The extraction of alkyl pyridinium salts (APS) from Haliclona was performed to determine the exact monomeric structure of these polymeric alkyl pyridinium salts in nature, and to determine if they where cyclic. They where also studied to show the differences between extracted and synthetic poly-alkyl pyridinium salts, with respect to chain length, degree of polymerisation and activity. A synthetic method was developed to create monomers that would form short chain polymers that could then be used to form large polymers. Microwave irradiation was used to study the growth of the polymer chain within this microwave environment over different time courses. This study has been carried out for a range of monomer units, to find out how the polymerisation length varies with the changing of the monomer unit length. As well as variation in chain length being studied functionality has been studied with the addition of double bonds using palladium as a catalyst as well as the addition of methyl groups to form side chains. Oxygen and nitrogen have also been incorporated into the length of the alkyl chain. To study the pore forming properties electrophysiology was performed. It was found that the change in the potential of the cell membrane before, during and after application of a specific APS and it was shown that there was an increase in conductance. This showed a change in the structure of the cell membrane during the addition of APS. Whilst recording these results an observation of pore forming events was present however this did not prove that these are individual pores opening and closing. One final study of these alkyl pyridinium salts was undertaken, using atomic force microscopy. This study consisted of studying how they deposited on mica, followed by studying how the polymers changed the cell membrane. This final method not only showed that defined pores formed but the size was measurable for different concentrations.
|University of Aberdeen
|Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
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