Matthew McGlennen Mechanical Engineering PhD Comp Exam presentation
- Thursday, January 7, 2021 at 1:00pm
- Via WebEx; Meeting number (access code): 120 106 7336 Meeting password: Qqs5Va
Development of a Microsensor Platform for Early Biofilm Detection: Applications to Metalworking Fluids
Water-miscible metalworking fluids (MWFs) ensure quality production of parts in the manufacturing industry by improving lubrication and cooling. MWFs are used in machining systems such as computer numerical control (CNC) milling machines and are applied to promote high quality finishes and tight tolerances. Despite the benefits of MWFs, microbial contamination can prematurely degrade these fluids, leading to increased costs, increased environmental impacts from the disposal, and potentially occupational health risks. Even after meticulous cleaning, CNC machines quickly become repopulated with microorganisms, which reside as biofilms hiding in difficult to access areas. These biofilms may also exhibit higher antimicrobial resistance, necessitating the use of higher concentrations and more frequent applications of antimicrobials to reduce growth.
Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) is a powerful technique that can characterize bulk and interfacial properties in aqueous, solid and gas systems. Microfabricated EIS sensors (EIS microsensors) are a promising technology to continuously monitor microbial contamination in MWFs in operation. EIS microsensors have the ability to detect biofilms much earlier than existing techniques and do so at a lower cost while their size allows a minimally invasive integration. EIS microsensors can be easily implemented at varying locations throughout MWF systems for spatially resolved, real-time monitoring of MWFs and can issue warnings of potential biofilm establishment.
This work will focus on (i) the development and optimization of a microsensor platform to effectively measure biofilm contamination, (ii) improvements to microsensor performance by functionalizing the microsensors with DNA aptamers. Aptamer design will specifically target biofilm forming bacteria in MWFs. (iii) Deployment of the microsensor platform in a CNC simulator and an operating CNC machine shop. These objectives will test the central hypothesis that the microsensors are capable of in situ monitoring of MWFs for microbial contamination.
- Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering