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CAMP Annual Report: Page 7

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Nanoparticles for Healthy Teeth

Clarkson University Physics Professor Igor Sokolov and Physics graduate student Ravi Gaikwad developed a method for polishing human teeth using nanoparticles, in particular, silica nanoparticles. Their idea came from chemical mechanical planarization, a process used in the semiconductor industry, in which nanoparticles are used as abrasives to attain sub-nanometer roughness. Although silica particles were used for tooth polishing, polishing with nanosized particles has not been reported before. The Clarkson researchers showed that such a polishing protects the tooth surface against the damage caused by cariogenic bacteria because the bacteria can easily be removed from the surface of the polished tooth. Their results are scheduled to be published in the October issue of the top dentistry journal, the Journal of Dental Research (the top impact index of all dental journals worldwide). These results can be used in new formulations of dental polishing pastes.

Professor Sokolov’s other research interests include sustainable energy projects (advanced materials for solar energy, materials for saving energy, self-healing materials) and the synthesis of fluorescent particles with changing properties depending on the environment (lab-on-a-particle). He also studies the mechanics of human cells with atomic force microscopy, investigates forces between various particles and surfaces in liquids, and does work with biomaterials, and the fundamentals of self-assembly.

Nanostructured Polymeric Materials

Professor Sitaraman Krishnan recently joined CAMP. He is a new faculty member at Clarkson and serves as an Assistant Professor in the University’s Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.  He specializes in nanostructured polymeric materials for advanced applications, including coatings that can resist biofouling. He synthesizes these materials and uses synchrotron based X-ray techniques such as NEXAFS spectroscopy and GISAXS to characterize them. He also specializes in the engineering of polymer nanoparticles for use in controlled release technology.

Advanced Materials for Electrochemical Biosensors

CAMP Professor Ian Suni’s research group is working on a series of projects that are on the borderline between materials science, engineering and biotechnology.  They involve understanding and controlling the behavior of proteins and cells at solid surfaces, with applications in the development of biosensors, medical implants, and artificial organs.  One of his active projects is the development of a portable electrochemical biosensor for detecting peanut protein, a common and often fatal allergen. Professor Suni is also collaborating with Professor Stephanie Schuckers from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering on work involving biosensor methods for detecting different types of proteins.  In addition Suni just published an article on using degenerate Si, which can be easily incorporated into ULSI devices, in electrochemical biosensors. 

Biomolecular Computing

CAMP Professors Evgeny Katz and Vladimir Privman were recently awarded a Cross-disciplinary Semiconductor Research grant by the Semiconductor Research Corporation in topics of Biomolecular Computing Systems and Their Interfacing with Si-Based Electronics. This exploratory research will address both experimental and theoretical challenges for advancing scalable, fault-tolerant biochemical computing. Single and several concatenated biochemical logic gates will be realized experimentally, including evaluation of the noise effects, as well as bioelectrochemical approaches to couple biochemical logic with Si-based electronics. The obtained data will be modeled with the aim to map out the gate functions and cast them in the language of logic variables appropriate for analysis of Boolean logic for scalability. Gate optimization will be explored to minimize noise. The aim is to derive theoretically and then realize experimentally optimal sets for the process parameters to minimize “analog” noise amplification in gate concatenation. Ultimately, for concatenated gates digital error correction will be explored and new paradigms for avoiding noise build-up will be developed. See Figures 1 and 2.


                   ( Figure 1)                                       (Figure 2)

Figure 1.  Theoretical optimization of the biochemical process parameters aimed at suppressing analog noise amplification.

Figure 2.   The experimentally mapped response surface for an enzymatic AND gate.

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Eleven research projects were supported by the Centers for Advanced Technology (CAT) Program of New York State's Foundation for Science, Technology, and Innovation (NYSTAR) in the 2007 - 2008 fiscal year. Project titles and principal investigators are listed below for each research area.


Colloidal Dispersions and Processing

Hydrophilic Silicone Copolymers and Macro-Monomers for Opthalmic Applications-D. Shipp


Reduced Energy Consumption through Direct Writing of Nanometer-Sized Metal and Dielectric Materials- J. Moosbrugger

Particle Transport, Deposition, and Removal

Studies of Adhesion between Polymer Particles and Surfaces- W. Ding

Particle Synthesis and Properties

Development and Modification of Compounds for Utilization in Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Chemical Catalysis- D. Goia

Thin Films and Coatings

Free Foam Fibers- S.V. Babu

Supporting Technologies

Investigations on the Use of Waste Glass Powder as an Ingredient of Sustainable and Performance Enhanced Concretes- N. Neithalath

Component Reliability Assessment: Pumps and Control Valves for LMS100 Gas Turbines- D. Aidun

Bridge Monitoring Program- K. Janoyan

Process Intensification Using Narrow Channel and Rotating Tube Reactors -
R. Jachuck

Demonstration of Process Intensification- R. Jachuck

Interaction of Nafion with C Substrates- S. Minko