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Steam Salon with George Caceres

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Powered by Research Education at University Libraries. STEAM Salon is an informal series held in the STEM Library featuring faculty and student speakers in science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics who engage and inspire our university community with their current research.

Over the last decade, the inclusion of microplastics at the forefront of discussion for plastic pollution and anthropogenic change has steadily grown. The rising concerns of microplastics accumulation in the environment has thrust interest into key research areas to garner a better understanding of sources, transport, fate, toxicity, identification, and remediation of these tiny plastic fragments. However, there remain gaps in knowledge that can be addressed through the advancement of analytical methods, which are critical for the detection and characterization of microplastics. In particular, single particle inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (spICP-MS) is an emerging technique that shows promise for the measurement of microplastics. Development of this technique by expansion of current capabilities and by establishing an alternative method of measuring microplastics using inherent residual elements, can not only offer tools to fill current measurement gaps, but serve as a model system for further development of alternative ICP-MS based strategies for the measurement of microplastics.

George Caceres is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences at the University of Maryland. Working in the Sang Bok Lee research group and in collaboration with the Inorganic Chemical Metrology Group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, George is working on the development of single particle inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (spICP-MS) for the measurement of microplastic particles. George aims to establish alternative analysis methods via this technique in order to expand current measurement limitations of spICP-MS and offer solutions for the present gaps in knowledge with respect to the analysis of microplastic particles.



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