MSc Thesis Presentation: The Creation of a Phytoglycogen-Functionalized SPR Sensor Surface and the Binding of Concanavalin A to Phytoglycogen

Date and Time


MACN 415


MSc Candidate

Kathleen Charlesworth


Phytoglycogen is a glucose polymer that occurs naturally in the form of highly branched, compact nanoparticles. Because of their tree-like or dendrimeric structure, phytoglycogen nanoparticles have unique properties, such as a strong interaction with water, which makes them attractive for use in applications ranging from cosmetics to drug delivery. Many of these applications rely on the binding of small molecules onto phytoglycogen nanoparticles. Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) is a sensitive experimental technique, based on the resonant absorption of light within an ultrathin gold film, that can be used to measure the binding kinetics and affinities of small molecules. I will discuss our success in creating a stable phytoglycogen-functionalized gold surface, using 4-Mercaptophenylboronic Acid as a linker between the gold layer and phytoglycogen. This success allowed us to use SPR to measure the association constant between phytoglycogen and Concanavalin A to be 2.87±0.44×105 M-1 using the Langmuir adsorption model fit.

Examination Committee

  • Dr. Xiaorong Qin, Chair
  • Dr. John Dutcher, Advisor
  • Dr. Michael Massa
  • Dr. Stefan Kycia

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