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Groundbreaking Research with Dr. Dave Estrada

Video Transcript

Marlene Tromp: Hi I’m Marlene Tromp president of Boise State University and I’m excited that today we’re gonna talk about the impact and the importance of research and I’m here with one of our amazing faculty members David Estrada and we’re gonna talk a little bit about how a faculty member comes to do research and what it means in the world. You do this research, you get to be a researcher, you get to focus on research, you came from Idaho, you grew up here, you got fired up about doing research, and leading a research team, what impact does your research have on the world around us?

David Estrada: there’s a real definition for nanomaterials and one of the dimensions, X Y or Z, one is one of the spatial dimensions has to be less than 100 nanometers for it to be classified as a nano material.

Marlene Tromp:  So for a person on the street it’s just it’s a it’s a material that extremely small that is a building block for other things.

David Estrada:  Yes. Yeah it’s party about 50 times the diameter of human DNA. So we work with those materials and we try to apply them in energy water and healthcare. And so big picture what we’re hoping to do is use the fundamental properties of that material to control stem cells, and so can we print a bio scaffold for example, and then seed it with a patient’s own stem cells so we can grow replacement organs in the lab right. In water we are working with the new class of materials that are known as Maxine’s, also a nano material. And we’re applying them to water purification with the Idaho National lab and desalination. I think water is going to be a critical research area in the future. We can also apply these in energy to help develop new nuclear fuels by putting sensors inside the reactor and studying materials in those extreme conditions or to do energy harvesting and energy storage. So those are the baby impacts we hope to have, but it all starts with the students in the lab and trying to really understand the fundamental physics and in chemistry that these new materials are for.

Marlene Tromp:  Do you know, I always say to people that what universities do is they change people’s lives so those people can change the world. But what you’re doing is literally that work and the work that your students are doing in the lab with you is literally that work. If we can help somebody’s own cells grow an organ that they need to be well and healthy and thriving, that’s transformative! If we can help resolve the question of clean water that’s useful for humans to use that’s transformative. I mean these are really, we can create additional energy structures in the world. It’s really amazing the work that you’re doing you just feel awfully proud. I’m grateful for this opportunity to talk with you and I want to thank you for all you do for our students.