wins seed grant from Alfred P. Sloan Foundation <img alt="" src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Agonafer,%20Damena%20%202018.jpg?RenditionID=2" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>​<g class="gr_ gr_5 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim ContextualSpelling ins-del multiReplace" id="5" data-gr-id="5">Damena</g> Agonafer, assistant professor of mechanical engineering & materials science, has received a $10,000 seed grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation as part of the Sloan Scholars Mentoring Network. The seed grants are designed to support research innovation and career advancement by positioning grantees to apply for and receive larger grants. The funding will support Agonafer's research in the fundamental transport mechanism of microdroplet evaporation from nanocoated microporous structures for low and high surface tension liquid. <br/></p>2018-10-02T05:00:00ZDamena Agonafer has received a seed grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. University represented at University Alliance of the Silk Road meeting<img alt="""" src="/news/PublishingImages/Xian.jpg?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><div id="__publishingReusableFragmentIdSection"><a href="/ReusableContent/36_.000">a</a></div><p>​Global connections and collaborations are an important part of the mission of Washington University in St. Louis. As evidenced by the McDonnell International Scholars Academy program and research initiatives within it, the university recognizes that working together collectively can truly help solve some of the world’s most vexing issues.</p><p>This summer, representatives from Washington University took part in an executive council meeting of the University Alliance of the Silk Road, held at Xi’an Jiaotong University (XJTU) in China. A member institution of the McDonnell Academy, XJTU is a key strategic international partner for Washington University. Guy Genin, the Harold and Kathleen Faught Professor of Mechanical Engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science and McDonnell Academy ambassador to XJTU, led the university’s contingent to the meeting.</p><p>XTJU formed the alliance in 2015, and the organization now includes more than 100 universities located around the world. Its aim is to foster openness and international cooperation in higher education. Washington University joined the organization as the first North American member in 2016.</p><p>The session in Xi’an stressed innovation opportunities within the alliance, as well as how the organization can continue to support additional collaborative global opportunities.</p><p>“Technology is changing the world, but not solving its critical problems,” XJTU President Shuguo Wang said during the assembly. “We must work to bring the next generation together, and to solve these problems.”</p> <figure class="wp-caption alignright" style="box-sizing: inherit; display: inline; margin: 0px 1.76389em 1.5em 1.5em; float: right; max-width: 100%; padding: 0px; border: none; background-image: none; width: 300px; caret-color: #3c3d3d; color: #3c3d3d; font-family: "source sans pro", "helvetica neue", helvetica, arial, sans-serif; font-size: 19.2px;"> <img data-attachment-id="289525" data-permalink="" data-orig-file="" data-orig-size="800,533" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="GG president forum 2" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" class="size-medium wp-image-289525" src="" alt="" style="box-sizing: inherit; border-width: 0px; width: 300px; display: block; margin: 5px;"/> <figcaption class="wp-caption-text" style="box-sizing: inherit; margin-bottom: 0px; font-size: 1rem; font-style: italic; line-height: 1.333; color: #626464; margin-top: 0.25em;">Guy Genin, the Harold and Kathleen Faught Professor of Mechanical Engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, takes part in a panel during the University Alliance of the Silk Road Meeting at Xi’an Jiaotong University.</figcaption></figure> <p>“The time spent in Xi’an with our colleagues from around the world was both productive and promising,” Genin said. “Washington University continues to develop as an entrepreneurship and innovation hub, and there were many things to discuss and share with our peers in that space.<br/></p><p>“Listening to and learning from each other is vitally important to collaborative research success, and we were grateful for the opportunity to be part of the conversation,” Genin said.</p><p>Washington University’s ties to XJTU are especially strong. In addition to being a <a href="" style="box-sizing: inherit;">McDonnell Academy partner university</a>, XJTU has dual degree programs in the School of Engineering & Applied Science and at the Brown School.