Concordia St. Paul News

March 18, 2016

Science Students Present Research at MPCC Scholars Showcase

A group of Concordia science students and faculty advisers presented their research at the Minnesota Private College Council’s Scholars Showcase event Mar. 10 at the new Minnesota Senate Building in St. Paul.

A total of 43 students from 15 private colleges participated in the event, which celebrates the research and creative scholarship from Minnesota’s private colleges.

CSP student research presented at the event include:

Expression and purification of a functional silica binding protein fused with RGD motif for neural tissue engineering

  • Students: Amien Masroujeh, Anna Augustine, Samantha Brennan, Samuel Johnson
  • Faculty Advisor: Dr. May Ann Yang

Our project focuses on testing a novel fusion protein’s ability to noncovalently modify the three-dimensional silica nanofiber surfaces, aiming at better simulate the extracellular matrix for tissue engineering. Specifically, we genetically engineered a recombinant protein (SB-RGD-His) that contains a silica binding protein (SB) fused with the RGD peptide for cell adhesion, and a His-tag for purification. We then expressed the SB-RGD-His fusion in Escherichia coli Rosetta(DE3) pLys and purified it using a nickel column. Successful silica binding ability of the fusion protein was demonstrated using immunocytochemistry and pull-down assay. Finally, PC12 cells were shown to successfully grow and differentiate on SB-RGD-His coated silica surfaces. These results indicate that SB-RGD-His fusion protein could serve as a noncovalent coating biologic to support and promote neuron-like cells’ growth and differentiation on silica-based substrates for neural tissue engineering. Our work provides proof of concept for the possibility to genetically engineer protein-based signaling molecules to noncovalently modify silica-based substrates as bioinspired material.


Intestinal Cell Injury Generated by Non-Steriodal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

  • Students: Rachel Gratz, Colette Piche,Kayla Miller,Rachel Tadsen
  • Faculty Advisor: Dr. Mandy Bresnahan

(NSAIDs) maintain a specific recommended dosage listed on the bottle. It has been proven that taking more than the recommended dosage of NSAIDs can cause negative effects on intestinal cells, but how much is too much? Is there a certain dosage that may cause fatal effects on intestinal cells? To test this hypothesis, IPEC-J2 cells were split and then placed in a 96 well plate with three different concentrations of ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen. Images were taken after the drugs were on the cells for 4 hours using an Amscope Digital Imager, and Cell Titer was added so cytotoxicity data could be collected using a microplate reader. The naproxen and aspirin confirmed our hypothesis because the number of live cells decreased as the concentration increased. As the ibuprofen concentrations increased, proliferation occurred due to an inactive ingredient in the drug. It can be concluded that taking more than the recommended dosage of any of these drugs can have harmful consequences on the digestive cells.

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