UK IGERT Samantha Meenach
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Samantha Meenach obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering (C.E.) from the University of Kentucky in May 2005 and her Master of Science degree in C.E. in May 2008. Prior to graduate work at UK, she spent a year as a graduate student at Arizona State Univ. in Dr. Joseph Wang's laboratory at the Bio-design Institute. As an undergraduate, she participated in two Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) programs at the University of South Carolina and UK and presented her research under the guidance of Dr. Kimberly Anderson at multiple AIChE conventions. Her current (in collaboration with Dr. J. Zach Hilt) involves evaluating the cytotoxicity and hemocompatibility and heating properties of various novel nanomaterials including magnetic hydrogel nanocomposites. These nanocomposites are comprised of various types of monomers and crosslinkers with embedded iron oxide nanoparticles. The iron oxide nanoparticles provide the hydrogels the ability to be heated with an alternating magnetic field. This allows for the materials to be used in applications such as drug delivery and hyperthermia treatment for cancer.