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Rita Okumu


Summer 2011 - Westminster Scholars Research Grants 

Rita Okumu

Majors: Biology & Chemistry
Career Goals: Graduate School
Research Mentors: Dr. Tricia Shepherd

The Effect of Cosolvent Concentration on Mixing in Nanoconfined Solutions

We use Molecular Dynamics simulations to investigate the concentration dependence of mixing for a confined aqueous system. Our set-up is comprised a solution enclosed within a nanopore made of fixed water molecules.1 We include a reservoir containing water and solute at one end of three different systems: one with water only, a second with water confined in a pore, and a third similar to the second system but with polymers grafted onto the walls. For each system, the amount of cosolvent is varied to achieve a specific concentration. The mixing of the cosolvent within the reservoir and then throughout the remaining system is analyzed as a function of time. Results from these simulations should provide further insight into relatively new disciplines, such as cellular biophysics, which rely heavily on microfluidics.


1 V. Molinero and E.B. Moore, J. Phys. Chem B, 2009, 113, 4008

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