Summary of Research Projects

SUNY MAM Research Projects

To date, the SUNY Materials and Advanced Manufacturing Network of Excellence has invested $1,235,000 in the areas of biomaterials, energy materials, flexible electronics, green composite materials, digital and additive manufacturing, functional and responsive materials, informatics, characterization, and education.

This round of funding provided $525,000 to ten collaborative projects involving 31 campuses that will advance research in 3-D printing, therapeutics, energy storage, and flexible electronics, among other fields. See descriptions of all the awards below.

2015-2016 Research Projects

2014-2015 Research Projects

2015-2016 Research Projects


3D Printing Based on Fabrication of Conformal Sensors

Award amount: $25,000
PI: Rahul Rai, University at Buffalo
Co-PI: Gary Halada, Stony Brook University

Abstract: Sensors with 3D curved shape are termed conformal sensors. Conformal sensors and electronics offer unique benefits due to combination of unique electrical functions and non-planar 3D shape. Conformal sensor is a potentially transformative technology that will create entirely new spectrum of possibilities and applications in biomedical devices, telecommunication, wearable electronics, conformal displays and stretchable circuit boards. Recently, there has been significant progress in design and development of conformal sensors and electronics. However, reliable fabrication of conformal sensors remains one of the most important unsolved problems.

In order to provide an effective solution to this unsolved problem, the PIs propose an innovative strategy to combine additive manufacturing (3D printing) and material science to fabricate conformal sensors. The basic idea is to adopt the digital light processing (DLP) based stereolithography (SLA) additive manufacturing process to fabricate conformal sensors. Using a DLP video projector with a UV output, the printer creates incredibly thin polymer layers and builds objects layer by layer. In DLP SLA process, ultraviolet (UV) sensitive photo curable monomer resin is used as an input raw material for three-dimensional printing. The objective of this collaborative proposal is to develop a novel DLP-SLA based additive manufacturing process to fabricate conformal piezoresistive sensors and to gain fundamental knowledge about the sensing behaviors of the printed conformal sensors through combined experimental and theoretical studies. Specific studies will focus on (1) Optimization and further refinement of a liquid photo curable resin recipe developed during our preliminary study and (2) Characterizing the sensing properties of 3D printed conformal sensors. 


Proposal for Category G Supplemental Support for Digital and Additive Manufacturing

Award amount: $75,000
PI: Gary Halada, Stony Brook University
Co-PIs: Rahul Rai, University at Buffalo (UB); Daniel Freedman, New Paltz; Jared Nelson, New Paltz; Chi Zhou, UB; Maen Alhader, Stony Brook University (SBU); Qing Chang, SBU; Shikui Chen, SBU; Hazem Tawfik, Farmingdale

Abstract: The past year has shown that SUNY can play a leading role in research and developmental activities in digital and additive manufacturing.  The facilities, expertise, and motivation are evident which can make the SUNY system a leader in this field. There are, however, challenges which must be met in order to allow our campuses to assume this role, especially as partners with industry.  In particular, for industry to better understand the role and value of using additive techniques in their current and potential future production there must be growth in opportunities to meet with industry, learn from their needs, and establish exploratory collaborative relationships.  For the Network (and SUNY) to respond to these challenges, we need to build our contacts and capabilities, and make sure researchers have access to the necessary tools and opportunities.  The proposed activities are a good first step, and address needs in three areas:  building industrial partnerships, testing new applications, and exploring new industrial materials.  

The key activities for which support are requested are: Network membership in America Makes to access funding opportunities and industry; increased support to provide industrial collaboration through Manufacturing Works/EWI in Buffalo for 3D printing of sensors; support to explore printing of advanced composites with the Hudson Valley Advanced Manufacturing Center; support to expand computational activities involving printing of high performance tires and other advanced designs; and support to address the need to overcome shortcomings in metal printing research and applications. These tasks will build industrial access and collaborations with multiple SUNY campuses; explore new technologies and materials which are crucial to growth in manufacturing applications of additive manufacturing in New York State; and support the development of several million dollars in new proposals for federal and industrial support. 


