URCAF Abstracts 2022

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    21st Annual Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Forum
    (Wichita State University, 2022-04-15) WSU Undergraduate Students
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    Improving oral health for individuals with autism spectrum disorder
    (Wichita State University, 2022-04-15) Shuaib, Maya; Moyer, Madeline; DeVous, Alyssa; Vazquez, Marianna; Anderson, Kelly L.
    Problem Statement: Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) experience heightened sensory input resulting in difficulties when performing daily oral hygiene care. Most children and adults with ASD are less likely to receive preventative health care services due to sensory processing difficulties and lack of access to dental care. The oral health objective of Healthy People 2030 addresses awareness to the lack of oral health concerns for these individuals. Efforts to make homes, schools, workplaces, and public places easier to access can help improve quality of life and overall well-being for people with disabilities. Purpose: The primary goal of this project was to educate ten paraeducators at Heartspring, a residential and day school which serves children with disabilities. The areas of educational focus were the importance of oral health, nutritional guidelines, how to provide daily brushing and oral health care using modifications for the residents with ASD in the age group of five to twenty-two (N=60). Methods: Through systematic research in reviewing thirteen published articles, it was found that individuals with autism do not have a greater genetic risk of developing caries, however lack of proper daily oral hygiene care increases the risk of oral disease. The oral health education provided to the paraeducators focused primarily on oral hygiene instructions and nutritional counseling using a presentation, hands-on activities, and pamphlets. Modifications to home care include, social stories, placing a tennis ball on a toothbrush, and extended REACH flossers. Social stories consequently soothe the hypersensitivities for children and adults with ASD which may allow them to form an oral hygiene routine. Nutritional counseling was stressed for providing healthy options and avoiding sugary foods. Pre and post surveys were administered to the paraeducators. Results: Ten paraeducators at Heartspring received a greater understanding of proper oral hygiene instruction and modifications to oral care. This type of educational effort ties directly to the Healthy People objective as described. Pre-test scores averaged at 70% and increased approximately twenty percent after the post-test was given. Conclusion: The program provided paraeducators at Heartspring to be better prepared to assist individuals with home care habits and improve oral health. Using these educational tools will benefit individuals with ASD at Heartspring in reducing sensitivities, forming a routine, and having educated assistance, therefore leading to fewer dental visits due to dental disease.
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    Form and function: Does the source of actin determine functional interactions with palladin?
    (Wichita State University, 2022-04-15) Urbina, Noely; Klausmeyer, Rachel; Liu, David; Beck, Moriah R.; Beck, Moriah R.
    Actin is one of the most abundant proteins in eukaryotes and regulates individual cell functions such as motility, cell shape, and muscle contractions. Yet, actin cannot work alone and interacts with over 150 actin-binding proteins (ABPs). Research in Dr. Beck’s lab is focused on the ABP named palladin. Palladin has been linked to the regulation of normal embryonic development and wound healing, but also to cancer metastasis. Palladin is widely expressed in all different types of human cells, however, all prior research has utilized a form of actin from muscle cells. Several different isoforms of actin vary in protein sequence, location, and function. The most notable being muscle actin, which is the isoform of actin that is most used in biochemical experiments as it is easy to isolate from tissue and is cost-effective. However, there are some drawbacks to using muscle actin such as its heterogeneity and post-translational modifications that are not found in non-muscle actin isoforms. Our hypothesis is that different forms of actin may alter the interaction and overall function of the paladin-actin complex. Therefore, we are working to implement a previously established method of purifying non-muscle actin isoforms so that relevant studies can be carried out to examine the role of palladin in actin dynamics. In our studies, we used the yeast strain Pichia pastoris to express and purify the different non-muscle isoforms of actin. These results will help to elucidate the interactions between palladin and actin in eukaryotic cells and could help further the understanding of their roles in cancer progression.
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    A robust, calibration-free, and ultra-sensitive magnetometer for remote magnetic field sensing applications
    (Wichita State University, 2022-04-15) Unruh, Thane; Ambal, Kapildeb; Ambal, Kapildeb
    Magnetometers or magnetic field sensors are frequently used on aircraft, spacecraft, drones, and navigational systems for oil and mineral exploration, geophysical surveys, and outer space exploration. These applications need calibration-free, highly sensitive, and fast magnetic field measurement scheme. The existing technology is heavyweight and bulky, and unsuitable for lightweight carriers such as drones. We are designing a compact and lightweight magnetic field sensing device using Nitrogen- Vacancy (NV) center in diamond as a magnetic field sensor combined with an accelerated measurement scheme called an optimal Bayesian measurement algorithm. The diamonds substrate is a good choice because it can sustain a harsh environment such as outer space. We will be using the electrically detected magnetic resonance (EDMR) technique to measure the magnetic field. The EDMR measurement is highly sensitive, relies on quantum physics, and is independent of environmental effects such as temperature changes. In this presentation, I will be discussing our progress towards prototyping such a magnetic field sensing device.
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    Inkjet-printed ultrathin stretchable electronics for real-time ambulatory ECG monitoring
    (Wichita State University, 2022-04-15) Tri, Anna; Nguyen, Khoa; Lee, Yongkuk
    In medical applications, there is a great interest in using wearable health monitoring systems to obtain physiological information because they are non-invasive and easy to use. Furthermore, the advancement of technology has allowed these electronics to be miniaturized. However, some wearable devices are still uncomfortable and rigid. To combat this, a new set of thin, soft, flexible skin-like electronics needs to be developed, which can significantly improve user comfort and the quality of signals. The objectives of this study were to characterize inkjet-printed skin-like electronics by optimizing inkjet printing parameters and surface energies of PI coated surface, which determine the drop size of silver nanoparticle (AgNP) inks. The optimal printing parameters were found the jetting voltage of 17 V with a drop spacing of 20 Âμm in the room temperature of 28°C. The PI coated surfaces were treated using carbon tetrafluoride (CF4) and oxygen gas (O2) to determine the degrees of hydrophobicity and hydrophilicity. Water contact angle measurements on PI substrates demonstrated 7.80°, 7.70°, and 7.20° for 30-second, 60-second, and 120-second O2 treatments, respectively and 78.4°, 88.6°, and 102.9° for 10-minute, 30-minute, and 60-minute CF4 treatments, respectively. Corresponding widths of inkjet-printed lines were 63.0 Âμm, 44.5 Âμm, and 41.7 Âμm for 10-minute, 30-minute, and 60-minute CF4 treatments, respectively. Finally, we were able to successfully inkjet-printed stretchable electrodes with 60-minute CF4 treatment, which is constructed with 60 Âμm line width for serpentine interconnects and 1 cm diameter of circular disks. In addition, inkjetprinted ultrathin stretchable electrodes were used to measure biopotentials to compare with biopotentials measured using traditional methods. Overall, creating a thinner, more comfortable, and cost-efficient inkjet-printed electrode for physiological signal monitoring can help improve the future of wearable technology and human performance.