The Effects of Amphotericin B on Erythrocyte Membrane Transport

Michael Fecher, Junior from Goshen, Indiana
Dr. James Miller, Professor of Biology

A great amount of life as we know it depends on a little wall that is 7 nanometers wide: the cell membrane. It keeps us alive by protecting our cells. It is also a prominent biological target in medical treatment for infectious diseases from malaria, to fungal infections, to strep throat. This project explores cell membrane physiology and biochemistry of the antifungal drug Amphotericin B. Amphotericin is a potent antifungal that is also toxic to the human cells. This study used donkey, chicken, and turkey red blood cells to observe the effects of amphotericin on membrane permeability to various nonelectrolytes. This may elucidate some of the details of amphotericin’s chemotherapeutic properties and its interaction with human cells.