|Engineering stands out in technology commercialization (01/11/2013)|
Engineering stands out in technology commercialization By Richard Cairney October 29, 2013 Edmonton—Professors and graduate students from the Faculty of Engineering had a high profile at an recent event celebration technology commercialization at the University of Alberta. Electrical and Computer Engineering professors Jie Chen, Ying Tsui and Norman Beaulieu, along with Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering professors Steven Kuznicki, Jingli Luo and Sirish Shah and his former graduate student Shoukat Choudhru were honoured as patent recipients during a celebration of technology commercialization hosted by TEC Edmonton. Chen and Tsui were honoured for their work in an interdisciplinary project with School of Dentistry professor Tarek El-Bialy. The research team has patented new ultrasound technology that promotes growth in dental tissue. The technology has been licensed to SmileSonica, a U of A spinoff company. “To be recognized in this community is great,” said Chen, who added that the interdisciplinary collaboration was sparked when he met El-Bialy at a forum for new professors several years ago. “It’s great to see a room full of researchers who are doing great work, but it’s even better when that research is turned into useful products that benefit society.” Beaulieu was honoured for his patent on channel estimators. His patented “gain estimator” technology measures amplification or negative amplification in wi [ ... ]
|Ptrofessional certificate in communication (29/10/2013)|
Received professional certificate in communication skills by Trinity College London in Oct. 2013
|Postdoc Fellowship Opportunities (15/10/2013)|
Here is a link to a new postdoctoral fellowship program that should appeal to postdocs who plan on going into industry. Be aware that the deadline for the first competition is coming up soon. These fellowships have a very high salary, so there is probably going to be a lot of interest. http://www.postdoc.ualberta.ca/FundingandFellowships/AITF%20Postdoctoral%20Fellowship%20Program.aspx
|Our invention on youtube got over 77,000 clicks as of Oct. 2013 (11/10/2013)|
Patent award: On Oct. 10 2013, we got an award by TEC Edmonton for our contribution in developing ultrasound technique for dental tissue formation. Ultrasound has been long known to accelerate healing in bones, but ultrasound used for dental tissue formation is new. By teaming up with the dentist, Dr. El-Bialy at University of Alberta, we secured a US patent (#8,292,834) "Ultrasound stimulation devices and technqiues" in Dec. 2012. The device, in partnership with the University of Toronto, is currently in a Phase 2 clicnical trial. The research was listed earlier by "Reader's Digest" as a major medical breakthrough in Canada in 2006.
|Poster Award (26/09/2013)|
At the conference "Biology and Synchrotron Radiation" - BSR 2013, the co-supervised Ph.D. student, Mr. Martin Niestroj, received a poster award by the International Union of Crystallography because "the poster describing the most novel use of synchrotron radiation or free-electron lasers in biology. For details, please refer to
-- Martin Niestroj, Jie Chen, Dean Chapman, Darrell Mousseau, Brian Bewer, Nicholas Bolibruch, and Josef Hormes, “Experimental-focused radio-sensitizing studies of gold nanoparticles in the low-to-middle X-ray regime”, Biology and Synchrotron Radiation (BSR) - Hamburg/Germany September 2013
Canada Graduate Scholarships - Master's Program The application deadline date for the 2014 Canada Graduate Scholarships - Master's Program is December 1, 2013. The application should be completed via the online application system, Research Portal, which will be available soon. For details about the 2014 Canada Graduate Scholarships - Master's Program please go to the website below: http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Students-Etudiants/PG-CS/CGSM-BESCM_eng.asp 2014 NSERC Doctoral Scholarships To be considered for the 2014 NSERC Doctoral Scholarships, please note the complete applications and supporting material are due in FGSR no later than 4:00 pm on Tuesday October 15, 2013. Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement (CGS-MSFSS) The Canada Graduate Scholarship-Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement (CGS-MSFSS) Program is available to Canadian citizens or permanent residents who hold a Canada Graduate Scholarship (CGS) at the Master's or Doctoral level, or holders of a Vanier CGS. Supplements of up to $6,000, based on the information and budget justification provided in the application, will be awarded for a defined period of study of approximately three to six months. The department deadline is Wednesday noon Sept 25. To be considered for nomination of CGS-MSFSS, please submit the full application to Pinder before the deadline.
