This summer CSU’s Office of Research sponsored 55 research projects from six colleges, involving 77 of our finest undergraduate students.The Fall 2018 Undergraduate Research Poster Session took place on September 6, 2018 from 11am - 2pm in the Student Center Atrium. Students, faculty, and staff attended the poster session, which provided students the opportunity to discuss their research with the CSU community.
Feeding is an important activity for all animals. An expansive array of sensory provide information to the brain about food handling during feeding. The brain then coordinates muscles to push the bolus into the esophagus, bypassing the airway. Previous work shows considerable coordination among sensor arrays and the nerves supplying them. Therefore it is likely that anesthetizing part of the oral cavity (in this case, the tissue covering the hard palate) will cause changes in the timing of muscles that are active during swallowing, even though these muscles are supplied by completely different nerves. We examined the timing of the mylohyoid (floor of the mouth) and thyrohyoid (a muscle that contracts during swallowing) via electromyography in three infant pigs while they drank milk from a bottle. Control data, with all sensory systems intact, were collected first, and then the tissue covering the hard palate was anesthetized. We used the electrical activity of the muscles to determine the timing of their contractions. We are still analyzing our data, but we expect to find that the muscles contract for longer periods of time, reflecting a more forceful push on the milk in the absence of sensory information to provide negative feedback.
Araxie Demirjin and Kristy Tachji
Introduction and Purpose Individuals post-stroke frequently have impairments in balance and mobility. This study aims to increase mobility through high intensity balance training in a multi-directional harness system using video gaming to add environmental and tsk complexity. We hypothesize the training will improve balance, mobility, and decrease falls. Methods In this case series, two adults post-stroke completed seven sessions of balance training using four adapted commercial video games from the X-Box Kinect™ (20,000 Leaks (L), Reflex Ridge (R), Table Tennis (T), and Target Kick (K)) on varied types of floor surfaces. These games were chosen to challenge various aspects of balance. They played the games while wearing a fall-preventing harness in a supporting framework that allowed them to move freely in a 7' by 8' area. A progression algorithm was used to advance to game difficulty, thereby maintaining high intensity, challenging training. Motion capture and clinical measures (Berg Balance Scale, Timed Up and Go (TUG), Activities-Specific Balance Confidence Scale (ABC)) were used to assess changes from the training. Motion capture data were processed using Cortex (Motion Analysis Corp™) to find the distance traveled as well as the maximum velocity of critical body segments for each game (center of mass for L and R, racket hand for T, and hemiplegic foot for K). Pre- to post-test scores were compared descriptively. Result With a few exceptions, the participants improved in maximum velocity and distance travelled of the selected markers as well as for the TUG and Berg. ABC scores remained at similar levels and Participant 2 moved less and with a lower maximum velocity in R, while Participant 1 did not increase maximum hand speed in T. Discussion and Conclusion Overall, balance measures improved after the training sessions with the exceptions noted above. The ABC, which represents the participant’s balance confidence, did not improve. Nevertheless, both participant reported that they were moving better at home. Also, in R, Participant 2’s velocity and movement distance decreased; however this may have been a reflection of more efficient movement patterns rather than poorer performance. Subject 1’s numbers increased in this game as he began jumping during the game about half way through the sessions.
The T.E.A.M Approach to Interprofessional Education for Pre-Professional and Professional Health Students
Mary C. Sammon and Hayden A. Parente
Interprofessional education (IPE) is defined as “students from two or more professions learning about, from and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes” (World Health Organization, 2010). When used effectively, IPE programs aid in preparing pre-professional undergraduate and graduate health professional students to enter the healthcare field as effective team members, who are knowledgeable in delivering quality, collaborative care. This project aimed to 1) assess the impact of current IPE programming, 2) create an evidence-based framework to develop IPE programming and 3) determine if current evaluative processes using the T.E.A.M. reporting tool can adequately reflect the ability for IPE programming to be sustainable. Along with a review of the literature, pre- and post-IPE program surveys were analyzed to create a comprehensive needs assessment using the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Logic Model. From the data compiled, it was determined that initiation of IPE at the foundational level, including exposure of IPE concepts to undergraduate students, would be advantageous. The T.E.A.M. Reporting Tool has the ability to highlight and compare key components to consider prior to implementing IPE events and activities and aligns with the created evidence-based framework to build a sustainable model for IPE.
