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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

The Development Of An In Vivo Microdialysis Collection Method Of Cytokines From Brain Tissue, Anthony W. Herbaugh Dec 2013

The Development Of An In Vivo Microdialysis Collection Method Of Cytokines From Brain Tissue, Anthony W. Herbaugh

Theses and Dissertations

In this thesis, different methods to improve the microdialysis collection procedure for cytokines from brain tissue are presented. The first method was based on stopped flow and results indicating that no significant difference in relative recovery between stopped flow and continuous flow are shown. The second method is an antibody bead-based enhancement method. With the antibody bead-based method, a 3.5 fold increase in the collected concentrations of Chemokine (C-C motif) Ligand 2 (CCL2) were observed. However, there was no significant increase in the in vivo collection efficiency of Interleukin-6 (IL-6) using the antibody enhancement. Finally the development of an ...


Monodentate, Bidentate And Photocrosslinkable Thiol Ligands For Improving Aqueous Biocompatible Quantum Dots, Hiroko Takeuchi Dec 2013

Monodentate, Bidentate And Photocrosslinkable Thiol Ligands For Improving Aqueous Biocompatible Quantum Dots, Hiroko Takeuchi

Theses and Dissertations

Water-soluble Quantum Dots (QDs) are highly sensitive fluorescent probes that are often used to study biological species. One of the most common ways to render QDs water-soluble for such applications is to apply hydrophilic thiolated ligands to the QD surface. However, these ligands are labile and can be easily exchanged on the QD surface, which can severely limit their application. As one way to overcome this limitation while maintaining a small colloidal size of QDs, we developed a method to stabilize hydrophilic thiolated ligands on the surface of QDs through the formation of a crosslinked shell using a photocrosslinking approach ...


Biochemical And Biophysical Studies Of Novel Features Of Ras-Related Protein Interactions, Kyla Marie Morinini Morris Dec 2013

Biochemical And Biophysical Studies Of Novel Features Of Ras-Related Protein Interactions, Kyla Marie Morinini Morris

Theses and Dissertations

The Ras superfamily of G-proteins are of great research interest for structure-function relationships among proteins as they act as molecular switches in the regulation of various biochemical reactions in the cell. They are regulated by protein-protein interactions targeted to the highly flexible switch regions. Mutations in G-proteins or their effectors may cause alterations in structure and/or function that can lead to overactivity.

The Ras-related protein Cell division cycle 42 (Cdc42) is important in regulating cell-signaling processes. The T35A mutation in Cdc42 leads to a decrease in flexibility of the Switch I region responsible for effector binding. The kinetics of ...


Design, Development, And Characterization Of Novel Antimicrobial Peptides For Pharmaceutical Applications, Yazan H. Akkam Aug 2013

Design, Development, And Characterization Of Novel Antimicrobial Peptides For Pharmaceutical Applications, Yazan H. Akkam

Theses and Dissertations

Candida species are the fourth leading cause of nosocomial infection. The increased incidence of drug-resistant Candida species has emphasized the need for new antifungal drugs. Histatin 5 is a naturally occurring human salivary antifungal peptide and the first line of defense against infections of the oral cavity. This research has focused on understanding the activity of histatin 5, and subsequently designing novel peptides that may serve as models for the further development of therapeutics to treat fungal infection.

This objective has been achieved in three steps: studying the structural requirement of histatin 5 involved in antifungal activity, the identification of ...


Structure-Function Relationship Of The Ligand-Binding Domain Of The Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor, Ryan Thurman Aug 2013

Structure-Function Relationship Of The Ligand-Binding Domain Of The Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor, Ryan Thurman

Theses and Dissertations

The interactions between FGF and fibroblast growth factor receptors are responsible for the regulation of key cellular processes. FGF is important in both germ cell and embryonic developments. FGF continues to play important roles during adulthood by regulating embryogenesis, cell differentiation, and wound healing (1-7). The regulations of these cellular events are initiated through FGF binding to the fibroblast growth factor receptors. The complex formed by FGF and the receptor involves a key interaction with heparin. Through interactions with heparin, the FGF, FGFR and Heparin form a 2:2:2 complex (8). This complex formation results in autophosphorylation in the ...


Excretion Of Phenolic Compounds After Consumption Of Fresh Versus Aged Chokeberry Juice In Rats, Sarah Elizabeth Graves Aug 2013

Excretion Of Phenolic Compounds After Consumption Of Fresh Versus Aged Chokeberry Juice In Rats, Sarah Elizabeth Graves

Theses and Dissertations

Flavonoids, such as anthocyanins, may be responsible for the health benefits of chokeberries, as they are present in large quantities in chokeberries and are potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents. Despite these health properties, previous investigations on the bioavailability of flavonoids illustrate that little of the ingested amount reaches the bloodstream. This study investigated two factors that may help to explain these inconsistencies. First, storage of berry fruits and berry fruit products leads to extensive polymerization of their anthocyanins with procyanidins. Additionally, after consumption flavonoids may undergo metabolism into phenolic acids and subsequent conjugation to an extent that may explain their ...