|“Microbubble-Enhanced Cell Membrane Permeability in High Gravity Field” by Chuan He, Quanrong Gu, Hongbo Zeng, Hao Zhang, Min Huang, Xiaoyan Yang, James Xinge and Jie Chen was accepted by Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering (08/09/2013)|
Abstract: Cell permeability controls the transportation of extracellular materials through cell membranes, which plays a critical role in drug and gene delivery. This work reports an innovative method to enhance the cell permeability through cell-bubble interactions in a high gravity field. In the presence of microbubbles, the cell membrane permeability of mammalian cells was significantly increased in the high gravity field, and up to 80% THP-1 and 70% MCF-7 cells were permeabilized by using FITC-Dextran with average molecular weight of 40kDa and 70kDa as fluorescent markers which were found to locate in both cytoplasm and cell nucleus by using a confocal microscope. Micro-scale pores were detected on the cell membrane by a scanning electron microscope after the cell-microbubble interactions in the high gravity field. The delivery efficiency of FITC-Dextran could be further enhanced in gravity field of higher strength and in solutions with higher volume fraction of microbubbles, though the cell viability would also fall under extreme conditions. A simplified model was proposed to compare the contributions of surface forces (i.e. Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek (DLVO) interaction force and membrane undulation force) with hydrodynamic force associated with cell-bubble interactions in the high gravity field. The hydrodynamic force was found to dominate the cell-bubble interaction while the DLVO force and membrane undulation force only play an important role at small sepa [ ... ]
|Health Solutions Collaborative Research and Innovation Opportunities (CRIO) team grant (08/09/2013)|
The researchers at the University of Alberta received a $5M team grant "Metabolomic Devices for Companion Diagnostics & Pesonalized Medicine" by Alberta Innovates -- Health Solution Collaborative Research and Innovation Opportuntities (CRIO) 2013-2018. Dr. Jie Chen is one of the team researchers in charging of designing an impedance based nanosensor. The portable sensor interfaces with SmartPhones.
|“Design and Characterization of a Close-Proximity Thermoacoustic Sensor” by Jida Xing, Michael Choi, Woon Ang, Xiaojian Yu and Jie Chen was accepted by Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology (02/04/2013)|
Abstract: Although the radiation force balance is the gold standard for measuring ultrasound intensity, it is not possible for real-time monitoring in certain settings, for example bioreactors, or in clinic to measure ultrasound intensities during treatment. Foreseeing these needs, we have proposed a close-proximity thermoacoustic sensor. In this article, the design, characterization, testing, and implementation of such a sensor is presented. A plexiglass sensor with a 20 mm diameter, and a 2 mm long absorber was designed and tested against low intensity pulsed ultrasound generated at a 1.5 MHz frequency, 20% duty cycle, 1 kHz pulse repetition frequency, and intensities between 30 and 120 mW/cm2. The sensor captures the beam, converts the ultrasound power into heat, and indirectly measures the spatial average time average ultrasound intensity (Isata) by dividing the calculated power by the beam-cross-section (or the nominal area of the transducers). A thin copper sheet was adhered to the back face of the sensor to increase heat diffusivity 1000-fold, enabling a uniform temperature distribution across the back face. An embedded system design was implemented using an Atmel microcontroller programmed with a least squares algorithm to fit measured temperature vs. time data to a model describing the temperature rise averaged across the backside of the sensor in relation to the applied ultrasound intensity. After calibrating the sensor to the transducer being measured, the t [ ... ]
|“Application of Low-Intensity Pulsed Ultrasound to Increase Bio-ethanol Production” by Mohamed Shaheen, Michael Choi, Woon Ang, Yupeng Zhao, James Xing, Ray Yang, Jida Xing, Jian Zhang, and Jie Chen were accepted by the journal “Renewable Energy” (24/03/2013)|
