CAMP Professor Sokolov Serves as a PI on NYSERDA / Composite Factory, Inc. Projects

CAMP Professor Igor Sokolov is the PI for a NYSERDA / Composite Factory, Inc. project titled "Novel Energy Saving Methods of Coating Carbon Fibers." (Composite Factory, Inc. recently joined CAMP as a New York State Associate.) A brief description of the project is provided.

Specially coated carbon fibers are needed to create many composite materials with desired resistance to corrosion, heat, etc. The problem of coating the graphite fibers with various films is traditionally solved with chemical vapor deposition (CVD). However, apart from relatively expensive CVD equipment, the use of high temperatures requires the consumption of electrical energy. Therefore, the search for alternative ways of coating is important. This project will make use of sol-gel wet chemical methods to coat the carbon fibers.

In addition, Professor Sokolov serves as PI on a NYSERDA / Composite Factory, Inc. project titled "Feasibility of Energy Efficient Manufacture of Continuous Sub-micron Carbon Fibers." The Co-PIs are Clarkson University Professors John Moosbrugger, Kathleen Issen, and David Morrison.

This work investigates the advantages of using carbon nanofibers (not nanotubes) in the fabrication of nanocomposite materials. Since carbon nanofibers are rather long, they may provide advantages over the nanotubes for use in nanocomposites. Fibers will be prepared and tested to obtain their mechanical properties.


CAMP Professor Igor Sokolov Discovers Why Skin Turns Leathery

CAMP Professor Igor Sokolov and research associate Dr. Iyer, and Ms. Berdyyeva, in collaboration with Clarkson Biology Professor Woodworth, have investigated human cells. By studying human epithelial cells of different ages, they have discovered that older cells are considerably (~2-10 times) more rigid than younger ones. This helps to explain why skin often looks and feels more leathery as we age. Previous researchers believed the loss of elasticity with aging was caused by the biochemical "glue" that holds epithelial tissue together (dermis layer) rather than by the cells themselves (epidermis layer).

Professor Sokolov and his colleagues have done further research to better understand the cause of the elasticity loss. They developed a novel method of studying cellular cytoskeleton by means of the atomic force microscope (AFM), which allowed them to find that the elasticity change is associated with the increase of fiber density in the cytoskeleton. Based on this finding, Professors Sokolov and Woodworth discovered a biochemical way to reverse the loss of elasticity due to aging. This new treatment causes the old cells to decrease in rigidity to the level of young cells. Currently, trials of the new treatment are being carried out on laboratory rats, in collaboration with Professor Erlichman in the animal facility at St. Lawrence University.

The discovered loss of cell elasticity has been implicated in the pathogenesis of many progressive diseases of aging including hardening of the arteries, joint stiffness, cataracts, Alzheimer's and dementia. Professor Sokolov's promising research results can inspire the search for new treatments.


Professor Vladimir Privman Recognized as Robert A. Plane Professor of Chemistry

In recognition of his remarkable contributions to both science and engineering at national and international levels, and especially his work at the interface of physics and the chemical sciences, Professor Vladimir Privman has been recognized as the Robert A. Plane Professor of Chemistry. The Plane Professorship acknowledges and supports Professor Privman's important contributions in the areas of colloid and nanomaterials science, as well as in quantum device technology.

Professor Privman is the author or co-author of three books, 17 major reviews, and over 160 research papers. He is and has been a member of Editorial Boards and Editorial Advisory Boards for numerous journals. He has been a Guest Editor for Colloids and Surfaces and IEEE Transactions on Nanotechnology, and Associate Editor for Quantum Communication and Devices. Professor Privman has also served on numerous professional conference and symposia organizing and advisory committees and was the organizer for the workshop series "Quantum Device Technology" held at Clarkson University in 2002 and again in May (16-21) of 2004. In addition, he is the founding director of Clarkson's NSF supported Center for Quantum Device Technology.