Michael Yi

Synthesis and Testing of Porous, Sulfonated Polymer Systems for Drug Capture

Chemotherapy is one of the most widely known treatments for cancer, both for its effectiveness yet fatal side effects. Doxorubicin, a common type of chemotherapy drug, has the ability to kill malignant tumor cells, but is limited by the harmful interactions excess molecules cause towards human tissue. Various resins and activated carbons are being tested for drug capturing mechanisms, as many drug molecules are shown to have high binding capacities towards them. Doxorubicin, however, is more complex due to its ionic nature, and requires the use of ion exchange and charged systems. My research project will focus on utilizing negatively charged sulfonated polymer membranes for incorporation into Doxorubicin drug capture. I will test the drug uptake by these polymers in aqueous solutions and blood through intensity measurements from fluorescence spectroscopy. Various flow models will be used in order to accurately model the human bloodstream. My goal will be developing a model to describe the drug capturing kinetics and mass transport phenomena for Doxorubicin binding interactions with these sulfonated polymers.

Message to Sponsor

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Rose Hills Foundation for giving me this research opportunity. Not only was I able to conduct research at a full-time level, but I also met other fellows and connected with them through their research and fields of interest. As a person who was always inclined towards research, this program further motivated me to pursue graduate school to equip myself with even more experience so that I may be well versed with various topics involving chemical engineering and STEM research in the future.
  • Major: Chemical Engineering
  • Sponsor: Rose Hills Experience
  • Mentor: Nitash Balsara