Nine undergraduate students from across the United States will present their work from the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program at MSOE on Wednesday, Aug. 2 from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. on the fourth floor of the Grohmann Tower, 233 E. Juneau Ave.

Since 1996, the REU program at MSOE has focused on a wide range of micro-manufacturing applications in the aerospace, architectural, biomedical, biomolecular, composite, electro-optical, fluid power, manufacturing and robotics industries. The prestigious 10-week summer program offers undergraduate students from around the country access to MSOE’s expert faculty and state-of-the-art research facilities.

REU is an innovative, interdisciplinary program funded by the National Science Foundation, MSOE’s Rapid Prototyping Center and the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP) to give undergraduates hands-on experience in research. Since 1996, 199 students have participated in the program. For the third year in a row, two participants spent six weeks conducting research in advanced manufacturing at the National Laser Center at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa.

Hands-on access to solid freeform fabrication devices and fluid power laboratories, close partnerships with advisors, industry mentors and other educational institutions, paired with a creative learning environment provided students with a high probability of success in research focused on solving industrial problems through advanced manufacturing technology.

Students conducted research, visited professionals and problem solved with advisors, teammates and other resources. They participated in poster sessions, group discussions, research documentation, learned new software, made presentations, built models, designed and completed experiments and wrote research papers.

Characterization of Pluronic F-127/Pectin Hydrogel for Potential Tissue Engineering Applications
Elizabeth Bryant, civil engineering major at LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas, from Columbia, Mississippi

Advances in biofabrication are closing the gap between the number of people waiting for a transplant and those receiving one. This research focused on the use of a novel pectin-based bioink. Pluronic® F-127 is used in the bioink to create a hydrogel during the initial bioprinting process. In order for the pectin/Pluronic solution to maintain its structure, a crosslinker is employed for the gelation of pectin. The crosslinkers tested were oligochitosan, Ca2+ and Zn2+. The structural integrity of the bioprinted scaffold was used to determine the crosslinkers effectiveness. Moreover, post-printing treatment of the scaffold using chitosan was investigated to increase the biocompatibility of ionic-crosslinked gels.
Advisor: Dr. Wujie Zhang, assistant professor, biomolecular engineering, MSOE

Characterization of Functionally graded Ti-6Al-4V + Mo for Biomedical Applications
Andrew Gray, mechanical engineering major at MSOE, from Mundelein, Illinois
Kevin Sivak, mechanical engineering major at MSOE, from Orland Park, Illinois

This research assessed the material characteristics of several functionally graded Ti6Al4V samples with varying percentages of molybdenum. Laser Metal Deposition was employed to produce several samples with varying percentages of molybdenum at two laser speeds of 1500 W and 1700 W. One sample was created with 0%, 5%, 10%, 15%, 10%, 5% and 0% Mo on Ti64 substrate while the other with 15%, 10%, 5%, 0%, 5%, 10% and 15% Mo. Hardness, microstructure, fracture toughness and corrosion resistance were measured. Scanning Electron Microscopy was used to check the powder morphology and the X-Ray Diffractogram was used to check the phases present in the samples. The usefulness of functionally graded Ti6Al4V-Mo alloy for biomedical applications was established.
Advisors: Dr. Subha Kumpaty, professor, mechanical engineering, MSOE; Dr. Esther Akinlabi, University of Johannesburg; Dr. Sisa Pityana, University of Johannesburg

Characterization and Modification of Pectin-Based Nanofibers
Marquis Henderson, mechanical engineering major at North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro, North Carolina, from Waldorf, Maryland

Pectin is a polysaccharide that can be found in the skin and cell walls of different fruits — and is biodegradable, biocompatible and easily accessible. Ca-pectin and Oligochitosan-pectin nanofibers previously were successfully prepared. Characterization of the nanofibers’ surface charge through zeta potential (the measurement of the potential difference of a surface of a solid object immersed into a conductive liquid) was conducted to establish the influence of crosslinkers, Ca2+ and oligochitosan. It is deemed favorable for the surface charge of the nanofibers to be positive in order to promote cell attachment, survival and proliferation. Various methods of fabricating the nanofibers into specific shapes were also investigated. This research shows promise for biological applications.
Advisor: Dr. Wujie Zhang, assistant professor, biomolecular engineering, MSOE

