Rowe Researcher: Hydration in Collegiate Male Soccer Athletes

Knowledge and Assessment of Hydration in Heat Acclimatized Collegiate Male Soccer Athletes

Summer 2015

Investigators: Abigail Colburn1, Robert A. Huggins1, Andrea Fortunati1, David Looney1, Chris West1, Lawrence E. Armstrong, FACSM1, and Douglas J. Casa, FACSM1

1University of Connecticut

Fluid consumption during exercise can be influenced by vessel type and hydration knowledge, however athletes often are not given a choice of vessel and furthermore they are unaware of their individual fluid needs. PURPOSE: The aim of this single-blind matched pairs laboratory study was to investigate if hydration vessel has an impact on water consumption volume and if athletes are aware of their total body fluid balance. METHODS: Nineteen Division I male soccer athletes (age, 20±1 y; height, 180±7 cm; body mass, 78.68±7.39 kg) performed a standard 60 minute sweat electrolyte test in the heat and completed a hydration knowledge and strategy questionnaire afterwards. Ten participants consumed unlimited water from 1L commercial sports drink bottles typically used in practice (BTL), while 9 participants consumed unlimited water from a commercial water bladder hidden above them in the ceiling, only with access to the straw (BLA). Testing was conducted in a controlled environmental chamber, ambient temperature was 29.68±5.08°C, relative humidity 49.32±10.65%, and WBGT 19.32±4.43°C. Primary variables of interest included actual fluid consumed, perceived fluid consumed, actual sweat rate, and perceived sweat rate. Between group differences were analyzed using paired samples t-tests (a= p<0.05). RESULTS: There were no differences between BTL and BLA for amount of actual fluid consumed (BTL, 414.44±397.18mL; BLA, 390±288.21mL; p=0.879) actual fluid lost (BTL, 1415.56±368.62; BLA, 1344±452.14mL; p=0.712), perceived fluid consumed (BTL, 833±673mL; BLA, 565±461.64; p=0.321) or perceived fluid lost (BTL, 2444±1333; BLA, 2063±1778; p=0.607). However, when groups were combined, significant differences were found between the following variables. Perceived consumption was 692±572mL and actual consumption was 401.58±334.37mL (p=0.016). Perceived sweat losses were 2244±1552mL and actual sweat losses were 1377.89±404.90mL (p=0.015). Athletes only consumed 22.5±16.9% of actual fluid losses. Actual consumed and actual sweat losses were also significantly correlated (p<0.001). CONCLUSION: Although there were no differences between the type of vessel in which fluid was administered, NCAA Division I soccer athletes significantly overestimated both the amount of fluid they consumed and actual sweat losses during 60 minutes of exercise in the heat. These findings suggest that athletes are unaware of their individualized fluid needs, which may lead to involuntary dehydration.

Rowe Researcher: Self-Healing Double Network Hydrogels

Photo credit: Allison Battista
Photo credit: Allison Battista

Self-Healing Double Network Hydrogels

March 2013-2016

Investigators: Dr. Thomas Seery & Omar Allam, UConn Chemistry and Institute of Material Science (IMS), and the Jin Group, Chemistry Department at Fudan University, Shanghai, China

Hydrogels are gels in which the polymer chains that constitute them are hydrophilic and thus readily absorb water.  Theoretically, hydrogels have a wide array of applications, however, they display poor mechanical properties, which limit their use.  My research aims at i) synthesizing hydrogels with a unique double network structure in order to improve their mechanical properties (in particular, their toughness) and ii) characterizing the physical properties of these new hydrogels to determine their suitability for possible biomedical applications. If this new structure for hydrogels exhibits superior mechanical properties, it will provide an opportunity to test possible applications such as artificial cartilage, contact lenses, and scaffolds for delivering medicine.

Rowe Researcher: In Vitro Evaluation of Calcium Peroxide Release from Composite Poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) Microsphere Scaffolds

In Vitro Evaluation of Calcium Peroxide Release from Composite Poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) Microsphere Scaffolds

Fall 2013-Spring 2015

rowe researcherInvestigators: Ornella Tempo, Keshia Ashe, Yusuf Khan Ph.D, Cato Laurencin Ph.D/M.D UConn Health Center, Farmington CT

Bone tissue engineering looks specifically at the intersection of cells, biomaterials, and bioactive factors for the restoration of normal bone function following instances of surgical, degenerative, or traumatic bone loss. The objective of this project was to investigate the potential of a materials-only based approach for guided bone regeneration. Specifically, the capabilities of composite poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLAGA) and calcium peroxide (CaO2) sintered microsphere scaffolds were investigated as an alternative to current bone repair strategies. During this project, composite sintered microspheres were fabricated, sintered into 3-dimensional (3D) matrices, and evaluated the in vitro release of CaO2. Continue reading

Rowe Researcher: The Fabrication of Drug Encapsulated Microparticles for the Purpose of Drug Delivery for Pain Management


Ojha Anurag
Anurag Ojha

The Fabrication of Drug Encapsulated Microparticles for the Purpose of Drug Delivery for Pain Management

August 2014 – August 2015

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Institute of Regenerative Engineering, UConn Health

Osteoarthritis (OA) is caused by the breakdown of cartilage. The deterioration of cartilage directly exposes joints to bone surfaces causing excruciating pain, decreased range of motion, and other forms of disability to patients. To combat the pain, oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) and intra-articular injections are used to manage pain from 24 hours to 7 days. However, both NSAIDS and intra-articular injections clear out of the system rapidly and require repeated dosages (leading to infection and excessive drug concentration at target site).

The purpose of this project is to develop a biodegradable microparticle (MP) implants for long lasting delivery of the NSAID celecoxib (CLX) for effective pain management of OA. Five different co-polymers of PLLA and PCL such as PLLA, Poly (LA-co-CL)(95:05), Poly (LA-co-CL)(85:15), Poly (LA-co-CL)(80:20), and Poly (LA-co-CL)(70:30) were used to fabricate MPs and release profiles were evaluated in vitro. The microparticles were fabricated by an oil-in-water emulsification technique followed by a solvent evaporation process. The drug loading efficiencies were determined using an extraction technique. The microparticles were characterized using FT-IR and light microscope.