West Chester, PA, United States
West Chester, PA, United States

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Kolasinski K.W.,West Chester University
Journal of Physical Chemistry C | Year: 2010

The Turner mechanism of porous silicon formation during stain etching was developed and accepted without surface-sensitive data and without an understanding that nanostructures are being formed. Here it is shown that an oxide intermediate does not play a role in the formation of nanocrystalline porous Si films. Furthermore, a mechanistic understanding of etching and nanostructure formation leads to the formulation of seven rules for the rational design of stain etchants. These rules are used to develop three new formulations of stain etchants containing Fe 3+, VO 2 +, and Ce 4+, which are demonstrated to effectively produce porous silicon. These new formulations represent a significant advance in stain etching as they avoid many of the problems associated with common nitrate-/nitrite-based stain etchants including no need for " activation", short induction times, and the reproducible production of homogeneous films of unprecedented thickness. © 2010 American Chemical Society.


Kolasinski K.W.,West Chester University
Journal of the American Chemical Society | Year: 2013

Visible or UV light activates H-terminated Si surfaces because of the presence of a photogenerated hole in a Si-Si back-bond. Enhancing the lifetime of this hole at the surface increases reactivity. On the basis of photodynamics and electron transfer theory, the prevalence of two mechanisms of photoactivation (internal photoemission versus interband photoexcitation followed by electron transfer) are explored. To act as an effective trap, an acceptor state for the excited electron must either be populated directly by photoexcitation or the state must lie in a band gap (or both). It is predicted that oxidants with a properly positioned acceptor level will enhance the reactivity of porous silicon or silicon nanocrystals in a size selective manner. © 2013 American Chemical Society.


Patent
West Chester University | Date: 2014-09-02

Methods and kits for aiding in detection, assessment and treatment of a proliferative disorder of the prostate gland in a subject are provided according to aspects of the present invention which include assaying a first biological sample comprising prostate gland cells obtained from the subject for expression of one or more biomarkers selected from the group consisting of: alcohol dehydrogenase 1B, alcohol dehydrogenase 1C, alcohol dehydrogenase 4 and hepatocyte nuclear factor 1B; and determining, based on the expression of the one or more biomarkers in the sample that the subject has, or is at risk of having, a proliferative disorder of the prostate gland.


Patent
West Chester University | Date: 2013-01-23

Methods and kits for aiding in detection, assessment and treatment of a proliferative disorder of the prostate gland in a subject are provided according to aspects of the present invention which include assaying a first biological sample comprising prostate gland cells obtained from the subject for expression of one or more biomarkers selected from the group consisting of: alcohol dehydrogenase 1B, alcohol dehydrogenase 1C, alcohol dehydrogenase 4 and hepatocyte nuclear factor 1B; and determining, based on the expression of the one or more biomarkers in the sample that the subject has, or is at risk of having, a proliferative disorder of the prostate gland.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 204.00K | Year: 2012

****Technical Abstract****
Within the field of condensed matter physics, our understanding of disordered systems lags far behind our understanding of crystalline ones. In crystalline systems, defects are known to control mechanical fragility, but there are no obvious counterparts to defects in disordered solids. This experimental program explores the source of mechanical fragility in disordered solids by using a recently developed laser-poking technique to perturb disordered colloidal solids and track induced particle rearrangements using video microscopy. Critical to this project is employing a new data analysis approach that has been shown to greatly reduce the complexity of disordered solids, perhaps even identifying structurally weak regions. The results from this project will be a great interest to both the scientific and engineering communities as our current limited understanding of disordered materials impedes the progress in both modeling materials as well as designing new materials with improved mechanical properties. Beyond addressing an important and open question in the field of condensed matter physics, the project will also provide critical experience to undergraduate researchers who will conduct the research and broadly disseminate the results through student-coauthored papers as well as talks at national conferences. Furthermore, the proposed research will offer opportunities to student researchers from a diverse range of backgrounds found at a state institution and encourage them towards careers in science and technology.

