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Chemistry Seminar

March 5, 2015
Smith Hall, Room 114, 11:00 a.m.

Miss Elise Cade

Biodegradable Polymer Nerve Conduits

Injuries to the nervous system can lead to lifelong disabilities and are often difficult to repair or regenerate. In order to facilitate the regeneration of nerves, biodegradable polymers are selected as materials for scaffolding, which allows the adsorption and proliferation of nerve cells. However, the polymer must have tunable surface characteristics in order to create optimal conditions for cellular growth and development while inhibiting undesired fibrous growth. The polymer should also be biomimetic in order to avoid undesired inflammatory responses in the body. Lei Cai et al specifically investigated various weight compositions of methoxy poly(ethylene glycol) monoacrylate photo-cross-linked to semicrystalline poly(e-caprolactone) diacrylate and found that the cross-linked polymer was able to support the attachment and proliferation of cells and a viable polymer nerve conduit was constructed.

Mr. Colby Raymond

Novel Targeted System to Deliver Chemotherapeutic Drugs
to EphA2-expressing cells

Traditional cancer treatments suffer from drawbacks that include an inability to target specific cancer areas, high toxicity or side effects in the body; or they are extremely invasive. New research into cancer treatment is showing a promising rise of targeted therapies that focus on specific receptor sites and ways to exploit them. The focus in this paper is an Ephrin cellular membrane receptor, EphA2, which is overexpressed in most solid tumors. By exploiting the ephrinA-receptor binding, which internalizes the ligand, it is possible to mimic that response with a short chain peptide derived from ephrinA. It is possible as well to conjugate a reporter molecule, such as a quantum dot, or a drug which will be internalized with the peptide. Through fluorescent imaging it is possible to show where EphA2 receptor sites and locations where the conjugated peptide-drug complex was internalized on the cell surface. The effects of the internalization were analyzed through in vitro and in vivo mouse xenograft studies.