Algae To Propellants: Biosynthesis Of 1,2-Propanediol From Algal Derived Sugars, Lauren Rachelle Merriman Aug 2013

Algae To Propellants: Biosynthesis Of 1,2-Propanediol From Algal Derived Sugars, Lauren Rachelle Merriman

Theses and Dissertations

Propylene glycol dinitrate (PGDN) is an important component used in the formulation of energetic materials. A renewable, environmentally-friendly and effective production technique for the production of 1,2-propanediol, an important precursor to PGDN, is desired. While fermentation of 1,2-propanediol has been achieved, it suffers from major limitations such as expensive feed sugars and relatively low yields. It is hypothesized that algae sugars could serve as a feedstock for the microbial synthesis of 1,2-propanediol, thereby reducing production costs and enhancing sustainability.

Algal biomass produced from an Algal Turf Scrubber® has proven to have significant potential as a source of ...


The Geometry And Sensitivity Of Ion-Beam Sculpted Nanopores For Single Molecule Dna Analysis, Ryan Connor Rollings May 2013

The Geometry And Sensitivity Of Ion-Beam Sculpted Nanopores For Single Molecule Dna Analysis, Ryan Connor Rollings

Theses and Dissertations

In this dissertation, the relationship between the geometry of ion-beam sculpted solid-state nanopores and their ability to analyze single DNA molecules using resistive pulse sensing is investigated. To accomplish this, the three dimensional shape of the nanopore is determined using energy filtered and tomographic transmission electron microscopy. It is shown that this information enables the prediction of the ionic current passing through a voltage biased nanopore and improves the prediction of the magnitude of current drop signals when the nanopore interacts with single DNA molecules. The dimensional stability of nanopores in solution is monitored using this information and is improved ...


Biodiesel Transesterification Byproducts As Soil Amendments, Solomon Parker May 2013

Biodiesel Transesterification Byproducts As Soil Amendments, Solomon Parker

Theses and Dissertations

For every ten kilograms of biodiesel that is produced from the transesterification of vegetable oil, approximately 1 kg of glycerol is produced as a byproduct. Also known as glycerin, it is a chemical used in many products including cosmetics, foods, and desiccants. However, the crude glycerol created during biodiesel production is tainted with potassium hydroxide and methanol making it unsuitable for commercial use without costly refinement. With increase in production of biodiesel driven by rising fuel prices, the market has become glutted with glycerol and it is on the threshold of becoming a waste product. Common methods for disposing glycerol ...


Oxidation Of Thrombomodulin Methionine 388 In Cigarette Smokers, Samrat B. Thapa May 2013

Oxidation Of Thrombomodulin Methionine 388 In Cigarette Smokers, Samrat B. Thapa

Theses and Dissertations

This work tested the hypothesis that oxidation of methionine 388 in thrombomodulin is higher in cigarette smokers, and thus a likely contributor towards the hypercoagulable state in smokers. Thrombomodulin, a protein cofactor found on endothelial cell surfaces, regulates the activity of thrombin. Thrombin bound to thrombomodulin no longer converts fibrinogen to fibrin, but instead activates Protein C which, in turn, stops the coagulation cascade by inactivation of clotting factors. The oxidation of methionine 388 of thrombomodulin has been shown in vitro to dramatically decrease the anticoagulant cofactor activity of thrombomodulin. The blood of cigarette smokers is more prone to clot ...


Effects Of Ergot Alkaloids And Bovine Bodily Fluids On Cytochrome P450 Activity, Nicholas Scott Ezell May 2013

Effects Of Ergot Alkaloids And Bovine Bodily Fluids On Cytochrome P450 Activity, Nicholas Scott Ezell

Theses and Dissertations

This thesis evaluates the PromegaTM P450-Glo assay (PromegaTM V9800) as a tool for quantifying ergot alkaloid concentration. Current techniques used for detection of ergot alkaloids are slow and expensive, do not detect all ergot alkaloids, or are not effective on bovine bodily fluids. The first study was conducted to determine effects of commercial ergot alkaloids (n = 6; 0 - 400 ╬╝M) on the PromegaTM P450-Glo assay. Cytochrome P450 (CYP450) activity in assay had a differential response to each ergot alkaloid and concentration. As concentrations of ergotamine, dihydroergotamine, ergocornine, and ergocryptine increased CYP450 activity was inhibited (P < 0.05). Increases in ergonovine and pergolide concentration did not affect (P > 0.1 ...


Interactions Between Ions And Lysenin Nanochannels And Their Potential Applications As Biosensors, Radwan Awwad Al Faouri May 2013

Interactions Between Ions And Lysenin Nanochannels And Their Potential Applications As Biosensors, Radwan Awwad Al Faouri

Theses and Dissertations

Lysenin is classified as a pore-forming toxin protein that is isolated from the earthworm Eisenia fetida and consists of 297 amino acids [1]. Lysenin inserts large conducting pores (3.0-4.7 nm in diameter) into artificial membranes (BLM) which include sphingomyelin. These pores (channels) are open and oriented upon insertion into the bilayer lipid membrane. Lysenin channels gate at positive voltages (voltage-induced gating), but not at negative voltages. Lysenin pores also exhibit activity modulation in response to changes in ionic strength and pH, indicating that electrostatic interaction is responsible for Lysenin conductance activities. In this line of inquiries, and by ...