Manhattan, KS, United States
Manhattan, KS, United States

Kansas State University, commonly shortened to Kansas State or K-State, is a public research university with its main campus in Manhattan, Kansas, United States. Kansas State was opened as the state's land-grant college in 1863 – the first public institution of higher learning in the state of Kansas. It had a record high enrollment of 24,766 students for the Fall 2014 semester.Branch campuses are located in Salina and Olathe. Salina houses the College of Technology and Aviation. The Olathe Innovation Campus is the academic research presence within the Kansas Bioscience Park, where graduate students participate in research bioenergy, animal health, plant science and food safety and security.The university is classified as a research university with high research by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Kansas State's academic offerings are administered through nine colleges, including the College of Veterinary Medicine and the College of Technology and Aviation in Salina. Graduate degrees offered include 65 master's degree programs and 45 doctoral degrees. Wikipedia.

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University of Kansas and Kansas State University | Date: 2016-11-21

A microfluidic exosome profiling platform integrating exosome isolation and targeted proteomic analysis is disclosed. This platform is capable of quantitative exosomal biomarker profiling directly from plasma samples with markedly enhanced sensitivity and specificity. Identification of distinct subpopulation of patient-derived exosomes is demonstrated by probing surface proteins and multiparameter analyses of intravesicular biomarkers in the selected subpopulation. The expression of IGF-1R and its phosphorylation level in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patient plasma is assessed as a non-invasive alternative to the conventional biopsy and immunohistochemistry. Detection of ovarian cancer also is assessed. The microfluidic chip, which may be fabricated of a glass substrate and a layer of poly(dimethylsiloxane), includes a serpentine microchannel to mix a fluid and a microchamber for the collection and detection of exosomes.

Gall midges induce formation of host nutritive cells and alter plant metabolism to utilize host resources. Here we show that the gene Mayetiola destructor susceptibility-1 on wheat chromosome 3AS encodes a small heat-shock protein and is a major susceptibility gene for infestation of wheat by the gall midge M. destructor, commonly known as the Hessian fly. Transcription of Mayetiola destructor susceptibility-1 and its homoeologs increases upon insect infestation. Ectopic expression of Mayetiola destructor susceptibility-1 or induction by heat shock suppresses resistance of wheat mediated by the resistance gene H13 to Hessian fly. Silencing of Mayetiola destructor susceptibility-1 by RNA interference confers immunity to all Hessian fly biotypes on normally susceptible wheat genotypes. Mayetiola destructor susceptibility-1-silenced plants also show reduced lesion formation due to infection by the powdery mildew fungus Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici. Modification of susceptibility genes may provide broad and durable sources of resistance to Hessian fly, B. graminis f. sp. tritici, and other pests.

Mirafzal B.,Kansas State University
IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics | Year: 2014

Inverters play key roles in motor drives, flexible power transmissions, and recently grid-tied renewable energy generation units. Therefore, availability and reliability of inverters have become increasingly important. Following early stage fault detections in inverters, remedial actions can extend normal operation of inverters and, in some cases, derate the system to prevent unexpected shutdowns. A remedial action typically contains a combination of hardware and software reconfigurations. The main purpose of this paper is to provide an instructive survey of existing fault-tolerance (remedial) techniques for three-phase, two-level, and multilevel inverters. © 2014 IEEE.

Aikens C.M.,Kansas State University
Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters | Year: 2011

Gold and silver nanoclusters have unique molecule-like electronic structure and a nonzero HOMO-LUMO gap. Recent advances in X-ray crystal structure determination have led to a new understanding of the geometric structure of gold nanoparticles, with significant implications for electronic structure. The superatom model has been effectively employed to explain properties such as one- and two-photon optical absorption, circular dichroism, EPR spectra, and electronic effects introduced by nanoparticle doping. Future investigations may also lead to an understanding of nanoparticle luminescence, excited-state dynamics, and the metallic to molecular transition. © 2010 American Chemical Society.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: PHYSICAL & DYNAMIC METEOROLOGY | Award Amount: 398.18K | Year: 2016

This study seeks to develop and apply new concepts in digital holography to obtain three-dimensional images of airborne particles, called coarse mode aerosols (CMAs). These aerosols are a major source of uncertainty for radiative impacts in climate models. The planned research will use a pioneering digital holographic design, developed by the PI, to measure various optical parameters of these aerosols. The associated education plan in this CAREER award will integrate hands-on teaching in a research lab setting and the development of online modules based on the planned research. The overall planned research and educational components seek to recruit underrepresented minority students and provide a unique learning opportunity in applied optics through the universitys Expanding Diversity in Astronomy and Physics Program (ED-APP).

