Building Functional Nanomaterials Abstract Image
Vesicle-templated nanocapsules offer a unique combination of properties enabled by robust shells with single-nanometer thickness containing programmed uniform pores capable of fast and selective mass transfer. These capsules emerged as a versatile platform for creating functional devices, such as nanoreactors, nanosensors, and containers for the delivery of drugs and imaging agents (Pinkhassik Lab).

Pinkhassik Lab Research

The research focus of the Pinkhassik Lab in the Department of Chemistry is making nanomaterials and nanodevices with new and superior properties to address current problems in energy-related technologies, medical imaging and treatment, and environmental sensing.

An article recently published in the Accounts of Chemical Research exemplifies the research conducted by the Pinkhassik Group: “Building Functional Nanodevices with Vesicle-Templated Porous Polymer Nanocapsules” (Acc. Chem. Res. 2019 52, 1, 189-198). In this account, Assistant Research Professor Sergey Dergunov et al. discuss how unique properties of vesicle-templated nanocapsules translate into the creation of functional nanodevices. See the full article here:

Victoria Bozhulich ’21, Allison Zupan ’21, and Victoria Livingston ’21

SURF Award Recipients

The Pinkhassik Lab is looking forward to a busy summer! Three undergraduate student group members have won Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) awards to conduct work on nanocapsules during this period.

Victoria Bozhulich ’21 won a SURF award from the University of Connecticut’s Office of Undergraduate Research. Victoria is one of the forty-five students supported in this program, and one of two student awardees within the Department of Chemistry. Victoria will be studying “Increasing the Stability of Enzymes in the Confined Environment of Porous Hollow Nanocapsules.” Halle Barber ’20, a dual Chemistry and Molecular and Cell Biology major, also received a SURF award for her work within Dr. Jessica Rouge’s Group. See all UConn SURF award recipients here:

Allison Zupan ’21 and Victoria Livingston ’21 each won two of the three 2019 SURF awards offered by the Connecticut Valley Section of the American Chemical Society (CVS-ACS). Over the summer, Allison will be working on selective C-H bond activation through restricted access of substrates to catalysts with the goal of enhancing the performance of homogeneous catalysts encapsulated in hollow, porous nanocapsules. Victoria will be working on on constructing aerogel-like hybrid structures produced by crosslinking hollow polymer nanocapsules via click chemistry. Analyse Giordano ’20, an Allied Health Sciences major, also received a CVS-ACS SURF award for her work in Dr. Steven Suib’s Group. The work of all recipients can be found here:

All three students have been working in the Pinkhassik Lab throughout the 2018-2019 academic year, and we are excited to have them on-board full-time supporting our six graduate students during the summer!

To learn more about the Pinkhassik Lab, please visit