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Analytical and Biomaterials Undergraduate Chemistry Research

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Emma Duffy ’19 – Next experiment? QCM!

Posted on Feb 20 by

Emma is continuing with the affinity project and is always looking for new ways to evaluate the DNA aptamer affinity for calcium phosphate materials. While giving a presentation for the Introduction to Research Methods class last semester she made a connection between her research and the Quartz Crystal Microbalance (QCM). QCM is a technique based on the change in frequency and resistance that is affected by the adsorption of a material onto the quartz crystal. The unique part about QCM is that readings can be taken as the reaction is happening. It would be valuable to use the QCM to examine the kinetics of the binding of the DNA aptamers to HAP on a...


Jake Shlaferman ’19 – Pipette boot camp

Posted on Feb 8 by

Jake spends a lot of time pipetting in the research lab when preparing his plate reader mineralization experiments. In his Analytical Chemistry lab last week, he was put to the test to truly see how well he can pipette when he was tasked with calibrating his own 1000µL pipette. He found that the pipette calibrated to within less than 2µL and with a very low standard deviation! Jake will continue to use his pipetting skills while preparing his mineralization solutions for G-quadruplex analysis in the research...


Dr. Gerdon tackles LC-MS

Posted on Jan 30 by

It’s not often that Dr. Gerdon gets to head into the lab to work on a new experiment, but the introduction of a new LC-MS instrument in the department was the right catalyst! Dr. Gerdon is hoping to using this instrument in the Analytical Chemistry class at the end of the Spring 2018 semester to help students study and quantify FDC dyes (Blue 1, Yellow 5, and maybe others) in a mixture. It’s a fun project and a great opportunity to work with a new instrument. Maybe there will be applications for studying DNA and calcium binding down the road as...


Gerdon Research Teams with the CHEM 1103 Class

Posted on Dec 2 by

Dr. Gerdon is teaching the CHEM 1103 class this fall semester. This is an accelerated course that covers two semesters of general chemistry in just one term. Freshmen in this course have a strong background in chemistry and math coming into Emmanuel College and excel in this setting. In lab, these students get to learn more advanced techniques, including gold nanoparticle synthesis and analysis of mineralization. These students synthesized glutathione protected monolayer protected clusters (MPCs) and will test them as templates in calcium phosphate mineralization. This will help the research team understand the influence of nanoparticles on mineral formation. Thanks to the CHEM 1103...


Krista Meserve ’18 – Krista and ICP-AES take on NOLA

Posted on Oct 29 by

Senior Krista Meserve is all smiles in this selfie with the ICP-AES! This instrument utilizes atomic emission spectroscopy to measure the intensity of emission at a wavelength specific to the element of interest. Using a calibration curve, the intensity can be correlated to a concentration of the element, which is more useful to our work. Krista is using this instrument to calculate the difference in concentration of calcium in the presence and absence of DNA, hoping to understand how many individual calcium ions bind to a DNA strand. She is also smiling because she was awarded a travel grant from the New England Section of the American Chemical Society (NESACS) to travel to the ACS national meeting in New Orleans, LA this...


Alex Paige ’20 – Nanoparticle synthesis

Posted on Oct 22 by

After several weeks of synthesis, Alex finished the first batch of gold nanoparticle monolayer protected clusters (MPCs) using tiopronin, an amino acid derivative, as the protecting ligand. The gold MPCs will be tested with different concentrations of calcium and phosphate to test their effect on mineralization. Other molecules such as DNA and polyethylene glycol will be attached to the gold MPCs down the road to compare to the tiopronin gold...