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Research Experience

RET-NANO Researcher: Myra-Lynn J. Doughty 



Research Advisor:  Dennis E. Discher: http://www.seas.upenn.edu/cbe/discher.html

Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Bioengineering; Member, Institute for Medicine and Engineering; Graduate Groups in Physics and Cell and Molecular Biology; Adjunct Professor, Structural Biology--The Wistar Institute


Research Mentor: Abdullah Al Mahmud: Postdoctoral Researcher

School of Engineering and Applied Science, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Research Partner:  Christopher Sikich: Biology Teacher

Sun Valley High School


Questions, Answers, and Techniques learned during the RET experience

·         What is a diblock copolymer?

·         How do self-assemblies of block copolymers work?

·         What is a nanocarrier?

      Three types of micelles:

     Spherical micelles

     Worm Micelles10

     Vesicle Micelles

      Why use a copolymer block?

      Why use a Drug Delivery System?

      How to synthesis a copolymer block polymer

      How to set up a distillation

      Prep work for synthesis of copolymer

      How to create a stock solution

      How the self assembly mechanism works:  Just add Water

     Film Rehydration Method s

     Solvent Evaporation Method

      Adding the fluorescent dye to the copolymer

      Using the Inverted EPI-Fluorescence microscope: ECLIPSE TE 300 (Nikon)

      Preparing the slide for the fluorescency Microcopy

      Using different types of diblock copolymers

      What is Bifenthrin?

      How to load Bifenthrin into a copolymer

      Using dialysis to remove any unloaded Bifenthrin

      Loading Bifenthrin formulations into inoculations vials,

      Using HPLC and analyzing the data

      Creating a standardizing solution of Bifenthrin

      The differences between Film Rehydration and Solvent Evaporation

      How the contour Length of Worm vs. molecular weight of diblock copolymer compare

      Discovering how to determine the concentration of Bifenthrin in the formulations

      Creating a linear equation for Bifenthrin Intensity Standard

      Determining the stability of worms loaded with Bifenthrin

      Possible use of diblock copolymers for Insecticide Delivery

      Why use a Worm Delivery System?

Reseach Articles 
  • A. Lavasanifar, J. Samuel, G.S. Kwon. Poly(ethylene oxide)-block-poly(L-amino acid) micelles for drug delivery. Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews 54: 169-190 (2002).
  • Y. Geng, D.E. Discher. Visualization of degradable worm micelle breakdown in relation to drug release. Polymer 47: 2519-2525 (2006).
  • Y. Geng, P. Dalhaimer, S. Cai, R. Tsai, M. Tewari, T. Minko, and D.E. Discher.  Shape effects of filaments versus spherical particles in flow and drug delivery. Nature Nanotechnology 2: 249-255 (2007).
  • D.E. Discher, V Ortiz, G. Srinivas, M.L. Klein, Y. Kim, D Christian, S Cai, P Photos, F Ahmed. Emerging applications of polymersomes in delivery: from molecular dynamics to shrinkage of tumors. Progress in Polymer Science 32: 838-857 (2007).
  • K. vajayan, Y. Geng, D. Discher. Electric field manipulation of charged copolymer worm micelles. J. Phys. Chem. B.  110: 3831-3834 (2006).
  • G. Srinivas, D.E. Discher, and M.L.Klein. Key rolls for chain flexibility in block copolymer membranes that contain pores or make tubes. Nano Letters 5-12 2353-2349 (2005).
  • Y. Geng, F. Ahmed, N. Bhasin, and D.E. Discher. Visulaizing worm micelle dynamics and phase transitions of a charged diblock copolymer in water. J. Phys Chem B 109: 3772-3779 (2005).
  • Y. Geng, and D.E. Discher. Hydrolytic degradation of poly(ethylene oxide)-block-polycaoprolactone worm micelles. J. Am Chem. Soc. 127: 12780-12781 (2005)
  • F. Ahmed, R. Pakunlu, G. Srinivas, A. Brannon, F.S. Bates, M.L. Klein, T. Minko, and D.E. Discher. Shrinkage of a Rapidly Growing Tumor by Drug-loaded Polymersomes: pH-Triggered Release through Copolymer Degradation. ACS - Molecular Pharmaceutics 3: 340-350 (2006).
  • Y-H. Kim, P. Dalhaimer, D. Christian, and D.E. Discher. Polymeric worm micelles as nano-carriers for drug delivery. Nanotechnology 16: S484-S491 (2005).
  • G. Srinivas, D.E. Discher, and M.L. Klein. Self assembly and properties of diblock copolymers via coarse grain molecular dynamics. Nature Materials 3: 638-644 (2004). With accompanying News and Views by R. Lipowsky.
  • D.E. Discher and A. Eisenberg. Polymer Vesicles. Science 297: 967-973 (2002). Cover Article.
  • P. Dalhaimer, A. J. Engler, R. Parthasarathy, and D.E. discher. Targeted worm micelles. Biomacrocmolecules 5: 1714-1719 (2004).
Myra Doughty,
Oct 7, 2010, 2:48 PM
Myra Doughty,
Aug 12, 2010, 12:20 PM
Myra Doughty,
Aug 12, 2010, 6:34 PM