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 Crystal Lewis

Crystal Lewis

PhD Candidate in the Department of Chemistry

'Probing the Potential Use and Cytotoxicity of Iron Oxide (α-Fe2O3) Nanorhombohedra for CNS Therapy'


Synopsis: Microglia are phagocytotic cells of the brain that have been identified as the first line of defense when the brain has either undergone severe injury or been perceptibly impacted by neurodegenerative diseases. As a result, we have synthesized Rhodamine B (RhB) labeled-α-Fe2O3 N-Rhomb, possessing lengths of 47 ± 10 nm and widths of 35 ± 8 nm. Exposure of the cultured microglia cells to RhB-labeled α-Fe2O3 N-Rhomb was observed and studied as a function of concentration, and results demonstrated an increase in both cellular iron content and cellular fluorescence, as noted using transmission electron microscopy and confocal microscopy, respectively. Under these experimental conditions, the cells maintained a functional viability of ~80% or higher, and as a result, represent a promising potential platform for central nervous system (CNS) therapy.

Biography: Crystal Lewis was born in Georgetown, Guyana and raised in Mandeville, Jamaica. Her love for sciences begin while she attended high school at Pine Forge Academy in Pennsylvania. She earned a BS in Biochemistry at Oakwood University where she became interested in research after listening to a talk given by her department chair. Crystal began a research internship at Ohio State University and worked on multifunctional lipoplex nanoparticles for theranostic applications. As an undergrad, she continued her research on biocompatible nanofibers for drug delivery. Currently, Crystal is an AGEP-T FRAME and Turner Fellow pursuing her PhD in Chemistry.


 Thursday, February 18, 2016 at 12:00 PM



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