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Public Lab Research note


Honors Thesis Project

by erikakovalski | September 24, 2021 19:42 24 Sep 19:42 | #27797 | #27797

I am a senior in the Commonwealth Honors College at UMass Amherst. I am currently working on an honors thesis project that incorporates the use of a Raspberry Pi to construct an instrument that will be used to collect data and solve a research question. I will be posting updates and progress in this thread. As for my first update, I have been jumping between a few ideas regarding bacterial disinfection and human medicine but have decided to build upon a previous project that I worked on a few years ago during a science fair.


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Updates throughout the course of my project will be posted as comments. My second update includes discussing my options for the project with my professor and refining possibilities through problem-solving!

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Third update! About four weeks into brainstorming my project and I have decided to use a Raspberry Pi to assist in refining a phone case that disinfects its own surface with UV light.

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Fourth update! I am currently working on my Research Proposal to obtain a grant for my project and determining the exact materials needed to construct three prototypes.

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Update for week five: I spoke with my professor and weighed my options as far as disinfection goes. I have been surfing the web for the modes of UV disinfection as well as comparing them with other methods to determine why UV disinfection is more optimal. I am also currently thinking of ideas for which type of data I want to use my instrument to collect. Seeing as though bacteria are microscopic and are very difficult to obtain data from, it might be difficult to do so!

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Microscopy is not a strong area for me. But,is it possible you could make a setup for fluorescence microscopy?

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I understand that your final project probably won't be able to use microscopy. But, it may be a starting point. Maybe work backward from a microscopic method to straight color comparison ( as a guess, under uvc illumination, then looking for specific color of flourescence)? Good luck.

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That's a good idea! I will definitely look into it.


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Week six update: I am still working on gathering data about the materials needed to construct my project and budgeting them. I will continue to work on my research grant proposal as well!

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Week seven update: Almost finished with my research grant proposal! I discovered many new materials I can incorporate and worked with budgeting for them. I am exploring the idea of fluorescence microscopy for bacteria detection. I also came across the option to order Far UV-C LED light chips to incorporate in my project. After doing some research, I found that Far UV-C light has a smaller wavelength than regular UV-C light does. This makes it harmless to human skin and tissues and eliminates a component of my project that I was planning on factoring in!

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Update for week eight: I completed my Honors Research Grant Proposal and am preparing it for submission. Aside from the literature aspect, I am currently working on reaching out to UMass faculty to arrange plans for 3D printing my instrument and using an incubator to analyze its effectiveness.

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