University of Minnesota
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Graduate student receives competitive research award

Seyedeh "Maral" Mousavi has been selected as one of four winners of the competitive Eastern Analytical Symposium Graduate Student Research Awards. She will present her research at a poster session at the EAS Symposium and Exhibition, November 17-19, in Somerset, NJ.

Maral will present her work on reducing sample volume required for detection with fluorous-phase ion-selective electrodes. Ion-selective electrodes (ISEs) are electrochemical sensors that determine the concentration of a wide range of ions; however, interference of biological molecules limits their application in biological analyses. The low hydrophobicity of fluorous compounds (molecules with high content of fluorine atoms) was exploited to develop fluorous-phase ISEs, which have higher selectivity and increased resistance towards interference of biological molecules. Yet, large sample volumes needed for fluorous-phase ISE measurements makes them inapplicable to many biological samples; e.g., samples containing enzymes and antibodies. Maral will present different strategies for reducing the sample volume required for measurement with fluorous-phase ISEs. The strategies include development of miniaturized reference electrodes, development of fluorous-phase ion-selective microelectrodes, and development of experimental platforms that, instead of the conventional method of immersing the ISE and the reference electrode in a sample solution (50-100 ml), confine the sample in between the reference electrode and ISE, resulting in a thin layer of sample solution to perform the measurement.

Maral is a fifth-year graduate student in Professor Philippe Buhlmann's group.