Session B: 10:45AM – 12:15PM

Sciences. Session B – Oral Presentations, Henriksen, Alumni House

SESSION B (10:45AM-12:15PM)
Location: Henriksen Room, Alumni House



Fingerprint car automation project
Tensor Elmikawy, Utah Valley University

Faculty Mentor Alex Panin, Utah Valley University

SESSION B 10:45-11:00AM
Henriksen Room (1st floor), Alumni House
Science and Technology

I wanted to make my 007 roadster a true James Bond car by giving it some automation and futuristic capabilities. One of these capabilities is this original Fingerprint car automation project that was self-funded and self-motivated. Because of the open-source nature of most development chips, I could connect fingerprint sensors and arrays or relays to a “Seeeduino” and an “ESP32” development chips (advanced Arduino-like boards) and then integrate such isolated embedded systems into my 007 roadster vehicle. As a result, I can arm, operate, and generally control the vehicle with my fingerprint or from my phone via the Apple HomeKit protocol. It is an inexpensive yet reliable solution and can be used in other applications besides personal transportation – like elevating home security, deposit box access, weapons security, etc.



Development of an Anti-Biofilm Polyurethane Foam for use in Negative Pressure Wound Therapy
Nate Hooper, University of Utah

Faculty Mentor Dustin Williams, University of Utah

SESSION B 11:05-11:20AM
Henriksen Room (1st floor), Alumni House
Science and Technology

Negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) is a prevalent treatment for traumatic, battlefield-related injuries. Wound contamination often occurs since greater than 75% of military wounds test positive for a pathogenic isolate at the time of injury. GRANUFOAM Silver by KCI is the most commonly used variation of commercially available antimicrobial foam for NPWT. However, silver nanoparticles are minimally effective against biofilm. This project incorporates a biofilm-specific bactericide into a PU foam matrix that is capable of reducing biofilm-bioburden in an in vivo porcine excision wound model. A PU foam was developed and infused with a 10% w/w concentration of CZ-01179 to compare against GRANUFOAM Silver which also has a 10% w/w concentration of silver nanoparticles.. An in vivo porcine full-thickness excision wound model was developed using Yorkshire pigs, 35-45 kg. The pigs were anesthetized and subjected to a surgical procedure creating four wounds, two with dimensions of 4×4 cm and two with dimensions of 3×3 cm, down to the fascia of the epaxial muscles. Upon completion of NPWT treatment, the pig was sacrificed and the wounds were harvested for microbiological quantification and histological analysis. The CFU/g of the tissue was attained through homogenization of the tissue followed by serial dilution. Histological analysis proceeded to understand the geography of biofilm in the tissue.
Inoculation of the full-thickness excision wounds resulted in ~8 log10 MRSA, A. baumannii, and natural flora CFU/g of tissue. After 7 days of treatment, V.A.C. GRANUFOAM DressingTM produced a +.3 log10  against MRSA, 1 log10 against A. baumannii, and 1 log10 against natural flora. Treatment with GRANUFOAM Silver produced a .1 log10 reduction against MRSA, 1 log10 against A. baumannii, and 1.7 log10 against natural flora. Treatment with CZ-01179 PU foam resulted in a 3.1 Log10 reduction against MRSA, 3.8 Log10 reduction against A. baummanii, and 3.7 Log10 reduction against natural flora.



A Novel Hybrid Modeling Method for Strain Evolution
Jude Horsley, University of Utah

Faculty Mentor Frederick Adler, University of Utah

SESSION B 11:25-11:40AM
Henriksen Room (1st floor), Alumni House
Science and Technology

Much is known about the progress of diseases in competition on a macroscopic scale. In general, competitive exclusion is the governing principle, so that the strain with the higher R value will spread more effectively and drive the other to extinction. However, this is not the full story. Viral mutations occur frequently due to the huge number of individual cells that exist within even a single body. It is therefore reasonable to question whether a viral strain might have to compete within the body with newly mutated strains. Each strain may have slightly different transmission parameters, as well as different parameters that dictate the progress of the infection within the body. These two parameters then evolve side-by-side. This work sought to create a model which took each of these factors into account while remaining realistic and produced results in keeping with observed data. In particular, it sought to determine whether mutant strains could coexist, or would necessarily exclude one another. A novel hybrid-style model was developed in R which explores the interplay between two strains of a virus-one which multiplies more quickly in the body, while the other is more effective at spreading between individuals. This was accomplished by blending stochastic and deterministic models. Within the body, the process of multiplication of virions was treated deterministically; whereas mutation of strains and person-to-person infection were treated as stochastic processes. Not only is this realistic, but it circumvents the computationally expensive pitfalls of fully stochastic agent-based models. The curves generated by the model take on a sigmoid shape which very closely resembles invasion curves observed during the initial advent of the Delta and Omicron strains of COVID-19 (see attached figure). Upon this success, the model was further modified to include a variable number of strains, with programmable mutation rates between each strain. This was once again checked against observed infection curves of known diseases, confirming that the model was consistent with reality. New work is now being done to model mutation through the construction of a virtual genome. We conclude that the model we created is a useful tool for investigating the evolution of multiple strains of a virus in competition. Some work has been done with this model in investigating the role of evolutionary valleys in delaying the evolution of new strains. Work is currently being done to investigate the model’s implications for the coexistence of mutant strains. We continue to improve the model and find new implications for the development of rapidly evolving viruses.


Science and Technology


Mayfly Phylogenomics, Using Anchored Hybrid Enrichment to Hypothesize the Relationships of Ephemeroptera

Trevor Millar, Utah Valley University


Faculty Mentor T. Heath Ogden, Utah Valley University


SESSION B 11:45-12:00PM

Henriksen Room (1st floor), Alumni House


Current hypotheses of the relationships of major mayfly lineages remain controversial due to low nodal support of previous phylogenetic studies dealing with both morphological and molecular data. Contradictions in these studies have led to classification systems that do not accurately depict the evolutionary history of Ephemeroptera. The present study seeks to clarify these disputed relationships by leveraging targeted capture sequencing along with a novel hybrid enrichment pipeline to generate abundant amounts of data, bolstering the confidence in the topology produced herein. Nearly 500 highly conserved exonic regions of the genomes of approximately 150 distinct taxa were targeted for amplification and sequencing using a custom probe set (Ogden et al., 2019). The next generation sequence reads were parsed in a custom pipeline and the fully assembled reads were appended in a single supermatrix for phylogenetic analyses using both 1st and 2nd nucleotide positions and amino acid sequences. This is the most robust analysis of Mayfly phylogeny to date, and indicates that current mayfly taxonomy necessitates revision.



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Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research 2023 - Program by Office of Undergraduate Research is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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