Document Type

Honors Thesis


There are several types of cancer treatments, but, unfortunately, many types also target healthy, non-tumorous cells. This possible treatment therapy would only target cancerous cells with the use of the nanoparticle Copper Cysteamine (CuCy) and its effects on the polyamine known as putrescine. Putrescine is a positively charged cation that plays an important role in balancing out negatively charged components of our cells, such as DNA, RNA, and proteins. Though usually tightly controlled by feedback mechanisms, putrescine in cancerous cells is at unnaturally high levels. This experiment looks at using CuCy to lower the levels of putrescine in a cell as a possible new form of cancer treatment. Variables such as pH, varying concentrations, temperature changes, etc. will also be observed. Changes will be measured via absorbance peaks from a UV-Vis spectrometer and using Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy. CuCy was found to be a possible influential factor in controlling putrescine levels in certain environments. Future studies could test this relationship with other polyamines that are naturally present in the body and further establish this relationship with cell study.

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