Processing-Structure-Properties-Performance Relationship for Fused Deposition Modeling

Award amount: $25,000
PI: Jared Nelson, New Paltz
Co-PIs: Chi Zhou, University at Buffalo; Gary Halada, Stony Brook University; 

Abstract: With recent advances, Fused Deposition Modeling has moved from rapid prototype usage toward direct manufacturing though limitations remain surrounding material issues.  In order to facilitate industry growth, this collaboration seeks to respond to the processing-structure-properties-performance relationship for an important class of 3D printed structures by leveraging expertise and resources in printing, mechanical testing, computational modeling, and advanced materials characterization. During the yearlong project, two tasks will be completed.  In the first task, the effects of processing parameters on mechanical properties of fabricated parts will be determine through standard testing complimented by digital image correlation and ultrasonic scanning to assess mechanical responses.  Parallel to this, surface and interfacial analyses will be performed using electron microscopy and vibrational and electron spectroscopies allowing for quantification of surface chemistry variations.  This combination of techniques allows for full characterization of the processing-structure-properties-performance relationship.  The second task looks to establish preliminary mechanical and thermal models accurately characterize bond, and ultimately complete part, strength and performance based on varying print parameters.  Overall, this preliminary work will help improve the viability of the rapidly advancing technology while supporting student involvement at each of the collaborating campuses.


Target Specific Nanoparticle Drug Delivery System for Atherosclerosis Early Prevention 

Award amount: $50,000
PI: Ivan Gitsov Ivanov, College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF)
Co-PIs: Yizhi Meng, Stony Brook University (SBU); Wei Yin, SBU;

Abstract: Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Atherosclerosis, an inflammatory process that gradually hardens and narrows the arteries, is a major cause for cardiovascular diseases. Drugs that treat atherosclerosis usually act nonspecifically, targeting not only cells in the atherosclerotic lesion areas but also those in non-lesion areas. We aim to build a nanoparticle complex that can target activated endothelial cells and effectively carry anti-platelet and anti-inflammation drugs to the lesion site. Three specific aims will be carried out to achieve this goal.  First, we will evaluate the biocompatibility of HGC and linear-dendritic nanoparticles towards endothelial cells and platelets. Second, we will conjugate ICAM-1 antibody to the HGC nanoparticles and examine its specificity in binding to activated endothelial cells. Thirdly, we will combine ICAM-1 antibody conjugated HGC nanoparticles with linear-dendritic nanoparticles, load the nanoparticle complex with aspirin (anti-platelet) and A205804 (ICAM-1 inhibitor), and examine its effect on endothelial cell and platelet activation/adhesion. Built on the previously established collaborative effort of Ivan Gitsov and Yizhi Meng (awarded by Year1 SUNY Network of Excellence), the proposed study will engage multiple faculty members, scientists and students from different SUNY campuses to work together to develop innovative biomaterials for cardiovascular disease prevention and treatment.


Biomaterial Based 3D Engineering of Composite Cartilage Structure

Award amount: $50,000
PI: Debanjan Sarkar, University at Buffalo (UB)
Co-PIs: Nathaniel C. Cady, SUNY Polytechnic Institute; Chi Zhou, UB;

Abstract: Cartilage tissue represents spatial gradient both in terms of matrix composition and morphology, which is crucial for maintaining cellular function and tissue hemostasis. Therefore, regeneration of cartilage with 3D scaffold presents enormous challenge to mimic these zone specific characteristics. In this proposal, we aim to develop zonal cartilage structure using functional biomaterials which can be molecularly engineered according to cartilage zones and can be bioprinted according to 3D zonal structures of cartilage. This combination approach allows mimicking the matrix material characteristics as well as 3D morphology of cartilage with spatial resolution to achieve maximum biofunctionality. Thus we propose to, (a) molecularly design hydrogel which can organize and regulate stem cells to differentiate into chondrocytes by providing precise matrix material, (b)characterize the cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions between stem cells and hydrogel matrices for chondrogenic differentiation and (c) bioprint these cell-laden hydrogels into a composite three-layer structure using a mask projection based bioprinting technique. Specifically, outcome of this work would provide development of functional biomaterials and 3D manufacturing composite structures for tissue engineering of cartilage. In general, it will present new guidelines to recreate a microenvironment with 3D cellular organization that are typical of living tissues and will provide new bioprinting technological advancements to print spatially heterogeneous and interfacial tissue structures. To achieve these objectives, we have built collaboration to share expertise and resources across SUNY campuses. In a broader sense, outcome of this work will generate preliminary data for future grant proposal applications and for collaborations with industrial partners.