<br/></p><br/> <div class="boilerplate" style="box-sizing: inherit;"> <SPAN ID="__publishingReusableFragment"></SPAN></div> <br/><p> <br/> </p> <span> <div class="cstm-section"><h3> Guy Genin<br/></h3><div style="text-align: center;"> <img src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Genin_Guy.jpg?RenditionID=3" alt="" style="margin: 5px;"/> <br/> </div><div><ul style="padding-left: 20px; color: #343434;"><li>Harold and Kathleen Faught Professor of Mechanical Engineering<br/></li><li>Expertise: mechanobiology, biomechanics, quantitative image analysis, interfaces and adhesion<br/></li></ul><p style="color: #343434; text-align: center;"> <a href="/Profiles/Pages/Guy-Genin.aspx">View Bio</a><br/></p></div></div></span> <p> <br/> </p> <br/>This summer, a meeting of the executive council of the University Alliance of the Silk Road was held at Xi’an Jiaotong University in China, with representatives from Washington University in attendance.Erika Ebsworth-Goold connections and collaborations are an important part of the mission of Washington University in St. Louis<p>Global connections and collaborations foster openness and international cooperation in higher education<br/></p> help fight deadly brain tumors<img alt="""" src="/news/PublishingImages/GettyImages-695601344_forweb-760.jpg?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><div id="__publishingReusableFragmentIdSection"><a href="/ReusableContent/36_.000">a</a></div><p>People diagnosed with the aggressive brain cancer glioblastoma face a grim prognosis. Half die within 14 months of diagnosis.</p><p>Even if initial treatment with surgery, radiation and chemotherapy is successful, such brain tumors typically recur, leaving patients with few options. Now, a research team at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has found that laser treatment designed to destroy the tumor can add an average of two months to a patient’s life, compared with chemotherapy, the standard treatment for glioblastomas that have recurred. The increase is small but meaningful for people who have only months left to live.</p><p>“We’re not able to cure these types of really nefarious tumors, but we keep on working on finding new treatments that give people just a little more time,” said senior author <a href="" style="box-sizing: inherit;">Eric Leuthardt, MD,</a> a professor of neurosurgery, of neuroscience, of biomedical engineering, and of mechanical engineering & applied science. “We’re nibbling away at this disease, step by step, and cumulatively these small advances can add up to a real improvement for patients.”</p><p>The study, published Aug. 22 in the journal Neurosurgery, gathered survival data by reviewing all laser treatments for glioblastoma from 2010 to 2016 at <a href="" style="box-sizing: inherit;">Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine</a>. In that time, 54 patients received 58 laser treatments. Of those, 17 treatments were performed on inoperable tumors and 41 on tumors that had recurred after primary treatment.</p><p>Most people diagnosed with glioblastoma undergo surgery that involves removing part of the skull to cut out the tumor, followed by both chemotherapy and radiation. But the tumor inevitably comes back, and a repeat operation is considered too taxing for many patients.</p><p>“By the time patients present with a recurrence, they’ve already endured open brain surgery, radiation and chemotherapy,” Leuthardt said. “They are more fragile than they were the first time around, and their wounds may not tolerate reoperation well. It can take four to eight weeks to recover from brain surgery. It’s a lot to put them through again.”</p><p>In addition, some tumors are located deep in the brain and cannot be removed surgically without risking serious brain damage.</p><p>Instead of surgery, doctors treat recurrent or inoperable tumors with chemotherapy or a heat therapy known as laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT). Neurosurgeons drill a tiny hole in the skull and insert a laser, guiding it through the brain to the tumor on a path designed to cause the least damage. Once inside the tumor, the laser emits pulses of heat that kill the surrounding tumor cells.</p><p>Leuthardt and first author and neurosurgery resident Ashwin Kamath, MD, found that patients with recurrent disease lived an average of 11.5 months after receiving laser therapy. Other studies have found that treatment with the chemotherapy drugs bevacizumab or temozolomide typically buys glioblastoma patients about nine months.</p><p>In addition, most people who received laser therapy were able to leave the hospital within a day or two.</p><p>“If you’ve only got four to nine months left, an extra two months matters,” Leuthardt said. “Having a therapy that people can tolerate relatively well so they can go home after the procedure, while adding a few months to their lives, means a lot to these patients.”<br/></p><div class="boilerplate" style="box-sizing: inherit;"><SPAN ID="__publishingReusableFragment"></SPAN><h5 style="box-sizing: inherit; color: #2f3030;">Kamath AA, Friedman DD, Akbari SH, Kim AH, Tao Y; Luo J, Leuthardt EC. Glioblastoma Treated with MRI-Guided Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy: Safety, Efficacy, and Outcomes. Neurosurgery. Aug. 22, 2018.</h5><h5 style="box-sizing: inherit; color: #2f3030;">Leuthardt has a consulting relationship with Monteris Medical, the manufacturer of the laser ablation system used in this study.</h5><h5 style="box-sizing: inherit; color: #2f3030;">This study was supported by the Christopher Davidson Brain Tumor Research Fund.