Reading-related phonological processing interventions for individuals who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC): A systematic review of the research
Christina K. Grecol, Emily A. Sternad, Vonesa Demiri, Nina G. Pukys, Amy Roth, Katherine Kasunick, and Kaili Smith
The purpose of this investigation was to conduct a systematic review to determine the effectiveness of reading-related phonological processing interventions designed to meet the needs of individuals with complex communication needs (CCN) who require augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). An extensive review of the literature published from 1980 to June of 2018 that included intervention on readingrelated phonological processing skills including phonological awareness (e.g., rhyming, segmentation, blending), letter-sound correspondences, and single-word decoding was conducted using a variety of electronic and table of contents searches. A total of 22 intervention studies (24 experiments) involving 93 individuals met criteria for inclusion and were advanced to the full coding and analysis phase of the investigation. Descriptive analysis and effect size estimations using Tau-U (Parker, Vannest, Davis, & Sauber, 2011) were conducted. Results reveal that individuals who use AAC across a wide range of disabilities and ages can learn phonological processing skills for reading. Studies utilized interventions that were modeled after the Accessible Literacy Learning (ALL) curriculum (Light & McNaughton, 2009), the Early Reading Skills Builder (ERSB; Ahlgrim-Delzell et al., 2016), the Nonverbal Reading Approach (NRA; Swinehart-Jones & Heller, 2009), storybook reading with focus on readingrelated phonological processing skills, combinations of storybook reading with other approaches, and other approaches.
ISO 14001 is an environmental management standard developed by the International Organization of Standardization in 1996. The standard was designed to assist companies with improving environmental performance, enhancing efficiency, and advancing business relations. However, studies suggest that ISO 14001 has experienced varying degrees of success. For this research project, academic literature from environmental journals along with ISO data and annual reports were reviewed. Initially, resources were encountered which propose that the extent to which ISO 14001 improves environmental outcomes remains uncertain due to the presence of symbolic adoption and external motives in some certified organizations. These findings indicate that data, including names of certified companies and certification dates, would need to be analyzed so that changes experienced following ISO 14001 adoption could be evaluated. The process of obtaining this material proved unsuccessful as comprehensive information is not publicly available or compiled by ISO. Further setbacks were encountered when accessible data was not standardized in a way that allowed for accurate comparisons or assessments of the standard in different regions. Still, research did reveal that the standard consistently provides several positive effects as it elevates company reputation, legal requirement realization, marketing opportunities, and employee environmental awareness. Determining other benefits that demonstrate similar consistency would require additional data that has yet to be acquired.
This project investigates the efficacy of a proposed policy intervention related to housing discrimination. The student designed and executed a python script to collect information from rental housing advertisements in order to assess them for discriminatory language. Looking through apartment rental listings, common information includes number of bedrooms and bathrooms, location, rental cost, and whether the landlord allows pets. It is not uncommon to see the phrase “No Section 8” as well. These advertisements are exhibiting source of income (SOI) discrimination, whereby a landlord does not rent to a prospective tenant because of where the tenant receives the money to pay rent, commonly through subsidies such as the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP, colloquially called “Section 8”). This form of discrimination is outlawed in a number of states, counties, and cities throughout the United States. This project analyzes ten counties across the country – five with and five without SOI protections to answer the following question: (1) Does the enactment of a law change the rate at which landlords explicitly discriminate against HCVP participants?
Sam Motes and Gabrielle Parsson
This project (a) explores the extent to which mayors use social media to interact with other mayors, (b) identifies the different types of information shared, and (c) examines the factors that influence whether mayors share information. Focusing on the 100 largest cities in the United States by population, we conduct a network analysis of interactions between mayors, occurring on Twitter from 2016-2018. Findings demonstrate an active information network. Types of information shared address city operations, the favorable presentation of a mayor’s city, political positioning, and symbolic acts of congratulations, gratitude, and condolences. Results from a Quadratic Assignment Procedure Logistic Regression analysis reveal that geographic proximity and political party affiliation influenced whether mayors shared information. Furthermore, cities with larger populations were more likely to receive attention within this network. Results contribute to our understanding of both the potential and the limitations of social media for interlocal communication and coordination.
