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Yehou Michel Davy Gnopo

"Designing Stimulus Responsive Nanoparticles for Interrogating the Physical Chemistry of Immunology"

Department: Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (Lafayette College)
Advisor: Professor James Ferri

The focus of this project is to evaluate the effects of nanoparticle functionalization and aggregation on ROS production and mechanistic toxicity in human lymphoma cells. Due to their strong antimicrobial activity, silver nanoparticles (NPs) with diameters <50um have been efficacious in inhibiting the growth of bacteria and fungi, making them an attractive commercial additives. However, several studies have also demonstrated the toxic effects of Ag NPs in a variety of different cell types, the mechanism of which is thought to be mediated through oxidative stress. Progress in NP toxicity testing to date has been challenging due to an exponential increase in new nanomaterials, an array of physicochemical properties, and a general uncertainty about NP-biological interactions. We fabricated functionalized NPs that result in steric and/or electrosteric interactions at the particle/particle interface that impart stability to the suspensions thereby affecting their aggregation state with time, and we quantified NP stability and aggregation rate constants using dynamic light scattering technology. In the future we plan to quantify changes in gene and protein expression for a panel of genes previously reported to be altered by NP exposure.

About Yehou Michel Davy Gnopo:
Yehou -- or Dave as his peers call him -- is a sophomore in the Chemical and Bio-molecular engineering program. He is originally from Abidjan, Ivory Coast, a former French colony on the west coast of Africa. Yehou started being involved in research with Dr. James K. Ferri in the spring semester of his freshman year and became an EXCEL scholar the spring of his sopho more year. Upon graduation, Yehou plans to work towards a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering and Material Sciences. Outside of his academic work, Yehou is a residential advisor and a supplemental instructor for Chemistry. He also enjoys watching and playing soccer.