College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
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Faculty Mentors:

Dr. Katarzyna Slowinska (Chemistry & Biochemistry)

Education:

M.S. Chemistry, Warsaw University, Poland

Ph. D. Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley

Research Interests:

Research in our Group is focused on understanding structure/property relationship and dynamic behavior of biologically inspired materials. We also develop new strategies for the long term operation of implantable sensors.

Biologically Inspired Materials

Nature can solve any problem related to structure/function relationship by evolution. We do not want to wait that long. Therefore, in our Group we modify natural materials with inorganic compounds to yield the desired properties. We are especially interested in a dynamic behavior of such materials. We study collagen matrix modified using tools derived from nanoscience. These materials can be designed to create new targeted drug delivery systems and scaffolds for tissue engineering.

Implantable Sensors

The biggest challenge in long-term operation of implantable sensors is to overcome the immunological response to the sensor. The living organism treats the sensor as a foreign body and isolates it by formation of a fibrous capsule. The encapsulation prevents blood stream–sensor contact, hence nutrients, oxygen and other species of interest cannot be detected by the sensor. In our lab we are attempting to gain some control over fibrous capsule formation. We would like to induce porosity into the capsule’s structure and thus ensure the contact of a sensor with the blood stream. To assess a capsule’s permittivity and its changes we are developing new methods to study directional transport of ions and molecules through the capsule.

CSULB publications:

1. C.K. Liu; J.E. Valle; K. Slowinska*; Diffusion of 2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine 1-oxyl derivatives of variable hydrophobicity in tropocollagen I solution, Bioelectrochemistry, 2008, 74, 195-200

2. L. Castaneda, J. Valle, N. Yang, S. Pluskat, K. Slowinska* Collagen crosslinking with Au nanoparticles, Biomacromolecules, 2008, in press

Office location:

MLSC 248

Campus Phone:

(562) 985-5815

Email: kuslowin@csulb.edu

Webpage: http://chemistry.csulb.edu/slowinska/