Date of Graduation

Spring 2016

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Chemistry - Biochemistry

Research Sponsor

Dr. Wiley Youngs

First Reader

Dr. Matthew Panzner

Second Reader

Dr. Sailaja Paruchuri


Many chemotherapeutic drugs have had success in treating a variety of cancers, but some can be harmful and cause adverse side affects such as hair loss and nausea. Cisplatin is a well-known chemotherapy drug that has been used to treat a countless number of different types of cancers including non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC). Because of its nonspecificity and secondary effects, investigation into alternative non-small cell lung cancer targeting drugs is necessary. The recently synthesized bis-cation imidazolium salt system has displayed antiproliferative activity, but its mechanism of action remains undetermined. The system explores the use of two napthalenes, two imidazole salts, and linking carbon chains varying from 1-12 carbons in length. Here, the system was tested for possible DNA intercalation using fluorescent intercalator displacement (FID) and viscosity experimentation. Results from FID exhibit negligible displacement activity of ethidium bromide from the 4 selected compounds. In contrast, viscosity results demonstrate 3 of 4 compounds showing greater DNA interaction compared to the acridine orange control. These opposing conclusions ultimately determine DNA interaction is present, but not strong enough to effectively displace a known intercalator. Overall, results do not concretely reveal a mechanism of DNA interaction.

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