San Marcos University of Costa Rica
San Jose, Costa Rica
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Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.33K | Year: 2010

Areas of research relating to self-healing composites structures have been undertaken by well-known and respected institutions under the auspices of the Department of Defense. Patent literature and public technical communiqué describe their novel engineering approaches using microencapsulated systems that release polymeric healing agents through suitable mechanisms. While these approaches have merit, the choices of polymer materials used in this design are limited. Our unique expertise has allowed us to correctly identify reaction kinetics and manufacturing processes that presently restrict the use of eminently more suitable polymer systems for this application. We propose revolutionary treatments of encapsulant shells and core healing agents. A team of polymer chemists and polymer engineers, coupled with commercial micro-encapsulation experts, will conduct novel monomer, co-monomer and prepolymer syntheses, and introduce polymer engineering processes that will enable the long-awaited employment of compounds which, to date, have not been successfully encapsulated. Our insight into aspects of physical polymer chemistry, chemical synthesis, and polymer engineering principals will allowed us to implement and develop our novel concept to circumvent long-standing challenges. We will prove feasibility and practicality of our approach, and use those results to introduce a new process and new materials to the microencapsulation and composite industries.

Bolanos R.,San Marcos University of Costa Rica | Del Castillo A.,Medical Institute BVida Plena | Francia J.,Womens Health Medical Institute BVida Plena
Menopause | Year: 2010

OBJECTIVE: The incidence of vasomotor crises during the climacterium varies in women across different populations, and phytoestrogen consumption seems to play an important role in this problem. The aim of this study was to determine whether intervention with soy (dietary, extract, or concentrate), as compared with placebo, reduces the incidence of hot flashes in climacteric women. METHODS: Only published, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials were selected, with a 12-week duration of intervention, having selected postmenopausal women affected with hot flashes attributed to the climacterium (without cancer background). The intervention to be evaluated was soy, as "soy dietary supplement," "soy extract," or "isoflavone concentrate" (genistein or daidzein). The results were expressed as the number of hot flashes, average score of vasomotor symptoms, or average percent reduction in hot flashes within a time unit (day, week, or month). RESULTS: Nineteen studies were analyzed. The minimum heterogeneity was observed in the "isoflavone concentrate" group. In the "extract" and "dietary supplement" groups, heterogeneity reached an intermediate level, I = 42% and 59.73%, respectively. The overall result showed a standardized mean difference of-0.39 (95% CI,-0.53 to-0.25) in favor of soy as well as-0.45 (95% CI,-0.64 to-0.25),-0.51 (95% CI,-0.79 to-0.22), and-0.20 (95% CI,-0.46 to-0.06) for the "concentrate," "extract," and "dietary supplement" subgroups, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Although the overall combined results and the results by subgroups (according to the type of supplement used) showed a significant tendency in favor of soy, it is still difficult to establish conclusive results given the high heterogeneity found in the studies. © 2010 by The North American Menopause Society.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2013

The rare-earth elements (REEs) find uses in many high tech military applications, including night vision goggles, laser range finders, precision guided weapons, and stealth technology. Their high costs (up to $6800/lb. Scandium) are due to low concentration in ores and high cost of separation. Fourteen of the REEs are listed in a single box in the periodic table, meaning they all have almost identical chemical behaviors. CHEMTOR, L.P. will collaborate on this STTR Phase I feasibility project with Texas State University-San Marcos and Quinn Process Equipment Co., Colorado (QPEC). QPEC makes mixer-settlers for the mining industry. CHEMTOR will adapt the game changing ultra-efficient non-dispersive, static Fiber Reactor (FR) and game changing ionic liquids to greatly improve the efficiency and economics of REE solvent extraction (SX) processes. The FR produces 60X more surface area than dispersion processors, does not make emulsions, and gives instant separation. CHEMTOR will develop and evaluate practical, robust REE SX processes that are highly efficient and can 1) use commercial extractants/solvents efficiently and safely, (2) use highly efficient Ionic Liquids as green solvent, and 3) use Task Specific Ionic Liquids to replace extractant and solvent. The FR contactor-settler will be a fraction the size of current technology with benefits of small foot print and reduced capital. The new processor eliminates dispersions, so it will not produce rag or crud layers. This will result in reduced additives, reduced crud processing, reduced solvent loss and generally give improved plant operation with less down time, less waste, less pollution.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2013

Rhenium (Re) was the last natural element to be identified and is the rarest of metals. The most concentrated ore contains only about 1800 ppm Re. It has a very high melting point, which leads to uses in high temperature resistant applications like cataly

Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2014

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This Phase I Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) project focuses on the development of a new platform manufacturing process for large-scale preparation of monodispersed polymeric nanoparticles (NPs) suitable for biomedical applications through the use of a large-scale fiber fluidic system. Although laboratory processes for reproducible synthesis of polymeric particles through emulsion and nanoprecipitation methods have matured, the development of suitable methods for synthesis of such monodispersed NPs in the scales required for commercialization has not been achieved. The proposed system aims to meet this need by providing a versatile, rugged and easily scalable process that can be used for continuous manufacture of polymeric NPs in a small footprint. After seeing our preliminary data, David Nowotnik, Senior Vice President Research and Development at Access Pharmaceuticals wrote: A process that could be used in the lab to make monodisperse nanoparticles for me

