• Anion Monitoring of Rae's Creek by Ion Chromatography

      Walton, Amberly; Department of Chemistry and Physics (Augusta University, 2018-12)
      Golf courses generally require large amounts of fertilizer to maintain their course appearance. Fertilizer is a source of phosphate- and nitrogen-based compounds. These compounds can have negative effects on aquatic life if there are large amounts introduced to the surface water. The effect of a golf course on anion concentrations in Rae’s Creek was studied using ion chromatography. Over the course of one year, the following anions were tracked: nitrate, nitrite, sulfate, phosphate, bromide, and chloride. The concentrations of the anions were high enough to allow quantitative measurements and changes were observed, but the concentrations remained below EPA guidelines for streams.
    • Anion Monitoring of Rae's Creek by Ion Chromatography

      Walton, Amberly; Hamilton, Sterling; Myers, Stephanie; Department of Chemistry & Physics (2017-03)
      Golf courses generally require large amounts of fertilizer to maintain their course appearance. Fertilizer is a source of phosphate- and nitrogen- based compounds. These compounds can have negative effects on aquatic life if there are large amounts introduced to the surface water. The effect of a golf course on anion concentrations in Rae’s Creek was studied using ion chromatography. Over the course of one year, the following anions were tracked: nitrate, nitrite, sulfate, phosphate, bromide, and chloride. The concentrations of the anions were high enough to allow quantitative measurements and changes were observed, but the concentrations remained below EPA guidelines for streams.
    • Characterization of 5HT1B and 5HT7 using Bioluminescence Resonance Energy Transfer

      Adams, Elizabeth; Department of Chemistry and Physics (Augusta University, 2019-05)
    • Concentrations of Iron, Copper, Nickel, and Zinc in Rae's Creek

      Bridgers, Aerial; Department of Chemistry & Physics; Klug, Christopher; Augusta University (2019-02-13)
      Heavy metals can enter water systems through a variety of methods, such as through soil run-off, rain, or industrial activity near the system. Many of these heavy metals are toxic to both the wildlife and people around the system if present in high enough concentrations. The aim of this research was to create a model for a local water system, Rae's Creek, outlining the concentrations of iron, copper, nickel, and zinc present throughout a seven-month period. Additionally, this research sought to pinpoint any correlation between increases in metal concentrations and outside events, such as rain or the Master's Tournament held yearly in Augusta. Results indicated that copper and zinc concentrations were well above guidelines set for recreational water quality by the Environmental Protection Agency, while iron and nickel concentrations were generally below the limitations set for their concentrations. While rain had no observed effect on the heavy metal concentrations, there are two specific dates where all four metals had a marked increase in concentration. However, it is inconclusive as to what caused this increase.
    • Creating a Drug Sensitive Strain of Pichia Pastoris by Deleting Putative Multi-Drug Transport Protein Transcription Factors