This study seeks to establish a new characterization paradigm that is free from the drawbacks of conventional light scattering and can unambiguously describe CMA particle size and shape. Optical observables will be automatically measured, which include the angular scattering pattern, total cross sections and single scatter albedo. A series of digital holographic experiments will be used to image CMAs with particle sizes of the order of 1-300 microns. A new analysis method will then be used to quantify the particle size and shape distributions. From these measured particle holograms, accurate estimates of optical observables will be extracted. The goal of this research is to solve the inverse problem, by removing the long standing difficulty relating scattering measurements to particle properties. The study also seeks to correlate particle morphology with optical observables - of critical importance in many remote sensing applications. A portable version of the laboratory holographic instrumentation will be developed for field studies. The goal here is to apply the same techniques in urban and agricultural environments.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Secure &Trustworthy Cyberspace | Award Amount: 350.39K | Year: 2016

One of the most serious threats in the world today to the security of cyberspace is social engineering - the process by which people with access to critical information regarding information systems security are tricked or manipulated into surrendering such information to unauthorized persons, thereby allowing them access to otherwise secure systems. To date, little systematic research has been conducted on social engineering. This research will fill this void by examining who social engineers are, why they engage in social engineering, the processes they use to conceive of and implement social engineering projects, and how they view information privacy and security and justify their behavior. Further, to understand how organizations affected by social engineering cope with the threat it poses, this research also examines the perspectives on social engineering of IT professionals who oversee organizational computer systems and the security of potentially sensitive information. Through gaining a deeper and more accurate understanding of social engineering - a phenomenon currently shrouded in myth and misconception for many - this research will contribute to important advances in criminology and other fields with a vested interest in learning about the human dimensions of information security and inform the development of information security strategies.

This study uses a cross-sectional, non-experimental research design that employs both qualitative and quantitative data. The qualitative component involves semi-structured interviews of social engineers in the wild, security auditors, and IT professionals. Open-ended interview questions will be used to elicit this data. In addition, these interviews will be used to gather quantitative data to measure demographic, computer use, and other social characteristics of social engineers. A set of structured survey questions will be administered by the interviewer as part of the interview process. To select a sample of subjects, a nonprobability, purposive, snowball sampling design is used, which is well-suited for studying hidden populations such as social engineers. To analyze the qualitative data, grounded theory techniques are used which involve the transformation of data into concepts, which are then summarized into broader analytic categories, leading to the isolation of patterns in the data. Quantitative data will be analyzed through an assortment of univariate, bivariate, and multivariate techniques.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ELECT, PHOTONICS, & MAG DEVICE | Award Amount: 345.00K | Year: 2016

The proposed work investigates how sound waves from the combination of tiny magnetic particles and magnetic fields can be utilized to provide efficient delivery of small drug molecules. This experimental approach has a potential to carry out task deep inside the human body in a very fast manner compared to existing technology. The objective of the research is to explore the precise underlying physics and chemistry that controls the effectiveness of this proposed drug delivery methodology and push its limits to be able to engineer a practical medical device. How much of this ultrasound can be generated and how the magnetic particles need to be placed for effective drug delivery will be addressed in this work. The proposed work will provide unique training opportunity to undergraduate and graduate research assistants in theoretical and experimental tools of multidisciplinary fields of chemistry, physics, and medical sciences.

