Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Robert Standaert

Committee Members

Aruna Kilaru, Ismail Kady


Phospholipid bilayers are the principal component of the cell membrane. Membranes ensure the maintenance of processes required for cells’ survival by regulating the inflow and outflow of nutrients and other molecules using membrane proteins. However, studying the cell membrane is challenging because of its complexity and small size. In-vitro membrane models made of phospholipids are important tools for studying membranes. In this work, we aim to study the fluidity of phospholipid bilayers of different lipids using general polarization (GP) of the fluorescent probe Laurdan as a measure. We will focus on the relative importance of head groups and fatty acids in the phospholipid. For this purpose, we are synthesizing chimeric lipids with the common human head group phosphocholine paired with bacterial fatty acids. We will compare the response of the human and chimeric lipids to temperature and biofuels to ascertain whether improved stress tolerance can be obtained with the chimeras.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.