Throughout the course of my summer, I have been conducting research under my mentor Dr. Elmer-Rico Mojica where I have been studying and learning a lot about sol-gel materials. I began my literary research with Dr. Mojica’s previously published papers. I had already known about the sol-gel process because it is used for the creation of glass and ceramic materials. In this process, the solution evolves into a gel that contains both a liquid and a solid phase. With the help of Dr. Mojica, I was able to create a sol-gel solution.
In our experiment, the sol solution was prepared by mixing 3.5 mL tetramethyl orthosilicate (TMOS), 0.75mL of deionized water and 0.2 mL of 0.04 M HCL. The mixture of sonicated for 30 minutes to obtain the sol solution.
Further work entails testing the activity of the enzyme. I will be encapsulating lipase in a sol-gel material and presently looking at its behavior using spectroscopic methods such as absorbance and fluorescence. I am looking forward in encapsulating other enzymes such as catalase, glucose oxidase and laccase.