Congratulations to Lawrence High School senior Matthew Sharin on being accepted to present his summer research at the Materials Research Society Fall Meeting in Boston at the end of November.

Matthew investigated the impact of titanium dioxide nanoparticles on skin dynamics as well as fibroblast bacterial infection resistance and cholesterol secretion. Titanium dioxide is incorporated into many personal care products, including sunscreens, toothpaste, pressed powders, as a UV filter or whitening agent; and can also be found in food products such as white sauces, candy, coffee creamer, and cake decorations. Also known as E171, it is used to make foods whiter and/or opaque, adding to their visual appeal.

Matthew tested skin fibroblast cells infected with the bacteria staphylococcus aureus and found that exposure to increased titanium dioxide concentrations corresponded to increased bacterial infection, raising questions about the safety of titanium dioxide use in personal products. Matthew conducted his research over this past summer at the Garcia Summer Scholars Program at Stony Brook University under the direction of Dr. Miriam Rafailovich.

Congratulations to Matthew on having his research recognized for significant presentation at such a prestigious scientific professional venue.