad Dec 2019

Theoretical Investigations Of The Electronic, Magnetic, And Thermoelectric Properties Of Transition-Metal Based Compounds, Haleoot Edaan Raad

Theses and Dissertations

The electronic, magnetic, and thermoelectric properties of transition-metal based compounds were investigated by using the density functional theory and Boltzmann transport formalism. It was found that the Co-based Heusler compounds and InSe monochalcogenide are among the materials that may be used for future thermoelectric devices. Furthermore, the investigation showed that the quaternary Heusler compounds, such as, CoFeYGe, where Y is Ti or Cr, are half-metallic ferromagnetic materials with full electron spin polarization. The lattice thermal conductivity (κL) was found to decrease for these alloys as the temperature increases. The present investigation indicated that the phonon optical modes have a major ...


Influence Of Single And Multiple Histidine Residues And Their Ionization Properties On Transmembrane Helix Dynamics, Orientations And Fraying, Fahmida Afrose Dec 2019

Influence Of Single And Multiple Histidine Residues And Their Ionization Properties On Transmembrane Helix Dynamics, Orientations And Fraying, Fahmida Afrose

Theses and Dissertations

Since aromatic and charged residues are often present in various locations of transmembrane helices of integral membrane proteins, their impacts on the molecular properties of transmembrane proteins and their interactions with lipids are of particular interest in many studies. In this work, I used solid-state deuterium NMR spectroscopy in designed model peptide GWALP23 [GGALW(LA)6LWLAGA] with selective deuterium labels to addresses the pH dependence and influence of single and multiple “guest” histidine residues in the orientation and dynamic behaviors of transmembrane proteins. The mutations include Gly to His (G2/22 to H2/22), Trp to His (W5/19 to ...


Functional Importance Of Lipin Phosphorylation, Stephanie Elizabeth Hood Dec 2019

Functional Importance Of Lipin Phosphorylation, Stephanie Elizabeth Hood

Theses and Dissertations

Highly conserved throughout evolution, lipins are dual functioning proteins found from yeast to humans. Functioning in the cytoplasm as phosphatidate phosphatase enzymes (PAP), lipins produce diacylglycerol that serves as a precursor for neutral fats and membrane phospholipids. Alternatively, nuclear lipins are responsible for the regulation of metabolic genes. Interestingly, both the mammalian lipin 1 paralog and the single Drosophila Lipin ortholog are highly phosphorylated proteins. Target of rapamycin (TOR) has previously been identified as one of the kinases that controls the subcellular localization of both lipin 1 and Drosophila Lipin. However, other serine and threonine kinases are predicted to be ...


Multi-Scale Assessment Of Binding Geometries And Energetics Of Aqueous Phase Reforming Of Glycerol And Methanol: Towards Realistic, Accurate, And Computationally Tractable Strategies, Tianjun Xie Dec 2019

Multi-Scale Assessment Of Binding Geometries And Energetics Of Aqueous Phase Reforming Of Glycerol And Methanol: Towards Realistic, Accurate, And Computationally Tractable Strategies, Tianjun Xie

All Dissertations

No abstract provided.


Development Of A Comsol Microdialysis Model, Towards Creation Of Microdialysis On A Chip With Improved Geometries And Recovery, Patrick Pysz Dec 2019

Development Of A Comsol Microdialysis Model, Towards Creation Of Microdialysis On A Chip With Improved Geometries And Recovery, Patrick Pysz

Theses and Dissertations

Microdialysis (µD) sampling is a diffusion-limited sampling method that has been widely used in different biomedical fields for greater than 35 years. Device calibration for in vivo studies is difficult for current non-steady state analytes of interest correlated with both inflammatory response and microbial signaling molecules (QS); which exist in low ng/mL to pg/mL with molecular weights over a wide range of 170 Da to 70 kDa. The primary performance metric, relative recovery (RR), relating the collected sample to the extracellular space concentration varies from 10% to 60% per analyte even under controlled bench-top conditions. Innovations in microdialysis ...


Interfacial Contact With Noble Metal - Noble Metal And Noble Metal - 2d Semiconductor Nanostructures Enhance Optical Activity, Ricardo Raphael Lopez Romo Dec 2019

Interfacial Contact With Noble Metal - Noble Metal And Noble Metal - 2d Semiconductor Nanostructures Enhance Optical Activity, Ricardo Raphael Lopez Romo

Theses and Dissertations

Noble metal nanoparticles and two-dimensional (2D) transition metal dichalcogenide (TMD) crystals offer unique optical and electronic properties that include strong exciton binding, spin-orbital coupling, and localized surface plasmon resonance. Controlling these properties at high spatiotemporal resolution can support emerging optoelectronic coupling and enhanced optical features. Excitation dynamics of these optical properties on physicochemically bonded mono- and few-layer TMD crystals with metal nanocrystals and two overlapping spherical metal nanocrystals were examined by concurrently (i) DDA simulations and (ii) far-field optical transmission UV-vis spectroscopic measurements. Initially, a novel and scalable method to unsettle van der Waals bonds in bulk TMDs to prepare ...


