news

  • news: using scintillating colloids in optogenetics

    The Foulger group recently published an article in Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience that presented a general strategy for the use of radioluminescent particles (RPLs) in optogenetics. Optogenetics is widely used in neuroscience to control neural circuits. However, non-invasive methods for light delivery in brain are needed to avoid physical damage caused by current methods. One potential strategy could employ x-ray activation of radioluminescent particles (RPLs), enabling localized light generation within the brain. RPLs composed of inorganic scintillators can emit light at various wavelengths depending upon composition. Cerium doped lutetium oxyorthosilicate (LSO:Ce), an inorganic scintillator that emits blue light in response to x-ray or ultraviolet (UV) stimulation, could potentially be used to control neural circuits through activation of channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2), a light-gated cation channel. Whether inorganic scintillators themselves negatively impact neuronal processes and synaptic function is unknown, and was investigated here using cellular, molecular, and electrophysiological approaches. As proof of principle, we applied UV stimulation to 4 μm LSO:Ce particles during whole-cell recording of CA1 pyramidal cells in acute hippocampal slices from mice that expressed ChR2 in glutamatergic neurons. We observed an increase in frequency and amplitude of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs), indicating activation of ChR2 and excitation of neurons. Importantly, LSO:Ce particles did not affect survival of primary mouse cortical neurons, even after 24 h of exposure, and therefore, LSO:Ce inorganic scintillators are potentially viable for use as a new light delivery system for optogenetics. The article is located here .

  • news: crystal growth and assembly (gordon research conference) / june 23 - 28, 2019 - manchester, NH

    Eric Zhang recently went to the Crystal Growth and Assembly Gordon Research Conference in Manchester, NH. Eric Presented at both the conference and seminar associated with this event. The title of his talks were.....

    • Gordon Research Conference: E. Zhang, A. Dickey, Y. Bandera, J. Ballato, J. Kolis, S. H. Foulger. "Control in high temperature crysatllization of monodisperse and optically active nanomaterials for noninvasive optogenetics," Crystal Growth and Assembly GRC, Manchester, NH.
    • Gordon Research Seminar: E. Zhang, A. Dickey, Y. Bandera, J. Ballato, J. Kolis, S. H. Foulger. "Control in high temperature crysatllization of monodisperse and optically active nanomaterials for noninvasive optogenetics," Crystal Growth and Assembly GRS, Manchester, NH.
  • news: original paper on hydrogel encapsulation crystalline colloidal arrays (CCA) sees increase in citations

    The original Langmuir publication (Langmuir 2001, 17, 19, 6023-6026) on the technique developed in the Foulger Group back in 2001 for the hydrogel encapsulation of crystalline colloidal arrays (CCA) has received a number of recent citations. These photonic crystals have seen a surge in interest from the scientific community, such as this recent publication in ACS Nano that is based on our prior work. "Mechanochromic response of poly(ethylene glycol) methacrylate hydrogel encapsulated crystalline colloidal arrays" describes how electrostatic stabilized polystyrene arrays of approximately 100 nm particles can be encapsulated in a polyethylene-oxide hydrogel to stabilize the arrays from mechanical and ionic disturbances that would destroy the crystal. This technique has been adopted by a number of groups to produce robust films from the delicate arrays.

  • news: MADE in sc | sc EPSCoR state conference / april 12, 2019 - greenville, sc

    Ben Grant recently went to the MADE in SC | SC EPSCoR 2019 State Conference in Greenville, SC. The title his talk was.....

    • Ben's talk: B. Grant, Y. Bandera, S. H. Foulger. “Synaptic mimicry utilizing n-alkyl methacrylate polymers,” MADE in SC/EPSCoR, Greenville, SC.
  • news: excellence in graduate polymer research symposium at the 275th ACS national meeting / march 31 - april 4, 2019 - orlando, fl

    Eric Zhang was nominated to present in the Excellence in Graduate Polymer Research Symposium hosted by the POLY division at the Spring 2019 American Chemical Society National Meeting in Orlando, FL. In this symposium he was awarded Best Poster Presentation from the Journal of Applied Polymer Science. The title of his talk was...

