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Progress Towards the Study of Metal Chelating Properties of Eumelanin-Inspired Molecules

Progress Towards the Study of Metal Chelating Properties of Eumelanin-Inspired Molecules

Name:
Victor Ekehchiadi

Department:
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Abstract:
Eumelanin is a type of melanin, which is a pigment that is produced by cells known as melanocytes in the skin of most animals, including humans. This pigment comes in different shades, depending on the genetic make-up of the individual. Melanin comes in two basic forms, and can range from yellowish-red to dark-brown. Eumelanin is the most common form of melanin, and is brownish in color. The purpose of my project was to synthesize Eumelanin inspired small molecules from vanillin, then proceed to binding different metal to the eumelanin inspired core molecule, and observe any structural and property changes that occurred. The purpose for using eumelanin inspired molecules was because of its known light absorbing and electrical properties. We proposed that upon binding of metals, the absorptive property would change due to a change in the structure, and give the molecule new properties. This could be used as a method of sensing metals. The number one objective for my project started with vanillin, using a series of stepwise reactions to synthesize the eumelanin inspired core molecule, which would be used as a method of sensing different metals. The eumelanin inspired core molecule has been synthesized; the next objective is to test the different structural and property changes that will occur by substitutions of different metal groups. The reason for expecting changes in the molecules structure and properties is because of it has well-known light absorbing properties and electrical properties.