Publication Date

April 2015

Advisor(s)

Christina Othon

Major

Physics

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

Small molecular osmolytes are used in nature to stabilize solvated protein structures. Disaccharides such as trehalose and sucrose appear unique in protecting biological organisms from diverse physical stresses by effectively decreasing the dynamics of water molecules when solvated. This property has led to the widespread use of disaccharides in the cosmetic, pharmaceutical, and food industries, and even to customization of disaccharides to emphasize desirable features and substitute natural disaccharides, as seen in the employment of artificial sweetener sucralose. In order to identify which molecular traits are critical to the ability of a disaccharide as a strong bioprotectant, a variety of computational and experimental techniques with a wide range of time resolution was employed. Halogenation of disaccharide may greatly alter its biopreservation ability according to spectroscopic analysis comparing sucrose and sucralose, a result consistent with other literatures. Our computational analysis revealed that numerous molecular features including dipole moment and glycodisic link properties can be affected by halogenating disaccharides, the consequences of which are important to consider in the context of biomolecular interactions.

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