Experimental Characterization and Control of Pneumatic Cylinders for Robotic Applications
Winnie Ngo, mechanical engineering major at City College of New York, from New York, New York

In an effort to understand the dynamics of pneumatic cylinders utilized in robotic applications, a custom pneumatic testbed was developed. This testbed uses pressure regulators to control the pressure inside the chambers of a double acting cylinder and sensors to measure the pressure and flow of air into each of the chambers. The device will serve to improve the mathematical model and to help with the development of control strategies to more precisely manipulate the position and forces generated by the cylinder. An Arduino microcontroller was used to record the sensor signals and to control the pressure inside each cylinder chamber. Based on the experimental data a more realistic mathematical model was developed and steps were taken to control the position and force of the cylinder.
Advisor: Dr. Luis Rodriguez, assistant professor, mechanical engineering, MSOE

Creation of an Apparatus to Investigate the Flow Characteristics through Artificial Heart Valve
Dakotah Revai, physics and astronomy major at Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin, from Waupaca, Wisconsin

This research produced a device to visualize flow through inserted aortic valve prototypes between the simulated left ventricle and aorta for education and research. Replicating human heart valves for stroke volume, blood pressure, aortic compliance and heart rate resulted in the device pumping as a human heart would. Values of 70 mL, 120 mmHg, 1.47 ml/mmHg and 70 beats per minute were chosen, respectively. A pump made of polyvinyl chloride was created to move water through the system; compliance tests were performed on materials to find one that mimics the value of the human aorta. A left ventricle was designed for 3D printing.
Advisor: Dr. Jeff LaMack ’97, associate professor, biomedical engineering program director, MSOE

Additive Manufacturing as a Tool in the Development of Training Models for Ultrasound-guided Thyroid Biops
Allison Spaulding, biomedical engineering major at MSOE, from Waukesha, Wisconsin

Ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration biopsies are complicated medical procedures to perform. The goal of this research was to determine a process by which realistic models of the thyroid gland and surrounding structures can be manufactured for the purpose of training physicians. This was done by 3D printing molds of the thyroid gland and other relevant structures and filling these molds with gelatin mixtures to ultimately be assembled to form a final model. Multiple models were made to simulate several different types of thyroid nodules, providing physicians the most realistic training experience possible.
Advisor: Dr. Jeff LaMack ’97, associate professor, biomedical engineering program director, MSOE

An Investigation of a Mass Flow Rate Method for Evaluating the Filterability of Hydraulic Fluids
Tahseen Tabassum, chemical engineering major at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, New York, from Jamaica, New York

The ability of fluid to retain its filterability properties is critical for efficient, reliable machine performance. This is particularly true for biodegradable fluids used in environmentally sensitive areas. In this research, hydraulic fluids and lubricants of various base oil and additive composition were evaluated using a modified version of ISO 13357 that utilizes mass flow rate measurements to assess fluid filterability. A comparison of volumetric and mass flow rate filtration ratios revealed that the use of mass flow rate to determine filterability yields comparable results while improving test repeatability. These findings are the basis of a new ASTM standard to be proposed for the measurement of fluid filterability and compatibility.
Advisor: Paul Michael, research chemist, Fluid Power InstituteTM, MSOE

Analysis of Large Ferrous Particles in Hydraulic Fluids
Andrew Valesquez, mechanical engineering major at the University of California-Merced, from El Sereno, California

Analytical ferrography is a well-established method for determining iron concentrations in hydraulic fluids. However, it is a manual procedure that requires a trained technologist to interpret the results. A new automated ferrography method based upon twin magnetometers has been developed which counts the number of iron particles greater than 25 microns and calculates the total iron concentration in ppm. The ISO standard test dust, synthetic iron wear particles and hydraulic fluid field samples were evaluated in this automated system. Results were compared to manual ferrographic and emission spectroscopic techniques. The automated ferrography proved to be more effective in detecting large iron particles than emission spectroscopy, and it is comparable to the manual procedure.
Advisor: Paul Michael, research chemist, Fluid Power Institute (TM), MSOE