Socioeconomic mobility of local refugees: An analysis of Syrian, Congolese and Ukrainian/Russian refugees
In FY18, the United States has received 18,214 refugees with Ohio receiving 6.69% of that total, which places Ohio second only to Texas. In partnership with one of largest refugee resettlement agencies in Ohio, this study explored the experiences of refugees from Ukraine, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and Syria. A literature review, interviews, and mini focus group suggest a diverse set of experiences, yet some common themes. Such themes include a can-do attitude, perseverance, and a long-term orientation towards success. In contrast to refugees from Syria and Ukraine, DRC refugees experience additional challenges due to prolonged residence in refugee camps. Some differences in gender dynamics across these three groups were also observed. Interviews with refugee-assistance employees revealed additional themes, including novel responses to managing relationships among employers, refugees, and other staff members.
Fjorela Xhyliu and Niyousha Mohammad Shafie
Single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) are one-dimensional cylindrical nanostructures with distinct electronic and optical properties. With all its atoms on the surface, SWCNTs have been widely explored for chemical modification through noncovalent and covalent chemistry, which can provide promising applications in bioimaging and sensing. Here we investigated surface functionalization of purechirality SWCNTs with various glycopolymers, surfactants, and RPMI cell culture media with and without fetal bovine serum (FBS). Raman, vis-NIR absorption, and vis-NIR fluorescence spectra of SWCNTs in various solvent environments were monitored over time. While nanotube aggregation was not observed for incubation in FBS containing RPMI for 8 hours, interactions of DNA-SWCNTs with biological media resulted in a PL intensity increase for (7,6) and (8,4), decrease for (10,3), (7,3), (8,3), (11,1), (9,1) and (6,4), and relatively stable for (6,5), and (9,4). Photochemistry with aryl azide chain-end functionalized glycopolymers introduces sp3 defect sites into the carbon lattice of SWCNTs. This defect-induced E11- emits light at a lower energy peak than the original E11 in the NIR region. Interestingly, an E11- peak formation was observed for (6,5) SWCNTs upon photo reaction with N-lactosyl, N-mannosyl, and NPolyacrylamide polymers.
Treatment of non-epithelial vaginal cells from Lysyl Oxidase like one knockout mice (LOXL 1) with nanoparticles (NPs)
Female pelvic floor dysfunction includes pelvic organ prolapse (POP) due to multiple vaginal births causing elastin strength to be reduced. Several normal functions are compromised including bladder control, fecal continence, and painful urination and many other symptoms. Currently no effective treatment is known and women seek surgical mesh implants to correct these issues which are not entirely safe nor effective. The condition of POP affects women across the world and effective treatment is sought. Varying proteins including lysyl oxidase (LOX), tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases, and matrix metalloproteinases are involved in elastin homeostasis. In this experiment, non-epithelial vaginal cells (NEVCs) retrieved from lysyl oxidaselike 1 (LOXL1) knockout (KO) mice were treated with a nanoparticle drug delivery technology loaded with pro-elastogenic transforming growth factor beta 1 protein (TGF-β1) and were analyzed for their expression of elastin homeostasis enzymes. It was predicted that treatment of NEVCs with this nanoparticle technology will promote elastin regeneration in these cells representative of vaginal cells in women with POP. Treating NEVCs with elastin generating protein of TGF-β1 is likely to increase recruitment of lysyl oxidase protein, which is responsible for elastin homeostasis.
Kristen M. Reyes and Mason J. Lang
Gasification converts carbon-based (organic) materials into gaseous products typically referred to as synthetic gas. This technology is an alternative for reducing carbon footprint of energy generation as well as for waste management. This research examines Catalytic Gasification as a route to Sustainability while converting spaceflight and municipal waste into high-value products. As polyethylene (PE) makes up one of the largest portions of both municipal and space waste, this project centered its attention on the gasification of mid-density PE. We used a slurry containing middensity PE, water, and solid catalysts (ruthenium on alumina, Ru/Al2O3) in a 1:1 PE/Ru ratio. The gasification process was investigated in a high-pressure/high-temperature batch reactor operating under isothermal conditions for reaction temperatures between 310-320 oC, and various reaction times. Solid and gas residuals were collected and analyzed in the GC and DSC, respectively. Preliminary kinetic characterization and process assessment are presented.
