During the entirety of the fall semester I have devoted time to participate in research with Dr. Jaimelee Rizzo- under Dr. Rizzo’s supervision, I synthesized antimicrobial surfaces. Our formulation of surfaces is produced via the combination of various organic butters as a base and the strategic addition of plant-based oils and powders to promote the healing effects produced by the butters.
The defining feature of this research project lies in exploring natural ways to prevent and cure bacterial infection while preventing UV damage produced by natural causes. With the understanding that Tamanu butter, Aloe Vera butter, and Ucuuba butter are known to have soothing antimicrobial effects, we wish to find chemical counterparts that are found from other organic sources that work synergistically to enhance the probability of the desired outcomes. To date I have generated about 130 samples- 62 have proven to have great antimicrobial resistance and 74 have ample UV resistance. Of all samples, 44 have demonstrated the best outcome of having both antimicrobial resistance and UV resistance.
As the primary researcher, the biggest question I have is what are ways that I can revise the samples that did not work to further enhance their effects to produce the desired epidermic outcome. By exploring the effect of adding powdered supplements such as Graviola, wheatgrass, or sacred mushroom I hope to multiply the healing and protective effects of samples. Another question that comes up during research involves understanding what other bacterial strains can be tested to ensure we are making a holistic cure to infection. So far, the bacteria we study in relation to antimicrobial resistance is E. coli, S. aureus, and P. aeruginosa.
The problem-solving methodology used to address questions like these rely on prior observations and informative literature searches to find potent organic chemicals that prevent infections and disease- by relying on past works conducted, I can stand on the shoulders of past researchers who have studied the chemical make up of plants and role that plant chemicals play in bacterial resistance.