Blog Post #3: Updated progress of synthesizing new antibacterial surfaces with natural butters, oils and powders

This semester I am continuing my research project of investigation of synthesis of new antibacterial surfaces using natural substances. I am continuing this project with my faculty mentor Dr. Jaimelee Rizzo. At the end of last semester, I thought of two different questions I would like to address with this research project. The first question was “What specific properties of the essential oil or plant powder contribute to the antibacterial and ultraviolet light protection properties of a sample?” and the second question was “When the essential oils and plant powders are combined are there certain reactions they undergo that optimize the antibacterial and ultraviolet light protection properties?”.

Through different literature searches, it was found that coffee butter contains Chlorogenic acid (CGA) which is known for its antibacterial properties. Murumuru butter was found to contain Lauric Acid, which is a fatty acid well know for antibacterial properties. Upon research it was also found that chlorella powder contains chlorellin and ginseng powder contains ginsenoside which have both been studied for their antibacterial properties.

From the results gathered so far, Cinnamon Cassia oil has shown the largest zone of clearance for antibacterial activity and the best ultraviolet light protection results. We believe this is due to the presence of Cinnamaldehyde in the essential oil. Cinnamaldehyde is known to have antibacterial properties because of the aldehyde functionality present acts as an active site. With the addition of chlorella or ginseng powder antibacterial results have increased, which leads us to believe that there is an interaction occurring that optimizes antibacterial activity.

Moving forward, I am continuing to create more samples to be sent out for testing. I am using different concentrations of the essential oils to determine which have antibacterial properties and which do not. As of now we are looking to classify which oils and powders have these properties. In the future I am looking to combine different oils and powders to optimize the antibacterial and ultraviolet protection results.

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