Hyeon Ju Song's blog

Nanoparticles with a Not-So-Nano Impact

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July 31st. Today marks the final day of the REU Soft Matter Research program at the University of Mayaguez. Needless to say, it has been richly rewarding both academically and culturally. 

To begin, I entered this program with zero research experience. I just finished my freshman year of college and only took a couple of introductory engineering, science, and math classes. My mentor Delva taught me basic scientific experiments that are fundamental for scientists. For example, she taught me how to extract RNA, perform qPCR, culture and preserve cells, and tag cells with fluorescence and observe them under a microscope. 

Soft Matter Research at University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez

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Cancer has been and still remains a mystery for even the world's most renowned doctors. Although we understand the concept of cancer, we have failed to develop an effective and efficient method of treating it. Chemotherapy is one of the most common ways to treat cancer. However, it is not 100% efficient because it targets both healthy and cancerous cells. In addition, chemotherapy is not always 100% effective. In order to provide a more useful treatment to cancer patients, nano technology can be utilized. In Dr. Jaime Ramirez's lab, we have created nanoparticles (essentially very tiny molecules). These nanoparticles, when loaded with cancer-fighting drugs, will attach solely to the cancerous cells, release the drugs within the cells, and kill them.

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