Luke Osborn '21

Luke Osborn

Major: Integrative Neuroscience
Bio: Luke Osborn moved from Connecticut to New York to pursue a degree in Neuroscience and his love of chemistry. He envisions going to medical school after graduating Fordham in hopes of becoming a research physician. He also dabbles in journalism.

Title of Research: The Antibacterial Activity of DABCO Salts
Mentors: Dr. Marie Thomas
Abstract: We synthesized three quaternary ammonium salts (QAS), which may be ionic liquids, to test their antimicrobial abilities when incorporated into polymers. These QASs had a 1,4- diazabicyclo[2.2.2]octane (DABCO) head, one or two alkyl chains, and one or two halide counterions. We hypothesized that salts with longer alkyl chains would have more of an antimicrobial effect than shorter chains. This is consistent with published reports regarding materials of this type, so we varied the length of the alkyl chain from seven to sixteen carbons. In addition to varying the chain, we also added a benzyl group to the other nitrogen, creating a dicationic structure. We tested the activity of three of these salts on two gram-negative bacteria, Escherichia coli and Escherichia aerogenes , and two gram-positive bacteria, Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus megaterium. The gram-positive bacteria were generally more susceptible to the DABCO compounds than the gram-negative bacteria, but the dicationic compound was most effective against the bacteria.