This is a past event.
Dr. Caryn Heldt
Michigan Technological University
When a virus and an osmolyte come together, lots can happen
In this age of modern medicine, viral diseases continue to take the lives of millions of people. Our lab is focused on the use of osmolytes to control different aspects of virus particle associations. This talk will explore the many uses of osmolytes to inactivate, purify and detect virus particles. In particular, we have found that viruses can be inactivated by osmolytes. Since osmolytes are safe and naturally occurring compounds, this could lead to new therapeutic strategies for viral infections. Another use of osmolytes is in the purification of viral particles for vaccine production. Osmolytes can be used as flocculants by inducing hydrophobic interactions between virus particles that does not occur in most proteins. This allows for an easy separation of the virus from contaminating proteins, potentially reducing the cost of life saving vaccines. Our newest work explores how osmolytes induce flocculation to detect viruses in solution using gold nanoparticles. In the end, this talk will explore how the understanding of virus surface interactions can pave the way to the creation of a myriad of operations that will improve the health and wellbeing of people across the globe.