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


This project focused on the development of amphiphiles in order to prevent hospital-acquired infections before they have a chance to enter the host, thereby reducing the need for antibiotics. The antibiotic resistance crisis of the 21st century is a dangerous epidemic with global consequences. Therefore, there is a desperate need for novel approaches in antimicrobial research. This would decrease the overall length of stay in hospitals and costs associated with such a stay. In this study, tetracationic amphiphiles with two 12-carbon chains and an aliphatic linker were studied. The MIC value of each amphiphile and strain pair was determined and compared. Linker length, the distance between head groups attached to identical hydrophobic tails appears to affect antimicrobial activity. Amphiphiles with longer linkers tend to be more potent antibacterial agents than those with shorter linkers. Amphiphiles were also used in combination with antibiotics to determine whether the combinations interacted synergistically to kill bacteria. The most potent amphiphile was 12-B-10-B-12 against all bacteria. This amphiphile was longer in linker length relative to other derivatives, suggesting that there is a relationship between linker length and antimicrobial potency. The development of novel amphiphiles may be one way to reduce the need for antibiotics to treat hospital-acquired infections.

Included in

Biology Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.