• Molecular level studies of the impact of poly (oxonorbornenes) on D. rerio. embryos

      Klutts, Jennifer N.; Rosenzweig, Zeev (2019)
      Poly (oxonorbornenes) (PONs) are amphiphilic cationic polymers that possess antimicrobial properties. Cationic polymers are proposed as an alternative to antimicrobial peptides and it is important to assess their impact on organisms. The two side chains of PONs that are responsible for these properties are a hydrophobic alkyl and a charged amine. In this study, we investigated how changing the amine/alkyl ratio and polymer length affects the activity of PONs on the model vertebrate organism, D. rerio. (zebrafish). Zebrafish embryo toxicity test were used to elucidate the LC50 of PONs. Whole-mount immunofluorescence with caspase-3 was used to analyze apoptotic cells. We hypothesize that PONs would interact with the cell membranes of embryos to induce toxicity and the level of toxicity would depend on the molecular structure of PONs. Our results indicate that increasing the hydrophobicity and polymer length decreases the viability of the embryos and number apoptotic cells in the embryos.