Submission Date


Document Type

Paper- Restricted to Campus Access



Second Department


Faculty Mentor

Mark Ellison

Second Faculty Mentor

Anthony Lobo

Student Contributor

Audrey Simpson


Presented during the 20th Annual Summer Fellows Symposium, July 20, 2018 at Ursinus College.

Project Description

In recent years, carbon nanotubes have been emerging as a promising material to be used in various biological processes, including drug delivery. Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) are allotropes of carbon that have a single layer of carbon atoms arranged hexagonally and rolled into a seamless cylinder usually about 1 nm in diameter. This experiment focuses on a novel drug delivery technique whereby SWNTs are first functionalized with polyethylene glycol to increase water solubility before being combined with tetracycline. The purpose of this procedure is to overcome an antibiotic resistance efflux mechanism introduced to a strain of Escherichia coli (DH5α) via resistance plasmid pBR322 by steric hindrance from the tetracycline-SWNT complex. Through measurements of the minimum inhibitory concentration of tetracycline-SWNTs needed to interrupt bacterial growth in both the susceptible strain (DH5α) and the resistant strain (DH5α-pBR322), a measurement of the effectiveness of this delivery mechanism is possible. It has been determined that the minimum inhibitory concentration of tetracycline has been reduced from 250 μg/mL with tetracycline alone to less than 100 μg/mL with autoclave-sterilized tetracycline-SWNTs.


Available to Ursinus community only.