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Research@Mines Archive:
October, 2019

Mines researchers explore killing cancer with cold plasma

Kristen Haller, a mechanical engineering major at South Dakota School of Mines & Technology with plans to go to medical school after graduation in December 2019, and Jordan Hoops, a chemical and biological engineering PhD student, demonstrate the cold plasma technology.

While using cold plasma to kill cancer cells isn’t an entirely novel concept, a team of researchers and students at South Dakota School of Mines & Technology are exploring new ways to regulate cold plasma technology to target and kill cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alive.

If successful, the technique would prove to be a drug-free, minimally invasive cancer treatment that would affect the lives of millions of patients around the world.   

Plasma is ionized gas – an energetic state of matter where some of the electrons in the outer atomic orbitals have become separated from the atom. In other words, it’s a collection of ions and electrons no longer bound to each other. Cold plasma is a partially ionized gas where particles possess much higher energy.

SD Mines assistant professors Prasoon Diwakar, Ph.D., of the mechanical engineering department, and Timothy Brenza, Ph.D., of the chemical and biological engineering department, are overseeing the research with undergraduate mechanical engineering students Kristen Haller and Nicole Miller. Chemical and biological engineering PhD student Jordan Hoops and applied biological sciences undergraduate student Taylor Bright are also contributing to the work. Bright will be continuing the research in this area as an accelerated master’s student in biomedical engineering.

Diwakar began researching cold plasma cance...

Last Edited 10/29/2019 07:21:23 PM [Comments (0)]

Buffalo Bones Return to the Black Hills to be Preserved for Study

Part of a bison skull and other bones after being catalogued and placed in climate-controlled storage at SD Mines.

Between 1993 and 1995, a team of archeologists undertook an excavation of prehistoric animal bones in the Deerfield area of the Black Hills. They found bison, mountain lion, deer, elk and a range of smaller animal bones. Work on the age of the specimens is still underway, but researchers estimate some of the bones date as far back as 8,000 years.

After excavation, the bones were taken to the Illinois State Museum in Springfield, where they stayed for more than 20 years. In 2017, the US Forest Service moved these back to South Dakota, and students in the paleontological resource management class at SD Mines stepped up to help. The students took part in an effort between the US Forest Service, the South Dakota State Historical Society Archaeological Research Center, and the Museum of Geology at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology to curate these specimens.

“A lot of times, in different repositories, this material will just sit and sit for years,” says Mike Hilton, the heritage resources program manager for the Black Hills National Forest. Hilton gives praise to Sally Shelton, the associate director of the Museum of Geology at Mines, and the students in her paleontology resource management class. The students undertook the bulk of t...

Last Edited 10/22/2019 02:18:43 PM [Comments (0)]