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2020 Projects

Using Carbon Quantum Dots (CQDs) based fluorescence sensors to measure intracellular levels of Magnesium in Dictyostelium Discoideum

Fernando Gomez ’22
Major: Biochemistry

Fernando Gomez ’22

Major: Biochemistry

Faculty Collaborator: Murphy Brasuel, Chemistry & Biochemistry

Magnesium is an essential ion for human health. Being the second most abundant intracellular cation in the body, it is involved in over 600 enzymatic reactions including metabolism and protein synthesis. Magnesium has many physiological roles. Most notably, magnesium plays vital roles in the heart, brain, and skeletal muscles. Moreover, magnesium has been shown to be beneficial in treating several major diseases such as migraines, depression, asthma, coronary artery disease, and many more. In order to monitor magnesium in cells, we will need cells that are cost effective and easy to grow. Dictyostelium Discoideum is the best candidate for our goal. Dictyostelium Discoideum is a unicellular organism capable of converting into a multicellular organism and is commonly used as a model to study various biological functions. We will be using D. Discoideium to measure/monitor its intracellular magnesium.To measure/monitor intracellular magnesium, we will be using Carbon Quantum Dots (CQDs). CQDs have chemical stability, water dispersibility and biocompatibility. They have been used as nano sensors for a variety of intracellular analytes and various chemical/biological applications. Thus, it is more than reasonable for us to use CQDs as a tool to measure/monitor intracellular magnesium.

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