Bioluminescence Resonance Energy Transfer (Bret) - Based Nanostructured Biosensor For Detection Of Glucose, Eugene Hwang Nov 2019

Bioluminescence Resonance Energy Transfer (Bret) - Based Nanostructured Biosensor For Detection Of Glucose, Eugene Hwang

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET) is a distance dependent, non-radiative energy transfer, which uses a bioluminescent protein to excite an acceptor through resonance energy transfer. In this thesis, BRET technology is incorporated into a sensor comprised of a recombinant protein and quantum dots. The recombinant protein, which includes the bioluminescent protein, Renilla luciferase (Rluc), is used as the donor molecule and cadmium tellurium quantum dots as the acceptor molecules. Separating the donor-acceptor pair is a recombinant protein, glucose binding protein, which changes conformation upon binding glucose and brings the pair closer together, thus allowing BRET to occur. Optimization of the ...


Rotating Heater Pyrolyzer (Rhp): A New Pyrolysis Technology For Biochar Production, Ariel Porat Nov 2019

Rotating Heater Pyrolyzer (Rhp): A New Pyrolysis Technology For Biochar Production, Ariel Porat

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Biochar provides an effective and inexpensive carbon sequestration technology to combat climate change. It is formed through a process known as pyrolysis; where biomass is thermally decomposed in the absence of oxygen. In this study, a new pyrolysis reactor called the Rotating Heater Pyrolyzer (RHP) was designed and built for biochar production. RHP derived biochar properties were compared to biochars produced with a standard batch pyrolysis reactor (Pyrolytic Shaker Reactor (PSR)) to determine RHP performance. Using several biochar characterization techniques, the soil amendment potential of two solid anaerobic digestate feedstocks were investigated. Woodchip RHP derived biochar processed between 2-3 hrs ...


A Kinetic And Thermodynamic Model Of Ethylene Dichloride Pyrolysis., Travis J Czechorski Nov 2019

A Kinetic And Thermodynamic Model Of Ethylene Dichloride Pyrolysis., Travis J Czechorski

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Ethylene dichloride (EDC) is a precursor for the production of vinyl chloride (VCM) which is subsequently polymerized to form polyvinyl chloride (PVC). To convert EDC to VCM, EDC undergoes a pyrolysis process in the absence of oxygen at temperatures exceeding 500C. However, process yields are limited by the uncontrolled production of side-products that can degrade the quality of PVC and poison the reactor. Thus, tight process controls and costly separations guided by heuristics and plant operator experience are used to optimize EDC pyrolysis. To improve the process, I have programed a kinetic model of EDC pyrolysis based upon estimations of ...


Top-Down And Bottom-Up Fabrication Of Key Components In Miniature Energy Storage Devices, Wenhao Li Oct 2019

Top-Down And Bottom-Up Fabrication Of Key Components In Miniature Energy Storage Devices, Wenhao Li

Doctoral Dissertations

The advent of miniature electronic devices demands power sources of commensurate form factors. This spurs the research of micro energy storage devices, e.g., 3D microbatteries. A 3D microbattery contains nonplanar microelectrodes with high aspect ratio and high surface area, separated by a nanoscale electrolyte. The device takes up a total volume as small as 10 mm3, allowing it to serve on a chip and to provide power in-situ. The marriage of nanotechnology and electrochemical energy storage makes microbattery research a fascinating field with both scientific excitement and application prospect. However, successful fabrication of well-functioned key components and the ...


Controlling Selectivities In Heterogeneously Catalyzed Aldol Reactions, Koushik Ponnuru Oct 2019

Controlling Selectivities In Heterogeneously Catalyzed Aldol Reactions, Koushik Ponnuru

Doctoral Dissertations

Aldol condensation is an important C-C bond formation reaction in chemical synthesis that finds versatile applications in bulk and fine chemical industries and has the potential for upgrading of biomass to fuels. However, aldol reactions pose a challenge for controlling the product selectivity by forming a mixture of desired and undesired self, cross, and poly-condensation products. Furthermore, a side reaction, the fission of aldol products resulting in an olefin and a carboxylic acid, has garnered attention recently as a route to isobutene from acetone. While a high level of selectivity control is achievable by homogeneous catalysis, selective solid catalysts, which ...