Background and Purpose: There are 1.3 million people in the United States living with limb loss, and most of these patients experience some form of residual limb pain and phantom limb pain (PLP). The purpose of this case study was to determine the effectiveness of mirror therapy, biofeedback, and tactile stimulation on decreasing chronic residual limb pain and PLP in a patient with an upper-limb traumatic amputation. Case Description: The patient is a 48-year-old male who is employed as a construction worker. The patient was working on a conveyer belt transporting stones when the conveyer belt caught his arm resulting in a shoulder disarticulation. According to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF), the patient's activity limitations included difficulty in sleeping, inability to write, or inability to perform heavy household chores, yard work, cook, or manage his own transportation needs. The patient's participation limitations included decreased recreational activities with his 15-year-old son, maximum difficulty with sexual activities with his wife, and decreased confidence interfering with his normal social activities. Intervention: Interventions include electromyographic (EMG) biofeedback training to infraspinatus and pectoralis major muscle in short/quick, sustained, and gradual contraction with decreasing sensitivity of electrodes. Treatment strategies also included mirror therapy, scapular proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF), high-voltage electrical stimulation, retrograde massage, scar mobilizations, tactile cuing, and soft tissue mobilization. Outcomes: The patient demonstrated a 30% decrease in Disability of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (DASH) score, decreased pain with Numeric Pain Rating (NPR) from 9/10 to 3/10, increased amplitude of contraction of infraspinatus and pectoral muscles, decreased sensitivity of myoelectric electrodes, and decreased edema. The patient also reported increased confidence in social interactions with friends and personal interactions with his wife. The patient was also able to participate in recreational activities with his teenage son. Discussion: This case is clinically relevant to the field of physical therapy in terms of decreasing chronic residual limb pain, PLP, and improving muscular control with use of mirror therapy, biofeedback, and tactile stimulation. Copyright © 2015 by the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists.

Aramayo V.,San Marcos University of Costa Rica
Fisheries Research | Year: 2015

Large-scale marine fisheries are recognized as one of the main threats to population stability of many commercially important fish species. Selectivity-driven detrimental changes on the population structure (e.g. declines in mean lengths affecting phenotypic traits of the exploited species), and the growing trend toward earlier maturation (reproductive changes); represents a worldwide phenomenon affecting the recovery of several exploited fish species, all which might contribute with a highly unfavourable scenario of exploitation. Large and long-lived individuals are especially (although not restrictively) vulnerable. A lower fishing selectivity (plus other protection measurements) might gradually favour to those heavily exploited fish populations and balance the catch to all exploitable individuals. This approach might also positively contribute to the fishery sustainability, by protecting old, big females, which are important for growth, fecundity, offspring, and survival of the population. All this supposes a major transformation in the universal way for fish exploitation, and a huge challenge, because it will have to deal with other factors such as short-term economic vision that dominates the main fisheries worldwide. © 2015 Elsevier B.V..

Pontons-Melo J.C.,San Marcos University of Costa Rica
Quintessence international (Berlin, Germany : 1985) | Year: 2011

Composite resins can be used to improve the esthetics of the smile at a low cost and with relatively high clinical performance. The aim of this article was to describe an approach to restore and enhance the esthetic appearance of the anterior dentition through vital tooth whitening and the direct layering of composite resin during predictable esthetic procedures.

Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 461.79K | Year: 2009

This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5). This Small Business Technology Transfer Phase II project will change the paradigm that two-phase chemical reactions must use mechanical mixing to be commercially effective. The innovative Fiber Reactor (TM) offers two orders of magnitude change in efficiency for chemical and biochemical manufacturing. This project will focus on biodiesel transesterification reactions. Biodiesel plants convert fats/oils to biodiesel with multiple reactor stages and centrifuge stages. Complexity is due to poor mass transfer, poor reaction conversion, and poor phase separations due to by-product soap. Improving mass transfer and eliminating soap dispersions will reduce the cost of manufacturing biodiesel. In Phase I experiments, the Fiber Reactor was 3-100 times faster than commercial biodiesel processes with superior conversion. Advanced Materials and Processes has found an unconventional way to improve mass transfer and simultaneously solve phase separation problems in biodiesel processes. Use of a Fiber Reactor will reduce complexity, size, capital, energy consumption, and water pollution by dramatically improving mass transfer and eliminating dispersions. Phase I proved feasibility of energy savings and process intensification in biodiesel manufacturing. Phase II will use Phase I models and CHEMCAD models to design and operate a pilot reactor using the high throughput continuous static Fiber Reactor and wash processes. Biodiesel capacity could increase 10 times by 2015 and improve U.S. energy security. Two hurdles remain - produce the triglyceride needed and match petroleum economics. A new industry and networks are being developed to supply enough algae oil. Fiber Reactors will reduce capital and operating cost for producing biodiesel by 50% and use low cost crude oils/fats. Phase I developed basic transesterification chemistry for Fiber Reactors. Phase II will develop chemistry/engineering data for scale up. Fiber technology will apply to pharmaceutical and specialty chemical manufacturing with similar benefits. This project will integrate research and education by training students in organic chemistry, fibers, materials, processes, pilot operations, fractionation, analysis, organic synthesis, and quality control. Students use wet chemistry, GPC, HPLC and LC/MS for identification/quantification of raw materials and reaction products. Texas State University graduated 46 chemistry/biochemistry majors in 2008. Enrollment in 2009 included 329 chemistry/biochemistry majors. The 37 graduate students were 35% minority and 48% women. IEIS has provided research assistantships/employment to over 100 students of whom 62% were women or minorities. This project will have a positive impact on the research capabilities of academic departments and IEIS; and help women and minorities to improve their training in industrial chemistry.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 749.62K | Year: 2010

The purpose of this STTR Phase II project is to continue research and development on novel fire resistant thermal barrier coatings (TBC) with low temperature flexibility. Polyurethane coatings are the most important segment of aircraft coatings. Excellent

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