Metal organic frameworks are a class of nanoporous materials with pore sizes ranging from 0.5 to 3 nm and high surface areas (500-6000 m2/g). These materials have potential applications in industrial catalysis, separation and purification, bio-mimetics, drug delivery, semiconductors, sensors and other electronics. The aim of this study is to understand the role of solvent in control of the particle size of the final MOF product. CuBTC MOF has been used as a model MOF in this study to understand this effect. Altering the dielectric constant of solvents is a potential method of controlling the particle size. The data obtained in this work depicts a direct correlation between the particle size and the dielectric constant of the solvent mixture. Deviations from this rule can be potentially explained by slow evaporation rate, longer nucleation growth, as found in literature, or instability of the hydroxide ions. Literature states that the donor number and vapor pressure of the solvents also seem to affect the particle size. We observed that, while there is a direct correlation between particle size and donor number, no clear trend was observed between vapor pressure and particle size in this study.
Elastin-like polypeptides (ELPs) are a class of environmental responsive materials. When prepared with a protein motif that selectively binds to nucleic acids, a nucleic acid-ELP complex can be formed, conferring the responsive properties of ELP onto the nucleic acid. One possible use for such a complex is in DNA origami, where nanoscaled assemblies of DNA can be transformed into nanomachines by using the ELP as an actuator. Other possible uses include the isolation and extraction of a selected strands of genetic material, or the delivery of genetic material to a cell. Using a bacterial expression system, our lab has prepared ELPs with one such DNA binding motif, TAT, which is associated with immunodeficiency viruses. As the TAT-ELP was purified, we observed that it extracted bacterial genetic material along with it. To characterize these nucleic acid-ELP complexes, temperature dependent properties, full UV absorbance spectra, and particle sizing data were collected. Compared to a solution of pure ELP the nucleic acid ELP complex aggregates at a much lower temperature. The absorbance values of the complex show that the complex has a maximum absorbance at a different value than pure ELP. Particle sizing results showed multiple distinct sizes for the complex, as opposed to a singular size for ELP aggregates.
Tahir Butt and Gautam Mahajan
Microfluidic platforms have been widely regarded as defining technologies for the development of chemical and biological synthesis and analysis systems, due to benefits associated with reduced reactant consumption, increases by orders of magnitude of the surface-to-volume ratios, and greatly enhanced control over reactions variables such as temperature and pressure. However, one of the bottlenecks for their wide application is the difficulty in achieving mixing, given the typical laminar flows in these systems. In this work we implement experimentally, various strategies using geometrical features to control the fluid motion and induce stirring flows. The mixers are fabricated using soft-lithography in PDMS employing replica molding. The flow structures were imaged using fluorescence confocal microscopy. In future work, the fluid flow patterns from confocal microscopy imaging, at various locations in the mixer, will be compared to theoretical predictions from computational fluid dynamics modeling.
Implementation of a Reverse Staggered-Herringbone Microfluidic Mixer for High-throughput Polymeric Nanoparticles Synthesis
The goal of this research is to implement and optimize the operating conditions of a microfluidic mixer to synthesize polymeric nanoparticles (NPs) in a high-throughput fashion. Using a reverse staggered-herringbone microfluidic mixer that we recently designed, the effects of experimental conditions such as flowrate and reactant composition on NP characteristics were investigated and optimized. The device design allowed for physical contact between two streams of fluids – one containing poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid; PLGA) in acetonitrile and the other deionized water, to allow for efficient mixing and NP precipitation to occur. The resulting NPs were characterized using dynamic light scattering (DLS) and field-emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM) to determine the size distribution and shape. Results suggest that 0.1 wt% PLGA solution at 70 L/min flowrate yielded the smallest diameter range and uniformly spherical particles. These optimized experimental conditions will be used to encapsulate drugs for controlled release studies and cell delivery in vitro. The project outcomes could lead to controlled-synthesis of efficient nanocarriers of drugs for targeted delivery applications.