<br/></h5></div><p> <br/> </p> <span> <div class="cstm-section"><h3> Eric Leuthardt, MD<br/></h3><div style="text-align: center;"> <img src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Leuthardt,%20Eric.jpg?RenditionID=3" alt="" style="margin: 5px;"/> <br/> </div><div><ul style="padding-left: 20px; color: #343434;"><li>Professor, Neurological Surgery, Neuroscience, Biomedical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science<br/></li><li>Expertise: <span style="caret-color: #000000; color: #000000; font-family: "open sans", sans-serif; font-size: 15px;">Epilepsy Surgery, </span><br style="caret-color: #000000; color: #000000; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: "open sans", sans-serif; font-size: 15px;"/><span style="caret-color: #000000; color: #000000; font-family: "open sans", sans-serif; font-size: 15px;">Cervical Spine Surgery,</span><br style="caret-color: #000000; color: #000000; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: "open sans", sans-serif; font-size: 15px;"/><span style="caret-color: #000000; color: #000000; font-family: "open sans", sans-serif; font-size: 15px;">Brain Tumors,</span><br style="caret-color: #000000; color: #000000; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: "open sans", sans-serif; font-size: 15px;"/><span style="caret-color: #000000; color: #000000; font-family: "open sans", sans-serif; font-size: 15px;">Gamma Knife</span><br/></li></ul><p style="color: #343434; text-align: center;"> <a href="">View Bio</a><br/></p></div></div></span> <p> <br/> </p>Using lasers to burn away a recurrent brain tumor can add an average of two months to a patient’s life compared with chemotherapy, the standard treatment for a tumor that has returned, according to a new study from Washington University School of MedicineTamara Bhandari research team at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has found that laser treatment designed to destroy the tumor can add an average of two months to a patient’s life, compared with chemotherapy, the standard treatment for glioblastoma<p>​Therapy increases survival in grim diagnosis<br/></p> the Future: Nanoparticles Part 1<p style="display: none;">​This episode is all about nanoparticles. What are their properties, how are they formed and why you should care.</p><div style="text-align: center;"><div class="cstm-section" style="margin: 0px 20px 0px 0px; border: currentcolor; text-align: left; vertical-align: top; display: inline-block; max-width: 250px;"><h3>Podcast Host<br/></h3><div style="text-align: center;"> <a href="/Profiles/Pages/Aaron-Bobick.aspx"> <img alt="Aaron Bobick" src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Bobick_Aaron.jpg?RenditionID=3" style="margin: 5px;"/> <br/> <strong>Aaron Bobick </strong></a> <br/> <span style="font-size: 12px;">Dean</span> </div></div><div class="cstm-section" style="border: currentcolor; vertical-align: top; display: inline-block; max-width: 520px;"><h3>Episode 2 Guests</h3><div style="text-align: center; margin-right: 25px; display: inline-block;"> <a href="/Profiles/Pages/Srikanth-Singamaneni.aspx"> <img alt="Srikanth Singamaneni" src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Singamaneni_Srikanth.jpg?RenditionID=3" style="margin: 5px;"/> <br/> <strong>Srikanth Singamaneni</strong></a>  <br/> <span style="font-size: 12px;">Professor</span> </div><div style="text-align: center; display: inline-block;"> <a href="/Profiles/Pages/Rajan-Chakrabarty.aspx"> <img alt="Rajan Chakrabarty" src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Chakrabarty_Rajan.jpg?RenditionID=3" style="margin: 5px; width: 120px; height: 120px;"/> <br/> <strong>Rajan Chakrabarty</strong></a>  <br/> <span style="font-size: 12px;">Assistant Professor</span> </div></div></div> <br style="clear: both;"/> <div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-wpbox" contenteditable="false"><div class="ms-rtestate-notify ms-rtestate-read dd04e80a-5f2f-49a9-a3fc-de0dd43fa43e" id="div_dd04e80a-5f2f-49a9-a3fc-de0dd43fa43e"></div><div id="vid_dd04e80a-5f2f-49a9-a3fc-de0dd43fa43e" style="display: none;"></div></div><img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/Podcast-nano-1-news.jpg?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><div id="__publishingReusableFragmentIdSection"><a href="/ReusableContent/36_.000">a</a></div><h3 style="font-family: "open sans", sans-serif; line-height: 30px;">​<span style="color: #555555;">This is the second episode of Dean Aaron Bobick’s new podcast: Engineering the Future.</span></h3><h3 style="font-family: "open sans", sans-serif; line-height: 30px;">What is a nanoparticle? What properties do they possess to make them behave the way they do?<br/></h3><h3>Transcript<br/></h3><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">From Washington University in St. Louis's School of Engineering and Applied Science, I'm your host Dean Aaron Bobick. And this is Engineering the Future, where we explore pressing problems of today in which engineering discovery, innovation and education can provide solutions for tomorrow.