The key objective of the proposed research is to assess the drug delivery capability of a new improved magneto-liposome structure that aims at addressing the shortcomings of previous magneto liposome designs. In this new magnetic liposome structure, gold coated iron oxide nanoparticles will be used as a source of ultrasound for triggering drug delivery in the liposomes. The gold surface of the magnetic particles facilitates a strong attachment of chemical linker via thiol functional groups. The magnetic structures that produce local ultrasonic vibrations are attached to the liposomes via thiolated polyethylene glycol derivatives of cholesterol and phospholipids. As a secondary objective of the proposed research, the PI aims at exploring a potentially more efficient ultrasound generation process from non-spherical magnetic nanorods in rotating magnetic fields. The proposal describes a pulsed magnet capable of mechanically turning colloidal nanostructures. A course-grained molecular dynamics simulation will be developed to provide physical insight into the mechanism of ultrasound generation in colloidal magnetic solutions. It has been found recently that colloidal magnetic nanostructures are able to produce sufficiently large amount of ultrasound that can induce drug release in magneto liposomes from high frequency magnetic fields. The key hypothesis is that once the magnetic particles are moved outside the liposomes structures, one can trigger more efficient drug release, and can carry larger drug delivery capacity from the same sized magneto liposomes when compared to previous designs. It is anticipated that the drug molecules from the liposomes can be released in a very short time (sub millisecond timescale) without significant temperature rise, which will create a new platform for practical delivery of short lived temperature sensitive drug molecules. The proposed work also addresses ultrasound generation in different ways compared to the previous discoveries. It is hypothesized that ultrasound may be generated from anisotropic magnetic nanostructures (nanorods) more effectively in rotating magnetic fields than from spherical magnetic particles in inhomogeneous non-rotating magnetic fields.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: PLANT GENOME RESEARCH RESOURCE | Award Amount: 542.37K | Year: 2016

Food and nutritional security will be a grand challenge in the coming decades. The global population is expected to increase to over 9 billion and food demand will grow by more than 50%. Currently, there are 2 billion people worldwide living in poverty, mostly relying on subsistence agriculture in developing countries. While poverty and food insecurity is a complex issue, the development of improved climate-resilient, high yielding and nutritious plant varieties is a critical part of improving food security, increasing income and economic welfare. To address this challenge, innovative approaches are needed to speed up the development of improved plant varieties. In plant breeding and genetics, precise measurements of plant characteristics are needed to accurately determine the effect of important genes and to identify and select the most promising candidate plant varieties. There has been limited technology development in this area, particularly for traits measured in field trials where most measurements are still taken and recorded by hand. This project will develop mobile applications (apps) for measuring plant traits that can be deployed on inexpensive and readily available mobile devices. Initial testing and deployment through collaboration with cassava and wheat breeders will enable rapid dissemination and broad usability. Middle-school and high-school students will also be engaged to test and use the apps to explore plant growth and measure plant traits. Equipping thousands of plant breeders around the world with tools for rapid measurement and analysis of important plant traits will provide the foundation for accelerated development of improved plant varieties that will ultimately result in increased productivity, food security, nutrition and income of smallholder farmers and their families in developing countries.

Over the past decade, the availability of genomic data has exploded while the methods to collect phenotypes have made minimal advancements. This has led to a dramatic imbalance in data sets connecting genotype to phenotype and highlights phenotyping as the remaining major bottleneck in plant breeding programs. This project will advance the field of 3D graphics and modeling, data mining and deep learning through integration of simultaneous ground truth phenotypic measurements and imaging with mobile technology. Building on the success of Field Book (, user-friendly mobile apps for field-based high-throughput phenotyping (HTP) will be developed and deployed. This project will converge novel advances in image processing and machine vision to deliver mobile apps through established breeder networks. Novel image analysis algorithms will be developed to model and extract plant phenotypes. A robust development pipeline will be assisted by 1) real-time field testing through breeding collaborators around the world and 2) middle-school and high-school students using the apps to explore plant growth and quantitative differences under genetic control. To ensure both immediate, broad deployment and functionality on a diverse set of crops, breeder networks for cassava and wheat will be engaged, providing a diverse set of target plant phenotypes, environments, breeding programs and working cultures. By combining data from research programs with ground truth breeder knowledge, this project will lay the foundation for collecting training sets that can subsequently be used to extract and quantify complex phenotypes using deep learning. Open-source apps for smartphones and tablets will consist of both software and documentation so that users will be able to understand how to use the apps. Apps will be distributed through online app stores (Windows Store, iTunes App Store, Google Play), through project websites, and via collaborative plant breeding networks. The resulting source code will be hosted in a public GitHub repository with a GNU General Public License (GPL) open-source license.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: Macromolec/Supramolec/Nano | Award Amount: 271.77K | Year: 2017

