Document Type

Paper- Restricted to Campus Access

Publication Date


Faculty Mentor

Mark Ellison


In recent years, single walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) have emerged as promising material to be used in various biological processes, specifically, drug delivery. The goal of this research is to create a novel drug delivery system for clarithromycin using these SWNTs. SWNTs are attached to clarithromycin through cysteine linkers, which contain a disulfide bond. This disulfide bond can be cleaved by enzymes and acidic conditions in cells, allowing for release of the antibiotic from the SWNT once in the cell. The current study is aimed at isolating and analyzing the target molecule, 4”-cys-clarithromycin, and refining the synthesis of cysteine-SWNTs. The synthesis of 4”-cys-clarithromycin was completed through a Steglich esterification and the product was isolated. Then, analysis by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy was performed to confirm its identity. The synthesis of cysteine-SWNTs was modified to include an ethylenediamine spacer on the SWNTs to promote better cysteine attachment. This was done by starting the synthesis with carboxylic acid functionalized SWNTs, converting them to amino-SWNTs through a coupling reaction, and then continuing with the normal procedure. Future directions of this study include analysis of 4”-cys-clarithromycin by infrared (IR) spectroscopy to verify that no dimers were formed, followed by biological testing.


Presented as part of the Ursinus College Celebration of Student Achievement (CoSA) held April 23 – April 30, 2020.

The downloadable file is a PowerPoint slide presentation with recorded audio commentary.


Available to Ursinus community only.