<br/></p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">This episode is actually the first of a three-part series that we'll be doing on nanoparticles. Now, if you're like me, you hear the prefix nano being used in all sorts of contexts, whenever someone wants to emphasize something being very small. Nanoseconds are a billionth of a second. The phrase nanofabrication involves making really tiny nanodevices, and those devices are sometimes called nanomachines. But today, we're going to focus on nanoparticles, really small particles that have some remarkable, and frankly, counter-intuitive properties. We'll first learn exactly what nanoparticles actually are, how they are formed, and why you should care. As you will hear, nanoparticles created incidentally by various industrial and energy systems can be insidious health hazards, causing both immediate and longer-term disease. But when cleverly designed and deployed, they can provide new materials with important applications in energy and environmental engineering, and perhaps, ironically, critical advances in medicine.<br/></p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">So let us begin. To help us understand the nature of nanoparticles, I am thrilled to be joined today by two of my WashU Engineering colleagues, Srikanth Singamaneni, Professor in the Mechanical Engineering and Material Science Department, and Rajan Chakrabarty, Assistant Professor in Energy, Environmental, and Chemical Engineering. Welcome to you both, and thank you for making time to help our audience understand about the power and the challenges of nanoparticles.</p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">Thank you, Aaron, and thank you for having me on your podcast.</p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">Thanks for having me.</p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">All right. So let's start with the basics. In straightforward terms, what is a nanoparticle? Srikanth, let's start with you.</p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">So let's start with what a nano is. As you briefly mentioned, a nano is basically referring to one billionth of something. And materials with at least one of the dimensions in the range of one to hundred nanometers are generally called as nanomaterials. It can be a spherical particle, with a diameter of one to hundred nanometers, or it can be a wire-like structure, where the length can be extremely long. It can be as long as few microns, but as long as the diameter of these wires is within one to hundred nanometers, we call them as nanowires. Or it can be sheet-like structures, where the lateral dimensions can be microns. But as long as the thickness, again, falls into one to hundred nanometers, we call them as nanosheets.</p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">So a human hair is about 50 to 100 microns or so. And a micron is 1000 nanometers. So nanoparticles, you're saying, are on the order of 1000 to 10,000 times smaller than the thickness of a human hair?</p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">Yes.</p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">And I suppose that chemical importance and reaction could be both a good thing, for particles that we create, or maybe a bad thing for things like smoke and pollution, when those particles get into our lungs.<br/></p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">This particular property also influences the inhalation and deposition on human and animal system.<br/></p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">Has nature leveraged nanoparticles? Right? So as evolution leveraged the idea that if I've got an organism that can produce a nanoparticle, it can now do something that it couldn't do before.<br/></p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">Yeah, lotus leaf is an excellent example. The hydrophobicity, that is if you put a water drop on lotus leaf, it doesn't actually spread on the surface. It just rolls off of the surface. The reason is because not just simply because it has a waxy coating on the surface of the leaf, but because there is a nanostructured and microstructured surface to that lotus leaf, which causes these tiny air pockets to be present on this lotus leaf, which causes this superhydrophobicity.<br/></p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">We're going to talk about that next time because that's an engineered solution. It happens to be engineered by evolution, but it was not incidental. In some sense it's fundamental.<br/></p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">Right.<br/></p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">So that's really cool. All right. Let's continue on. So there are these incidental processes, where we have [i], whether it's natural or man-made, that tend to produce those particles. I'm going to assume that the particles that you get out from there are not really under your control.<br/></p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">Right.<br/></p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">All right. So if I want to produce particles that have certain properties, how do I go about doing that? And Srikanth, I think you do that in your lab all the time.