Chemistry and Biochemistry

Back to myMajor

Interesting research created by our Chemistry and Biochemistry students:
“Gold Micro-cylinder, Electrochemical Aptamer-Based (E-AB) Sensors for Measurement of Astrocytic ATP Release”

Brenda Gutierrez
Assistant Professor Ryan J. White

Abnormal astrocytic ATP release has been proposed as a potential astrocyte dysfunction in neurodegenerative diseases. However, the roles of astrocytic ATP release are not fully understood due to the lack of analytical tools. Electrochemical aptamer-based (E-AB) sensors can be used to measure the concentration of ATP released by astrocytes, providing further insight into its function in the brain. E-AB sensors use aptamers, or oligonucleotides, that bind a specific target such as ATP. Target binding causes an aptamer conformation change resulting in an increase in current that is quantitatively related to ATP concentration. To date, we have optimized a micro-cylinder-based ATP E-AB sensor and conducted measurements of ATP in buffer solution. These sensors will now be used to make bulk measurements of astrocytic ATP release from astrocytes cultured in a 3D collagen hydrogel serving as an in vivo mimic. In order to make these measurements, we first have to determine the percent signal changes corresponding with different ATP concentrations at room temperature and 37°C (temperature cells are incubated at) by performing calibration titrations. Once we conduct real-time measurements of astrocytic ATP release, we can then expose astrocytes to environmental stimuli known to cause ATP release and measure the change in the amount of ATP released by these cells.

A three quarter portrait of Mia on the Library green.
Meet Mia Wessel! Read about her Chemistry research here!

Meet a research alumnae:

Benefits for Chemistry and Biochemistry students:

  • Work with a faculty member
  • Experience hands-on research
  • Reinforce classroom learning
  • Prepare for work or graduate school
  • Travel to national conferences
  • Receive grant funding
  • Publish independent research
    • Development of an Imaging System for Luminescent Pressure Sensitive Paints (PSP).
      Heather Couvillon-Rhodes. UMBC Review Vol.3.
    • Synthesis of Ring Expanded Nucleoside Analogs for Inhibition of the Hepatitis B and C Viruses.
      Irene Savvas Pastis. UMBC Review Vol.9.
  • Undergraduate Research at UMBC

So, what are you doing next summer?

Get started today!

Learn how to find research internships and job opportunities using Handshake!Handshake logo

For more information, check out this department’s website:
Chemistry & Biochemistry