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Fall 2014 Seminar Schedule

*All seminars are held in Grote 411 at 3 p.m., unless otherwise indicated.

Following the seminar, the speaker will be available for comments and questions.




September 12, 2014

Mike Morris - Spectrecology

 Fiber Optic Sensors and Kidney Stones -- pO2 and NADH

September 19, 2014 

Kelmara Kelly - Eastman

Development of Tritan™ copolyester and SAIB use as an example of how integrated streams are utilized within a chemical manufacturing site 

September 26, 2014 

Han Jung Park - UTC

Photoacoustics: Light, Sound, and Application 

October 10, 2014

Zheng Wang - Vanderbilt University

Human protein aging: modification and crosslinking through dehydroalanine and dehydrobutyrine intermediates 

November 21, 2014 

Elon Ison - North Carolina State University 

 Green Chemistry and Catalysis with Transition Metal Complexes



Michael Morris, Spectrecology LLC, "Fiber Optic Sensors and Kidney Stones -- pO2 and NADH"

Optical fibers provide a means to make measurements in vivo, in situ and in cognito. Measurement modalities include absorbance, scattering, reflection, fluorescence. The optical properties of the fibers play an important role in defining the measurements as do the sources of light and the detection schemes.

Examples of sensors and measurement modalities we have developed at Ocean Optics and Spectrecology will be described. The technical challenges interpreting the signal, calibrating the sensor and designing for manufacturability will be examined for our new kidney nephrostomy sensors for O2 and NADH in urine.


Han Jung Park, UTC, "Photoacoustics: Light, Sound, and Application"

Photoacoustics is the generation of acoustic waves by modulated optical radiation. Alexander Graham Bell accidently found the photoacoustic effect in 1880. Photoacoustic spectroscopy records the heat release via pressure changes, following the conversion of absorbed energy into heat. photoacoustic spectroscopy does not measure transmitted light intensities, sample opacity and scattering difficulties do not limit this analytical method. Photoacoustics can be used to determine different thermophysical and acoustic properties of a system, such as density, sound velocity, thermal diffusivity, and viscosity.

In this seminar, an experimental investigation of the photoacoustic effect generated by laser initiated exothermic chemical reactions will be discussed. Experiments were carried out to determine the influence of the addition of H2O2 on the production of the photoacoustic effect in colloidal suspensions of C nanoparticles in H2O. Aside from the photoacoutic effect, chemical generation of a luminescing bubble will be discussed. The aim of this research is to investigate the possibility of depositing chemical energy into a luminescing bubble, in particular, to determine the influence of the addition of H2O2 on the production of the cavitation-luminescent light in colloidal suspensions of C nanoparticles in H2O. At last, the application of photoacoutic effect for drug delivery will be mentioned.


Zheng Wang, Vanderbilt University, "Human protein aging: modification and crosslinking through dehydroalanine and dehydrobutyrine intermediates"

Nonenzymatic post-translational modification (PTM) of proteins is a fundamental molecular process of aging. The combination of various modifications and their accumulation with age not only affects function, but leads to crosslinking and protein aggregation.  Combining HPLC-tandem mass spectrometry and a blind PTM search strategy, irreversible glutathionylation through a thioether linkage on Ser and Thr residues was identified in human lens supporting a mechanism involving dehydroalanine (DHA) and dehydrobutyrine (DHB) formation through β-elimination of phosphoric acid from phosphoserine and phosphothreonine with subsequent nucleophilic attack by GSH. Similar reaction was confirmed as one of the sources of non-disulfide protein crosslinking. These data suggest that phosphoserine and phosphothreonine residues represent susceptible sites for spontaneous breakdown in long-lived proteins and this mechanism may be a common aging process that occurs in long-lived proteins of other tissues leading to protein aggregation diseases.


Elon Ison, North Carolina State University, "Green Chemistry and Catalysis with Transition Metal Complexes"

Our research interest is in the area of homogeneous transition metal catalysis. The primary goal of our research program is to acquire a fundamental understanding of the principles that govern catalytic reactions. In this vein students are trained in all aspects synthetic and mechanistic chemistry. This training requires skills from both organic and inorganic chemistry. The understanding acquired from or studies have allowed us to design and discover new chemical reactions and rationally design new catalysts. Some of the long-term goals of our research program include: a) the development of catalysts for CH activation and functionalization of alkanes and arenes, b) the development of chemical reactions that generate less waste and use less energy (Green Chemistry) and c) the development of new chemical reactions and homogeneous catalysts and that can utilize syngas (CO and H2) as a chemical feedstock. We have incorporated concepts associated with our program, specifically homogeneous catalysis and Green Chemistry, in the undergraduate and graduate curriculum.