      Jones, Preston Dimitri; Department of Chemistry (Augusta University, 2015-05)
      Commonly known as baker’s yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a strain of yeast that has been extensively studied genetically. In S. cerevisiae, the expression of multi-drug transport proteins (MDTPs) is found to be under the control of transcription factors, PDR1 and PDR3. Deletion of these genes in S. cerevisiae leads to decreased expression of MDTPs and decreased efficiency in drug export. Mutant strains of this yeast can be used in experiments involving the introduction of drugs into the yeast. Many experiments require a drug-protein interaction, and examining the results of this interaction is the subject of many genetic studies (1). These studies often involve the purification of the protein of interest after drug manipulation has occurred. Pichia pastoris is a better strain of yeast to use in these experiments because it grows to higher cell densities in fermentation than S. cerevisiae, providing more protein to work with. The goal of this project is to create a drug sensitive strain of P.pastoris by deletion of transcription factors that are homologous to those already characterized in S. cerevisiae. Putative MDTP transcription factors in P.pastoris have been determined via a blast search comparing the P. pastoris genome to S. cerevisiae. The results found three candidate genes, 0203, 0233, and 0322 that matched with the PDR1 and PDR3 genes in S.cerevisiae (2). We hypothesize that knocking out one or more of these genes will cause decreased expression of MDTPs in our mutant strain. Using homologous recombination and two selectable markers (ability to synthesize histidine and resistance to the toxin G418), we have successfully knocked out all 3 of these genes individually and have created two double knockout strains (0233-0322 and 0203-0233). Drug sensitivity assays in which we grew the mutant strains on plates with doxorubicin or camptothecin showed no enhancement in drug sensitivity (all strains were still able to grow when incubated with the toxin). Because we cannot measure the expression of MDTPs directly, we use this assay to indirectly relate the growth of the yeast in the presence of a drug to expression of MDTPs. The continued growth of our mutant yeast strains leads us to believe that all three genes must be deleted in a single strain to cause reduced MDTP expression. It is also possible that our deletion had an effect that was immeasurable by a growth assay.
    • Curcumin Conjugates as Potential Anti-inflammatory Agents

      Thomas, Sean J.; Panda, Siva S.; Department of Chemistry & Physics (2017-03)
      Curcumin, a component of turmeric (Curcuma longa), is a compound that is beginning to gain significant notoriety for its many medicinal uses. While curcumin has been used as a remedy to treat a wide variety of ailments for centuries, a considerable amount of research is currently being conducted to determine its anticancer, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial capacity. Current anti-inflammatory medications and cancer treatments, although effective, can produce serious side effects, which in some cases can be irreversible. Although curcumin exhibit qualities that show promise for effectively treating certain life-threatening diseases, they do come with some drawbacks. This research is concerned with synthesizing potential curcumin based drug candidates that combat inflammation. By coupling curcumin with amino acids, we hoped to develop potent conjugates and diminished side effects. To do this, optimal reaction conditions had to be established, which involved utilizing different coupling reagents and solvents at varied temperatures. Once favorable conditions were obtained, several curcumin-amino acid conjugates were successfully synthesized in excellent yield without alterations to chirality. In doing so, an efficient methodology for synthesizing these conjugates was developed. The details of these compounds and anti-inflammatory property will be discussed in the conference.
    • Design & Synthesis of Pyrazinamide Hybrid Conjugates as Potential Anti-tubercular Agents

      Torkian,Behrad; Panda, Siva S.; Department of Chemistry & Physics (2017-03)
      Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial pathogen caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which generally causes pulmonary infection and is extremely pervasive within the lungs and between subjects. Pyrazinamide (PZA) is a first-line prodrug used synergistically with two or more chemotherapies to eradicate TB. PZA is hydrolyzed to its active constituent, pyrazinoic acid, intracellularly in M. tuberculosis via pyrazinamidase. With prolonged administration of the recommended dose, harmful side effects have been reported: hepatitis, acute hypertension, thrombocytopenia, and gastrointestinal discomfort Drug-amino acid conjugates are used because of increased tissue delivery, in which the amino acids act as effective carriers of these agents while maintaining, and even amplifying, their bioactive integrity. Amino acid conjugates can increase bioavailability and quantitatively decrease the required amount of active drug thus preventing toxic side effects. We have synthesized several pyrazinamide conjugates with secondary amines via amino acid linkers with retention of chiral integrity of the desired products. Secondary amines are known for enhancing biological properties of various potential molecules. All the synthesized compounds were characterized by NMR and X-ray studies. The synthesized conjugates are expected to have better anti-tubercular properties with less side effects.
    • Design and Manufacture of Low-Cost Real-Time Feedback CPR Manikin

