Matching Items (17)

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Development of a HaloTag® Linker for Applications in Photobiocatalysis

Description

The use of enzyme-catalyst interfaces is underexplored in the field of biocatalysis, particularly in studies on enabling novel reactivity of enzymes. For this thesis, the HaloTag® protein tagging platform was

The use of enzyme-catalyst interfaces is underexplored in the field of biocatalysis, particularly in studies on enabling novel reactivity of enzymes. For this thesis, the HaloTag® protein tagging platform was proposed as a bioconjugation method for a pinacol coupling reaction using lipases, as a model for novel reactivities proceeding via ketyl radical intermediates and hydrogen-bonding-facilitated redox attenuation. After an initial lipase screening of 9 lipases, one lipase (Candida rugosa) was found to perform the pinacol coupling of p-anisaldehyde under standard conditions (fluorescein and 530nm light, 3% yield). Based on a retrosynthetic analysis for the photocatalyst-incorporated HaloTag® linker, the intermediates haloamine 1 and aldehyde 6 were synthesized. Further experiments are underway or planned to complete linker synthesis and conduct pinacol coupling experiments with a bioconjugated system. This project underscores the promising biocatalytic promiscuity of lipases for performing reactions proceeding through ketyl radical intermediates, as well as the underdeveloped potential of incorporating bioengineering principles like bioconjugation into biocatalysis to overcome kinetic barriers to electron transfer and optimize biocatalytic reactions.

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Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Controlling Surface Defects and Photophysics in TiO2 Nanoparticles

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Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is widely used for photocatalysis and solar cell applications, and the electronic structure of bulk TiO2 is well understood. However, the surface structure of nanoparticulate TiO2, which

Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is widely used for photocatalysis and solar cell applications, and the electronic structure of bulk TiO2 is well understood. However, the surface structure of nanoparticulate TiO2, which has a key role in properties such as solubility and catalytic activity, still remains controversial. Detailed understanding of surface defect structures may help explain reactivity and overall materials performance in a wide range of applications. In this work we address the solubility problem and surface defects control on TiO2 nanoparticles. We report the synthesis and characterization of ∼4 nm TiO2 anatase spherical nanoparticles that are soluble and stable in a wide range of organic solvents and water. By controlling the temperature during the synthesis, we are able to tailor the density of defect states on the surface of the TiO2 nanoparticles without affecting parameters such as size, shape, core crystallinity, and solubility. The morphology of both kinds of nanoparticles was determined by TEM. EPR experiments were used to characterize the surface defects, and transient absorption measurements demonstrate the influence of the TiO2 defect states on photoinduced electron transfer dynamics.

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Date Created
  • 2014-11-13

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Simple and accurate correlation of experimental redox potentials and DFT-calculated HOMO/LUMO energies of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

Description

The ability to accurately predict the oxidation and reduction potentials of molecules is very useful in various fields and applications. Quantum mechanical calculations can be used to access this information,

The ability to accurately predict the oxidation and reduction potentials of molecules is very useful in various fields and applications. Quantum mechanical calculations can be used to access this information, yet sometimes the usefulness of these calculations can be limited because of the computational requirements for large systems. Methodologies that yield strong linear correlations between calculations and experimental data have been reported, however the balance between accuracy and computational cost is always a major issue. In this work, linear correlations (with an R-2 value of up to 0.9990) between DFT-calculated HOMO/LUMO energies and 70 redox potentials from a series of 51 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (obtained from the literature) are presented. The results are compared to previously reported linear correlations that were obtained with a more expensive computational methodology based on a Born-Haber thermodynamic cycle. It is shown in this article that similar or better correlations can be obtained with a simple and cheaper calculation.

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Date Created
  • 2013-10-28

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Design and synthesis of artificial photosynthetic molecules to mimic aspects of natural photosynthetic mechanisms

Description

Natural photosynthesis features a complex biophysical/chemical process that requires sunlight to produce energy rich products. It is one of the most important processes responsible for the appearance and sustainability of