Abstract: We explored the application of Low-Intensity Pulsed Ultrasound (LIPUS) technology to improve the metabolic activity of microorganisms. In this study we showed that LIPUS improves bioethanol production from lingocellulosic biomass. We determined specific LIPUS conditions to increase the metabolic activity of both the cellulose degrading fungus, Trichoderma reesei Rut C-30 and the ethanol producing yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. LIPUS conditions of 1.5 MHz, 20% duty cycle, 80 mW/cm2 intensity, 5 minutes exposure and 12 exposures per day were found to improve the activity of the organisms the most. These LIPUS treatment conditions increased cellulase production by T. reesei by 16±6%. The same LIPUS treatment conditions induced a 31±10% increase in ethanol production by S. cerevisiae which implies a cumulative improvement of 52±16% in lignocellulosic bioethanol production with LIPUS. This observation shows a new potential for LIPUS in the improvement of lignocellulosic bioethanol production to make it a sustainable energy source. Figure 6: (A) SEM picture of a T. reesei sample that received LIPUS treatment during fermentation shows shrinking mycelia with crack openings on the mycelial wall. These cracks and openings in the mycelia caused the release of the intracellular contents of cellulase enzymes, which correlates with high cellulase activity. (B) SEM picture of a T. reesei sample that received no LIPUS treatment during fermentation shows more intact mycelia [ ... ]
|“CXCR4 transfection of cord blood mesenchymal stromal cells using cationic liposome enhances their migration towards stromal cell-derived factor-1” by Leah A. Marquez-Curtis, Hilal Gul-Uludag, Peng Xu, Jie Chen and Anna Janowska-Wieczorek was accepted to (24/03/2013)|
Background: The interaction between stromal cell-derived factor (SDF)-1 and its receptor CXCR4 is one of the mechanisms by which mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) are recruited to sites of injury. SDF-1 is upregulated in damaged tissues, but because the surface expression of CXCR4 on cultured MSC is low, we investigated whether the delivery of CXCR4 into MSC using the cationic lipsomal reagent IBAfect would increase their migration towards SDF-1. Methods: We examined i) the effect of MSC confluency, passage number, duration of transfection, and amount of IBAfect and plasmid on transfection efficiency as determined by flow cytometric analysis of CXCR4; and ii) whether IBAfect-mediated CXCR4 transfection affected the viability, proliferation and differentiation of MSC, as well as their response towards an SDF-1 gradient in a trans-Matrigel migration assay. Results: We found that transfection efficiency of up to 40% was achieved after 24-h transfection of 50% confluent MSC (at passage 4) with an IBAfect:plasmid ratio of 3.6 μL:0.6 μg, and CXCR4 transcript expression in transfected MSC was 105-fold higher than in non-transfected cells. Transfected MSC retained their ability to differentiate to osteocytes and chondrocytes but had lower proliferation. Importantly, overexpression of surface CXCR4 using IBAfect significantly increased (over 3-fold) the number of cells migrating towards an SDF-1 gradient relative to cells migrating to media alone, compared to non-transfected cells ( [ ... ]
| February 1, 2013. Dr. Jie Chen received the Member of the Year (2012) Award by the Association of Chinese Canadian Professors in recognition of his outstand academic achievements and society service. (07/02/2013)|
February 1, 2013. Dr. Jie Chen received the Member of the Year (2012) Award by the Association of Chinese Canadian Professors in recognition of his outstand academic achievements and society service.
|A gifted Chinese student, Mr. Tianlin Yang, mentioned that he was impressed by our research lab and helped him to make decisions to come to U of A. Please refer to the following two reports: (07/02/2013)|
A gifted Chinese student, Mr. Tianlin Yang, mentioned that he was impressed by our research lab and helped him to make decisions to come to U of A. Please refer to the following two reports: Investing in international leaders http://www.news.ualberta.ca/article.aspx?id=2EBFA08B3092404B89AF5958C12EE7E3 By Michael Davies-VennSeptember 25, 2012 University of Alberta chancellor Ralph Young hosted a reception for international scholarship recipients Sept. 24. (Photo: John Ulan) (Edmonton) As researchers and students continue working to address some of the world’s most pressing needs, it’s important, says Murray Gray, U of A vice-provost (academic), that viewpoints from around the world are part of that effort. In keeping with its commitment as a global citizen, the university is investing in students from around the world by providing scholarships that enable hundreds of them to study at the U of A. It’s a twin approach that also sees the university sending Canadian students around the world through its Education Abroad program. The sense that much of the world is now represented on campus resonated with Gray as he welcomed international undergraduate, sponsored and education abroad students Sept. 24 at the Chancellor’s Reception for International Scholarship Recipients. Looking at a group of students from just about every continent, he said he sees how the U of A has become significantly internationalized. A community that enriches a university “This y [ ... ]
|Dr. Jie Chen is looking for NSERC Summer Undergraduate Students. Deadline Feb 1, 2013 (17/01/2013)|