      Sangari, Anish; Sood, Nitish; Department of Chemistry & Physics; Augusta University (2019-02-13)
      Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is a life-saving technique used when a person stops breathing or a heart stops beating. Immediate CPR can double or triple survival rates after cardiac arrest. While many CPR training courses use non-electronic CPR manikins, recent literature has shown that training on a real-time feedback CPR manikin improves functional outcomes such as chest compression rate and mean tidal volume. However, current commercially available real-time feedback manikins either only measure metrics on chest compressions or are available at very high prices, making training a class on such manikins infeasible. Accordingly, we have designed, constructed, and tested a low-cost Arduino microcontroller-based CPR manikin that provides real-time feedback to trainees on critical metrics including force of compressions, rate of compressions, hands-off time, percentage of full chest recoils, angle of neck tilt, and other steps in ventilations. Visual and auditory feedback on these metrics is delivered to trainees, allowing them to adjust their performance in real time. Additionally, data from each training session is saved and assigned to a user profile, so that multiple trainees can review their progress throughout their training. Future research will be conducted on the efficacy of training on this manikin compared to commercially available manikins.
    • DESIGN AND SYNTHESIS OF HYBRID CONJUGATES AS POTENTIAL ANTI-INFECTIVE AGENTS

      Littlefield, William E; Wade, Margaret; Makkanal, Tina; College of Science and Mathematics; Department of Chemistry and Physics; Panda, Silva; Augusta University (2019-02-13)
      Infectious diseases caused by pathogenic microorganisms are major challenges despite all the steps taken to control or cure. New drug development with high efficacy/selectivity for infectious diseases is a point of interest for many researchers. It has reported that tuberculosis is one of the ten major causes of death in the world. Multi-drug resistance (MDR) is another major concern in bacterial and fungal infections. The present study deals with the development of new conjugates of pyrazinoic acid and isoniazid linked via an amino acid. The synthesized conjugates show promising and interesting results against a variety of microbial strains, tuberculous and non-tuberculous mycobacteria. Molecular modeling studies were used for understanding and validation of the experimental data.
    • Design and Synthesis of Novel NSAID Hybrid Conjugates as Potential Anti-inflammatory

      Honkanadavar, Hitesh; Department of Chemistry and Physics (Augusta University, 2019-05)
      Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are one of the most common drugs administered worldwide as highly effective analgesic, antipyretic and anti-inflammatory agents. The drugs function by inhibiting the COX-2 enzyme system which leads to a decrease in inflammation; however, the drugs also inhibit the COX-1 enzyme system which is critical to maintaining the integrity of the stomach lining as well as proper kidney function. Inhibition of this enzyme system can lead to stomach ulcers and kidney dysfunction. Hybrid conjugates of existing non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have already been synthesized with ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and amino acids to increase potency and decrease toxicity. Computational chemistry studies of these compounds show that the free phenol moiety in acetaminophen plays a greater role in the inhibition of the COX-2 enzyme system than the amine moiety. The previous compounds utilized the phenol moiety to form the product. New hybrid conjugates of ibuprofen and acetaminophen via amino acid linkers have been synthesized, leaving the phenol moiety free. The compounds have been characterized by nuclear magnetic resonance and infrared spectroscopy. Biological studies indicate that some of the synthesized compounds are showing improved potency when compared to ibuprofen alone as well as decreased ulcer formation.
    • DESIGN AND SYNTHESIS OF QUINOLONE-TRIAZOLE CONJUGATES AS POTENTIAL ANTIBACTERIAL AGENTS

      Honkanadavar, Hitesh H; Tran, Queen; Department of Chemistry and Physics; Panda, Silva; Augusta University (2019-02-13)
      Quinolones are one of the most important synthetic antibacterial agents have been widely used in the treatment of diverse infections including urinary tract, respiratory and bone joint as well as sexually transmitted diseases, prostatitis, pneumonia, and acute bronchitis. However, quinolone resistance increases towards many Gram-negative and Gram-positive species. Molecular conjugation has been known for the rational design of new biologically active entities by fusion of compounds and/or pharmacophores recognized and derived from known bio-active molecules. The present study directs towards the construction of novel quinolone-triazole conjugates and investigation of their antimicrobial properties. The detail results will be discussed at the conference.
    • Design, Synthesis, and Anti-inflammatory Studies of NSAID Hybrid Conjugates

