UPR-Mayagüez REU RMSM Blog

Big Advancements on the Horizons - Enzyme-coated Nanoparticle Medicines

Imagen de Joseph P Ulbrich
Hello all, This is the final week of the Summer REU here at University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez, and thus it’s the conclusion of my research to be performed here at the university. During this only two-month program, so many advancements have been made for not only my research project, but also myself as a researcher. I’m extremely proud and happy to say that I’ve been part of one of the prized projects here at UPRM Summer REU with Soft Matter Labs! It’s provided me with very valuable research experience that has allowed me to become a much more confident and independent researcher.

Mathematical Model for concentrations of 4-aminobenzoic acid in water

Imagen de Jessica Bojorquez
Detecting bioactive agents in water has become a matter of great importance and I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to be a part of this REU program where I have been able to work in a project whose’ goal is to advance technology for this matter. I was assigned to work with Dr. Marco De Jesus in the chemistry department of University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez, or as known as “El Colegio”. My project was to design a mathematical model that could describe concentrations of bioactive agents in water in the range of zero to saturation point.

A summer with toads and nano-bubbles!!!

Imagen de Hilary Marrero

This summer 2015 has been one like no other. Having the opportunity to work on a summer research program in a good university like the UPRM and contribute to the scientific knowledge in my island is something great that has no price. During 10 weeks I worked in a mechanical engineering laboratory on the “Permeability measurements of nano-bubbles through the urinary bladder of Bufo marinus toad”. The goal of the research was to detect and determine if air nano-bubbles diffuse through the urinary bladder from a donor chamber to a receiver one. Some recent studies have indicated that air and oxygen nano-bubbles enhance the growth of fishes, plants and mice.

Practical peptides possess particularly potent pliant properties

Imagen de Lance Bettinson

Truly are β-peptide synthesis and application the only subject matters worthy of an alliterative introduction. A relatively new prospect for clinical application, these peptides offer a wealth of biochemical possibilities in the future of medicine. Their unique and tailorable sequences render them utile in a variety of circumstances and milieux.

Nanoparticles with a Not-So-Nano Impact

Imagen de Hyeon Ju Song

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. 

Fabricating B.S. in Puerto Rico (Bioactive Scaffolds)

Imagen de Jacoby Shipmon

If I had to sum up my experience of working as an REU student, this summer, at the University of Puerto Rico in one word I would say defining. The experience of living for 10 weeks in a different culture with a different language than English, getting to visit the beautiful attractions the island of Puerto Rico has to offer, getting to be a part of an amazing group of colleagues, and working on interesting scientific research has shaped me. Now that the REU is coming to its end, I can say that I feel as if I have gained both technical knowledge, working with my research topic electrospinning of collage nanofibers, and life applicable lessons such as to work hard towards your goals but to enjoy the process also.

Simulating Magnetic Nanoparticles At UPRM... Plot Twist: They Have Shifted Dipoles

Imagen de Angel González Martell

During this summer I had the opportunity to participate in a life-changing program at my own Campus, UPRM. The RMSM REU program provided me with the tools to conduct meaningful research and gave me the chance to meet a small group of people that I will call forever my friends. And as I wrote this, I just remembered something that a friend told me some time ago: "less is better". And it is that, even though this program didn't hosted a lot of students like others universities may do, being a small group of 11 strangers from different cultures, 10 weeks gave us enough time to make bonds that will most likely endure a lifetime. Moreover, during the program I came to the conclusion that I was looking for when I got enrolled on it... Go, or not to go to grad school?

REU adventure en La Isla del Encanto!

Imagen de Claudia Santana Monterrey

Before coming to Puerto Rico this summer I had no idea what to expect. I had heard what a beautiful island it was, as well the rich culture I was going to find; however, the idea of spending ten weeks here collaborating with research was still scary. Today, 2 months into the program. I am glad to say that I would not change this experience for any other. This has been a wonderful learning adventure for me. I learned not only about soft matter and my topic of research, but also about “la Isla de Encanto”, its history, culture and more important its people. Additionally, I spent time with an exceptional group of students who were also part of the REU, and who I am proud to call my friends now.

REU Experience_Soft Matter Research

Imagen de Claudia Santana Monterrey

During this summer 2015 I have participated in the REU program at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez. This program has offered me the opportunity not only of conducting research alongside very knowledgeable faculty, but of becoming more familiar with the beautiful Island of Puerto Rico, the people, and its very rich culture. Furthermore, during this time, I have been working on a project with Dr. Paul Sundaran and Jeromi Lopez.  In our project, we intend to describe the mechanical properties of mineralized tendons. In order to do this, we have submerged the tissue in a fluid that recreates the properties of regular body fluid (simulated body fluids plus HA (minerals)). We will try different approaches for mineral addition, submersion and injection.

Reconfigurable and Multifunctional Soft Materials REU– UPRM

Imagen de Hilary Marrero

Nano-bubbles are air or other gas bubbles immersed in water with a diameter of approximately 150-200 nm. During the last years, they have been studied due to their great number of applications in the areas of Alzheimer disease, cancer, cleaning agents, drug delivery and gene delivery. In the same way, bubbles are the cause of decompression sickness (DCS). This sickness is related to persons working on submarines, high altitude works and more commonly, divers. When a person is diving deep and then goes up suddenly to the surface, bubbles are formed in their tissues due to the change from high pressure to low pressure. These ones can block the flow of blood in the vessels and produce a gas embolism. During this summer, I am working in Dr.


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