Degree: Master of Science in Chemistry
Researcher: Mr. Pritesh Prasad
Thesis Title: Isolation and characterization of bioactive components of the marine sponge, Theonella
Principal Supervisor: Prof. William Aalbersberg
My research project aims at finding bioactive compounds from a marine sponge, family Halichondriidae. This involves extraction/isolation, purification and structure elucidation of the bioactive compound(s).
The extraction procedure employs liquid-liquid partitioning of the crude extract in order to obtain Hexane, Dichloromethane, Butan-2-ol and Methanol fractions. Further fractionation carried out by flash column chromatography follows bioassay (bioassay guided fractionation). The bioassay involves tests against Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VREF), Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), wild type Staphylococcus aureus (WTSA), Wild-type Candida albicans (WTCA) and Amphotericin B- resistant Candida albicans (ARCA). Brine Shrimp assay (general cytotoxicity) is also carried out for the crude and fractions. The bioactive extracts are further subjected to semi-preparative High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) for purifications followed by spectroscopic techniques (LC-MS, NMR) for structure elucidation.
In addition to the research project, I am also involved in the research carried out in collaboration with other universities and Research institutions.