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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2024
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  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 26, 2023
  4. Abstract Since 2009, the mechanical engineering (ME) scholarship-science technology engineering and mathematics (S-STEM) Program at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) has provided financial support and program activities to ME undergraduate students aiming at improving their retention and graduation rates. The objective of this study is to identify program activities that were most effective to help students for improvements. Current ME S-STEM scholars were asked to complete a survey that measures their scientific efficacy, engineering identity, expectations, integration, and sense of belonging, as well as how program activities impact their attitudes and perceptions. Analyses of 36 collected surveys showed that scholars reported high levels of engineering identity, expectations, and sense of belonging. However, further improvements were needed to help students in achieving scientific efficacy and academic integration into the program. Results demonstrated that pro-active mentoring was the most effective method contributing to positive attitudes and perceptions. The implemented S-STEM research-related activities and internship were viewed favorably by the scholars in helping them establish their scientific efficacy and engineering identity, and understand their expectations and goals. Community building activities were considered helpful for them to integrate into campus life and improve their sense of belonging to the campus and program.more »Scholars identified mentoring, research related activities, internships, and social interaction with faculty and their peers as important factors for their retention and graduation. Although the sample size was small in the study, we believe that the cost-effective activities identified could be adopted by other institutions to further improve students' retention and graduation rates in engineering programs.« less
  5. This work discusses in vivo experiments that were performed to evaluate whether local or whole-body heating to 40 °C reduced interstitial fluid pressures (IFPs) and enhanced nanoparticle delivery to subcutaneous PC3 human prostate cancer xenograft tumors in mice. After heating, 0.2 mL of a previously developed nanofluid containing gold nanoparticles (10 mg Au/mL) was injected via the tail vein. The induced whole-body hyperthermia led to increases in tumor and mouse body blood perfusion rates of more than 50% and 25%, respectively, while the increases were much smaller in the local heating group. In the whole-body hyperthermia groups, the IFP reduction from the baseline at the tumor center immediately after heating was found to be statistically significant when compared to the control group. The 1 h of local heating group showed IFP reductions at the tumor center, while the IFPs increased in the periphery of the tumor. The intratumoral gold nanoparticle accumulation was quantified using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Compared to the control group, 1 h or 4 h of experiencing whole-body hyperthermia resulted in an average increase of 51% or 67% in the gold deposition in tumors, respectively. In the 1 h of local heating group, the increasemore »in the gold deposition was 34%. Our results suggest that 1 h of mild whole-body hyperthermia may be a cost-effective and readily implementable strategy for facilitating nanoparticle delivery to PC3 tumors in mice.« less