Posted on Nov. 7, 2017
Nanostructured, porous materials, like zeolites and mesoporous materials, have been suggested as possible materials for biomedical applications in implantable device coatings, tissue engineering, and drug delivery systems due to their unique interactions with biomolecules and biological environments. For these and other emerging applications in medicine, it is necessary to have a fundamental understanding of the response of a given material to biological environments and biomolecules. In particular, the ability to sorb biomolecules or otherwise interact with them, is an important area to explore, as these interactions form the basis for the material’s biocompatibility. Biocompatibility refers to the material’s ability to interact with living systems in such as manner as to not be toxic, injurious, or promote immunological rejection. Common biocompatibility metrics include cytotoxicity studies, as well as sorption studies of proteins or other biomolecules, such as enzymes. Cytotoxicity studies indicate if the material will kill cells through direct interactions with the material or chemicals released by the material, while sorption studies determine if specific biomolecules adhere to the surface of the material, or intercalate into the material’s pore structure, providing insight into the potential immunological response of the body to the material.
The Hunt lab is investigating several different material types for applications as coatings for implantable devices or sensors. We are looking for passionate, engaged undergraduate students interested in directly impacting how we design, develop, and create new material systems to address specific problems in medicine with rejection by the immune system. We encourage students who will be entering their sophomore year through current juniors to apply. We are looking for students in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biology, Bioengineering, and Chemical Engineering who have a strong interest in doing materials synthesis and characterization. Students will have the opportunity to work with a number of characterization techniques, which will add to their marketable skills upon graduation and make them highly qualified for jobs in industry, in addition to preparation for graduate or medical school.
Students will be trained on all techniques and skills required, but wet lab experience is preferred.
Students should have had at least two terms of chemistry and one chemistry lab.
Experience with any of the following techniques: X-ray Diffraction, Thermogravimetric Analysis, Differential Scanning Calorimetry, FTIR, UV-VIS, SEM / TEM, profilometry, contact angle measurement, basic wet lab techniques are preferred.
Faculty Mentor or Sponsor
Please email Prof. Hunt with the following information:
1. Your resume
2. Your unofficial transcript
Do NOT call Prof. Hunt - questions via email only, please.
We encourage students to include a resume or transcript when e-mailing a faculty mentor to apply for a posted position.