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  • Writer's pictureAnna G

Casimir Schaefer

My name is Casimir Schaefer. I am studying chemistry at Bellarmine University. This summer I am excited to get a look into the graduate program that UC has to offer, working in Dr. Ryan White’s Electrochemistry lab under Sanduni Abeykoon. Initially we willl study the binding kinetics of small molecules ATP and tobramycin to their corresponding aptamers. To pursue this study, the E-AB sensor platform is combined with a flow injection analysis system that allows the determination of the observed binding rate (kobs), association rate (kon), and dissociation rate (koff) constants for the binding of the targets to their corresponding electrode-bound DNA aptamer. Furthermore, We will investigate the affect of a change in temperature on binding kinetics of Electrochemical Aptamer-Based sensors. We hypothesize that in low-temperature environments the binding rates of target to aptamer will slowdown and could be studied under minimized mass transfer limitations. Here, we use IPA to study kinetics of small molecule binding to surface-bound aptamers. These kinetic parameters further allow for the calculation of the thermodynamic binding affinity (KD,surface). The opportunity to work in a graduate chemistry research lab has offered skills and knowledge that go beyond what are available in a classroom, and I am excited to see all that I can learn this summer.

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