    • Eric's talk: E. Zhang, A. Dickey, M. K. Burdette, M. Rich, K. Cannon, I. Bandera, M. Bolding, J. Ballato, J. W.Kolis, S. H. Foulger. "pDVB old polymer newtricks: Coupling of organic and inorganic chemistry for nanoparticle synthesis and noninvasive optogenetics applications," 257th ACS National Meeting, Orlando, FL. POLY 339
  • news: 257th ACS national meeting / march 31 - april 4, 2019 - orlando, fl

    acs_orlando

    Haley Jones, Ben Grant, Eric Zhang, and Prof. Foulger recently went to the 257th American Chemical Society National Meeting in Orlando, Florida. All they brought home was this caricature.

    The title of the talks were.....

    • Eric's talk: E. Zhang, A. Dickey, M. K. Burdette, M. Rich, K. Cannon, I. Bandera, M. Bolding, J. Ballato, J. W. Kolis, S. H. Foulger. "pDVB old polymer newtricks: Coupling of organic and inorganic chemistry for nanoparticle synthesis and noninvasive optogenetics applications," 257th ACS National Meeting, Orlando, FL. POLY 339
    • Haley's talk: H. W. Jones, M. K. Burdette, I. Bandera, S. H. Foulger. "Hydrogel-stabilized radioluminescent colloidal crystalline arrays: Fine-tuning color characteristics via Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) pairing," 257th ACS National Meeting, Orlando, FL. COLL 194
    • Ben's talk: B. T. Grant, T. McFarlane, Y. Bandera and S. H. Foulger. "Synaptic mimicry utilizing n-alkyl methacrylate polymers," 257th ACS National Meeting, Orlando, FL. PMSE 43
  • news: Wallace R. Roy functional radiology symposium / march 16, 2019 - greenville, sc

    Haley Jones and Eric Zhang recently went to the Wallace R. Roy Functional Radiology Symposium in Greenville, SC. The title of the talks were.....

    • Haley's talk: H. W. Jones, M. K.Burdette, Y. Bandera, I. K. Foulger, S. H. Foulger. “Hydrogel stabilized, fully organic, x-ray radioluminescent crystalline colloidal arrays,” Wallace R. Roy Functional Radiology Symposium, Greenville, SC.
    • Eric's talk: E. Zhang, A. Dickey, M. K. Burdette, K. Cannon, M. Rich, Y. Bandera, H. Z. Loye, M. Bolding, J. Anker, J. Kolis, S. H. Foulger. " Rare earth yttrium oxyorthosilicate nano particulates For optogenetics applications," Wallace R. Roy Functional Radiology Symposium, Greenville, SC.
  • news: 14th annual materials and optics poster competition (MRS/OSA) / march 14, 2019 - clemson, sc

    The MRS/OSA Materials and Optics Poster Competition was held for the fourteenth year on March 14, 2019 at the state-of-the-art Watt Family Innovation Center housed on Clemson University's main campus. This competition serves as the primary showcase of materials and optics research being performed at Clemson University and surrounding universities. It has grown from approximately 10 posters with 2 judges to 50 posters with at least 30 judges in the past fourteen years. Each year sees more posters, visitors, and judges. This year, 46 poster presenters from Clemson University, Furman University, North Carolina State University, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the Univesity of South Carolina, and Georgia Tech presented their optical-based materials research.

    The competition was supported by the Center for Optical Materials Science and Engineering Technologies (COMSET), the Clemson University Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Clemson University Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Tetramer Technologies, Corning, Across International, Milliken, and Poly-Med. Winners of the competition were graduate students, Dmitriy Davydovich (Clemson University, Department of Materials Science and Engineering), Jun Gao (Clemson University, Department of Materials Science and Engineering), and Benjamin Grant (Clemson University, Department of Materials Science and Engineering), and undergraduate students, Brennan Shealy (Clemson University, Department of Materials Science and Engineering) and Christopher Bleyer (Clemson University, Department of Materials Science and Engineering). Dr. Brian Benicewicz from the University of South Carolina provided the keynote talk on polymeric materials to kick-off the competition. The night also functioned as a prime networking opportunity for students as over 25 members of industry were present at the competition in addition to 10 academic faculty members from Clemson University and surrounding universities.

