Research Projects

Synthesis of biocompatible materials for soft tissue grafts using synthetic biology tools
Funding Program: Cleveland Clinic - UTEC Grants Program
Amount: 50,000 USD
PI: Dr. Alberto J Donayre-Torres (adonayre@utec.edu.pe) and Dr. Kathleen A. Derwin (Cleveland Clinic)

Synthesis of biocompatible materials for soft tissue grafts using synthetic biology tools

Synthetic biology allows programming in vitro biomaterials with regulatory genetic constructs. The synthesis of extracellular matrix (ECM) components, elastin, and collagen in a cell-free system are programmed with genetic elements. This proposal aims at the establishment of genetically programmable ECM using cell-free reactions. This high-throughput system will allow a fast-track platform for testing mechanical properties in biocompatible material used in soft tissue grafts.

A Lower Limb Soft Robotic Exoskeleton for Motor Development of Infants Affected by Spina Bifida
Funding Program: MISTI Seed Fund
Amount: 30,000 USD - URL
PI: Dr. Emir Vela (evela@utec.edu.pe) and Ellen Roche (MIT)

A Lower Limb Soft Robotic Exoskeleton for Motor Development of Infants Affected by Spina Bifida

The goal of this proposal is to develop a low-cost robotic exoskeleton made of soft and flexible materials to perform lower-limb rehabilitation of 0-6-month-old infants affected by SB through passive repetitive flexion/extension movements of joints and muscles to significantly reduce their walking disorders.

Community-Led Social and Environmental Problem-Solving with Women Miners in Peru
Funding Program: MISTI Seed Fund
Amount: 30,000 USD - URL
PI: Dr. Ursula Rodriguez-Zuñiga (urodriguez@utec.edu.pe), Daniel Frey and Elizabeth McDonald (MIT)

Community-Led Social and Environmental Problem-Solving with Women Miners in Peru

The project will enable students to better understand the connection between technological, environmental, social, and economic issues in extractive economies in general and particularly in the mining industry in Secocha, Peru. It will also provide them with hands-on experience in community-led social and environmental problem-solving by directly engaging with artisanal and small-scale women miners, known as pallaqueras.

Unraveling smallholder agricultural supply networks in Peru
Funding Program: MISTI Seed Fund
Amount: 30,000 USD - URL
PI: Dr. Jose Antonio Larco (jlarco@utec.edu.pe), Dr. Claudia Antonini (UTEC) and Christopher Mejia (MIT)

Unraveling smallholder agricultural supply networks in Peru

This project aims to understand and characterize the complexities that lie underneath the accessibility to the market in the Peruvian context and relate them to observed supply-chain and firm outcomes. Using social network analysis, this project will identify and learn from success stories through a strong commitment to collaboration among supply-chain actors, to create a methodology that might be scaled-up to integrate current data sources with field observations and reveal meaningful metrics that describe supply-chain network structures.

Development of proper tunnel syndrome placement device to avoid impingement
Funding Program: MISTI Seed Fund
Amount: 30,000 USD - URL
PI: Dr. Wangdo Kim (mwdkim@utec.edu.pe) and Sang-Gook Kim (MIT)

Development of proper tunnel syndrome placement device to avoid impingement

This study shows that whereas the current rationale for tibial tunnel placement identifies a range in which the roof impingement is not allowed to avoid the negative affordance, in reality, all this can be done to constrain the target bounds with respect to the positive affordance that is desired. The affordance-based design has been best illustrated for artifacts that having biomechanical offerings, how to avoid the ligament impingement during ACL reconstruction, focused on the search for placing optimal tibial tunnel.

Ancestral engineering at the Tipon archaeological complex (Cuzco, Peru): learning from materials, fluid mechanics, and ancient technologies
Funding Program: MISTI Seed Fund
Amount: 30,000 USD - URL
PI: Dr. Jorge Abad (jabadc@utec.edu.pe) and Dr. Admir Masic (MIT)

Ancestral engineering at the Tipon archaeological complex (Cuzco, Peru): learning from materials, fluid mechanics, and ancient technologies

The project involves the development of an innovative multi-scale methodology to characterize and study ancient architecture: from materials used to construction techniques and macroscopic structural features, as well as the analysis of the ancient fluid mechanics and hydraulic processes in the Archaeological Complex of Tipón, located in Cuzco, Peru. with the purpose of reverse engineering of some of its channels design.