Green Composite Materials Workgroup Session II

Award amount: $50,000
PI: Christopher Nomura, College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF)
Co-PIs: Ivan Gitsov, ESF; Mark Driscoll, ESF; Maen Alkhader, Stony Brook University (SBU); David Hwang, SBU; Jungyun Cho, Binghamton University; John Welch, University at Albany

Abstract: As part of an ongoing plan, we will continue the Green Composite Materials Workgroup with a second session to expand collaborations founded in the past year and improve projects towards the goals for our five-year plan.  In the first year, collaborative teams were established covering the broad topic of energy savings in manufacturing and materials production.  There was a focus in utilizing low energy visible light, UV, and electron beam for materials and manufacturing applications.  During the previous term, three projects were seeded and the collaborative subteams were tasked with applying for funds from NYSERDA.  Two of the three teams were funded and the third team has submitted a new grant application.  New industrial partners were identified in the previous term and this term we will work towards building the academic industry consortium and apply for funding from federal agencies.  The requested funding will be used to continue the forward momentum generated last year in order to bring the group into the second phase of our plan towards generating the collateral necessary to apply for a large-scale center-type grant.


Understanding Electrochemical Lithium Insertion During Amorphization

Award amount: $50,000
PI: Louis Piper, Binghamton University
Co-PIs: Peihong Zhang, University at Buffalo; Haralabos Efstathiadis, SUNY Polytechnic Institute; Amy Marschilok, Stony Brook University (SBU); Kenneth Takeuchi, SBU; Esther Takeuchi, SBU

Abstract: A fundamental study of the physical properties of Ag2VO2PO4 lithium ion battery cathode is proposed. Our research activities will combine synthesis, crosscutting techniques and modeling across four SUNY campuses (BU, UB, SBU and CNSE). A vital component of these activities will be the combination of synchrotron based studies and atomistic simulations necessary for developing a microscopic understanding of the reactions occurring during lithium insertion. This research is motivated by the need to demonstrate the cross-campus capabilities of SUNY researchers. The team assembled has individual track records and active funding in the synthesis (SBU), characterization (CNSE, BU), and modeling (UB) of high performance Li-ion battery cathodes. In the Phase I of the SUNY MAM, we developed a microscopic description of the silver extrusion and diffusion up to 2.5 electron equivalents lithium in Ag2VO2PO4. In Phase II, we will address the more complicated vanadium evolution within the 2-3 Li region that was identified by our research. The proposed study will include additional experimental techniques and simulations that were beyond the scope of Phase I. The goal of this project is to demonstrate to federal funding agencies and interested industrial partners that cross-campus SUNY programs can solve significant problems that cannot be addressed by individual efforts. Our research is vital for developing energy material candidates that are not restricted to crystalline phases.


Advanced Carbon Nanocomposites for Supercapacitor Energy Storage

Award amount: $50,000
PI: Vladimir Samuilov, Binghamton University
Co-PIs: Marina Petrukhina, University at Albany; Gang Wu, University at Buffalo; Maria Hepel, Potsdam

Abstract: In this proposal we are in an interdisciplinary collaboration involving four SUNY campuses (Stony Brook -    Vladimir Samuilov, Albany - Prof. Marina A. Petrukhina, Potsdam - Prof. Maria Hepel, Buffalo - Prof. Gang Wu) that will target the development of highly-efficient nano-carbon based electrical energy storage supercapacitor-type devices.

We will do fabrication, characterization and performance testing of novel hybrid multi-component systems as the next generation anodes in supercapacitors. New forms of hybrid films formed by multi-walled carbon nanotubes, graphene, modified with nanocarbon cups, grafting WO3 nanoparticles on GO nanosheets exhibiting high packing density will be fabricated and thoroughly tested through the joint efforts of the team.