    Eric Zhang was the president of the Clemson Graduate Student Chapter of OSA. Haley Jones and Ben Grant presented at this poster competition. The title of the talks were.....

    • Haley's talk: H. W. Jones, M. K.Burdette, Y. Bandera, I. K. Foulger, S. H. Foulger. “Hydrogel-stabilized, radioluminescent colloidal crystalline arrays,” Clemson University 14th Annual Regional Material and Optics Poster Session, Clemson, SC.
    • Ben's talk: B. Grant, T. McFarlane, Y. Bandera, S. H. Foulger. "Synaptic mimicry utilizing n-alkyl methacrylate polymers," Clemson University 14th Annual Regional Material and Optics Poster Session, Clemson, SC.
  • news: X-ray radioluminescent hydrogel stabilized crystalline colloidal arrays

    The Foulger group recently published an article in Optical Materials Express that presented a general strategy for the preparation of novel methacrylate based hydrogels derived from poly(styrene-co-propargyl acrylate) (PS-pPA) colloidal particles with encapsulated stilbene, an organic scintillator, as an x-ray activated imaging agent. These nanoparticles self-assemble into electrostatically stabilized crystalline colloidal arrays (CCAs), a photonic bandgap material.

  • news: synthesis of n‐alkyl methacrylate polymers with pendant carbazole moieties and their derivatives

    The Foulger group recently published an article that presented a general strategy for the preparation of novel polymers containing N‐alkylated carbazoles that were mono‐ or bi‐substituted with biphenyl groups in the aromatic ring. All new polymers were synthesized to evaluate the structural changes in terms of their effect on the energy profile, thermal, dielectric, and photophysical properties when compared to the parent polymer poly(2‐(9H‐carbazol‐9‐yl)ethyl methacrylate). These compounds may be well suited for memristive devices. The article can be found at Journal of Polymer Science: Part A Polymer Chemistry.

  • news: dynamic emission tuning of X‐ray radioluminescent crystalline colloidal arrays: coupling the optical stop band with sequential Förster resonance energy transfers

    The Foulger Group recently published an article that presented a general strategy for the preparation of a fully organic X‐ray radioluminescent colloidal platform that can be tailored to emit anywhere in the visible spectrum through a judicious choice in donor/acceptor pairing and multiple sequential Förster resonance energy transfers (FRETs). The article can be found at Advanced Optical Materials.

  • news: oleksandr klep successfully defends his PhD thesis / april 4, 2018

    On April 4, 2018, Oleksandr (Alex) Klep successfully defended his PhD thesis in the Department of Materials Science entitled "Influence of Poloxamer Grafting Density on Retention Capacity and Release Capabilities of Propargyl Acrylate Nanoparticles". Alex has a B.S. and M.S. from Lviv Polytechnic National University.

  • news: ryan roeder successfully defends his PhD thesis / march 9, 2018

    On March 9, 2018, Ryan Roeder successfully defended his PhD thesis in the Department of Materials Science entitled "Synthetic Routes to the Surface Functionalization of Core-Shell Nanoparticles through the Copper(I)-Catalyzed Azide-Alkyne Cycloaddition". Ryan has a B.S. from Lander University.

  • news:"planting the seeds of science"

