Polymer Symposium Showcases Student Research

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A student from Prof. Kofinas' (BioE) research group presents "Molecularly imprinted polymer hydrogels for selective binding of tobacco viruses."

The Departments of Bioengineering, Chemistry & Biochemistry, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, and Materials Science & Engineering recently hosted a half-day symposium on current polymer research at the University of Maryland.

Approximately 35 undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral students from the research groups of Profs. Al-Sheikhly (MSE), Briber (MSE), Greer (ChBE and Chemistry), Kofinas (BioE), Raghavan (ChBE), and Sita (Chemistry) presented the results of recent projects. The goal of the symposium was to foster interactions and collaborations between students in different research groups.

Assistant Professor Srinivasa Raghavan came up with the idea as a result of his desire to enhance interactions between his, Prof. Briber's, and Prof. Kofinas' research groups.' Briber and Kofinas’ groups meet regularly and were familiar with each others’ work, but wanted to know more about other polymer-related research being conducted at the University of Maryland. Kofinas then extended the invitation to the symposium to Profs. Al-Sheikhly, Greer, and Sita and their students.

The cross-department, cross-school symposium was a first for those engaged in polymer research at the University, and participants were enthusiastic about its potential. "I believe this was a very successful event," said Kofinas. "Students were very pleased, and they got to know each other. It is important for like-minded groups to learn about each others’ research to enhance research interactions and collaborations." Plans are in the works to make the polymer symposium an annual event, with even more research groups participating.

The symposium's subjects covered a broad range of science and engineering on polymer and biopolymer systems, including:

  • "New types of polymer hydrogels, organogels, and nanocomposites", Bani Cipriano, Peter Thomas
  • "Porogen/matrix Effects on the Microstructure of Nanoporous poly(methylsilsequioxane) Thin Films", Zhaoliang (Frank) Lin
  • "Electron-beam induced formation of nanogels", Jun-Chul An

  • "Molecularly imprinted polymer hydrogels for selective binding of tobacco viruses", Linden Bolisay
  • Poly(ethylene glycol): Fractionation and conformational changes in binary solvents, Alex Norman
  • "Soft materials based on biopolymers and vesicles", Matt Dowling, Chao Zhu, Jenny Hong
  • "SAXS Analysis of Counterion Driven Folding of Azoarcus and Tetrahymena RNA", Sarvin Moghaddam"
  • "Stereomodulated Degenerative Transfer Living Ziegler-Natta Polymerization of Propene", Matthew Harney
  • "Thermogelling and photogelling fluids based on polymers and surfactants", Rakesh Kumar, Aimee Ketner
  • "Flammability of Polymer/Layered Nanocomposites", Xin Zhang
  • "Ultra high molecular weight polyethylene for hip replacement", Marina Chumakov
  • "Nanopatterning of recombinant proteins and viruses using block copolymer templates", Arthur Cresce
  • "Self-assembly of polymer-like reverse micelles and fibrillar organogels", Shih-Huang Tung, Wei-Chi Lai
  • "Small Angle Neutron Scattering of Structured Hydrogels", Wonjoo Lee
  • "Novel block copolymer electrolytes with enhanced conductivity and transference", Ayan Ghosh

Published July 7, 2006