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  • Writer's pictureAnna G

Hello, my name is Trinity Bartleson. I am from Cincinnati Ohio, and I’m a senior at Central State University. I am a Sustainable Agriculture major with a minor in Biology. When I obtain my undergraduate degree in the year 2024, I plan on attending Veterinarian medical school. This summer I am working in Prof. George Stan’s lab to understand the effect of force field by molecular dynamics simulations of anionic surfactant sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) micelles. The goal of this project is to study the atomistic details of the molecular dynamics simulations, calculate the T1 relaxation times of different carbon atoms on SDS and compare them with NMR experimental results. To this end, I am using GROMACS, Visual Molecular Dynamics (VMD), and Python software to run simulations, visualize them and analyze the results, respectively.

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  • Writer's pictureAnna G

Updated: May 15



My name is Xander Cikanek. I am a rising junior at University of Rochester, and this summer I am working with Dr. Strobbia and Dr. Kissel. Traditional lateral flow assays (LFAs) use colorimetric detection: tags attach to a test line and the operator receives a diagnostic response for a specific pathogen or biomarker by observing the line color. This method of detection has several disadvantages, including limited quantification capabilities and low sensitivity. By using surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) tags in lateral flow assays (SERS-LFAs), we can overcome these disadvantages at the cost of adding a Raman reader. In this work, various nanomaterials were prepared and characterized to identify the optimal material for SERS-LFAs. We tested gold nanospheres, gold nanostars and silver coated gold nanostars to identify particles with ideal plasmonic properties, stability in solution, flow within the assay’s paper, and SERS signal. To ensure the consistency of these SERS-LFAs, the nanoparticle concentration, Raman reporter concentration, and stability of the nanoparticles must be predictable. To establish a reliable concentration-optical density relationship, UV-Vis spectroscopy and nanoparticle tracking analysis were employed. Once concentration could be reliably predicted, the nanoparticles were functionalized with a Raman reporter molecule and characterized. Finally, the nanomaterials were tested on LFA’s using a lab-built Raman reader to scan the LFA strip. Our work provides the basis for understanding the role of different plasmonic particles in SERS-LFAs.

Listen to Xander's experience in the REU program.


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  • Writer's pictureAnna G

Updated: May 15



My name is Naimah El-Amin. I’m finishing my Associates of Science degree at Cincinnati State this summer, and I’ll be attending University of Cincinnati this fall. This summer I am excited to work in Dr. Ross’s FSCV lab under my mentor Moriah Weese-Myers. Initially, we will study the interactions of estradiol(estrogen/E2)on different carbon-based fiber surfaces via FSCV. To pursue this study, a flow injection cell is used on the different fiber electrodes while injecting E2.The process is monitored and ran through FSCV (Fast Scan Cyclic Voltammetry) which allows us to gain further information on the properties of estradiol, specifically peak potentials when dealing with adsorption or diffusion- what we are measuring. Furthermore, we will investigate scan rate and the role frequency independence has when considering E2’s interaction on these carbon fibers. We hypothesize as the surface of the fiber changes from rough to smooth, less oxidation groups are present making adsorption factors more present. Here, we use FSCV to further study these mechanisms. By advancing the understanding of E2’s interaction at different carbon-based surfaces, we can pave the way for the development of new nanotechnology sensors that are able to better detect estradiol in soft tissues such as the brain. Having the opportunity to work in a professional research environment has offered me priceless experience and skills that I am very grateful for. I am excited to see my progress with my research and gain knowledge as both will help contribute to my future.


Here is Naimah's story


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