Ethan Bolinger Awarded Mtech's Outstanding ASPIRE Award

Ethan Bolinger Awarded Mtech's Outstanding ASPIRE Award

Ethan Bolinger Awarded Mtech's Outstanding ASPIRE Award

Ethan Bolinger was named a recipient of the Outstanding ASPIRE Award. The award, presented by the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech), recognizes undergraduate students with the most outstanding performance on a semester-long ASPIRE engineering research project during the past year.

Bolinger is a chemical and biomolecular engineering junior in Fischell Institute Affiliate Fellow and chemical and biomolecular Assistant Professor Hannah Zierden’s lab.

“I am very proud of Ethan and think he is most deserving of this award,” said Zierden. “His success will surely reflect well upon the University of Maryland and the ASPIRE program.”

The award, which includes a $500 prize, will be presented to Bolinger at the Engineering Honors and Awards Ceremony on April 29, 2024.

“Winning this award has shown me how much I am valued within the lab,” he said. “It makes me more excited to continue my work.”

The Zierden lab investigates how bacterial extracellular vesicles (bEVs) function in the female reproductive tract for potential use as a novel drug delivery system.

Bolinger received the award for his research, which involved testing how temperature and different media storage buffers affect the characteristics of bEVs over time.

“I made multiples of each buffer and stored them in three different temperatures,” he explained. “At different times, I would remove and characterize a sample.”

The characterization was performed via nanoparticle tracking analysis and bicinchoninic acid assay. The analysis allowed Bolinger to examine the changes in concentration, size, surface charge, and protein count as time passed. He then compared this data to the day one data to see how each temperature and buffer impacted the amount of bEVs after a long period, and whether or not the bEVs maintained any of their original properties.

Bolinger said working for Zierden has opened his eyes to the nature of working within science and research.

“This project allowed me to experience every aspect of working within a lab, work on my own research, and even pitch other ideas,” he said.

Bolinger said he always wanted to pursue science. Before he leaves the university, he hopes to contribute to a published manuscript.

Outside of the lab, Bolinger is the director of administrative affairs for the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) on campus. He is also a member and the treasurer of Omega Chi Epsilon (OXE), the chemical engineering honor society.

Related Articles:
Professor Peter Sandborn Elected ASME Fellow
Sandborn Named Interim Director of Mtech

March 29, 2024

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