Consistently ranked as one of the top analytical divisions in the United States, ranked number 1 for the fifth year in a row by U.S. News and World Report magazine in its 2011 edition of "America's Best Graduate Schools," the analytical division is recognized as a world leader in this scientific area.
Following the tradition set by the late Professor Charles N. Reilley, the division extends the frontier of the field through a focus on fundamental studies related to chemical analysis and the development of innovative instrumentation. All traditional areas of research are represented, including electrochemistry, mass spectrometry, microscopy, sensors, separations and spectroscopy.
Research projects span a wide range of chemical analysis science and include, but are not limited to, biosensors, nanoscopic materials, neurochemistry, microvolume separations and analysis, protein adsorption, supercritical fluids and single-molecule analysis; for examples of currently active research projects please see the list below. The division has strong relationships with a large number of companies in the pharmaceutical, chemical and scientific instrumentation industries, which provide continued support of research fellowships and the Analytical Seminar series.
The Schoenfisch Group has evaluated the antibacterial activity of a series of nitric oxide (NO)-releasing poly(propylene imine) (PPI) dendrimers against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative pathogenic bacteria, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. A direct comparison of the bactericidal efficacy between NO-releasing and control PPI dendrimers, that is non-NO-releasing, revealed both enhanced biocidal action of NO-releasing dendrimers and reduced toxicity against mammalian fibroblast cells.
Published in Biomacromolecules, the antibacterial activity for the NO donor-functionalized PPI dendrimers was shown to be a function of both dendrimer size, molecular weight, and exterior functionality. In addition to minimal toxicity against fibroblasts, NO-releasing PPI dendrimers modified with styrene oxide exhibited the greatest biocidal activity, ≥99.999% killing, against all bacterial strains tested. The N-diazeniumdiolate NO donor-functionalized PPI dendrimers presented in this study hold promise as effective NO-based therapeutics for combating bacterial infections.
The synthesis of quaternary ammonium (QA)-functionalized silica nanoparticles with and without nitric oxide (NO) release capabilities is described by the Schoenfisch Group in a paper published on the journal Biomacromolecules. Glycidyltrialkylammonium chlorides of varied alkyl chain lengths were tethered to the surface of amine-containing silica nanoparticles via a ring-opening reaction. Secondary amines throughout the particle were then functionalized with N-diazeniumdiolate NO donors to yield dual functional nanomaterials with surface QAs and total NO payloads of 0.3 μmol/mg.
The bactericidal activities of singly, that is only NO-releasing or only QA-functionalized, and dual, that is NO-releasing and QA-functionalized, functional nanoparticles were tested against Gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus and Gram-negative Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Particles with only NO release capabilities alone were found to be more effective against P. aeruginosa, while particles with only QA-functionalities exhibited greater toxicity toward S. aureus. The minimum bactericidal concentrations (MBC) of QA-functionalized particles decreased with increasing alkyl chain length against both microbes tested. Combining NO release and QA-functionalities on the same particle resulted in an increase in bactericidal efficacy against S. aureus; however, no change in activity against P. aeruginosa was observed compared to NO-releasing particles alone.
Distinguishing Single DNA Nucleotides Based on Their Times of Flight Through Nanoslits: A Molecular Dynamics Simulation Study. Brian R. Novak, Dorel Moldovan, Dimitris E. Nikitopoulos, and Steven A. Soper. J. Phys. Chem. B, 2013, 117 (12), pp 3271–3279.
A Microfluidic Chip Integrating DNA Extraction and Real-Time PCR for the Detection of Bacteria in Saliva. Emily A. Oblath, W. Hampton Henley, Jean Pierre Alarie and J. Michael Ramsey. Lab Chip, 2013,13, 1325-1332.
Identification of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus using an Integrated and Modular Microfluidic System. Yi-Wen Chen, Hong Wang, Mateusz Hupert and Steven A. Soper. Analyst, 2013,138, 1075-1083.
Characterization of Freestanding Photoresist Films for Biological and MEMS Applications. D M Ornoff, Y Wang, and N L Allbritton. J. Micromech. Microeng. 23 025009, 2013, Vol 23, Nbr 2.
A Device for Performing Lateral Conductance Measurements on Individual Double-Stranded DNA Molecules. Laurent D. Menard, Chad E. Mair, Michael E. Woodson, Jean Pierre Alarie, and J. Michael Ramsey. ACS Nano, 2012, 6 (10), pp 9087–9094, DOI: 10.1021/nn303322r.
Electrokinetically-Driven Transport of DNA through Focused Ion Beam Milled Nanofluidic Channels. Laurent D. Menard and J. Michael Ramsey. Anal. Chem., 2013, 85 (2), pp 1146–1153.
A Microfluidic Chip Integrating DNA Extraction and Real-Time PCR for the Detection of Bacteria in Saliva. Emily A. Oblath, W. Hampton Henley, Jean Pierre Alarie and J. Michael Ramsey. Lab Chip, 2013, Advance Article, DOI: 10.1039/C3LC40961A.
Synthesis and Electrochemistry of 6 nm Ferrocenated Indium–Tin Oxide Nanoparticles. Joseph J. P. Roberts , Kim T. Vuong , and Royce W. Murray. Langmuir, 2013, 29 (1), pp 474–479.
Laser-Based Directed Release of Array Elements for Efficient Collection into Targeted Microwells. Nicholas C. Dobes, Rahul Dhopeshwarkar, W. Hampton Henley, J. Michael Ramsey, Christopher E. Sims and Nancy L. Allbritton. Analyst, 2013,138, 831-838.
Microfabricated Arrays for Splitting and Assay of Clonal Colonies. Philip C. Gach, Wei Xu, Samantha J. King, Christopher E. Sims, James Bear, and Nancy L. Allbritton. Anal. Chem., 2012, 84 (24), pp 10614–10620.