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Anna Huebner

Anna Huebner, PhD

Thesis title: 

"A PATHWAY TO LIGHT-INDUCED ASSEMBLY OF POLYMER NANOPARTICLES"

    Bio

    Anna grew up in Milford, CT and attended Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA for her B. Sci. in Chemistry. There, she worked with Dr. Michael Korn on the investigation of fluorescent calcium chelators to be used as calcium indicators. Anna is always wearing a smile and her laugh is wonderfully contagious! She has many interests beyond Chemistry, and one highlight is that she serves as the Assistant Director at a summer camp where among other things she guides white water rafting adventures! Anna joined UNH in 2018 and soon after joined the Tsavalas group for research where her work was predominantly focused on the NH BioMade research effort where she was part of the Tissue Engineering Scaffold research team. Her work held the overall goal to design methods and surface chemistry to incorporate onto polymer colloids such that inter-particle crosslinking reactions would occur upon stimulus of particular wavelengths of light. This gets increasingly challenging the larger the particle size, yet Anna developed an approach that scales nicely. 

    Anna is currently working as the Assistant Director of a summer camp and is also pursuing a Chemistry faculty appointment.

    Project 1: Light triggered Inter-particle crosslinking

    While inter-particle dimerization has been previously achieved in literature through photochemical cycloadditions, the particles typically used are gold nanoparticles on the order of 5-50 nm. In this work we investigated the use of the [4+4] and [2+2] cycloadditions (of anthracene or cinnamyl groups), yet found this challenging for large particles. An alternative approach to generating light-responsive systems is to use radical-mediated photochemistry. Exposure of a photoinitiator to UV light results in radicals, which can mediate thiol-disulfide exchanges. A significant difference is that this approach possesses a longer lifetime of the reactive species than in photochemical cycloadditions. We investigated the use of a dithiol linker in the presence of a photoinitiator to induce thiol-disulfide exchanges with disulfide-containing particles, exploring the importance of dithiol concentration and the number of tethering sites in favoring inter-particle exchange. Inter-particle disulfide exchange was observed at specific concentrations of each, resulting in succesful light-induced assembly of nanoparticles.

    coming soon

    Project 2: blah blah blah - Coming Soon

    This space will be used to describe Anna's second project.

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