(June 26, 2012) -- Kelly Nash, assistant professor in the UTSA Department of Physics and Astronomy, and Benjamin Furman, a research engineer in the Southwest Research Institute Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Division, have been selected to receive $200,000 in seed funding for their collaborative research proposal, "Photoresponsive Polymeric Composites Utilizing UV-Light Harvesting from Upconverting Nanoplatelets."
Nash and Furman will use the funding to develop and characterize photoresponsive polymer-matrix nanocomposites that incorporate highly luminescent up-converting nanoplatelets (UNPs). They expect the UNPs to offer mechanical reinforcement and stimulate bond rearrangement using inexpensive visible-light sources, such as green laser diodes.
The development of the nanocomposites, in conjunction with newly designed opto-acoustic instrumentation, will promote new capabilities in targeted drug release and offer a new fundamental method to investigate the structure/property relationships of multifunctional nanocomposites in general. The proposed project will focus on hydrogels for applications in drug release.
"We are extremely pleased by the quality and quantity of Connect program proposals submitted for this third round of funding. We believe that the outstanding response represents a substantial growth of interest in institutional collaboration that we intended the Connect program to stimulate," said Walt Downing, SwRI executive vice president. "It was difficult to select a single winner from the field of excellent proposals. Ultimately, we chose a project that builds upon the respective strengths of UTSA and the institute to conduct research in photoresponsive nanomaterials that might lead to revolutionary breakthroughs in drug delivery and other biomedical applications."
"Doctors Nash and Furman's Connect proposal will have tremendous value not only to industry and the university but to the nation," said Jim Massaro, UTSA assistant vice president for research development. "It is a perfect example of the importance of collaboration and what two outstanding entities in their own right can accomplish together. Connect has proven its worth time and again."
This is the third project to be funded under Connect, a program established in 2010 to stimulate inter-organizational research between SwRI and UTSA in fields such as advanced materials, chemistry and chemical engineering, energy, environment, security and manufacturing, among others.
UTSA researchers are exploring matter at the atomic level with Helenita. It's one of the most powerful microscopes in the world, with the ability to operate near the theoretical limit of resolution. At 9 feet, 2 inches tall and weighing more than two tons, Helenita can dissect almost anything. With Helenita's resolution, researchers can study particles atom by atom to see how they behave.
That's critical in developing nanotechnology that will help diagnosis early-stage breast cancer or make helmets that are uber strong. Moreover, the detail that Helenita provides will allow nanotechnology researchers to create new therapies and treatments to fight a wide range of human diseases.
Did you know? Helenita can magnify a sample 20 million times its size, which would make a strand of human hair the size of San Antonio.
Join AIA San Antonio’s Women in Architecture group for their networking and happy hour event, where all design professionals are welcome.
Liberty Bar, 1111 S. Alamo St.
This documentary, presented by the San Antonio Film Festival, documents the experience of re-entry after incarceration. The film features Michael Gilbert, associate professor in the department of criminal justice and director of the Office of Community and Restorative Justice program at UTSA.
Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, 100 Auditorium Circle
Discover resources and strategies for teaching Tejano history and culture and get a special educator's tour of the new long-term exhibit, Los Tejanos.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. César E. Chávez Blvd.
This cowboy-themed programming, offered in conjunction with Our Kids Magazine's Kidcation Week, gives families the opportunity to visit with cowboy docents, enjoy readings and visit activity tables.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.
The UTSA Alumni Association hosts this annual gala honoring the Alumna of the Year, Alumnus of the Year and the Alumnus of the Year Lifetime Achievement award winners.
Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa, 9800 Hyatt Resort Dr.
Victor Cyrus, Jr will see his first book of poetry published this fall
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