Honors Program

Midway Honors

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Sean Fox

Thesis Professor Department

Health Sciences

Thesis Reader(s)

Michelle Chandley, Laraine Powers


The prevalence of antibiotic resistant bacteria has made the choices for topical treatments for patients who experience burns wounds extremely limited. The Staphylococcus genus is naturally occurring in and on the human body but can become harmful once it enters the bloodstream. A novel antimicrobial gel has been shown by our laboratory to inhibit both the planktonic growth and biofilm formation of Staphylococcus aureus in previous studies. The antimicrobial gel is made of seven natural compounds including antioxidants (vitamin C and E). We wanted to examine the effects of the antimicrobial gel on numerous other Staphylococcal species because it is prevalent on the body and becomes harmful when the immune system is compromised. The species tested were Staphylococcus capitis, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and Staphylococcus saprophyticus. A planktonic broth challenge test, biofilm attachment test, and biofilm maturation test were all performed in order to test this hypothesis. These tests showed a significant inhibition of the Staphylococcus species as a result of the effects of the antimicrobial gel. The antimicrobial gel inhibited the attachment, maturation, and growth of Staphylococcus colonies in a 10% antimicrobial gel solution. The antimicrobial gel shows promise as an option in treating burn patients and should be considered in further testing for its uses in other areas of medicine.


East Tennessee State University

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Withheld

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