      Honkanadavar, Hitesh; Department of Chemistry & Physics; Panda, Siva; Augusta University (2019-02-13)
      Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are one of the most common drugs administered worldwide as highly effective analgesic, antipyretic and anti-inflammatory agents. The drugs function by inhibiting the COX-2 enzyme system which leads to a decrease in inflammation; however, the drugs also inhibit the COX-1 enzyme system which is critical to normal renal function, gastric mucosal integrity, vascular homeostasis, and the autocrine response to circulating hormones which can lead to gastric ulcers and renal dysfunction. Hybrid conjugates of existing non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have already been synthesized with Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, and amino acids to increase potency and decrease toxicity. Computational chemistry studies of these compounds show that the free phenol moiety in acetaminophen plays a greater role in the inhibition of the COX 2 enzyme system than the amine moiety. The previous compounds utilized the phenol moiety to form the product. New hybrid conjugates of Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen via amino acid linkers have been synthesized, leaving the phenol moiety free. The compounds have been characterized by NMR and IR. Biological studies indicate that some of the synthesized compounds are showing improved potency when compared to Ibuprofen alone. Computational chemistry studies and molecular modeling will be used to support the�in-vivo�biological activity.
    • Enhancing Radiation Sensitivity in Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer: Novel Therapeutic Strategies to Target a Killer

      Latremouille, Rachel; Department of Chemistry and Physics (Augusta University, 2015-12)
      Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC) is an aggressive cancer, with those diagnosed typically living only sixth months. This cancer normally effects the elderly, with an estimated 67% of patients being 70 years of age or older. One of the reasons ATC is such a deadly disease is the lack of effective treatment options. While chemotherapy and radiation are effective treatments for many cancers, they usually have little efficacy for ATC patients. However, previous research conducted by our lab has discovered that cytokeratin-8 (CK8), a protein that plays a structural role in normal cells, has a novel and unanticipated role in promoting growth of ATC cells. Knockdown of CK8 in fast-growing ATC results in in a near-complete abrogation of cell growth, and an increase in apoptosis, in which the cell programs itself to die. Since ATC is normally resistant to radiation therapy, and one of the mechanisms of action for radiation in treating cancer is inducing DNA damage and subsequently apoptosis, we hypothesized there may be the potential for increased effectiveness between these two observations. However, due to difficulties with the clonogenic assay we originally planned to do, our research project is still ongoing.
    • Exact diagonalization RIXS studies of the doped 1d t1-t2-J model at the O K-edge

      Price, Gregory; Department of Chemistry & Physics; Datta, Trinanjan; Augusta University (2019-02-13)
      Resonant inelastic x-ray scattering (RIXS) is a novel spectroscopic method for probing charge and spin excitations in quantum magnets. In one dimension, where quantum fluctuations are most prominent, a system of interacting electrons can support fractionalized spinless charge excitations (holons) and chargeless spin excitation (spinons). Currently, X-ray spectroscopic techniques such as RIXS can excite the O K-edge core electrons of correlated quantum magnets to probe the physical nature of the above mentioned spin-charge separated state. Using exact diagonalization we investigate the O K-edge RIXS response of the one dimensional antiferromagnetic spin chain compound with nearest and next-nearest neighbor hoppings. We also study the spin-anisotropic version of the same model. Interaction of the core electrons with the X-rays generate multi-spinon excitations in the RIXS spectrum, for example in strontium copper oxide. We find that the RIXS spectrum of the t1-t2-J model with spin anisotropy presents a rich source of physical information, including allowing us to identify microscopic pathways for how the quantum spin fluctuations control the appearance of the four spinon excitations observed in the isotropic O K-edge spectrum.
    • Exploring Music Effects on Blood Pressure Through Oxytocin