The newly developed 3D graphene directly derived from heteroatom via a graphitization process will be integrated in supercapacitor with GO solid-state electrolytes. A multi-layered thin film electrode assembly will be fabricated with large surface areas to obtain low contact resistance and low leakage losses in order to achieve high energy and powder density for a supercapacitor. A robust prototype all-solid-state rechargeable supercapacitor will be fabricated and optimized.

Highly efficient polymer gel with Li-ions and solid electrolytes will be developed as well.


Functional and Responsive Materials

Award amount: $50,000
PI: Shadi Shahedipour-Sandvik, SUNY Polytechnic Institute
Co-PIs: Alexander Orlov, Stony Brook University (SBU) ; Ivan Gitsov, College of Environmental Science and Forestry; Mark Poliks, Binghamton University (BU); Vladimir Samuilov, SBU; Chuan-Jian Zhong, BU

Abstract: We propose to build a matrix of interrelating sensors connecting disparate materials on a single platform to create a multifunctional tissue.  This tissue will perform various sensing functions and is integrated on flexible substrate. The goal is to refine the multifunctional tissue matrix, strengthen the existing collaborative team and expand membership as needed. Each SUNY campus has the capability to create functional and responsive materials and work collectively to build a strong competitive team to pursue external funding (federal and industrial). The tissue matrix technology will be inspired by nature through biomimetics and will incorporate advantages offered by nanotechnology. The nanomaterial would have the capability to be multisensory and respond to changes in the surrounding environment.


Flexible Electronics as a Platform for Wide Bandgap Devices and Sensors 

Award amount: $100,000
PI: Eric Eisenbraun, SUNY Polytechnic Institute (Poly)
Co-PIs: Shadi Shahedipour, Poly; Mark Poliks Binghamton University (BU); Chuan-Jian Zhong, BU; Benjamin Hsiao, Stony Brook University (SBU); Miriam Rafailovich, SBU; Mark Swihart, University at Buffalo

Abstract: The development of wearable sensors or conformal electronics is an advanced pathway towards many applications in today’s mobile society.  A key challenge is in the materials front with scalable manufacturing processes and multifunctional properties.  This proposal aims to develop a novel class of printable, flexible and multifunctional materials for point-of-case sensors.  The unique features include extremely high surface to volume ratio, high functionality density, versatile surface modification pathways, good stability, and low cost.  They are ideal scaffolds for constructing the sensing interfaces and platform.  The integration of the nanostructured sensing elements into the nanofibrous membranes, radically different from conventional polymer filtration membranes, represents a potentially transformative platform technology for significant energy-saving and cost-effective point-of-care and wearable applications.  An experienced research team, consisting of highly accomplished scientists with complementary backgrounds from CNSE, Binghamton and Stony Brook, with additional collaborations of industries (i3 Electronics, Lockheed martin, etc.), has been assembled to tackle the technical challenge.  The proposed research activities include design, synthesis, and characterization of nanomaterials and scaffolds, involving interdisciplinary studies ranging from chemistry, physics, and engineering. In a parallel project, SUNY CNSE and Binghamton University propose to collaborate on development and demonstration of metallized wide bandgap III-Nitride based electronic devices on flexible substrate for a variety of applications ranging from power electronic to RF communications, and sensing. 

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2014-2015 Research Projects



PI: Steve Novak, SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering
Co-PIs: Junghyun Cho, Binghamton University; David Kiemle, SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry; Tad Koga, Stony Brook University; Jim Dias, University at Albany; Ken Tramposch, University at Buffalo

Abstract: The goal of the “Characterization” team is to make the vast collection of SUNY characterization equipment function as a unit in order to address the latest challenges in materials research. The equipment, which comprises over 250 pieces, includes electron and light microscopes, surface analysis and X-ray equipment, and an ion beam laboratory.



