Professor David Busath, Physiology and Biophysics
I was awarded a MEG in 2008 (with support continuing through 2009) for the project entitled “Biophysical Mechanism of Anesthetics.” The goals of the project were to measure the impact of volatile general anesthetics (isoflurane, sevoflurane, and desflurane) on:
- The axial rotation of fluorescent dyes that insert in different regions of lipid bilayers using fluorescence anisotropy.
- Percolation of microdomains (rafts) of liquid ordered phase floating in liquid disordered phase using confocal microscopy of dye-labeled giant unilamellar vesicles.
- Newly discovered internal gating of gramicidin A channels, known to be sensitive to hydrophobic mismatch.
- Alamethecin channel helix bundle splay, via conductance measurements, and oligomer integrity, using the Woodbury vesicle fusion method.
The first of these goals was defined as the principle focus for the two year period. Fluorescence anisotropy measurements successfully determined that isoflurane enhances rotation of a deep-sitting dye, DPH, but reduces it for a shallow dye, TMA-DPH. Undergradutes Steven Neely and Steven Nelson reported the results in a poster in the Biophysical Society and coauthored a publication that has now been accepted for publication in Biomed Central Biophysics.
The $20,000 fund was spent completely on wages for them and associated undergraduates and on supplies for the project.