Current Research Opportunities

 

In-situ biosensors for animal health* and water quality

Projects sponsored by and *PR Science, Technology and Research Trust and UPRM-Sea Grant

Dr. Pedro Resto is developing portable biosensors for use in agriculture (animal health) and environmental (water quality) applications. Students work with the development, construction, and testing of portable fluorescence detection units. These detection units detect fluorescent light from biological assays currently being used for biodetection in clinical laboratories.

 

Research areas:

  • Micromanufacturing (clean room PDMS work),
  • Rapid prototyping (3D printing and laser cutting),
  • Biological assay miniaturization,
  • Electronics and programming (Arduino),
  • Image data analysis

 

Dr. Resto collaborates with the Chemistry Department at UPRM and the Biochemistry Department at University of Wisconsin-Madison, and CDI Labs located at Guanajibo Research Park.

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If interested on additional information, send an email to: pedroj.resto@upr.edu

Must have acceptable GPA, willingness to work and learn.

 

Mechatronics applied to local agriculture

 

Dr. Pedro Resto collaborates with Dr. David Serrano (INME), and faculty from Industrial Engineering and the College of Agriculture to develop a renewable energy batea currently being used to dry coffee at Café Mis Abuelos located in Mayagüez Arriba.

 

Research Areas:

  • Mechatronics, Electronics + Arduino control programming

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Figure 2. Schematic of miniature rotary drum dryer, “batea”

  • A miniature rotary drum dryer was designed in order to improve the ability to evenly remove humidity from coffee grains, figure 2.
  • In this system, coffee is placed on the bed. The rotary drum mixes coffee to ensure even humidity removal.

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Figure 3. Picture of the miniature rotary drum dryer, “batea”

  • This system is built from stainless steel. Steel bars and panels are used to build the entire system. The system has a plastic cover that allows sunlight to pass but prevents coffee from getting wet during rain, figure 3.

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Figure 4. Picture of miniature “batea” holding coffee

  • The rotary drum mixes the coffee to ensure even humidity removal, figure 4. Solar panels are used to power the rotary drum motors and the radiator fans.

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Figure 5. Complete two-way solar panel based drying system. Circa 2012.

  • Figure 5 shows the complete system composed of the rotary drum dryer with closed plastic cover, staggered-tube solar heater (not seen in picture), deep cycle 12V car batteries (kept inside yellow tote containers) and solar panels that provide power to the motors and fans.
  • The system is equipped with temperature and humidity sensors at the inlet and outlet of the air flow system.

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If interested on additional information, send an email to: pedroj.resto@upr.edu

Must have acceptable GPA, willingness to work and learn.