PI: Albert Titus, University at Buffalo
Co-PIs: Nathaniel Cady, SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering; Ivan Gitzov, SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry; Yizhi Meng, Stony Brook University; Li Niu, University at Albany; Kaiming Ye, Binghamton University

Abstract: The development of new biomaterials is essential to enabling personalized treatment of diseases and injuries; however, real impact can only occur if these biomaterials are realizable on a large scale. The “Biomaterials” team investigates biomaterials that can be applied to pre-disease and post-disease patient conditions with an emphasis on improving the manufacturability of these materials. Specifically, the team is developing theranostics to combine early stage diagnostics with therapeutic elements for early treatment of diseases; creating 3-D cell and tissue environmentsto enable the development of functional tissues and organoids for organ transplantation; characterizing and testing the functionality, structure, composition, and performance of the biomaterials; and developing software models of the biomaterials and their interactions with external excitations for improved materials development.


Digital and Additive Manufacturing

PI: Gary Halada, Stony Brook University
Co-PIs: Mark Driscoll, SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry; Liesl Folks, University at Buffalo; Jeff Ge, Stony Brook University; S.B. Park, Binghamton University; Tarun Singh, University at Buffalo

Abstract: Digital and additive manufacturing, including the many types and applications of 3D printing, holds strong promise as an area of research and growth. There is an opportunity for New York State to become a leader in key transformative technical areas, including functional-materials development for digital and additive manufacturing, deposition-system design and optimization, and exploration of the frontiers of biomedical applications. By leveraging New York’s strong history of multi-scale electronic manufacturing and expertise in metals, polymers, and composite materials, building collaborations in 3D printing and digital and additive manufacturing will have clear benefits for industry, the research enterprise, academia, and education.


Education and Outreach

PI: Daniel White, SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering
Co-PIs: Nathaniel Cady, SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering; Joe Gardella, University at Buffalo; Maria Hepel, SUNY Potsdam; John Parise, Stony Brook University; Miriam Rafailovich, Stony Brook University; Charles Spuches, SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry; Stan Whittingham, Binghamton University

Abstract: Building and sustaining a pipeline of motivated, capable, and diverse young people to work in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is of critical importance. The “Education and Outreach” team seeks opportunities for young people to learn about engineering materials and advanced manufacturing in a fun and engaging way.


Energy Materials

PI: Stan Whittingham, Stony Brook University
Co-PIs: Sarbajit Banerjee, University at Buffalo; Israel Cabasso, SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry; Evgeny Dikarev, University at Albany; Esther Takeuchi, Stony Brook University 

Abstract: Materials are the critical factor limiting the advancement of the energy agenda of the country. Electrification of the economy, both transportation and grid, requires improved generation capabilities that include solar, wind, and fuel cells. Once generated, the electricity needs to be stored until needed; electrochemical devices, including batteries and supercapacitors, are the most feasible means after pumped hydro. Today, these devices store too little energy per unit volume and cost too much. Improved materials and much-lower-cost manufacturing approaches are required. SUNY has the critical ingredients of faculty expertise and cutting-edge facilities to support the research, development, and manufacturability of new materials for energy production and storage.


Functional and Responsive Materials

PI: Shadi Shahedipour-Sandvik, SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering

Abstract: The “Functional and Responsive Materials” team is building a matrix of interrelating material that connects disparate materials/sensors on a single platform to create a multifunctional tissue. Biomimetics may be applied to study the benefits of this technology. The nanomaterial would have the capability to be multisensory and to respond to changes in the surrounding environment.


Green Composite Materials

PI: Christopher Nomura, SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry
Co-PIs: Maen Alkhader, Stony Brook University; Magnus Bergkvist, SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering; Junghyun Cho, Binghamton University; Ivan Gitsov, SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry; John Welch, University at Albany

Abstract: Where can industry turn to address the rising number of energy and environmental issues facing manufacturers? The “Green Composite Materials” team leverages the expertise and innovation of a SUNY-wide consortium of collaborative researchers that can provide technical expertise and innovation in green chemistry, composite materials, bio-based replacements to petroleum-based products, and methods to lower energy costs associated with the production of a wide range of materials. The goal of this group is to engage corporate partners to develop working collaborations to fill in the gaps between academic research and development and manufacturing to provide green and efficient solutions to problems faced by industry. The initial focus of this group is to engage in interdisciplinary projects aimed at reducing energy consumption for materials manufacturing practices via photocatalysis.

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SUNY Networks of Excellence