Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. Pharmaceutical Sciences


Chemistry and Biochemistry


College of Science & Mathematics


Caputo, Gregory A.

Committee Member 1

Vaden, Timothy D.

Committee Member 2

Perez, Lark J.


microbials, antimicrobial resistance, antimicrobial peptides, ionic liquids, ponericin L1


Peptide antibiotics


Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry


Non-traditional antimicrobials have been an area of great interest due to the increasing prevalence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in bacteria. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) & ionic liquids (ILs) are two examples that have been investigated as a potential solution. Most AMPs are naturally derived & exhibit high selectivity against bacterial targets over host cells. The venom-derived peptide, ponericin L1 from Neoponera goeldii, was used to investigate the role of cationic residues & net charge on peptide activity. Using both in vitro & microbiological methods, L1 peptide & derivatives exhibited an alpha-helical conformation with enhanced binding to lipid vesicles containing anionic lipids & low hemolytic activity. Net charge & identity of the cationic groups on the peptide were shown to play a significant role in antimicrobial activity. ILs have also been investigated in combination with antimicrobial compounds to fight AMR. Imidazolium chloride-based ILs with differing alkyl tails & commercially available antibiotics were used to examine the potential for synergistic effects on multiple bacteria. Analysis of the IL data indicates that length of the alkyl chain plays a crucial role in antimicrobial activity & cytotoxicity. A synergistic effect was exhibited while showing low cytotoxicity when tested in a mammalian cell culture model.