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Cassandra Burke
Cassandra Burke

Cassandra Jayne Burke

Fluorescently Visualizing the Interaction Between Ciprofloxacin and PEG Modified Carbon Nanotube Inside of an Escherichia Coli Cell

Project Description

With antibiotic resistance being a growing concern in the public health sector and massive economic barriers preventing the development of new antibiotics, there is a need for an alternative option to treating bacterial infections. Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) have been a recent topic of interest in the research community because of their potential applications in drug delivery and bioimaging. Their shape and structure make them optimal for penetrating the cell membrane and delivering drugs into cells. The goal of this research is to fluorescently visualize the use of SWNTs in delivering antibiotics into antibiotic resistant bacteria to overcome their resistance mechanisms. This is accomplished by covalently attaching polyethylene glycol (PEG) to the SWNTs to increase bioavailability and water solubility. Then, ciprofloxacin, a common fluoroquinolone antibiotic, can be attached to the SWNT-PEG through noncovalent interactions. Finally, both the PEG modified SWNT and the Ciprofloxacin need to be fluorescently modified so their activity can be seen under a microscope. The SWNT-PEG (modified with one fluorescent tag) and the attached cipro (modified with a different fluorescent tag) are introduced to sensitive and cipro-resistant coliforms to determine if the noncovalent bond between the ciprofloxacin and the PEG-SWNT is broken inside the cell.


Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Faculty Advisor

Mark Ellison