I am still waiting on my 18th birthday to come around as well as the paperwork necessary to work in a lab on campus, so I have more research that I have conducted, but this research is more important in my opinion because it came directly from the lab that I will be working in. Before I met the head of the lab and my daily supervisor, I was sent a copy of their latest paper on the type of molecules I will be working with. I read it once before I went into the interview, but I decided to read it again and take note on some of the things I could possibly be doing.
Their paper was talking about two types of molecules that they tested to see if they were more efficient than previously used glycolipids. The most simplified names of these two molecules are alkyl cellobiosides and alkyl melibiosides. What was tested and determined was the Critical Micelle Concentration (CMC) and the structure and internal environment of the micelles because they affect many of the functions of surfactants in possible applications, such as drug and gene delivery and biological mimetics. I learned about some of the processes that I possibly could be utilizing for this new molecule, but what I want to focus on here is the results they found. When 2 methylene groups are added to the alkyl chain, the CMC decreases by an order of a magnitude. What is more important is that the cellobiosides have similar CMC values to its predecessors. This meant that the melibiose exhibits a reduction of hydrophilicity and is less soluble. They also affirmed a relationship between the length of the carbon chain and the CMC value, which is an indirect relationship. The longer the chain, the more spherical the micelles are, which are more useful in surfactant applications. That’s the extent that I will share on my blog, but I have more notes on this paper for my own tests when I begin work.