Christy L. Haynes

Scholar: 2006

Awarded Institution
Assistant Professor
University of Minnesota
Department of Chemistry


Research Interests

We work at the interfaces of analytical, physical, materials, and biological chemistry, exploiting electrochemical and spectroscopic techniques to achieve dynamic molecular information. The systems we study range from neurons to soil to nanostructures.

Electrochemical Determination of the Role of Dopamine in Retinal Degeneration

Carbon-fiber microelectrochemistry will be exploited to achieve dynamic spatial and temporal resolution of dopamine exocytosis from neurons undergoing retinal degeneration. This novel application of analytical electrochemistry will allow unprecedented understanding of a disorder that afflicts 1 in 4000 people.

Ultraviolet Resonance Raman Mapping of Intracellular Dopamine Synthesis and Transport

Raman spectroscopy will be used to create a dynamic intracellular map of neurotransmitters and their precursors. With this technique, it will be possible to probe the fundamental process of axonal transport of neurotransmitter-filled vesicles and reveal the actions of pharmacological agents on neurotransmitter populations.

Identification and Quantitation of Polychlorinated Biphenyl Compounds in Sediment and Soil Using Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering and Partial Least-Squares Analysis

A harmful class of sediment pollutants will be captured and quantitated in order to facilitate remediation efforts. The polychlorinated biphenyl compounds occur in complex mixtures of up to 100 similar species, some of which are carcinogenic, and this method will allow on-site quantitative analysis and assessment of pollutant danger.

Studying Immune Cell Response to Ag@TiO2 Core-Shell Nanoparticle Dyes

The safety of nanoparticle consumption will be evaluated using electrochemical detection of histamine and serotonin exocytosis from mast cells. After exposing healthy mast cells to nanoparticle solutions with varied composition, size, and density, probing the exocytotic behavior will surpass the utility of the standard live/dead cell assay by assessing the function of exposed immune system cells.

Fabrication and Application of Topographically Tunable Metal Nanostructures

This work will demonstrate a novel, inexpensive, and massively parallel fabrication scheme to create noble metal nanostructures in arbitrary, predetermined patterns. In this method, a nanostructure scaffold is created using layer-by-layer assembly of ion-enriched polyelectrolytes; the aspect ratio and spacing of the nanostructure scaffold can be systematically altered by controlling the pH and ionic strength of the polyelectrolyte deposition solution. After the noble metal is added to the scaffold using electroless deposition, the nanostructure can be used to probe fundamental size-dependent optical properties. This method offers significant improvements upon current parallel nanofabrication techniques, limited either by inflexible topography or the production of heterogeneous populations of nanoparticles, facilitating result interpretation and device fabrication.