Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Eric Conte (Co-Director), Dr. Cathleen Webb (Co-Director), Dr. Rajalingam Dakshinarmurthy

Degree Program

Department of Chemistry

Degree Type

Master of Science


Zirconia is one of the most promising column packing materials for High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). The perfect HPLC support material should be energetically homogenous, have a high surface area on which different chemical species can reversibly attach and be physically and chemically stable over a wide range of pH, temperature and solvent conditions. Most existing supports do not have all of these properties. This project is also focused on a proteomics study. Zirconia, hafnium oxide and titanium oxide which are some of the more promising materials currently available, can be used for the separation and analysis of phosphorylated proteins. Adenosine triphosphate, Adenosine diphosphate and Adenosine monophosphate were used as prototypes for phosphorylated proteins. Separation, absorption, fluorescence and SEM studies were performed to determine the adsorption of Adenosine phosphates species at a particular pH on Zirconia. Zirconia was also used for the purification of Fibrinogen Growth Factor (FGF) protein, which are a family of growth factors involved in angiogenesis, wound healing, and embryonic development. The sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) technique was used to analyze the off-column purification and separation of this protein. This research suggests that, at acidic conditions, adenosine monophosphate has more favorable absorption on the Zirconia surface. On the other hand, the separation study suggests that basic conditions are more favorable for the absorption of ATP, ADP and AMP when mixed together on Zirconia 500. Furthermore, it was found that Zirconia is a very promising material for the purification of FGF protein.


Biochemistry | Materials Chemistry