This fall semester I have been working with my faculty mentor Dr. Jaimelee Rizzo to create new anti-microbial surfaces with agar, natural butters, essential oils and plant powders. So far I have made samples with a only one essential oil or one plant powder or a combination of one essential oil with one plant powder. I first make samples with only the essential oil or one plant powder to determine the best essential oils and plant powders for anti-microbial properties and ultraviolet light protection on their own. From there I use the essential oils and plant powders with the best results and combine them in a sample with natural butter or agar to optimize the anti-microbial and ultraviolet light protection properties.
Now I am waiting for more results to come in, so I can further my research and possibly combine different essential oils and different plant powders together to maximize the anti-microbial and ultraviolet light protection properties. I have worked with Dr. Rizzo to determine what concentrations of essential oil and plant powders I should be using in my samples and also new essential oils and plant powders that can be used. Some questions that I want to investigate are: “What specific properties of the essential oil or plant powder contribute to the anti-microbial and ultraviolet light protection properties?” and “When the essential oils and plant powders are combined are there certain reactions they undergo that optimize the anti-microbial and ultraviolet light protection properties?”. I am working more to be able to answer these questions.
In addition, Dr. Rizzo and I have submitted an abstract for this project for the 257th American Chemical Society Spring Meeting. This meeting will be held in April 2019 and there I will be able to present my research to other scientists. I am very excited to present my research at this meeting this spring.