adeLAZER
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Questions about "Tiny Titans: Can Silver Nanoparticles Neutralize E. coli Bacteria?"

Postby adeLAZER » Thu Sep 10, 2020 10:44 am

Hello! I am a grade 12 student currently starting her thesis.
My group & I became interested in one of the projects found here having to do with silver nanoparticles & E. Coli bacteria. We would like to replicate this project & maybe even add a little twist! (chicks!) But we need some guidance as to how to go about it. The idea to add chicks came from another potential topic (we are still on the proposal part of thesis writing) & we are hoping that we can somehow merge the two ideas together.
It does come with some questions though. We do not know if any of the materials we will need to be using will harm the chicks. And since none of us are planning to keep the chickens after experimentation, we are not sure where they should go. And hopefully we will not experience any deaths but in the case we do, we are unsure on what we would have to do. And we don't even know how to actually incorporate the project and the chicks together.
We'd also like to know if it is possible to omit E. Coli from the kit that is recommended on the project's page & if this will in turn lower the kit's cost, because we are going to use yeast as a substitute in place of the E. Coli bacteria instead.
Thank you! I hope you'll be able to guide us!


[Administrator's note: Project: https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science- ... i-bacteria
The kit is only sold as a complete kit.]

jcanno17
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Re: Questions about "Tiny Titans: Can Silver Nanoparticles Neutralize E. coli Bacteria?"

Postby jcanno17 » Fri Sep 11, 2020 8:52 pm

Hi adeLAZER,

While I think testing the effects of different silver concentration on yeast growth would be super interesting, this kit will most likely not provide any usable materials for you. Bacteria are typically grown on Luria agar (often referred to as LB) and eukaryotic microorganisms, such as yeast, are grown on different media types such as YEP agar. The plates in the kit are most likely LB plates with the silver already present in the agar which would make the kit only usable for bacterial species.

As far as using chicks in the experiment, I would suggest not using live vertebrate animals in any experimentation, especially ones that has to do with microorganisms. Animal work in relation to bacteria takes very specialized training and there are very specific, humane ways the animals need to be treated during and at the end of experimentation.

If you search "yeast" on the science fair project idea page, you will find a ton of really interesting experiments that may be better suited for experimentation with yeast. Yeast can also be easily obtained at supermarkets (in the baking isle) and you can incorporate food too which is always a bonus!

adeLAZER
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Re: Questions about "Tiny Titans: Can Silver Nanoparticles Neutralize E. coli Bacteria?"

Postby adeLAZER » Sat Sep 12, 2020 1:18 am

Oh! We were not aware of the different types of agar plates. Would you mind elaborating on these different kinds of plates? And if we use the right type of agar plates, would it be expected that the silver nanoparticles will be able to kill the yeast?
And thank you for suggesting other projects that are better suited for experimentation with yeast, we will surely look into them! Though we are still interested in replicating the silver nanoparticles experiment. Would you recommend any other types of cheaper, possibly more accessible bacteria that can substitute E. Coli for the project?
Thank you for your response! :D

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Re: Questions about "Tiny Titans: Can Silver Nanoparticles Neutralize E. coli Bacteria?"

Postby carolynml » Sat Sep 12, 2020 11:42 am

Hi adeLAZER,

jcanno17 made a good point about the agar plates. Different plates are used for different types of microorganisms based on the nutritional requirements of that particular strain/species. A key distinction between LB and YEP agar is that YEP agar is supplemented with glucose, which is critical for yeast to grow.

Using the right type of agar plates is important because you want to be sure that the reason the yeast do not grow is because of the silver nanoparticles rather than insufficient nutrients. This is why, regardless of whether you use yeast or bacteria, it is important to have a control group of microbes grown on the appropriate plates without the silver nanoparticles, in addition to the experimental group in which the microbes are grown with the nanoparticles. The type of agar used will affect how well the yeast grow, but that in and of itself will not necessarily inform how the silver nanoparticles will impact the yeast.

If you are interested in replicating the silver nanoparticles experiment with bacteria, I would suggest using the kit rather than looking for a different bacteria. As far as bacteria go, E. coli is one of the more affordable and accessible species to obtain, and it is commonly used in biological research. There are many different strains E. coli, and they vary in their pathogenicity. The strain you would get with the kit is probably going to be your best bet because it is likely safe for you to work with.