      Cauthron, Steven; Department of Chemistry & Physics (2017-03)
      A large issue facing individuals on a daily basis is raised blood pressure. The elevated blood pressure is often the result of varying emotions. Elevated blood pressure is a significant contributing factor to a wide array of medical problems. It is important to lower blood pressure but to do this one must know how to do so. Studies have been conducted to identify oxytocin’s ability to lower blood pressure based on its ability to decrease cortisol levels. Studies have also shown music’s ability to raise oxytocin levels. For these reasons, research has been conducted at the Georgia Prevention Institute in order to determine if listening to music results in a decrease in blood pressure. These results are preliminary results only.
    • Exploring Music's Effects on Blood Pressure and Heart Rate Through Changes in Oxytocin Levels

      Cauthron, Steven; Department of Chemistry and Physics (Augusta University, 2017-05)
      High blood pressure and high heart rate can increase chances of a variety of diseases. This study looked at the impact of music on blood pressure and heart rate in pre-hypertensive individuals based on changes in their oxytocin levels. We hypothesized that listening to music would result in an increase in oxytocin and therefore a decrease in blood pressure and heart rate. This study involved 16 pre-hypertensive individuals. Hemodynamic measurements and oxytocin counts were obtained in three different experimental conditions: rest (control), stressed and after listening to music. The study results indicated a significant reduction in heart rate after listening to music. There was no significant change in blood pressure after listening to music. The results of this study show that listening to music is associated with higher oxytocin levels.
    • Exploring the minimum flow rate limit in electro co-flow

      Overlie, Benjamin; Department of Biological Sciences; Department of Chemistry & Physics; Millan, Josefa Guerrero; Augusta University (2019-02-13)
      Controlled generation of micron and sub-micron sized drops continues to be of strong interest for the scientific community due to the variety of applications in fields like cosmetics, food industry, and drug delivery among others. By flowing two immiscible liquids into a glass-based microfluidic device, we can make emulsion drops with a minimum size of the order of the tip size. Adding an external electric field, similarly to what it is done in the classical electrospray, allows the generation of droplets with sizes below the smallest geometrical characteristic of the device. In this work, we are focused on the region of small flow rates. There is a minimum flow rate below which a cone-jet cannot be formed regardless of the applied voltage. This limit marks the minimum drop size that could be generated. We study pairs of liquids with different viscosities and conductivities using high speed microscopy and current measurements. With these data we will try to understand this limit and the characteristics of the modes observed in this region.
    • Extraction of Neodymium by Bis(Trifluromethylsufonyl)imide Room Temperature Ionic Liquids

      Yim, Yen; Dang, David; Department of Chemistry & Physics (2017-03)
      Nuclear fuel reprocessing methods currently involve the use of organic solvents, in liquid-liquid extractions such as the PUREX process, to extract uranium and plutonium from other undesired fission products. A proposed way of making these processes more environmentally friendly and safer is to use room temperature ionic liquids (RTIL) in place of the organic solvents. Organic solvents are volatile and flammable, whereas many ionic liquids are neither. This makes the ionic liquids safer to use and more environmentally friendly. The focus of our research is on understanding the behavior of the lanthanide neodymium (Nd) in ionic liquids and how Nd is extracted from aqueous phases. The Nd was dissolved in aqueous bistriflimic acid solution. After the ionic liquids containing the bis(trifluromethylsufonyl)imide anion and tributyl phosphate (TBP) extractant were pre-equilibrated, the RTIL solutions were mixed individually with aqueous Nd, and the aqueous and organic layers were then separated. The ionic liquid and aqueous layers were analyzed through spectroscopy to determine the partition coefficients. Slope analysis of the partition coefficient at different TBP concentrations was used to determine the stoichiometry of coordination of TBP to neodymium. Results will be compared to prior work by other researchers using holmium, and other literature data.