Semiconductors, which comprise a class of solid materials with electrical conductivity intermediate between that of an insulator and that of a conductor, form the basic components of electronic circuits, light emitting diodes and sensor devices. Professor McLaurin employs microwaves to develop methods for semiconductor synthesis with the goal of more efficiently producing safer, superior nanocrystal (NC) materials known as quantum dots. Despite existing for more than 20 years, quantum dots are dominated by toxic heavy metal components and inefficient production methods. Dr. McLaurins method of microwave-assisted ionic liquid (MAIL) etching provides a unique, reproducible approach for the production of high quality NC materials, such as indium phosphide (InP), that avoids toxic heavy metals and inefficient production methods. Broader impacts of the research are apparent in environmental and energy technology gains. High-quality InP NCs open up avenues for applications in energy-efficient lighting and low-cost solar cells, helping address current uncertainties in the global energy landscape. The absence of toxic heavy metals also highlights additional possibilities for using these materials in biological sensing and imaging. Dr. McLaurin provides broader educational impacts in her laboratory and demonstration modules designed for middle, high school, and undergraduate students. Partnership with the Kansas Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation ensures broad diversity in her student base. Microwave ovens are a well-established home appliance, providing a good introduction to students of all ages. These simple microwave-based experiments relevant to nanotechnology and renewable energy applications offer hands-on experience with technologies central to our economy, ensuring future generations have relevant skills to be competitive in our global job environment.

This award by the Macromolecular, Supramolecular and Nanochemistry (MSN) Program supports the research program of Professor Emily McLaurin at Kansas State University (KSU) to devise mechanisms of semiconductor nanocrystal (NC) etching, and obtain new protocols for acquiring NCs with specific properties. Results from this research improve the scientific value of microwave-assisted syntheses of colloidal toxic heavy metal (Pb, Cd, Hg)-free NCs through development of new methodologies and by detailing mechanistic aspects of the reactions that explain observed advantages over conventional syntheses. Microwave-assisted ionic liquid (MAIL) etching provides access to new reaction space variables, including unique, reproducible pathways for production of high quality NCs by balancing in situ etching with NC growth. Broader impacts of the research are apparent in environmental and energy technology gains. Mechanistic studies of etching aid in obtaining InP NCs with tunable properties, which can transform the area of colloidal semiconductor NCs synthesis by demonstrating the utility and advantages of microwave-assisted methods. Information about the systems studied, including the etching mechanisms, is readily applicable to other materials. Dr. McLaurin provides broader educational impacts in her laboratory and demonstration modules designed for middle, high school, and undergraduate students. Including more women and underrepresented minorities in science and engineering disciplines is key to attracting new talent to STEM fields. Dr. McLaurin tackles this challenge through the design of accessible, interesting lab activities for the KSU summer programs and their integration with curriculum at the undergraduate (4-year and community college) levels. Modules integrating nanomaterials with microwave chemistry and renewable energy applications combine fundamental scientific knowledge with real-world applications creating a meaningful educational experience.

Berry V.,Kansas State University
Carbon | Year: 2013

This review discusses the genesis of impermeability in graphene and its extraordinary applications in fluid-encasement for wet electron-microscopy, selective gas-permeation, nanopore-bio-diffusion, and barrier coating against rusting and environmental hazards. As the thinnest material, graphene is composed of sp2 hybridized carbon atoms linked to one another in a 2D honeycomb lattice with high electron-density in its aromatic rings, which blocks-off all molecules. This phenomena, in combination with its strong structure (C-C bond energy = 4.9 eV and intrinsic strength = 43 N/m) makes graphene the most impermeable membrane (thinnest membrane that is impermeable). Apart from the applications mentioned above, graphene coatings have enabled fundamental studies on chemical processes and fluid structures. For example, graphene can allow electron imaging of nanocrystal nucleation process and water-lattice-structure due to its impermeability. Along with being the strongest, most conductive, and optically-absorbing material (∼2.3% optical absorbance), graphene's impermeability opens a wide range of exciting opportunities. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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