Natural photosynthesis features a complex biophysical/chemical process that requires sunlight to produce energy rich products. It is one of the most important processes responsible for the appearance and sustainability of life on earth. The first part of the thesis focuses on understanding the mechanisms involved in regulation of light harvesting, which is necessary to balance the absorption and utilization of light energy and in that way reduce the effect caused by photooxidative damage. In photosynthesis, carotenoids are responsible not only for collection of light, but also play a major role in protecting the photosynthetic system. To investigate the role of carotenoids in the quenching of the excited state of cyclic tetrapyrroles, two sets of dyads were studied. Both sets of dyads contain zinc phthalocyanine (Pc) covalently attached to carotenoids of varying conjugation lengths. In the first set of dyads, carotenoids were attached to the phthalocyanine via amide linkage. This set of dyads serves as a good model for understanding the molecular "gear-shift" mechanism, where the addition of one double bond can turn the carotenoid from a nonquencher to a very strong quencher of the excited state of a tetrapyrrole. In the second set of dyads, carotenoids were attached to phthalocyanine via a phenyl amino group. Two independent studies were performed on these dyads: femtosecond transient absorption and steady state fluorescence induced by two-photon excitation. In the transient absorption study it was observed that there is an instantaneous population of the carotenoid S1 state after Pc excitation, while two-photon excitation of the optically forbidden carotenoid S1 state shows 1Pc population. Both observations provide a strong indication of the existence of a shared excitonic state between carotenoid and Pc. Similar results were observed in LHC II complexes in plants, supporting the role of such interactions in photosynthetic down regulation. In the second chapter we describe the synthesis of porphyrin dyes functionalized with carboxylate and phosphonate anchoring groups to be used in the construction of photoelectrochemical cells containing a porphyrin-IrO2·nH2O complex immobilized on a TiO2 electrode. The research presented here is a step in the development of high potential porphyrin-metal oxide complexes to be used in the photooxidation of water. The last chapter focuses on developing synthetic strategies for the construction of an artificial antenna system consisting of porphyrin-silver nanoparticle conjugates, linked by DNA of varied length to study the distance dependence of the interaction between nanoparticles and the porphyrin chromophore. Preliminary studies indicate that at the distance of about 7-10 nm between porphyrin and silver nanoparticle is where the porphyrin absorption leading to fluorescence shows maximum enhancement. These new hybrid constructs will be helpful for designing efficient light harvesting systems.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Application and study of water oxidation catalysts and molecular dyes for solar-fuel production

Description

Developing a system capable of using solar energy to drive the conversion of an abundant and available precursor to fuel would profoundly impact humanity's energy use and thereby the condition

Developing a system capable of using solar energy to drive the conversion of an abundant and available precursor to fuel would profoundly impact humanity's energy use and thereby the condition of the global ecosystem. Such is the goal of artificial photosynthesis: to convert water to hydrogen using solar radiation as the sole energy input and ideally do so with the use of low cost, abundant materials. Constructing photoelectrochemical cells incorporating photoanodes structurally reminiscent of those used in dye sensitized photovoltaic solar cells presents one approach to establishing an artificial photosynthetic system. The work presented herein describes the production, integration, and study of water oxidation catalysts, molecular dyes, and metal oxide based photoelectrodes carried out in the pursuit of developing solar water splitting systems.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Design and synthesis of organic molecular models of artificial photosynthetic reaction center

Description

A clean and sustainable alternative to fossil fuels is solar energy. For efficient use of solar energy to be realized, artificial systems that can effectively capture and convert sunlight into

A clean and sustainable alternative to fossil fuels is solar energy. For efficient use of solar energy to be realized, artificial systems that can effectively capture and convert sunlight into a usable form of energy have to be developed. In natural photosynthesis, antenna chlorophylls and carotenoids capture sunlight and transfer the resulting excitation energy to the photosynthetic reaction center (PRC). Small reorganization energy, λ and well-balanced electronic coupling between donors and acceptors in the PRC favor formation of a highly efficient charge-separated (CS) state. By covalently linking electron/energy donors to acceptors, organic molecular dyads and triads that mimic natural photosynthesis were synthesized and studied. Peripherally linked free base phthalocyanine (Pc)-fullerene (C60) and a zinc (Zn) phthalocyanine-C60 dyads were synthesized. Photoexcitation of the Pc moiety resulted in singlet-singlet energy transfer to the attached C60, followed by electron transfer. The lifetime of the CS state was 94 ps. Linking C60 axially to silicon (Si) Pc, a lifetime of the CS state of 4.5 ns was realized. The exceptionally long-lived CS state of the SiPc-C60 dyad qualifies it for applications in solar energy conversion devices. A secondary electron donor was linked to the dyad to obtain a carotenoid (Car)-SiPc-C60 triad and ferrocene (Fc)-SiPc-C60 triad. Excitation of the SiPc moiety resulted in fast electron transfer from the Car or Fc secondary electron donors to the C60. The lifetime of the CS state was 17 ps and 1.2 ps in Car-SiPc-C60 and Fc-SiPc-C60, respectively. In Chapter 3, an efficient synthetic route that yielded regioselective oxidative porphyrin dimerization is presented. Using Cu2+ as the oxidant, meso-β doubly-connected fused porphyrin dimers were obtained in very high yields. Removal of the copper from the macrocycle affords a free base porphyrin dimer. This allows for exchange of metals and provides a route to a wider range of metallporphyrin dimers. In Chapter 4, the development of an efficient and an expedient route to bacteriopurpurin synthesis is discussed. Meso-10,20- diformylation of porphyrin was achieved and one-pot porphyrin diacrylate synthesis and cyclization to afford bacteriopurpurin was realized. The bacteriopurpurin had a reduction potential of - 0.85 V vs SCE and λmax, 845 nm.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Energy and electron transfer in photochromic molecules