    On October 20, 2017, the Stephen Foulger group, along with members of the Clemson student chapter of The Optical Society, hosted 59 local third graders from Crosswell Elementary School for the 2nd Annual Materials Science and Optical Technology Day. This year, the science stations and demonstrations focused on tying in with the South Carolina Science Standards for Third Grade, which include the study of plants and how they function, electricity, magnetism, electromagnetism, and states of matter and matter interactions. To bridge the gap between science and English language arts, students had to make words out of Periodic Table of the Elements stickers. As part of this station, the students had to write the elements that their words were comprised and where they might find those elements. The theme for this year was “Planting the Seeds of Science” as the students investigated plant parts via the scanning electron microscopes housed in Clemson University’s Electron Microscope Facility. Investigating the plant’s petals, stems, and leaves at the nanometer scale brought about exclamations of “I want to be a scientist when I grow up,” and “Science is my favorite subject!” As Stephen Foulger is the director of the Center for Optical Materials Science and Engineering Technologies (COMSET), there was also a science station that focused on luminescent materials, which the children enjoyed as most of them have not been exposed to these types of materials. In addition to observing materials that luminesce under a variety of conditions, the students got to paint a picture with paint that glowed under UV excitation, so that their previously invisible pictures were suddenly glowing under the UV lamp. At the magnet station, students learned about magnetic poles and fields by making their own magnetic towers, playing with magnetic putty, and observing a circular magnetic. At the states of matter station, the students made a liquid tower made of brightly colored water with various amounts of sugar to create a density difference ruler. The students seemed to most enjoy the electricity and electromagnetism station where they got to assemble their own electromagnet and have a competition to see who could pick up the most paper clips in a single try as well as make their own electric motor. Shouts of “I did it!” and “This is so cool!” could be heard throughout the room. To commemorate the day, T-shirts were made from the students’ SEM pictures, and were given to the students at their school; the students also got to keep their glow-in-the-dark pictures and their Periodic Table words. This outreach event was supported by the National Science Foundation Grant No. DMR-1507266.

  • news: 254th ACS national meeting / august 20-24, 2017 - washington, dc

    Katie Burdette, Tucker McFarlane, Marek Jurca, and Eric Zhang went to the 254th national meeting of the American Chemical Society(ACS) in Washington, DC held from August 20-24. Katie Burdette presented a talk on her work with fluorophore surface modified lutecium oxyorthosilicate doped with cerium (LSO:Ce) nanoparticles, while Eric Zhang gave a talk on his work on the synthesis and characterization of ca. 100 nm spherical yttrium oxyorthosilicate doped with cerium (YSO:Ce) nanoparticles. The material presented in both Katie's and Eric's projects is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation (OIA-1632881), and has applications in novel optogenetic technologies. Tucker McFarlane gave a presentation on his work with carbazole containing methacrylate based polymers and their dielectric and electrical characterization for use as memristor devices. Additionally, Marek Jurca presented a poster at both Sci-Mix, a highly prestigious honor within ACS, and in the POLY division of ACS on his work focused on the synthesis, optical, and thermal characterization of various carbazole containing methacrylate based polymers. Tucker's and Marek's work is based upon material supported by the National Science Foundation (DMR-1507266). The group also attended a variety of talks including topics on self-healing polymers, animal imaging in the short wave infrared spectral window, optimization of the human machine interface, and manipulation of the organic to inorganic bonding.

  • news: 12th annual materials and optics poster competition (MRS/OSA) - clemson, sc

    osamrs_2017

    The MRS/OSA Materials and Optics Poster Competition was held for the twelfth year on March 16, 2017 at the new, state-of-the-art Watt Family Innovation Center housed on Clemson University's main campus. This competition serves as the primary showcase of materials and optics research being performed at Clemson University and surrounding universities. It has grown from approximately 10 posters with 2 judges to 50 posters with at least 30 judges in the past twelve years. Each year sees more posters, visitors, and judges. This year, fifty poster presenters from Clemson University, Furman University, Southern Wesleyan University, North Carolina State University, and Georgia Tech presented their optical-based materials research.

    reynolds

    The competition was supported by the Center for Optical Materials Science and Engineering Technologies (COMSET), the Clemson University Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Clemson University Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Tetramer Technologies, Kruss USA, and KEMET Electronics. Winners of the competition were graduate students, Benjamin Fellows (Clemson University, Department of Materials Science and Engineering), Roque Gochez (Clemson University, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering), and Artem Trofimov (Clemson University, Department of Materials Science and Engineering), and undergraduate students, Jacob Livingston (Clemson University, Department of Materials Science and Engineering) and Brooks Musangu (Furman, Department of Physics). Traveling student award winners (students not from Clemson University) were Murat Yokus (North Carolina State University, Department of Electrical and Computuer Engineering) and Brooks Musangu (Furman, Department of Physics). Dr. John Reynolds (see image on right) from Georgia Tech provided the keynote talk on optoelectronic materials to kick-off the competition. The night also functioned as a prime networking opportunity for students as over 30 members of industry were present at the competition in addition to 11 faculty members from surrounding universities as well as 4 Clemson University technical staff members.