Bioinspired Complex Nanoarchitectures By Dna Supramolecular Polymerization, Laura A. Lanier Oct 2019

Bioinspired Complex Nanoarchitectures By Dna Supramolecular Polymerization, Laura A. Lanier

Doctoral Dissertations

Bioinspired nanoarchitectures are of great interest for applications in fields such as nanomedicine, tissue engineering, and biosensing. With this interest, understanding how the physical properties of these complex nanostructures relate to their function is increasingly important. This dissertation describes the creation of complex nanoarchitectures with controlled structure and the investigation of the effect of nanocarrier physical properties on cell uptake for applications in nanomedicine.

DNA self-assembly by supramolecular polymerization was chosen to create complex nanostructures of controlled architectures. We demonstrated that the supramolecular polymerization of DNA known as hybridization chain reaction (HCR) is in fact a living polymerization. The living ...


Engineering Nanomaterials For Imaging And Therapy Of Bacteria And Biofilm-Associated Infections, Akash Gupta Oct 2019

Engineering Nanomaterials For Imaging And Therapy Of Bacteria And Biofilm-Associated Infections, Akash Gupta

Doctoral Dissertations

Infections caused by multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria pose a serious global burden of mortality, causing thousands of deaths each year. The “superbug” risk is further exacerbated by chronic infections generated from antibiotic-resistant biofilms that are highly resistant to available treatments. Synthetic macromolecules such as polymers and nanoparticles have emerged as promising antimicrobials. Moreover, ability to modulate nanomaterial interaction with bacterial cellular systems plays a pivotal role in improving the efficacy of the strategy.

In the initial studies on engineering nanoparticle surface chemistry, I investigated the role played by surface ligands in determining the antimicrobial activity of the nanoparticles. In further study ...


Modeling And Simulation Of Driven Nanopatterning Of Bulk-Material And Thin-Film Surfaces, Ashish Kumar Oct 2019

Modeling And Simulation Of Driven Nanopatterning Of Bulk-Material And Thin-Film Surfaces, Ashish Kumar

Doctoral Dissertations

Material nanostructures such as nanowires, quantum dots, and nanorings have a wide variety of applications in electronic and photonic devices among numerous others. Assembling uniformly arranged and consistently sized nanostructure patterns on solid material surfaces is a major challenge for nanotechnology. This dissertation focuses on developing predictive models capable of simulation and analysis of such nanopattern formation on bulk material and strained thin film surfaces.

Single-layer atomic clusters (islands) of sizes larger than a critical size on crystalline conducting substrates undergo morphological instabilities when driven by an externally applied electric field or thermal gradient. We have conducted a systematic and ...


Amorphous-Crystalline Brush Block Copolymers: Phase Behavior, Rheology And Composite Design, Gayathri Kopanati Oct 2019

Amorphous-Crystalline Brush Block Copolymers: Phase Behavior, Rheology And Composite Design, Gayathri Kopanati

Doctoral Dissertations

Bottlebrush block copolymers are polymers with chemically distinct polymer side chains grafted onto a common backbone. The unique architecture induced properties make these materials attractive for applications such as photonic materials, stimuli responsive actuators and drug delivery vehicles to name a few. This dissertation primarily investigates the phase transitions and rheological behavior of amorphous-crystalline bottlebrush brush block copolymers and their composites. The temperature induced phase behavior is investigated using time resolved synchrotron X-ray source. Irrespective of volume fraction and backbone length, the samples display strong segregation even at high temperatures (200 °C) and there is no accessible order-disorder transition in ...


A Synthetic Human Brain Ecm Hydrogel For Tight Control Of Astrocyte Activation, Sualyneth Galarza Oct 2019

A Synthetic Human Brain Ecm Hydrogel For Tight Control Of Astrocyte Activation, Sualyneth Galarza

Doctoral Dissertations

Bioengineers have aimed to design instructive extracellular matrix (ECM) models that can tailor the protein composition and biomechanics of the brain in vitro in order to study how astrocytes remodel the brain during trauma and inflammation. However, these parameters cannot be independently controlled in protein-based models, and although tunable in synthetic systems, current astrocyte cultures fail to retain their characteristic stellate morphology without becoming activated. To this date, there is no biomaterial model that can retain astrocyte quiescence in vitro. This dissertation sought to develop such an in vitro model that would enable the study of specific ECM factors that ...