Description

Photochromic molecules, which photoisomerize between two chemically and optically distinct states, are well suited for electron and energy transfer to covalently attached chromophores. This dissertation aims to manipulate electron and

Photochromic molecules, which photoisomerize between two chemically and optically distinct states, are well suited for electron and energy transfer to covalently attached chromophores. This dissertation aims to manipulate electron and energy transfer by photochromic control in a number of organic molecular systems. Herein the synthesis, characterization and function of these organic molecular systems will be described. Electron and energy transfer were quantified by the use of steady state absorbance and fluorescence, as well as time-resolved fluorescence and transient absorbance. A dithienylethene-porphrin-fullerene triad was synthesized to investigate photochromic control of photo-induced electron transfer. Control of two distinct electron transfer pathways was achieved by photochromic switching. A molecular dyad was synthesized, in which fluorescence was modulated by energy transfer by photoinduced isomerization. Also described is a triplet-triplet annihilation upconversion system that covalently attaches fluorophores to improve quantum yield. Overall these studies demonstrate complex molecular switching systems, which may lead to advancement in organic electronic applications and organic based artificial photosynthesis systems.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Synthesis of nitrogen heterocyclic compounds for therapeutic applications

Description

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are a series of molecules, ions, and radicals derived from oxygen that possess remarkable reactivity. They act as signaling molecules when their concentration in cells is

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are a series of molecules, ions, and radicals derived from oxygen that possess remarkable reactivity. They act as signaling molecules when their concentration in cells is within a normal range. When the levels of ROS increase, reaching a concentration in which the antioxidants cannot readily quench them, oxidative stress will affect the cells. These excessive levels of ROS result in direct or indirect ROS-mediated damage of proteins, nucleic acids, and lipids. Excessive oxidative stress, particularly in chronic inflammation, has been linked with mutations and carcinogenesis. One of the main targets of ROS in severe oxidative stress is mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). The synthesis of analogues of alpha-tocopherol is described as potential compounds with the ability to remediate defective mitochondria. An interesting possibility for eradicating cancer cells is to selectively target them with oxidative species while avoiding any deleterious effects on healthy cells. To accomplish this, analogues of the beta-hydroxyhistidine moiety of the antitumor agent bleomycin (BLM) were synthesized. The first part of this thesis focuses on the synthesis of simplified analogues of alpha-tocopherol. These analogues possess a bicyclic pyridinol as the antioxidant core and an alkyl group as the lipophilic chain to mimic alpha-tocopherol. Additionally, analogues with a completely oxidized pyridinol core were synthesized. Some of these analogues showed promising properties against ROS production and lipid peroxidation. The protection they conferred was shown to be tightly regulated by their concentration. The second part of this thesis focuses on the synthesis of analogues of beta-hydroxyhistidine. BLMs are glycopeptides that possess anticancer activity and have been used to treat testicular carcinomas, Hodgkin's lymphoma, and squamous cell carcinomas. The activity of BLM is based on the degradation of DNA, or possibly RNA, caused by a Fe(II)-BLM complex in the presence of O2. The beta-hydroxyhistidine moiety of BLM contributes to metal coordination via two ligands: the N-3 nitrogen atom of imidazole and possibly the nitrogen atom of the amide. A series of beta-hydroxyhistidine analogues has successfully been synthesized.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Design and synthesis of molecular models for photosynthetic photoprotection

