2005 RET Participant Kathy White
Cohn Alternative Learning Center
Biology, Physical Science and Chemistry
Dr. Prasad Shastri Ð Biomaterials Lab
My experience this summer in Dr. Shastri's lab centered around making "liquid bone" samples containing different imaging agents. We would cure or harden these samples by using a blue light like the ones dentists use when restoring teeth. Then we would embed them in "tissue phantoms" to mimic what would happen in the body. Our interest was in seeing which imaging agents worked best. From this we could draw conclusions about how these bone samples were degrading. This is important to know medically when these polymers are used to mend healing bones or used as drug delivery systems. The photopolymerization technique will be quite dramatic for classroom demonstrations on "mending broken bones." That along with the introduction of different imaging techniques will be great topics to add to discussions about polymer chemistry and electromagnetic radiation. Loved it! Can't wait to show off what I've learned.