Rushabh Patel, Pranav Joshi, Soo-Yeon Kang, Stephen Hong, and Parnian Bigdelou
Metabolism of compounds including neurotoxins primarily occurs in the liver by a variety of drug-metabolizing enzymes (DMEs) followed by a series of downstream responses. Unmodified (or parent) neurotoxins are transported into human hepatocytes through several influx transporters or via passive diffusion and undergo Phase I and Phase II biotransformation by DMEs before they are cleared. Neurotoxins and their metabolites generated from human hepatocytes could potentially lead to the toxic effects on neural stem cells (NSCs) as the reactive metabolites have potential for producing reactive oxygen species (ROS), which can lead to irreversible oxidative damage to NSCs via lipid peroxidation, DNA, mitochondrial and protein damage, and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. Our goal is to evaluate molecular actions of compounds and their metabolites within NSCs and their cellular consequences by a suite of high-content toxicology assays. A 3D NSC culture on a 384PillarPlate will be combined with human liver cell aggregates expressing cytochrome P450s in an ultralow attachment (ULA) 384-well plate to demonstrate metabolism-induced neurotoxicity. Model compounds will be added in the 384-well plate containing liver cells and sandwiched with 3D NSCs on the 384PillarPlate. High-content imaging assays will be performed to evaluate the effect of compounds and their metabolites in NSCs to analyze the metabolism-induced neurotoxicity.
Nicholas Lesh, Alexander Roth, Stephen Hong, Oju Jeon, and Eben Alsberg
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is an aggressive liver cancer where prognosis is heavily tied to metastasis progression. Researchers look to determine the triggers for metastasis to control its spread. The goal of this project is to determine these triggers by quantifying Hep3B cell migration on a high-throughput platform. We infected Hep3B cells with lentiviruses containing mCherry to produce stable fluorescent cells. Next, we determined the stability of growth factors in oxidized, methacrylated alginate (OMA) hydrogel by binding growth factors with methacrylated heparin sulfate (MHS) before encapsulating in OMA, printing onto the 384-pillar plate with sidewalls, and quantifying growth factor release via ELISA. Finally, we printed layer-by-layer migration assays, in which bottom layers of fluorescent cells would migrate in response to top layers of growth factors and quantified migration and proliferation using previously developed macros. Initially, there was a strong release of growth factor, but the release rate was retarded by binding to MHS, meaning growth factors were stable. Cells proliferated in response to growth factors that encourage proliferation, while migration occurred towards growth factors that upregulate angiogenesis. These results show that we have successfully developed a 3D-cancer cell migration assay which has implications in the characterization of other cancers.
Directional solidification (DS) is the process of solidifying a metal alloy from one end to another resulting in aligned primary dendrites which are branched tree like features. Alignment of primary dendrites along  direction and their uniformity and distribution along the DS length determines the mechanical properties. These properties are especially important for single crystal turbine blade applications in modern gas turbine engines. Convection during solidification plays an important role in formation of detrimental defects, such as, misaligned grains, non-uniformity of dendrites and composition inhomogeneity. In this study the microstructural evolution during “Gradient Freeze DS process”, involving an abrupt cross-section decrease has been examined on cylindrical Pb- 5.8% Sb alloy samples. Pb-5.8Sb was selected for this study because of its ease of processing and availability of its well-characterized physical property data. Two furnace cooling rates, 0.5 and 4 oC/min, have been examined during gradient-freeze DS. Morphology of primary dendrites has been observed to change from being branch-less (cellular), to onset of side-branching, to being well-branched having tertiary and higher level branching as a function of increasing solidification distance. “Freckles” caused by “severe plume-type” convection are seen in the slower cooling rate sample, but not in the faster cooling rate sample. Positive macrosegregation of Sb occurs along the DS length at both cooling rates, but is more severe at the slower cooling rate. A solute buildup, just before the section decrease, and solute depletion, just after the area decrease is seen, especially at the higher cooling rate. Trunk diameter of primary dendrites decreases, and their spacing (mean minimum spanning tree branch length) increases as the liquid-solid interface advances from the cold end of the sample to its hot end. This ground based research is in support of a future microgravity experiment in the convection free environment of Space Station. The research was supported by grants from NASA and from the Undergraduate Summer Research Program at Cleveland State University.
