Throughout the past weeks, I have once again attempted to receive approval for purchasing biosafety level one products by submitting my application to ATCC once again. Biosafety level one, is the lowest level of the four biosafety and is work that, typically, involve microbes with low rates of affecting the health of people or infecting them. While waiting for approval from ATCC, I have also reached out to an employee at a company called Morphotek in hopes of gaining some local assistance in the process of cell culturing and problem solving should any issues arise throughout the process of my research.
Along with reaching out to an employee at Morphotek, I have done further research on the natural products I will be working with. This week I have specifically focused on research on grape seed extract and its effect on the body. Grape seed extract is especially promising due to the high percentage of polyphenols found within the seed (60-70%), polyphenols are important due to their ability to act as nutraceutical agents (agents that an assist the body in treating and preventing disease). Grape seed extract has also seen a rise in popularity for treatments, due to its high amount of antioxidants; antioxidants have been linked to helping protect cells from being damaged- a result from unstable molecules which are also known as free radicals. The damage that is caused by these free radicals have been linked to cancer. Grape seed extract has many other characteristics that lead to it being a potential natural product that has anti cancer properties, such as flavonoids, catechin, and epicatechin. This combination makes grape seed extract an ideal candidate to have synergistic properties when combined with an IC50 chemotherapy drug such as cisplatin, when used as a treatment for patients with bladder cancer.
An article I found to be especially interesting and beneficial to my research, was on the molecular characterizations of grape seed extracts and its effects on chemically induced liver cancer, this study was both in vitro and in vivo. Although I will be working with bladder cancer, rather than liver cancer, this study was still helpful in gaining a better understanding of grape seed extract and its effects on cancer. I am really excited for the opportunity to work with grape seed extract this year.
Below is one of the results from the in vitro study they conducted: