Publications & Presentations

Tunable Diode Laser Absorption Spectroscopy (TDLAS) Enabled SMART Freeze-Dryer Technology

Gong, E. S.; Khakpash, N.; Hinds, M. ; Schomber, L.; Yusoff, Z.; Pikal, M.; Kessler, W.
IDS’2020 – 22nd International Drying Symposium
Worcester, Massachusetts, USA, June 26 – June 29, 2022

Tunable Diode Laser Absorption Spectroscopy (TDLAS) measurements combined with SMART Freeze-Dryer Technology enabled automated pharmaceutical lyophilization process development. The sensor measured water vapor temperature, density and flow velocity used to calculate water vapor mass flow rates (dm/dt). The dm/dt values were combined with a heat

and mass transfer model of lyophilization to enable real-time determinations of product temperature during sublimation. The temperatures combined with a process development algorithm produced efficient freeze-drying cycles during a single lyophilization experiment. The SMART-TDLAS Freeze-Dryer Technology was used to dry placebo formulations in laboratory and pilot-scale lyophilizers, demonstrating application at multiple scales.

Cable Resistance in Spacecraft Deployable Mechanisms

Brian Schweinhart, Ziv Arzt, Brendan Nunan, Alex Mednick - Physical Sciences Inc., Nathan Pehrson, Ben Urioste - Air Force Research Laboratory
AIAA Scitech Forum, 2022 January 3-7

Objective: Provide the space engineering community with a reliable and methodical way to predict these forces early in the mechanism design process

Approach: Layout a methodology to characterize cables and record their torque response in deployment systems

Antimicrobial Surface Coatings to Reduce COVID-19 Spread

Physical Sciences Inc. – Zachary D. Whitermore, Dorin V. Preda (PI), Peter A. Warren, Min K. Song, Alex W. Moerlein, Nathan R. Shipley
Boston University/NEIDL – John H. Connor, Scott Seitz
2021 AIChE Annual Meeting, November 2021, Boston, MA

The Air Force has identified an urgent need to reduce COVID 19 contaminant loads in environments
where Airmen operate (e.g., patient transfer mobility aircraft) and thus decrease transmission likelihood. Physical
Sciences Inc. (PSI) and National Emerging Infectious Disease Laboratories at Boston University (NEIDL/BU) are

developing an antimicrobial coating and demonstrate its effectiveness on evacuation litter products and blood pressure monitoring equipment. PSI is coating multiple medical equipment materials with a permanently attached, broad spectrum antimicrobial technology. The coating was previously demonstrated on textile, metal and plastic surfaces for strong attachment and broad spectrum antimicrobial activity against bacteria, spores, fungi and viruses. The coating efficacy for the target surfaces is being demonstrated against a virus panel and other pathogens of interest. The coating is being optimized to achieve high levels of viral reduction within a short amount of time. The robustness of coating in litter operation is being evaluated upon weathering, abrasion, and cleaning. The coating was developed based on prior PSI studies that demonstrated broad spectrum antimicrobial activity of fabric and metal surfaces against bacteria, spores, fungi and viruses. Greater than 99 99.999% kill efficiency was demonstrated against: (a) antibiotic resistant bacteria: C. Diff. both vegetative cells and spores), MRSA , b) sterilization resistant spores ( Bacillus, sp. sp.), (c) clean room bacteria B. atrophaeus ), (d) Gram positive bacteria S. Aureus, S. Epidermis ), (e) Gram negative bacteria ( E.Coli ), (f) fungus C. Albicans ) and (g) non enveloped viruses ( MS2 ). Biocompatibility of fabric coupons was also demonstrated with no cytotoxicity or skin irritation. Results to date indicate strong attachment of the antimicrobial coating to surfaces of NATO evacuation litter and blood pressure cuff materials. The coating process was optimized to provide uniform and high density coverage across all materials. Formulations for both bath and spray coating processes have been developed. All coated materials showed antiviral activity high efficacy (up to 5.5 log reduction, >99.999% kill efficiency) against a COVID 19 surrogate, Vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV). The antiviral efficacy was demonstrated by qualitative microscopy/imaging experiments as well as by quantitative plague forming assays. Various surfaces including litter bedding, litter poles, litter handles, litter straps and blood pressure cuff fabrics were demonstrated for antiviral activity with high efficacy.

High Yield and Economical Extraction of Rare Earth Elements from Coal Ash

Bryan Sharkey, Dorin Preda, David Gamliel, Prakash B. Joshi, Jeffrey Yee, Russell Lambert, James C. Hower, John G. Groppo, Todd Beers, and Mike Schrock
2021 AIChE Annual Meeting, November 7-12, 2021 - Boston, MA


Atmospheric Water Extraction Enabled by Smart Moisture Absorbing Foams (SMAFs)

Peter Warren, Dorin Preda, Sean Torrez, John Kidd, Cameron McConnell, Travis Emery, Caitlin Bien, Russell Lambert, Zachary Whitermore, Jacob Miske, Tiffany Yu, John Grimble,
Jeffrey Yee, and Bryan Sharkey - Physical Sciences Inc.; Todd Emrick - University of Massachusetts Amherst; Ian Norris and Paul Smith - Cascade Designs Inc.
AiChe Annual Meeting, November 7-11, 2021, Boston, MA

Primary Objective Develop a man portable system capable of extracting potable drinking water from air, obviating the need for costly and dangerous transportation (Expeditionary Track).

TA1 Goal: Create a new and revolutionary class of sorbents that have high capacity, rapid water uptake and release sorbed water by compression enabled switching from hydrophilic to hydrophobic state.

TA2 Goal: Design, construct and optimize a system capable of meeting the DARPA SWaP and output requirements by leveraging the SMAF compressive release capability developed in TA1.