****Non-Technical Abstract****
This experimental program explores the mechanical properties of amorphous solids. In contrast to crystalline solids, amorphous solids have a disordered atomic structure. Because of this complexity, physicists lack a clear physical picture of how the structure of disordered solids relates to their mechanical properties. This limited understanding of disordered materials has hindered the application of such materials as bulk metallic glasses, amorphous thin films, and nanoparticles assemblies. Using a recently developed laser-poking technique, this project will explore the mechanical response of colloidal disordered solids to stress. The experimental results from this research will serve to validate or disprove current theories relating to amorphous solids, aid in the development of a clear physical picture of amorphous solids, and provide a framework to support the development of new materials as well as improve the design of current ones. Beyond addressing an important and open question in the field of condensed matter physics, this project will also provide critical experience to undergraduate researchers who will conduct the research and broadly disseminate the results through student-coauthored papers as well as talks at national conferences. Furthermore, the proposed research will offer opportunities to student researchers from a diverse range of backgrounds found at a state institution and encourage them towards careers in science and technology.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Physiolg Mechansms&Biomechancs | Award Amount: 17.08K | Year: 2014

This award will support the symposium Unsteady aquatic locomotion with respect to eco-design and mechanics at the annual meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) in January 2015. The symposium is intended to bring together morphologists, engineers, and mathematicians with an interest in how animals cope with the problem of unsteadiness in the aquatic environment. A major goal is to take theoretical analysis of swimming from the laboratory and examine the interaction of the animal and the environment in the field, where unsteadiness is the general condition. The aquatic environment in which animals must operate is in a constant state of change and therefore unsteady by nature. The occurrence of intrinsic instabilities together with currents, turbulence, tidal oscillations, wave action, and the need for predator and obstacle avoidance, high accelerations and maneuverability make functioning in open water difficult. Turbulence for aquatic animals is important at scales ranging from micro to macro to global. To meet the challenges of inherently unsteady movements and unsteady environment, aquatic animals have adapted body morphologies and behaviors that not only act to enhance stabilization, but can also take advantage of the unsteadiness. Mechanics of vortex energy capture, tidal transport, the drag reduction experienced by animals in swarms and schools, stabilization kinematics associated with short-term perturbations, diving strategies, and fast-start behaviors are examples of mechanisms that utilize unsteadiness in an adaptive manner. Furthermore, the unsteady turbulence that animals produce themselves can have ramifications for ocean mixing and global climate change.

Bringing together a diverse array of investigators capitalizes on new approaches and concepts to the study of unsteadiness for aquatic organisms. The potential scientific significance of this symposium is an understanding of the importance of unsteadiness in the environment. This focus can stimulate research based on the knowledge of swimming generated in the laboratory into a natural context. Such information is necessary to assess the energetics of swimming with its implications to the conservation of aquatic species. In addition, morphology and performance displayed by aquatic animals can suggest future avenues for bio-inspired designs. By using SICB as the venue for the symposium, the symposium will be broadly advertised and presented to a large contingent of researchers, who work directly or are allied with the topic of interest. Papers from each presentation (11 total) will be published in the societys journal, Integrative and Comparative Biology. Ultimately, it is hoped that this symposium will provide a forum for discussion among researchers, foster new ideas, interdisciplinary collaborations, and lead the way toward future directions of research efforts in aquatic locomotion.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 34.58K | Year: 2012

This award will support an NSF/CMBS regional conference to be held at West Chester University of Pennsylvania in the summer of 2012 on the topic of mathematics applied to social and behavioral problems. The principal speaker will be Professor Donald Saari from the University of California at Irvine. This award will support 30 participants at different stages of their careers.

After an introductory lecture, Professor Saaris presentations will focus on the following topics: symmetries and paired comparisons, impossibility theorems, symmetries and voting problems, applications of symmetries to more general decision problems, dynamics of social and behavioral systems, and topological structures applied to psychology. He will conclude with a presentation on open problems.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Enviro Health & Safety of Nano | Award Amount: 146.93K | Year: 2015

