Submission Date


Document Type

Paper- Restricted to Campus Access



Faculty Mentor

Mark Ellison


Presented during the 23rd Annual Summer Fellows Symposium, July 23, 2021 at Ursinus College.

Project Description

Antibiotic resistance is a growing concern in the public health sector. Massive economic barriers preventing the development of new antibiotics calls for an alternative option. Single- walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) have been a recent topic of interest in the research community because of their potential applications in drug delivery and bioimaging. Their shape and structure make them optimal for penetrating the cell membrane and delivering drugs into cells. The goal of this research is to use SWNTs to deliver antibiotics into antibiotic resistant bacteria to overcome their resistance mechanisms. This is accomplished by first covalently attaching polyethylene glycol (PEG) to the SWNTs to increase bioavailability and water solubility. Then, ciprofloxacin, a common fluoroquinolone antibiotic, can then be attached to the SWNT-PEG through noncovalent interactions. Finally, the SWNT-PEG-cipro is introduced to sensitive and cipro-resistant coliforms to determine its effectiveness in inhibiting bacterial growth. In E. coli strains, cipro-resistant coliform (CRC)-3 and CRC-26, SWNT-PEG-Cipro overcomes the resistance mechanism, allowing the ciprofloxacin to be active in the cytoplasm and inhibit cellular growth.


Available to Ursinus community only.