<br/></p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">Right. We do that very routinely in our lab. Broadly speaking, there are two approaches to doing that, actually. Top-down and bottom-up processes. Top-down process is where you start with the bulk material, say, for example, bulk gold. If I cut that bulk gold into two pieces, hardly anything changes, actually. You see the same gold that we are all familiar with. But if we continue to cut this into smaller and smaller pieces, and finally when I reach, say, for example, 20 nanometers, 30 nanometer gold nanoparticle, now the particle absorption is very different. Their optical properties are very different. It is a function of size of the particle and the shape of the particle. In fact, actually, shape is a very convenient handle if you want to manipulate the optical properties of these particles.<br/></p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">So what I think I'm hearing you say is that in traditional, I guess what you call bulk materials, what something looks like is a function of what the stuff is. The molecules are actually present. But when they get this small, the way the light, the photons of light, interact with the material, it's now the shape and size of the particle-- not what the particle actually is, but the shape and the size that is determining what the optical reaction is going to be.<br/></p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">Composition is still important, but without changing the composition, I can change the color of these particles by changing only the shape of these particles.<br/></p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">Got it. So gold nanoparticles behave differently than silver nanoparticles, but gold nanoparticles of one size and shape behave differently than other gold particles of a different size and shape.<br/></p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">Exactly.<br/></p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">How do you actually go about cutting the material down so that you get nanoscale particles?<br/></p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">So we are using a beam of electrons in this case because we can really focus it down to nanoscale dimensions. We use these electron beam as our knives to be able to define these features on surfaces.<br/></p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">All right. So you can essentially make, if you will, markings. You can etch out--<br/></p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">Exactly.<br/></p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">--small particles from these materials.<br/></p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">Right.<br/></p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">Very good. All right, so that was top-down. What did you mean by bottom-up?<br/></p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">So the bottom-up approach is where you start with the atoms. And you are putting together these atoms to make the nanoscale structures. So here you're essentially starting with nothing, bringing the atoms together to form nanoparticles.<br/></p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">Where do you get atoms?<br/></p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">Okay. So for example, if I want to make a gold nanoparticle, I start with gold salt. It's remarkably similar to the common salt-- the table salt we all use, that is sodium chloride. Instead of starting with sodium chloride, I start with gold chloride. I dissolve gold chloride in water, of course. Any salt dissolves in water. So naturally I dissolve gold salt in water. And then I add a reducing agent to this salt solution. And that reducing agent causes these ions of gold to be reduced into atomic state and they start coming together to form these nanoparticles.<br/></p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">So basically, we're doing chemistry--<br/></p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">Right.<br/></p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">--to bring together enough atoms of gold to form a particle, and that particle is of nanoscale.<br/></p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">Right. Exactly.<br/></p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">All right, very good. So Rajan, in the past you and I have spoken a little bit about how just burning stuff, fire, causes smoke, which we all know. But then you told me that a component of that smoke is in fact, nanoparticles.<br/></p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">Yes, so fire is a classical problem. I mean, it has been studied for centuries. And to a visual-- visually, you've seen that it seems like-- okay, fire is a puff of gaseous emissions, or pollutants being emitted. But what is actually happening is initially, when you combust or you burn something, a fuel, you have gaseous products being emitted, which as the temperature cools down, you have the thermodynamically favorable conditions for phase change to take place from gas to liquid to solid. So that is the traditional, classical picture we know. But in the context of nanoparticles, the fire constitute a lot of-- it's a very charged environment, which means that when you have a charged environment, you have to take into consideration of the surface area of the pollutants. Since a gas molecule is extremely small, and you have these charges interacting with the surface area, so that will facilitate the phase change. And then what you see are emissions of solid nanoparticles from a fire.