Publication Date

Spring 2011

Document Type

Project Summary

Degree Name

Master of Science


Analytical Chemistry

First Advisor

Walter Henne, Jr., Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Patty Fu-Giles, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Stephen Kent, M.B.A.


The aim was to detect cancer cells by using folate–PEG-Biotin probe with fluorescently labeled streptavidin for targeted drug delivery of anti-cancer drugs and diagnose cancer cells. Folate-PEG-Biotin (synthesized by Dr. Henne and Mr.Rohan Patel) was purified by HighPeformanceLiquidChromatography (HPLC) analysis and with the help of Liquid Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (LC/MS) its identity was confirmed. Folate is a basic composition of cell metabolism in both synthesis of DNA and proteins. Growing cancer cells require high level of folic acid. Folate Receptor-α (FR-α) is a membrane bound protein having high affinity for folic acid and serves to transport of folate into cells. Poly ethylene glycol work as spacer and reduce the steric hindrance between peptide and biotin. Biotin is a B-complex vitamin, which is having highest non-covalent affinity to streptavidin. Streptavidin biotin conjugate with folate helps in identifying and detection of cancer cells. We used fluorescently labeled streptavidin and incorporated it with Folate-PEG-Biotin Probe to detect cancer cells. We also studied cell capture by adding fluorescently labeled streptavidin along with 1000-fold excess of folic acid. This work was collaborated with Dr. Tim Gsell by using his high-resolution camera capable of capturing multi-fluorophore fluorescent images. Based on this study, further studies may include incorporation of releasable specific Anti-cancer drug to folate-PEG probe.