Our work involves the utilization of Agar to incorporate and fuse with plants essentials oils in varying concentrations. Agar as a gel is porous and can be used to measure microorganism motility and mobility. The gel’s porosity is directly related to the concentration of agarose in the medium resulting in various levels of effective viscosity. Throughout the project 30 essential oils were used in three varying concentrations of 100uL, 200uL, or 300 uL or 500uL, 75uL, and 1 mL. This made for 90 samples that were tested against S. aureus, and 52 samples were proved to have antimicrobial activity against this species. Then 9 samples were proved to have inclusive results because they didn’t diffuse into the agar or because in the incubator it was disintegrating and 29 samples did not work at all. All of these surfaces that were proven to work against S. aureus have shown efficient antimicrobial effects.
As of now, I have 52 samples that have been proved against S. aureus. Some of the future works involve finding new essential oils, which have not been heard about in the United States. The research plan is to continue making antimicrobial surfaces and not only testing it against S. aureus which is a known skin infection but to try this against other species like Candida albicans. In further projects plans, I tend to make these antimicrobial surfaces into wound dressings or bandages that can be used in the military or medical field.
Through this whole academic year, I have learned that my passion is truly being in the lab setting. I enjoyed every aspect of research. It wasn’t always great results, but this is all a learning process. Research was what my schedule revolved around each day. I am so happy with all that I have accomplished with this project! All the times in the lab and learning about each oil and the benefits that it has for you was the most interesting part. When I saw the positive results, that the oil would inhibit all the growth of the bacteria, I would get so excited that it worked! After doing research, I realized that I could pursue an MD/PhD or get my MD and work on the side doing research, any of these choices would make me happy. I enjoyed research and learning about everything that has to go with it. I am very thankful for my mentor as we made sure the project was presented at different conferences to gain feedback from people.
I presented my research project at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Fellows at Pace University and handed in a manuscript of my project. It won the Excellence in Science Award and I was very happy. Also, I attended a National Conference Meeting in San Francisco for the American Chemical Society this month and came back with excellent feedback and great connections. It amazes me how much of an impact this project has on others. It is always exciting to interact with others and engage and learn from them new techniques. The most exciting thing that I got when I was at the National Meeting was someone coming to my poster and after I presented to them, they said to me, “ This field is meant for you and I don’t often say that! This work will have a huge impact in a period of within five years! You are up to big things kid! Congrats!”
In general, this wouldn’t have been possible without my mentor, Dr. JaimeLee Rizzo. Thanks to my mentor for her guidance and advice has gotten me this far with this project! We expect that this project will continue to foster bigger things! I am very thankful to have been chosen to the program! It was a remarkable experience!