<br/></p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">Cool. So essentially, you have this complex interaction going on. You have this emission of gas, but as the temperature cools down, and as you have these various electrical charges at work, those charges cause the molecules to phase change to liquid and then into solid. And those solids can often be nanoparticle scale.<br/></p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">Yes. The property here controlling that is surface area, again.<br/></p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">And then what happens is things start to cool. And when it cools, we have all these electrical charges that are going to interact with these gas molecules to form these gaseous clusters, which have very high surface area, then become liquid, then become solid. And now you've got these clusters of solids with very high surface area, otherwise known as nanoparticles.<br/></p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">Let's just recap a little bit. Nanoparticles are really, really small - we said about a ten thousandth the width of a human hair - and not visible in a traditional microscope. And they're so small that they interact with the world in unusual ways. Rajan talked about that the ratio of the surface area to volume is so high that they are incredibly reactive to their chemical environment. And these-- reactivity is very important. But they don't have the mass that we typically assume agents to have, and so they behave differently, say, in the atmosphere. And Srikanth talked about how interacting with the light, it doesn't-- the materials don't even look the way they used to look like before.<br/></p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">What we're going to do next, they have two episodes that will continue this discussion about nanoparticles. First, we're going to examine the environmental challenges that they pose, in both terms of health and climate. And I hate to cast Rajan in the evil role, but frankly, Rajan's expertise on how these behave in the atmosphere and how these particles get produced will give us some insight as to the health environmental challenges there. That's the bad side, if you will.<br/></p><p style="border-top: 1px solid #cccccc;">But then we'll conclude with another episode about some of the remarkable developments that take advantage of the unusual properties of these particles, advances in health, energy, and materials. And we'll continue our conversation with Srikanth, who in his lab whips up this magic and makes these particles do things that really enable us to see things and do things that we've not been able to in the past. So stay tuned. Those will be up next.<br/></p><SPAN ID="__publishingReusableFragment"></SPAN><p><br/></p><div style="text-align: center;"> <a href=""> <img class="ms-rtePosition-4" src="/news/PublishingImages/itunes_podcast2.png" alt="" style="margin: 5px;"/></a> <a href="" rel="nofollow"> <img width="225" alt="Listen on Google Play Music" src=""/></a> <br/></div>2018-08-07T05:00:00ZThis episode is all about nanoparticles: What are their properties, how are they formed and why should you care?<p>This episode is all about nanoparticles: What are their properties, how are they formed and why should you care?<br/></p> alum Behnken to test flight commercial spacecraft<p>​Engineering alumnus Bob Behnken has been chosen as one of NASA's astronauts who will fly American-made, commercial spacecraft to and from the International Space Station. <br/></p><img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/Behnken,%20Bob%20NASA.jpg?RenditionID=2" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>Behnken, a St. Louis native who earned two bachelor's degrees in Engineering at WashU in 1992, was chosen as one of two astronauts to fly test flights on the Crew Dragon, designed by SpaceX.<br/></p><p> He is a flight test engineer and colonel in the Air Force and joined the astronaut corps in 2000. He flew aboard space shuttle Endeavour twice, for the STS-123 and STS-130 missions, during which he performed six spacewalks totaling more than 37 hours. This mission will return astronaut launches to U.S. soil for the first time since the space shuttle was retired in 2011.</p><p> Behnken earned a master's and a doctorate from California Institute of Technology. </p><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-embedcode ms-rte-embedil ms-rtestate-notify s4-wpActive" contenteditable="false"><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media"></iframe> </div><br/>Bob Behnken. Photo courtesy of NASA. Beth Miller 2018-08-06T05:00:00ZEngineering alumnus Bob Behnken will test fly American-made commercial spacecraft. Y