The innovation engine for new materials

Rano Sidhu


Rio Mesa High School

Grade Level: 

High School

Teaching Position: 

College prep and IB Chemistry


Galen Stucky


Chemistry and Biochemistry


Tracy Chuong

Research Project Year: 


Research Project Title: 

SERS based false-free biomolecular assay

Research Project Description: 

A Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) based sandwich assay was optimized for the detection of proteins.  In this particular assay design, aptamer affinity pairs were chosen for their high specificity, low production cost, and robustness.  These aptamers pairs and Raman tags are separately functionalized onto gold surfaces using surface modification technique. When exposed to a solution containing the protein of interest, the aptamers recognize and binds the exosites, thereby bringing the gold surfaces together to form hotspots to amplify local Raman tags.  In this experiment, concentration of the Raman tags, aptamers, passivate agents, and complex media were investigated and optimized.  Finally, with the optimized parameters, a standard curve was constructed with the theoretical detection limit of 10nM.  

Curriculum Project Year: 


Curriculum Project Title: 

Making Invisible Connections Visible

Curriculum Project Description: 

The unit was inspired during my research project by the use of different filler agents to help the aptamers stay in a position ideal for the protein binding. The concept of Intermolecular forces is explored in the two-week long unit. Students will discover the difference in properties of three types of intermolecular forces. The driving force of electronegativity is examined in the strength of these forces. After understanding the basics the students will explore the applications of these forces in everyday chemistry. Students will learn about the effects of these IMF on various physical properties of substances. The difference in physical properties will be applied towards some of the well-known techniques like chromatography. And finally the students will get into the sticky situation of these bonds: use of these adhesive and cohesive forces in creating adhesive. The students will characterize the materials of these tapes by conducting a few tests and finally will make adhesives in lab and also characterize.

Curriculum Project Attachments: 

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