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Research Projects

High Performance Separation of Nanoparticles Using Ultrathin Pnc-Si Membranes

High Performance Separation of Nanoparticles Using Ultrathin Pnc-Si MembranesPorous nanocrystalline silicon (pnc-Si) is a 15 nm thin free-standing membrane material with applications in small-scale separations, biosensors, cell culture, and lab-on-a-chip devices. Pnc-Si has already been shown to exhibit high permeability to diffusing species and selectivity based on molecular size or charge. In this report, we characterize properties of pnc-Si in pressurized flows.

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Inflammation

InflammationOne important step in inflammation is the activation of neutrophils to chase and eat (phagocytose) invading bacteria. In collaboration with the Waugh lab, we are looking at the mechanisms of neutrophil motility using a variety of tools in optical microscopy. In one tool, optical tweezers, the focus of a laser beam creates a potential which can be used to manipulate microscopic objects.

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Ion-Selective Permeability of UltrathinNanopore silicon Membrane as Studied Using Nanofabricated Micropipet Probes

Ion-Selective Permeability of UltrathinNanopore silicon Membrane as Studied Using Nanofabricated Micropipet ProbesWe report on the application of scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM) to the measurement of the ion-selective permeability of porous nanocrystalline silicon membrane as a new type of nanoporous material with potential applications in analytical, biomedical, and biotechnology device development. The reliable measurement of high permeability in the molecularly thin nanoporous membrane to various ions is important for greater understanding of its structure-permeability relationship and also for its successful applications.

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Mechanics of the Cell Cytoplasm

Mechanics of the Cell CytoplasmTo examine the mechanics of the cell cytoplasm we inject fluorescent nanoparticles inside of cells and examine their motion using high resolution image capture and particle tracking. By analyzing the trajectories of these particles we can learn if the particles are being actively transported and/or the mechanics of the environment that restricts the particle motion.

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Pore Size Control of Ultra-thin Silicon Membranes by Rapid Thermal Carbonization

Pore Size Control of Ultra-thin Silicon Membranes by Rapid Thermal CarbonizationRapid thermal carbonization in a dilute acetylene (C2H2) atmosphere has been used to chemically modify and precisely tune the pore size of ultrathin porous nanocrystalline silicon (pnc-Si). The magnitude of size reduction was controlled by varying the process temperature and time. Under certain conditions, the carbon coating displayed atomic ordering indicative of graphene layer formation conformal to the pore walls.

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Porous Nanocrystalline Silicon Membranes

Porous Nanocrystalline Silicon MembranesThe The Nanomembrane Research Group (NRG) focuses on the development and application of a novel nanomaterial called porous nanocrystalline silicon (pnc-Si). The membranes are mass produced on silicon wafers in a variety of form factors at low cost. The thinness, strength, pore size characteristics, and economics of pnc-Si membranes are enabling a variety new devices in microfluidics, precision biomolecule separation, and cell culture.

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Porous Nanocrystalline Silicon Membranes as Highly Permeable and Molecularly Thin Substrates for Cell Culture

Porous Nanocrystalline Silicon Membranes as Highly Permeable and Molecularly Thin Substrates for Cell Culture Porous nanocrystalline silicon (pnc-Si) is new type of silicon nanomaterial with potential uses in lab-on-a-chip devices, cell culture, and tissue engineering. The pnc-Si material is a 15 nm thick, freestanding, nanoporous membrane made with scalable silicon manufacturing. Because pnc-Si membranes are approximately 1000 times thinner than any polymeric membrane, their permeability to small solutes is orders-of-magnitude greater than conventional membranes.

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Wound Healing

Wound HealingThrough a combination of computer modeling and experimentation we are working toward a comprehensive understanding of monolayer sheet migration. Progress in this area could lead to strategies for the re-endothelialization of small diameter vascular grafts.

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