Senior Honors Projects, 2010-2019

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Spring 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Department of Biology


Kyle Seifert

Pradeep Vasudevan

Kevin L. Caran


The increased cases of antibiotic resistance have large implication in hospital settings where infections by antibiotic resistant bacteria are harder to treat resulting in longer stays at the hospital, which drastically increases the costs to patients and hospitals. To address this matter, many research groups are searching for an alternative to antibiotics. One option is the development of amphiphiles, some of which have antibacterial properties. Amphiphiles contain a hydrophilic, polar head group, and a hydrophobic, nonpolar tail, which may intercalate into the cell membrane, resulting in cell lysis. Understanding the impact of amphiphile geometry on antibacterial activity allows for the synthesis of potential novel antimicrobial compounds with a variety of applications. Novel bipyridinium amphiphiles were synthesized and evaluated for antibacterial properties against seven bacterial strains. Amphiphiles contained two pyridinium head groups attached by a carbon chain of varying linker lengths. A 12 carbon tail was also attached to each pyridinium head. A linker length of 12 carbons had optimum antibacterial activity against each strain. Amphiphiles with longer and shorter linker lengths were less effective. The research and development of novel compounds can be used to reduce spread of nosocomial infections and decrease negative impacts of infections caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria.



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