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Analysis of Inhibition of Influenza Replication via Synthetic Antibodies

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The influenza virus, also known as "the flu", is an infectious disease that has constantly affected the health of humanity. There is currently no known cure for Influenza. The Center for Innovations in Medicine at the Biodesign Institute located on

The influenza virus, also known as "the flu", is an infectious disease that has constantly affected the health of humanity. There is currently no known cure for Influenza. The Center for Innovations in Medicine at the Biodesign Institute located on campus at Arizona State University has been developing synbodies as a possible Influenza therapeutic. Specifically, at CIM, we have attempted to design these initial synbodies to target the entire Influenza virus and preliminary data leads us to believe that these synbodies target Nucleoprotein (NP). Given that the synbody targets NP, the penetration of cells via synbody should also occur. Then by Western Blot analysis we evaluated for the diminution of NP level in treated cells versus untreated cells. The focus of my honors thesis is to explore how synthetic antibodies can potentially inhibit replication of the Influenza (H1N1) A/Puerto Rico/8/34 strain so that a therapeutic can be developed. A high affinity synbody for Influenza can be utilized to test for inhibition of Influenza as shown by preliminary data. The 5-5-3819 synthetic antibody's internalization in live cells was visualized with Madin-Darby Kidney Cells under a Confocal Microscope. Then by Western Blot analysis we evaluated for the diminution of NP level in treated cells versus untreated cells. Expression of NP over 8 hours time was analyzed via Western Blot Analysis, which showed NP accumulation was retarded in synbody treated cells. The data obtained from my honors thesis and preliminary data provided suggest that the synthetic antibody penetrates live cells and targets NP. The results of my thesis presents valuable information that can be utilized by other researchers so that future experiments can be performed, eventually leading to the creation of a more effective therapeutic for influenza.

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2014-05

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The Simian Barrier Dilemma: Improving Gene Vaccines for the Future

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Since its inception in the early 1990s, the concept of gene vaccines, particularly DNA vaccines, has enticed researchers across the board due to its simple design, flexible modification, and overall inexpensive cost of manufacturing. However, the past three decades have

Since its inception in the early 1990s, the concept of gene vaccines, particularly DNA vaccines, has enticed researchers across the board due to its simple design, flexible modification, and overall inexpensive cost of manufacturing. However, the past three decades have proven to be less fruitful than anticipated as scientists have yet to tackle the issue of inducing a strong enough response in humans and non-human primates to protect against foreign pathogens, an issue that has since been coined as the “simian barrier.” This appears to be a human/primate barrier as protective vaccines have been produced for other mammals. Despite millions of dollars in research along with some of the world’s brightest minds chipping in to resolve this, there has yet to be any truly viable solution to overcoming this barrier. With current research illustrating effective applications of RNA vaccines in humans, these studies may be uncovering the solution to the largely unsolved simian barrier dilemma. If vaccines using RNA, the transcribed version of DNA, are effective in humans, the problem may be inefficient transcription of the DNA. This may be attributable to a DNA promoter that has insufficient activity in primates. Additionally, with DNA vaccines being even cheaper and easier to manufacture than RNA vaccines, along with having no required cold chain for distribution, this concept remains more promising than RNA vaccines that are further along in clinical trials.

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2020-12