Battling Oxidative Stress: The Effects of Nano-Antioxidants on Saccharomyces cerevisiae’s Response to Oxidizing Agent Exposure

By Catherine Diyakonov
Intermediate Category (Grades 9-10)
Experiment | Biology, Chemistry

Oxidative stress is defined as the imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body, commonly leading to cell and tissue damage. Although oxidative stress occurs naturally as part of the aging process, it can contribute to a variety of chronic conditions including neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Nano-antioxidants have been involved in several research projects, but there haven’t been any experiments regarding mixes of nano-antioxidants and their effects on oxidative stress. I used Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model organism, created a base solution to ensure proper growth of the organism, and induced oxidative stress with hydrogen peroxide as necessary.

I experimented with three nano-antioxidants: C60 Fullerene, MitoQ, and Silver Nanoparticles. Not only would these nano-antioxidants be tested separately, but they would also be tested in combinations, making a total of six solutions. Each of these six solutions would then be tested in three concentrations (0.05 mg/mL. 0.225 mg/mL, and 0.5 mg/mL). This made a total of 18 solutions which were essentially going to be tested upon. I had two control groups: one being that of yeast and the base solution, and the other being yeast, the base solution, and hydrogen peroxide. I had five groups within each of the six nano-antioxidant solutions, performing five trials on these solutions. I measured the optical density of each solution using a handheld colorimeter just after the samples were made, as well as after 24 hours, taking the difference. Hence, the greater the difference, the “better” the solutions performed.

I gathered my data and analyzed it in a variety of media including tables and graphs. In addition, I statistically analyzed my data using a one-way ANOVA test and found that C60 Fullerene had a p-value of < 0.00001, making the result significant at p < 0.01. The f-statistic was greater than the critical value, and I therefore rejected the null hypothesis. The C60 Fullerene and MitoQ solution also had a p-value of < 0.00001, making the result significant at p < 0.01. I rejected the null hypothesis because the f-statistic was greater than the critical value, meaning that there was an extremely low chance of error, and our results were statistically significant. There was a significant difference in our nano-antioxidant mixes compared to the control groups, a result I can continue to research upon. This research project demonstrated that the use of nano-antioxidant solutions in the treatment of oxidative stress related diseases is very likely, and I am looking forward to continue my research.

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