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Bacteria infection is a real threat of orthopedic implants...

Khoa Dang Do's picture

S. aureus is common gram-positive bacteria which may cause severe infections in clinical practices.In nature, bacteria normally exist in two states: planktonic or biofilms. Unlike planktonic cell, which are free floating microbes in suspension, cells within a biofilm adhere to the surface of soft tissues and implanted medical devices such as, hips and knees.Following bacterial initial attachment, the bacteria will secrete an extracellular polysaccharide matrix to protect themselves as they gather the accumulated nutrients from the surrounding aqueous environment required for biofilm survival.As a result, the bacteria within the biofilms are approximately 10 to 1000 times harder to be killed by antibiotics.

New Directions: A Summary of My Research

Kasie Coogan's picture

            This summer I have had the opportunity to explore an area of research that was completely unfamiliar to me. My project studied forced colloids in nematic suspensions via Brownian Dynamics simulations. If this sounds totally confusing to you, then you are in the same boat I was in two months ago. Don’t worry, I’ll clue you in on some of the things I learned this summer. A nematic suspension refers to a group of particles that exhibit a particular alignment along an axis. In this case, the suspension models that of a nematic liquid crystal. Due to their ordering, liquid crystals are anisotropic, meaning that their properties are dependent on the direction in which they are measured.

783 Million People Without Drinkable Water...

Aaron Henson's picture

According to The Water Project (, in 2016, there were 783 million people who did not have access to clean water sources. Not having a clean water source greatly increases the mortality rate and drastically decreases the quality of life. Having the opportunity to potentially help with this problem by performing research in a new water disinfection technique this summer has impacted me in many ways, both professional and personal. I arrived at UPRM two months ago to participate in the REU program for undergraduate research. In the past two months I have been blessed to experience the rich culture of Puerto Rico and make lifelong friends.

Breast Cancer Spreading: A Team Effort?

Seneca Cox's picture

Approximately every 13 minutes, in the United States alone, one woman will die of breast cancer. Metastasis, the main cause of patient death, is the process by which breast cancer cells spread throughout the body by means of blood and lymphatic vessels. Breast cancer cells metastasize primarily via the lymphatic vasculature, which is lined by endothelial cells. Previous research suggests that lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) help tumors grow more quickly, but there is little information on whether, or how, the metabolism of breast cancer cells is impacted by the LECs. Unlike normal cell metabolism, which relies on oxidative phosphorylation, breast cancer cell metabolism relies on glycolysis and therefore consumes more glucose.

BPA Sorption onto PE Particles

Nicholas Hoffman's picture

Plastic particles exist in large quantities in the oceans. Chemical contaminants can adsorb, or 'stick' onto these particles. In this way, harmful chemicals can enter the food chain because plastic particles can be mistaken for food by aquatic life. Bisphenol-A (BPA) is one such chemical contaminant and has been recognized as an endocrine system disruptor. Endocrine system diruptors are any chemicals that interfeir with the bodies hormone producing organs. BPA is used in certain plastics and resins in a high variety of products and is therefore a widespread contaminant.

Halfway a Powder-ful Summer Experience

Nadja Michelle Maldonado Luna's picture

My name is Nadja M. Maldonado Luna. I am a second year Mechanical Engineering major at the University of Puerto Rico, Ponce Campus. From the moment, I decided to apply for this REU experience I knew that it was going to be an interesting adventure both academically and personally. I knew I was going to have to face some big challenges. The UPR system went on strike early April, so a summer internship would mean for me, to risk finishing my classes to be able to have an experience that would certainly benefit both my present as an undergraduate student and my future as a professional.  So far, I’ve met amazing people, from my fellow REU mates and now friends, to my mentor and advisor. All these people have been making my summer a remarkable one.

¡Tan Muchos Primeros! (So Many "Firsts!")

Brittany Nelson's picture

            Guess who got to put out a REAL fire with a fire extinguisher for the first time? I did! There are so many other "firsts" that I have experienced here at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, both related and unrelated to my research.

            I was excited to learn that I would be spending my summer in Madison because I had never been to Wisconsin. Unlike my hometown, Madison has beautiful lakes that enhance the city. The university is full of life, even in the summer, and overflowing with people who are thrilled about learning.

Science is Hard

Patrick Stefan Soltis's picture

Science is exciting. Fact. We know this is true because, since science is also difficult, nobody would bother doing science if not for the excitement. They’d pick something that pays better and lets you leave right at 5 pm every day. You could not show me a scientist who is never stimulated while inventing a new theory, ecstatic when experimental evidence proves conclusive, motivated to solve one of society’s great problems, or enthralled when learning about the mysteries of the universe.

The path to a great start in research development

Alex Mora's picture

Greetings! My name is Alex Mora. I am a sophomore student in Industrial Biotechnology at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez Campus. During this summer, I’ve had the joy of participating of the Research Experience for Undergraduates in Reconfigurable and Multifunctional Soft Materials program at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez. I am fairly shy person. However, I did not want my shyness to be an obstacle in my career. Therefore, I decided to challenge myself into applying to this research experience for undergraduates, and I’m glad I did. The experience overall has been wonderful, I have made lots of friends and learned many things along the way. As an Industrial Biotechnology major, I found very interesting the programs focus on soft materials.


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