I am working on self-healing polymers and hydrogels. My work involves fabricating hydrogel samples and testing their mechanical properties. The ultimate aim of my project is to come up with hydrogels with high healing efficiency and superior mechanical properties.
I did my summer research internship at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign under the guidance of Prof. Chad Rienstra. My project was on the quest of searching lattice structure and dynamics of celebrated antifungal drug Amphotericin-B (AmB) and its interaction with Cholesterol and Ergosterol. The motivation of this project was to understand the working mechanism of the drug inside a cell. Since AmB is also a nephrotoxin and kills good cells (presumably by binding with Cholesterol) besides killing fungal cells (binding with Ergosterol), a modified structure of AmB for targeted functionality is necessary. I used solid-state NMR data of AmB from various experiments and conducted molecular dynamics simulations with restraint inputs from the NMR NOE data. I’m currently continuing to contribute to the project by doing Density Functional theoretic calculations to understand UV-Vis spectrum of the AmB lattice.
Mahima worked on plasmonic photocatalysis, wherein visible light excitation of metal, especially gold and silver nanoparticles, was used to induce chemical reactions like carbon dioxide reduction and ethylene oxidation. It involved synthesis of the catalyst followed by monitoring the efficiency of the photocatalysis reaction. The methods of study used were gas chromatography, UV-Vis spectroscopy, and mass spectroscopy. The broad area of work is solar energy harvesting.
Yashovardhan’s proj is called et name is “Dynamic Searchable Encryption via Blind Storage”. He will be working on implementing and improving a solution developed by his professor to the problem of “Symmetric Searchable Encryption. He will be considering various security, efficiency and usability aspects of this construction.