  • news: mini-review on fluorescence imaging in cancer cells using dye-doped nanoparticles

    The Foulger group recently published an article that attempts to summarize some of the biggest gains in using dye-doped particles in imaging of cancer cells. Fluorescence imaging has gained increased attention over the past two decades as a viable means to detect a variety of cancers. Fluorescence imaging has the potential to provide physicians with high resolution images with enhanced contrast, which will allow them to be able to better diagnose and treat patients with cancer. Early detection and treatment are key to erradicating cancer in a patient, and fluorescence imaging has the ability to identify non-advanced, even pre-cancerous, tumors where imaging based on white light or radiation overlooked them. The article can be found at RSC Advances.

  • news: "buggin' around with electron microscopes"

    The Center for Optical Materials Science and Engineering Technologies (COMSET) hosted 42 third graders from Crosswell Elementary School on October 5th, 2016. Their teachers, Mrs. Samantha Head and Mrs. Ann Burdette, accompanied the students. bug The students ran the scanning electron microscopes (SEM) and transmission electron microscope (TEM) at the Clemson University Electron Microscope Facility where the observed a variety of insects, which engaged them directly with science. Students kept saying, “It’s my turn to run it!”,“Science is so cool!”, and “I can actually see the bug’s exoskeleton!” here are pics of the event. Students also participated in three additional hands-on stations, including Chemistry and Light, Why and How Does it Glow? and Magnetism and States of Matter, both of which are South Carolina State Standards for third grade, where the students got to paint a picture and transfer it to UV paper via UV light, use polarized glasses and infrared lasers, and make polymer snow. The teachers enjoyed watching their students engage in a tangible way with the science that they learn in the classroom: “You never know what will spark a student’s interest. Any one of these activities could be the catalyst that encourages a student to go into science,” Mrs. Ann Burdette said. Confirming her statement, students were heard exclaiming, “I want to do what you do when I grow up!” To help remind them of their science-filled day, the students and their teachers were given T-shirts with the SEM pictures that the students actually took of the insects. The Foulger group delivered the T-shirts to the students' school, and all of the students were so excited to get their T-shirts. bug The students were so excited, in fact, that they all immediately put on their shirts and wanted to take pictures in front of their school! All of the students were gathered at the front of their school along with their teachers, principal, and the volunteers to have their photo shoot as another reminder of their fun day at the Advanced Materials Research Laboratories. Next year, the Foulger group plans to expand this outreach effort into a multi-day engagement encompassing all of Crosswell Elementary School's third graders. This outreach effort is a part of one of Dr. Stephen Foulger’s research grants (NSF DMR-1507266) and is totally supported by the same grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

  • news: OSA novel optical materials and applications / 24 - 27 july 2017 - new orleans, la

    An OSA Meeting at the OSA Advanced Photonics Congress will focus on materials is entitled "Novel Optical Materials and Applications (NOMA)". The meeting will take place 24 - 27 July 2017 at the Astor Crowne Plaza, New Orleans, Louisiana United States. NOMA is intended as “one comprehensive” conference which focuses on all types of optical materials, which are the key to advances in optical applications. The focus is on advances in design, fabrication and applications of optical materials from ultraviolet to terahertz and their utility for a variety of applications, including the most recent advances in materials for nanoscale devices, imaging systems, lasers, optical waveguides and fibers, solar energy, and sensors as well as any other emerging applications. More information about the meeting can be found at NOMA.

  • news: daniel turner joins the group

    davis

    Daniel Turner, a first year graduate student in Materials Science an Engineering with polymer concentration, joined the Foulger group in January 2017. Daniel will be assisting graduate student Katie Burdette with particle synthesis on the National Science Foundation EPSCoR’s Research Infrastructure Improvement Track-2 grant entitled “RII Track-2 FEC: The Creation of Next Generation Tools for Neuroscience - Noninvasive Radioluminescence Approaches to Optogenetics,” (Grant number OIA-1632881).

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