Good luck with your project, and feel free to reach out if you have more questions!

adeLAZER
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Re: Questions about "Tiny Titans: Can Silver Nanoparticles Neutralize E. coli Bacteria?"

Postby adeLAZER » Sun Sep 13, 2020 5:54 am

I see, thank you so much for the explanations! My group & I have decided that we are going to use bacteria instead of yeast instead. I understand now that the E. Coli bacteria from the kit may be the best for us to use, but the idea to collect bacteria from the toilet (or any other surface that contains a lot of bacteria) has also come up within our group. Would it be wise to proceed with this kind of method to get bacteria instead? Though I assume now that it may cause problems when it comes to the right type of agar plates to use.

We would also like to ask if it is okay to use sulfur nanoparticles in place of the silver nanoparticles since it is more accessible to us. Or maybe you would suggest other types of nanoparticles that are more suitable than sulfur? Thank you so much again!

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Re: Questions about "Tiny Titans: Can Silver Nanoparticles Neutralize E. coli Bacteria?"

Postby brandimiller610 » Sun Sep 13, 2020 11:16 am

Hi adeLAZER,

These are very good questions! It sounds like you have really developed a good scientific question here, and the work now is determining what is feasible with the resources you have. I think choosing bacteria alone is a good choice, but I think you should stick to the E. coli that is in the kit. Collecting bacteria from a random surface adds a lot of extra variables to your experiment. First, you would have to isolate the strains of bacteria that grow on the initial agar plates in order to get pure bacterial colonies. As you mentioned in your previous comment, you would have to experiment with different types of agar/medium to ensure they grow and then use microbiological techniques to identify the strains (i.e. Gram staining, microscopy, etc -- you can Google "simple techniques to identify bacteria" if you are curious). You would not be able to guarantee that you have E. coli strains and there is also the possibility that fungi or molds could grow on your plates -- depending on the surface that you collect from. The point is, there would just be a lot of variability.

In regard to your second question, I believe it is okay to use sulfur nanoparticles rather than silver, if that is what is more easily accessible to you. There is a lot of ongoing research related to the potential antibacterial and therapeutic properties of metallic nanoparticles (i.e. silver, iron oxide) as well as non-metallic sulfur nanoparticles (I did a quick Google search to find some scientific manuscripts related to the use of various nanoparticles as antibacterial agents). With that being said, I don't think any one type of nanoparticle is more suitable (or "better") than the other. Understanding the antibacterial properties of a wide scope of nanoparticles is important for the development of drug therapies.

I hope I have helped answer your questions. Please feel free to reach out with any more questions, should they come up, or if you need clarification! Good luck with your project!


--Brandi

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Re: Questions about "Tiny Titans: Can Silver Nanoparticles Neutralize E. coli Bacteria?"

Postby Kahki » Tue Sep 29, 2020 2:40 am

Good day, I am adeLAZER's team mate. We were already in the process of finalizing our chapter 1 but our adviser strongly recommended that we find a way to innovate it. Since testing the effectivity of silver even at different seems rather redundant. On the other hand, we tried entertaining the idea of using sulphur instead of silver but decided against it because not much research has been done about it. With that said, we were thinking of introducing a new substance, like combining nanosilver with an x product(as outrageous as toothpaste :cry: ) then test if it's still effective. However, since we are dealing with chemicals, that can result to more problems rather than solutions. Right now, we are desperate for new insight. Something to make it more original perhaps by using another bacteria to test it. But that also leads to another problem because we are hampered down by the pandemic. That is not to say that getting the equipments needed can not be done but that it would prove to be difficult. Another factor that is helping us right now is that we have another member whose father works as a medical supplier. By the way, we are still pursuing the idea of testing the efficacy of nanosilver on E. coli. I hope that can give you more variables to work with. Your expertise is greatly needed.

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Re: Questions about "Tiny Titans: Can Silver Nanoparticles Neutralize E. coli Bacteria?"

