Subcategory: Cell and Molecular Biology
Shannon Williams - Alabama State University
Co-Author(s): Veolanda A. Peoples and Mamie T. Coats, Alabama State University, Montgomery, AL
Streptococcus pneumoniae is the causative agent of several pneumococcal diseases, such as meningitis, ear and sinus infections, bacteremia, and pneumonia which is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. In developed countries, such as the United States and Canada, bacterial infections are treated with antibiotics. The highly adaptive nature of S. pneumoniae demonstrates a need for new antimicrobials that can efficiently avoid high level resistance. The purpose of the project is to investigate the efficacy of penicillin conjugated gold nanoparticles (AuNP-Pen) in inhibiting the growth of S. pneumoniae. Our research uses gold nanoparticles (AuNP) that were synthesized through reduction with sodium borohydride (NaBH4) to create AuNP-Pen spheres measuring approximately 5-10nm. The conjugation of penicillin was confirmed by a shift in the maximum absorbance from 520nm (AuNP) to 535 nm (AuNP-Pen) on a surface absorbance spectrum. The effect of the AuNP on penicillin-resistant S. pneumoniae will be observed for both planktonic and biofilm bacteria. The genetic responses of the bacteria in the presence of the nanoparticle will also be examined.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): This work is being supported by National Science Foundation-CREST (HRD-1241701), NSF-HBCU-UP (HRD-1135863), NSF-AGEP (HRD-1432991) and National Institutes of Health-MBRS-RISE (1R25GM106995-01) grant, as well as the United States Department of Education and The Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program (MSEIP) (P120A150008) at Alabama State University, Montgomery, AL.
Faculty Advisor: Mamie T. Coats, email@example.com
Role: I did the background research and am currently running the experiments and collecting the date under the mentorship of Veolanda Peoples who is a PhD student.