Enhancement of Antibiotics and Nucleic Acids by Novel Synthetic Compounds

Document Type



Master of Science


Biochemistry & Biotechnology

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

George Gokel, Ph.D.


Dr. Wendy Olivas

Dr. Mark Spingola


With the emergence of resistant microorganisms and the identification of new genetic disorders, new treatments are needed to combat disease and to aid in the repair of the cell at the molecular level. The effort to develop synthetic ion channels and synthetic ion transporters has been an attempt to model function and/or to supplement biologically active proteins and to develop biologically active agents. The work presented in the first part of this thesis focuses on the history, development, and antimicrobial activity of synthetic ion channels and the synergy observed with commercially available antibiotics. The second part of this thesis describes numerous successful bacterial transformation experiments conducted with plasmid DNA and novel synthetic compounds that we call tris-arenes. We have observed experimentally that the transport of plasmid DNA through biological membranes. Numerous transformation experiments led us to conclude that tris-arenes have the ability to enhance DNA plasmid transformations in E.coli.

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