Marola W. Issa and Nicky R. Baumgartner
Self-propelled or “active” micrometer scale particles are capable of supplying local mechanical work, necessary for microscale cargo delivery and useful in other applications within bioimaging and sensing. Research in the last decade has focused on developing, measuring, and manipulating the locomotion mechanisms of active particles in simple environments. However, many applications will be in complex environments with nearby boundaries or variations in physiochemical cues. This poster reports the directed motion of platinum coated polystyrene particles at infinite dilution in the presence of H2O2, which acts as a fuel to drive motion. A transport mechanism called “diffusiophoresis” drives motion of the particle as a consequence of the local gradient in chemical species following the breakdown of hydrogen peroxide into oxygen and water on the platinum cap. The apparent swimming speed of the particle increased from 0 m/s to approximately 2 m/s with fuel concentrations between 0% and 10% near a boundary. Complementary simulation work showed clustering as a consequence of the balance between swimming speed and random Brownian diffusion. Finally, the poster will summarize efforts to tune swimming speed by adjusting the physiochemical environment of the particle via the addition of salt and non-adsorbing nanoparticles. Results from this work demonstrate how the local environment will alter the dynamic behavior of active Janus particles.
Academic engineering departments are regularly asked to conduct tours of their laboratories to prospective CSU students. For the Civil & Environmental Engineering department, the tours typically take place in the Driving Simulation laboratory, which houses an RS-600 driving simulator. The purpose of this project was to develop a driving scenario that highlights various aspects of civil engineering. The programmed scenario will be used to conduct future tours.
Ryan Thomas Kall
In this project, exploratory steps have been taken towards the development of a set of serious games for state tested nursing assistants (STNAs) education and training, which promises to make the training more engaging and effective. Tasks include getting familiar with developing 3D scenes with Unity, human activity recognition with Microsoft Kinect, creating holograms with Microsoft HoloLens, and help implement a gaze-based mechanism for performance assessment in patient transfer skills.
Harnavdeep Kaur, Taban Larimian, and Javier Esquivel
Over the past 3 decades, iron-based soft magnetic alloys such as Finemet (Fe73.5Si13.5B9Nb3Cu1 (at%)) have attracted great interest due to their exceptional magnetic properties like high magnetization, low coercivity, and high curie temperature. However, the production of amorphous precursor requires very high cooling rates, and thus only wires, powders, and thin ribbons are achievable, yet these are not suitable in industrial applications where large volume of bulk magnetic components is required. Mechanical alloying (MA) has gained special attention as a powerful non-equilibrium process for fabricating amorphous and nanocrystalline materials, whereas spark plasma sintering (SPS) is a unique technique for processing dense and near net shape bulk amorphous-nanocrystalline alloys with homogenous microstructure. The iron-based soft magnetic alloys have been fabricated by spark plasma sintering (SPS) process coupled with high energy ball milling. All the alloys have been processed from a mechanically alloyed blend of elemental powders, and their microstructures, microhardness, and phase formation are discussed. In addition, influence of ball milling parameters on microstructure and phase formation of these alloys have been investigated. This study will open new avenues for the development of soft magnetic materials, with complex shapes and excellent soft magnetic properties.
Comparative Study of the Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Mechanically Alloyed and Spark Plasma Sintered AlxCoCrFeNi (0≤x≤2)High Entropy Alloys
High entropy alloys are a new class of material systems that have promising potential in high temperature structural applications. Mechanical alloying (MA) has gained special attention as a powerful non-equilibrium process for fabricating amorphous and nanocrystalline materials, whereas spark plasma sintering (SPS) is a unique technique for processing dense and near net shape bulk alloys with homogenous microstructure. This research paper discusses novel mechanically alloyed followed by spark plasma sintering approach for assessing composition-microstructure-microhardness relationship in AlxCoCrFeNi (0≤x≤2) high entropy alloy as a candidate system. With increasing Al content, there was a gradual change from a fcc-based microstructure to a bcc-based microstructure (including the ordered B2 phase), accompanied with an increase in microhardness. Such graded alloys are highly attractive candidates for investigating the influence of systematic compositional changes on microstructural evolution and concurrent physical and mechanical properties in complex concentrated alloys or high entropy alloys.