Submission Date


Document Type

Paper- Restricted to Campus Access



Faculty Mentor

Mark Ellison


Presented during the 21st Annual Summer Fellows Symposium, July 19, 2019 at Ursinus College.

Project Description

In recent years, single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) have received increasing attention for their potential biological and medicinal applications, including drug delivery. SWNTs readily permeate cell membranes, giving them the ability to quickly and efficiently carry drugs into target cells. However, once inside the cell, the drug must be able to detach from the SWNT in order be effective. With this in mind, the current study aims to reversibly attach clarithromycin, an antibiotic with the capability to combat a wide range of bacterial infections, to SWNTs. To accomplish this, cysteine was attached to both clarithromycin and the SWNTs. Attachment of cysteine to clarithromycin had little effect on the antibiotics effectiveness. A disulfide bond was then formed between the cysteine molecule on the clarithromycin and the cysteine molecule on the SWNT, thereby attaching the antibiotic to the nanotube. Finally, samples of bacteria were treated with clarithromycin-laden SWNTs in order to determine if this method of attachment and delivery leads to an improved ability to inhibit bacterial growth.


Available to Ursinus community only.