Description

Most of the sunlight powering natural photosynthesis is absorbed by antenna arrays that transfer, and regulate the delivery of excitation energy to reaction centers in the chloroplast where photosynthesis takes

Most of the sunlight powering natural photosynthesis is absorbed by antenna arrays that transfer, and regulate the delivery of excitation energy to reaction centers in the chloroplast where photosynthesis takes place. Under intense sunlight the plants and certain organisms cannot fully utilize all of the sunlight received by antennas and excess redox species are formed which could potentially harm them. To prevent this, excess energy is dissipated by antennas before it reaches to the reaction centers to initiate electron transfer needed in the next steps of photosynthesis. This phenomenon is called non-photochemical quenching (NPQ). The mechanism of NPQ is not fully understood, but the process is believed to be initiated by a drop in the pH in thylakoid lumen in cells. This causes changes in otherwise nonresponsive energy acceptors which accept the excess energy, preventing oversensitization of the reaction center. To mimic this phenomenon and get insight into the mechanism of NPQ, a novel pH sensitive dye 3'6'-indolinorhodamine was designed and synthesized which in a neutral solution stays in a closed (colorless) form and does not absorb light while at low pH it opens (colored) and absorbs light. The absorption of the dye overlaps porphyrin emission, thus making energy transfer from the porphyrin to the dye thermodynamically possible. Several self-regulating molecular model systems were designed and synthesized consisting of this dye and zinc porphyrins organized on a hexaphenylbenzene framework to functionally mimic the role of the antenna in NPQ. When a dye-zinc porphyrin dyad is dissolved in an organic solvent, the zinc porphyrin antenna absorbs and emits light by normal photophysical processes. Time resolved fluorescence experiments using the single-photon-timing method with excitation at 425 nm and emission at 600 nm yielded a lifetime of 2.09 ns for the porphyrin first excited singlet state. When acetic acid is added to the solution of the dyad, the pH sensitive dye opens and quenches the zinc porphyrin emission decreasing the lifetime of the porphyrin first excited singlet state to 23 ps, and converting the excitation energy to heat. Under similar experimental conditions in a neutral solution, a model hexad containing the dye and five zinc porphyrins organized on a hexaphenylbenzene core decays exponentially with a time constant of 2.1 ns, which is essentially the same lifetime as observed for related monomeric zinc porphyrins. When a solution of the hexad is acidified, the dye opens and quenches all porphyrin first excited singlet states to <40 ps. This converts the excitation energy to heat and renders the porphyrins kinetically incompetent to readily donate electrons by photoinduced electron transfer, thereby mimicking the role of the antenna in photosynthetic photoprotection.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Combretastatin A-2 synthetic modifications

Description

Combretastatin A-4 (CA-4) represents one of the most promising antineoplastic and cancer vascular targeting stilbenes that have been isolated from the South African bush willow, Combretum Caffrum Kuntze. In

Combretastatin A-4 (CA-4) represents one of the most promising antineoplastic and cancer vascular targeting stilbenes that have been isolated from the South African bush willow, Combretum Caffrum Kuntze. In order to further explore the bioactivity of this molecule, a diiodo derivative of CA-4, as well as its phosphate prodrug, was synthesized and analyzed for its biological activity; although only a scale up synthesis of this compound was performed herein for ongoing analysis. In general, no increased specificity was noted for the human cancer cell lines. Antiangiogenic properties were similar to the untreated control. The diiodocombstatin was active against M. luteus, and its phosphate prodrugs were very active against N. gonorrhoeae. Combretastain A-2 is another biologically active stilbene isolated from Combretum Caffrum Kuntze. In an attempt to increase biological activity of this molecule both mono-iodo and diiodo derivatives have been partially synthesized. The initial step involving the iodination of piperonal utilizes a novel, cost effective and mild reaction. The iodo stilbenes were obtained via a Wittig reaction using phosphonium salts 25 and 27 along with 2,3-Bis-[tert-butyldimethylsiloxy]-4-methoxy benzaldehyde 29. Deprotection of the subsequent z-stilbenes, non-isolated mono-iodo stilbene and the diiodo 30 produced two synthetic objective z-stilbenes 16 and 17. Synthesis as well as biological analysis is ongoing.

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Date Created
  • 2011