Dr. Haridas Chandran 2015-2016
Project Title: (1) Synthesis of Gold/Gold Sulfide Nanoparticles for Photothermal Ablation Therapy Learning Innovation Grant Recipient
Students will continue the work completed by last year students by enhancing the absorbance peak of the gold/gold sulfide particles obtained from the extract of garlic paste using dialysis technique. They will also try to use tobacco plant extract to synthesize gold/gold sulfide nanoparticles. Tobacco plants will be obtained from the agricultural department and brought back to the science lab at Belfry to process and extract solution that will be used as a capping agent for the synthesis of nanoparticles. They will find the composition of the extract by looking at the atomic spectra and Fourier Transform spectra available at University of Kentucky’s ASTEN research center. The information obtained will encourage students to continue their research work on the synthesis of gold/gold sulfide nanoparticles using solutions as capping agents. Students will use equipment available in the science lab to synthesize gold nanoparticles using hydrogen gold aurate along with the prepared extract. The ultra violet spectra of the colloidal solution will be recorded using the Ocean Optic UV-Visible spectrometer available in the science lab. The recorded spectra will confirm qualitatively the production of gold and gold/gold sulfide nanoparticles. Students will use He-Ne laser available in the lab to study the refractive index of the colloidal solution. The colloidal solution will be transported to University of Kentucky or Louisville speed lab to record the images of the nanoparticles using Scanning Tunneling Microscope for precise shape and size of the nanoparticles. Students will use MiePlot4211 program based on Mie Theory to fit the experimental UV-visible spectra. The fitted data will provide the extinction coefficient that can be used to calculate the mass of the nanoparticles and number of nanoparticles present in the colloidal solution. Last year’s work demonstrated that it is possible to synthesize gold/gold sulfide nanoparticles using garlic extract from the evidence of broad absorbance peak in the range 750-850 nm and triangular shape SEM images. This year students will modify the synthesis process using a dialysis technique to enhance the absorbance peak in the infrared region; increasing the triangular shape particles that can be used for precise treatment site and perform thermal ablation using infrared lasers.
Project Title: (2) Alternate Energy Source Through Chemical Reaction: Electrolysis Learning Innovation Grant Recipient
Students will use Hoffman’s electrolysis apparatus to understand the fundamental concept of splitting water into H2 and O2 gases. They will connect one end of the proton exchange membrane (PMC) fuel cell to run a few electrical appliances (small fan and light bulb). Students will use Brennstoffzelle fuel cell from their lab that produces H2 gas only by the electrolysis of distilled water–and with the combination of PMC–run the electrical appliances. They will compare their output voltage from these two experimental arrangements. Since the above mentioned experiments produce H2 gas through electrolysis of distilled water, students will build their own electrolysis apparatus that produces H2 gas through chemical reactions of chloride salts with distilled water. They will repeat the experiment by varying different parameters, namely, concentration of the chloride salts and cascading PEM fuel cell to increase the output voltage to run high voltage equipment. Students will use vernier probes to measure the temperature and the pH value of the chemical reaction. From the known volume of the H2 gas, students will determine the pressure by using Boyle’s law and concentration of the gas produced. From these parameters, they can determine which reaction is capable of producing the highest voltage that can be used to produce large amounts of electricity. Students will present their data at a conference and publish their findings in a journal to demonstrate that they are looking for alternate energy sources in our region, which depends only on coal seams.
Students will modify the coal burning chamber constructed by last year’s students by including outlets for measuring the amount of CO2 getting into the tank containing algae. The gas will be measured by using the CO2 sensor bought from Vernier software and technology. They will also try to build efficient sensors using an Arduino board to measure other gases emitted from the burnt coal. Different types of coal seam will be used to study the yield of the bio-fuel produced from the type of green algae called chlorella. A vacuum pump will be used to evacuate the entire length of the tube so that only the gas from the burnt coal will be pumped into the tank. This will give the experimentalist confirmation of the presence of gas admitted into the tank containing algae. The students will also modify the inlet tube present in the algae tank by connecting it to a flat gas burner tray built by students. This modification will help algae to absorb the CO2 gas equally in the entire tank. Temperature and pH of the sample in the tank before and after the insertion CO2 will be measured using the temperature and pH probes available in their science lab. Growth of the algae will be monitored regularly by measuring its volume. The bio-fuel from the algae will be extracted by harvesting the algae collecting them using a cheese cloth. The cheese cloth will be dried using a dehydrator. The dehydrated algae will be combined with hexane and the mixture will be squeezed to extract bio-fuel. The confirmation of the extracted material as a bio-fuel will be determined by measuring its density.
Project Title: 3D Printer (Orthotic, Prosthetics)
S.T.A.R.S. Mini Grant Recipient
Students in the innovation class and physics class will be collaborating with the local pharmacist who is involved in adjusting commercially made ankle, foot, and orthosis (AFO) devices for his patients. They will be interacting with him and printing customized AFO devices for his patients using a XYZ 3D printer. Recently our school has purchased a 3D printer for our science department and students in the innovation class and physics class have the opportunity to work with that printer. They already have calibrated this instrument within a short period of time and have learned to print 3 different sample objects. This shows the eagerness of our students to understand a new device that they have never seen before and work on it to produce a product. Since our students have learned to use the instrument to print sample objects which has already been exported to the printer, they will have to learn to use 3D CAD design tools to design objects. Discussion with the pharmacist has revealed that the use of the 3D printer will enable him to make customized AFO devices without tampering interaction with the patients, take real measurements, and build a cheaper one than the one available commercially. They will also be helping patients in the community to have a customized AFO device that will immobilize that part of the body, permitting it to heal, and reduces pain associated with movement.