Date of Completion

Spring 5-8-2011

Thesis Advisor(s)

Peter Burkhard

Honors Major

Cell Biology

Disciplines

Cell Biology | Molecular Biology

Abstract

Influenza is one of the most common diseases in the world and the cause for numerous deaths every year. The primary method of combating the disease is the influenza vaccine, which is produced by inoculating chicken eggs with inactivated virus. An emerging solution is to use Self-Assembling Polypeptide Nanoparticles (SAPN) to elicit an immune response in the body, rather than using inactivated viruses. This project focuses on the synthesis, purification, and refolding of two peptide constructs, BN5C and S43, which are specific protein sequences that under the right conditions will refold into the 3-dimensional structures necessary for producing an immune response. The size, shape, and homogeneity of the nanoparticles were tested using dynamic light scattering and electron microscopy in order to determine the optimal refolding conditions for the nanoparticles.