Alondra Y Muniz's blog

A summer of professional and cultural growth

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      Unlike other years, this summer has been a very busy one. However, I spent my time doing something that I love, RESEARCH. As I mentioned in my previous blog, this SUMMER2017 I got the opportunity to be part of the REU in Reconfigurable and Multifunctional Soft Materials at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez Campus. My research was focused in the development and characterization of type I collagen membranes modified with magnetite (Fe3O4) nanoparticles for modulation of cell behavior. These modified membranes are of interest because when exposed to an alternating magnetic field, they enhance an increase in heat shock proteins. The expression of such proteins has been proven to influence stem cell behavior.

In the middle of an awesome experience

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I first knew about this REU in Soft Matter by seeing propaganda around campus. As a curious fact, I never thought of applying because I had other research plans for the summer. Later, a friend motivated me and made me see what a fantastic opportunity I was missing out on. I realized that he was right and decided to apply since I’ve always been interested in materials and their wide range of applications in the different fields. Around mid-March I received the notice that I was accepted in the program and so my journey began. I was assigned to work in the characterization of type-1 collagen matrixes modified with iron oxide nanoparticles for modulation of cell behavior.

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