Active and diverse microorganism communities are essential for soil; and hence for agriculture, food security, and ecosystem health. Changes in these communities can significantly influence soil quality, health, and productivity. This research uses experimental and statistical/modeling approaches to investigate and predict the impact of common metal nanoparticles (iron, copper, and silver), which are reported to have anti-microbial properties, on soil microbial communities. The main research goal is to develop models that can help assess the ecotoxicity of common metal nanoparticles without having to resort to carrying out large numbers of experiments for each sample to be tested. This work accomplishes that goal with a combined experimental/modeling approach. Experiments involving the study of the toxicity of ten important soil parameters (pH, temperature, nanoparticle concentration, organic carbon content, soil moisture, and the concentration of various cations and anions like Na, Ca, Mg, nitrates, and phosphates) on the interaction between selected commercially purchased nanoparticles and two model soils, each with their unique microbial community, will be carried out in microcosms. The toxicity of the nanoparticles to microbial communities will be evaluated using three different indicators of microbial health and metabolic activity: PCR-DGGE, Biolog Ecoplates, and total soil FAME analyses from which a single ecotoxicity value can be determined. Results of the experimental matrix will be used to develop a linear regression model that will identify environmental parameters that increase, decrease, or have no influence on toxicity on the soil microbes. A quadratic regression will be developed that build off the results of the linear model to predict the toxic potential of each parameter and identify and assess interactions among the various environmental parameters. Broader impacts of the research include the strong integration of research and education, engaging large numbers of undergraduate students in environmental biology research, and using the research to augment undergraduate course curriculum. Through a summer research experience, the project will also engage students from Southern University, a historically black college that is still recovering from the effects of Hurricane Katrina. Participation of under-represented groups in the sciences will also be increased by recruiting students from the Dowling College Center for Minority Teacher Development and Training Program to participate in the research. Free public lectures tailored for the general public to increase their awareness of their impacts on the environment will also be presented.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: CROSS-EF ACTIVITIES | Award Amount: 213.86K | Year: 2014

How and why organisms allocate resources to different functions such as growth, maintenance and reproduction is a fundamental aspect of their biology. Understanding patterns of allocation addresses fundamental questions about the evolution of a wide variety of plants and animals. The way that organisms mate with each other (their mating system) is often related to the way they allocate resources. For example, in species where a single male mates with multiple females, males may express particular traits that increase their chance of successfully obtaining a mate. In some species, such as freshwater snails, individuals are male and female at the same time, and therefore have the option to self-fertilize if no mates are available. Previous research has resulted in a predictive theory that relates the way organisms mate (with/without a partner) to how they grow and when they become mature. In this three-year interdisciplinary research project, this theory with be extended and tested using a combination of mathematical modeling and experimental tests using snails. The project will also promote cross-disciplinary education of diverse undergraduate students and high school teachers.

There is a close relationship between the expression and evolution of the mating system and other life-history traits. Individuals of many species may be able to alter their allocation of resources based on the availability of mating partners, and the pattern of mating itself can affect when individuals initiate reproduction and how much they allocate to gamete production and mate attraction. A particular example of this is revealed by simultaneous hermaphrodites that can reproduce by self-fertilization or outcrossing: Individuals that prefer to outcross may delay the initiation of reproduction if mates are not available. In this project, the researchers will develop a series of mathematical models to explore the role that a variety of realistic yet complicated environmental factors play in determining life-history expression and evolution. They will explore the consequences of (1) demographic stochasticity, (2) inducible defenses, and (3) spatial structure on the expression and evolution of optimal life-history strategies. Each model will be paired with an empirical test using a well-developed experimental system (freshwater snails) that will allow a test of the model results. Collectively, the project will improve the predictive and explanatory power of how individual life-history strategies and the mating system interact.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: TUES-Type 1 Project | Award Amount: 200.00K | Year: 2013

There is a solid body of evidence documenting significant misconceptions about evolution among college students before and even after instruction in the life sciences. Researchers have attempted to evaluate and address such misconceptions in evolution-based courses at the college level, but only with mixed success. There is still a need to develop and test tools and methods to help students gain an accurate understanding of evolution. This project is creating, using, and evaluating an innovative laboratory curriculum for an introductory biological anthropology course to address and correct misconceptions about evolution. It is using a student-centered and inquiry-based approach that challenges students to apply the core theory and concepts of evolution and biological anthropology specifically, and to engage actively in solving problems using scientific methods. The project is teaching evolution as an active process. This approach is designed to help students understand how evolution occurs in a human context. The project is engaging students actively with DNA /molecular and other laboratory evidence that are integrated with other course materials. This approach embeds evolutionary challenges fully and explicitly throughout the semester and focuses almost entirely on human examples as appropriate to biological anthropology.

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