The title of my project is Monitoring with Optical Spectroscopy the Interactions of Hemoglobin with Nanomaterials. The goal of this project is to determine the interactions between hemoglobin and various nanomaterials using spectroscopy. I know from previous classes that hemoglobin has binding properties with oxygen and I expect for there to be a similar correlation with our different nanomaterials. All of the nanomaterials have oxygen in their compounds, this leads me to believe that all of them will bind to some degree and the different metals associated with each nanomaterial will show how tightly it binds.
The methods used to create this research will involve preparing hemoglobin solution to be added with increasing amount of nanomaterials. The hemoglobin will have a fixed concentration. A hemoglobin solution without the nanomaterials will be used as a point comparison with hemoglobin solutions added with nanomaterials. The nanomaterials will then be added to the hemoglobin mixture and then I will run them in the two spectrophotometry machines that we have available, UV-vis and the spectrofluorometer. The resulting graphs will show the differences and from there we can draw conclusions.
Note: This was written in October, due to the technical issues of this blog, it is being posted at a later date.
Since the last update, I have finished doing the wet lab portion of my experiments. My mentor has taken my samples and gotten the CD spectra for my samples. The next step for me is to analyze the results given from the results. I will be doing that by creating graphs in IGOR and analyzing the CD using an online program provided by my mentor. I was focusing on looking at the percent difference in the alpha helices and beta pleated sheets before and after the binding.
Over the break I have made most of the paper that I was planning to do. I was able to read many literature on my topic. I was able to do most of the thesis, the only things left to put are the final analyzed data and the discussion of the results and future works. I have made my poster and put it out for printing and am preparing to present it in two weeks for the ACS conference before I present it at the UGRI research day in May.
For the rest of this project my goals are to finish analyzing the results using the online program and computer program stated above, finish the paper, and to practice speaking about my project so that I will be prepared for the poster sessions coming up.
So far this semester, we have had several runs of the hemoglobin with the different nanomaterials. We mainly had the results from the spectrofluorometer and UV-vis done in the lab while the CD (circular dichroism) was done at a different lab by my faculty mentor. Those results always took another week just because of the time needed to access the lab.
The data so far has shown interesting trends. There is a particular peak for hemoglobin that indicates the heme ring. This is important, because in the blood, this is where iron binds and gives blood that red color due to its interaction with oxygen. The iron binds the oxygen and transports around the body. In our results, particularly with aluminum oxide, the peak indicating the heme ring disappears.
Looking at this data, I believe that the disappearance of the heme ring could show that the aluminum oxide is binding to the heme ring. This is interesting and brings up the question, can aluminum work as a substitution for iron? And, how can we use this in terms of drug delivery? (If that even is possible.) Over break, my mentor has given me literary research to look over to help develop a possible poster, and paper.