Postby Kahki » Wed Sep 30, 2020 8:28 pm

Kahki wrote:Good day, I am adeLAZER's team mate. We were already in the process of finalizing our chapter 1 but our adviser strongly recommended that we find a way to innovate it. Since testing the effectivity of silver even at different seems rather redundant. On the other hand, we tried entertaining the idea of using sulphur instead of silver but decided against it because not much research has been done about it. With that said, we were thinking of introducing a new substance, like combining nanosilver with an x product(as outrageous as toothpaste :cry: ) then test if it's still effective. However, since we are dealing with chemicals, that can result to more problems rather than solutions. Right now, we are desperate for new insight. Something to make it more original perhaps by using another bacteria to test it. But that also leads to another problem because we are hampered down by the pandemic. That is not to say that getting the equipments needed can not be done but that it would prove to be difficult. Another factor that is helping us right now is that we have another member whose father works as a medical supplier. By the way, we are still pursuing the idea of testing the efficacy of nanosilver on E. coli. I hope that can give you more variables to work with. Your expertise is greatly needed.


Update: Do you think it's possible to synthesize Silver Nanoparticles (or even Copper Nanoparticles) without a laboratory?

brandimiller610
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Re: Questions about "Tiny Titans: Can Silver Nanoparticles Neutralize E. coli Bacteria?"

Postby brandimiller610 » Mon Oct 05, 2020 12:20 pm

Hi Kahki,

Thank you for the follow-up question and concerns regarding your project. Because there is already a lot of research available regarding the efficacy of nanosilver particles on the neutralization of E. coli, I think it would be interesting to explore the effects of other nanoparticles on E. coli growth. Or, you could use silver nanoparticles with other bacterial strains; however, this might be more difficult depending on the biohazards set in place at your lab (i.e. are you allowed to work with pathogenic strains?). If you are, you could expand and use different strains of E. coli and test the efficacy of nanoparticles on those strains. I am not sure how limited your resources are, but I understand that the pandemic may affect your access to additional resources. But I think it is important to expand your project in either of these directions so that your research is more novel. You should still test the effectiveness of nanosilver particles on E. coli though so that you can compare your findings to the available literature.

To answer your "update" question, nanoparticle synthesis should not occur outside of a laboratory due to the risks and high toxicity that are associated with these procedures and the chemicals involved. Many chemicals pose risks to humans and the environment in which you are working.

I hope I have been able to help and answer your question. Please do follow-up if I have not or you just need some clarification. Good luck!

--Brandi

adeLAZER
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Is it necessary for filter paper discs to be sterilized?

Postby adeLAZER » Tue Feb 02, 2021 3:00 am

Hello!
I am a grade 12 student working on her thesis which includes an experiment involving an antibacterial sensitivity test. I unfortunately couldn't get my hands on antibacterial sensitivity discs/filter paper discs so I decided that I'll just be making them myself. I used coffee filters & a 6mm hole puncher to create the discs & I was wondering if I have to sterilize these discs? My only option now is a pressure cooker since I don't have access to an autoclave. But looking around on the internet, I found some people say that discs don't need to be sterilized if they are just going to be dipped in an antiseptic anyway. In my experiment, I'll be testing the sensitivity of bacteria to colloidal silver (in different concentrations) which will be the antibacterial solution being tested in the experiment. Since I'll be dipping the discs in the colloidal silver solutions anyway, is it still necessary for me to steam them in a pressure cooker?
Thank you so much, I await your response!

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Re: Questions about "Tiny Titans: Can Silver Nanoparticles Neutralize E. coli Bacteria?"

Postby MadelineB » Tue Feb 02, 2021 2:19 pm

Hello adeLAZER,

Your latest post looks to be about the same project so I've merged this post into that thread. Science Buddies requests that you keep posts about the same project together since this makes it much easier for the experts who have been helping you (and familiar with your project) see that you have a follow-up question.

Thank you and good luck with your project.

Madeline

brandimiller610
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Re: Questions about "Tiny Titans: Can Silver Nanoparticles Neutralize E. coli Bacteria?"

Postby brandimiller610 » Tue Feb 02, 2021 4:43 pm

Hi adeLAZER,

Thank you for your question!

During the antibiotic/antibacterial susceptibility test, it is absolutely important to ensure that aseptic techniques are used. You want to eliminate or minimize the risk of getting contaminants on your discs. The presence of any contaminants on your disks may interfere with the performance of the antibiotics or antiseptics on your discs. With that being said, I believe you should take the time to sterilize them. Since you don't have access to an autoclave, I believe that a pressure cooker will be sufficient.

I hope I have helped answer your question! If more questions come up, please feel free to respond on this forum. Good luck with your project!

--Brandi


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