Senior capstone spotlight: Celina Harris ‘17

Senior Celina Harris is a senior Chemistry major who is presenting her senior thesis on gold nanoparticles at Celebration.

Senior Celina Harris is a senior Chemistry major who is presenting her senior thesis on gold nanoparticles at Celebration.

By Kayla Britt, MS&T Editor

Gettysburgians will present their research projects and experiences through independent study, study abroad and the arts at the annual Celebration symposium.

One of these students is Celina Harris, a senior chemistry major. Her research project is focused on gold nanoparticles, a desirable material used for bioengineering. Junior Fontaine McFeaters will be copresenting with Harris.

Their specific project is investigating the surface properties of gold nanoparticles.

A frequently used method to control the nanoparticle surface is the Layer by Layer (LbL) coating method that allows the surface chemistry to be fine-tuned. Harris hoped to quantify the wrapping of polystyrene sulfonate onto the surface of cetyltrimethylammonium bromide stabilized gold nanoparticles.

Through her project, Harris was able to quantify the high affinity surface layers on gold nanoparticles using plasma-optical emission spectroscopy.

Gold nanoparticles have a variety of uses; for one, they are often used for cancer nanotechnology.

Understanding the properties of gold nanoparticles is crucial for learning how to more effectively utilize them.

Harris says she is very excited because it is her fourth celebration. “I have done a presentation each year, and it’s awesome to look back and see how I’ve grown at presenting,” she said.

She has been working on this specific project for about a year, but she has been working in Dr. Thompson’s lab since her sophomore year at Gettysburg.

Harris will pursue a doctorate in Physical Chemistry at the University of Minnesota this coming fall.

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