The purpose of this project was to develop a method to characterize polymers using size exclusion chromatography. Specifically, high performance liquid chromatography coupled with a refractive index detector (RID) was used. Polyethylene glycol (PEG) was used a standard for this method. The mobile phase used was dimethylformamide (DMF). Three different mixtures of PEG polymers with known molecular weights were analyzed to characterize the molecular weight of polyacrylic acid (PAA). After running all polymers, retention times were taken and plotted on the x-axis along with LogMp (molecular weight) on the y-axis. A calibration curve was created and plugged in the retention time of PAA to the line equation. We then, took 10 to the power of that number and calculated a molecular weight of 52292.97 g/mol. This method was shown to be an effective way to characterize polymers using PEG as a standard. Poly (methyl methacrylate), otherwise known as P(MMA), was also tested using the same method. The known weight of the polymer was 60,500 g/mol. After running the polymer, 23,000 g/mol was calculated to be the molecular weight. This molecular weight shows that certain parameters like polarity needs to be considered when running samples on the HPLC.
Human iPSCs (TkDA cell-line) were differentiated on laminin coated plates into endoderm by treatment of Activin and BMP, then treated with FGF4 and CHIR to further differentiate into posterior foregut. The cells were embedded into Matrigel droplets and cultured in Advanced DMEM. Droplet media was collected for ELISA to measure Albumin concentrations. The droplets were collected for histology and RNA isolation to test for AFP, ALB, and HBG1 genes. These methods resulted in the creation of a novel culture system containing both hepatic and hematopoietic lineage cells to model developing fetal liver.
This was a project presented at the 2018 UC Scholarly Showcase that placed within "Top 25" out of 405.
Supporting Latino Families in Northern Kentucky partnered with students in Jenny Zhen-Duan’s Community Psychology class to assess work engagement and cultural competence among service providers as well as to examine the barriers that service providers face when serving the Latino population in Northern Kentucky. A mixed method approach was used to assess barriers that service providers face and how cultural competency and work engagement may be improved to better serve the Latino community in Northern Kentucky. Surveys containing three parts were distributed to the participating service providers. The academic partner administered the survey around Northern Kentucky and obtained 99 responses from community members. The mean age of the participants was 29 years with almost seventy percent being female. For cultural competence the subscale of service delivery was significantly higher than knowledge of community and reaching out. On work engagement the subscale of dedication was significantly higher than both vigor and absorption. Other findings were service providers have issues with lack of translators, interpretors, cultural knowledge and funding. Additional issues were not enough english as a second language resources, familial differences, attitudes towards education, mistrust towards institutions and high amounts of community level poverty. Several recommendations were made:
● The Supporting Latino Families in Northern Kentucky (SLFNK) could research where Latinos that are receiving services have immigrated from, which could help in finding an impact of origin on barriers when they are receiving the services.
● The SLFNK could have the Latino population, who receive the services from the providers, answer the survey. Then, the organization could look at and compare the two surveys to see what the similarities and differences are with the barriers.
● The SLFNK could provide lessons in cultural competence to its workers to enhance their understanding of the Latino culture.
● The SLFNK could apply for grants pertaining to gaining resources they need.