Analytical Services Laboratory
Current Faculty Projects

I.a.       “Enhancing Economic Opportunities of Tobacco Impacted Communities Through Alternative Agricultural Enterprises and Business Management”, P.I.  Dr. M. Ray McKinnie, Co-P.I.’s Dr. Anthony Yeboah and Dr. Vestel B. Shirley,.  Tobacco farmers are given financial assistance and training for alternative cash crop startups since their quotas are shrinking on a yearly basis.  The heaviest ASL involvement is with the plants group and analyses will fall into two categories – herbicide and pesticide screening and medicinal herb extract quality. The protocols for medicinal herb analysis use gradient-HPLC almost exclusively and PDA for their commercially available or custom built spectral libraries and the PDA ability to detect chemical homologues. 

I.b.    Use of immobilized Bifidobacterium bifidum to produce value-added products Shahbazi, A. and S. Ibrahim, A bioreactor consisting of a spirally wound sheet of polymeric material is being utilized for the production of lactic acid from the lactose in cheese whey. This byproduct of cheese production contains proteins with antimicrobial activity. One goal of this project is to characterize these proteins.  ASL will separate the proteins and render their structure and/or genealogy with NMR and LC/ESI/MS at an off-campus site. 

I.c.          Use of Constructed Wetlands to Treat Swine Waste and Organic Pollutants for Water Quality, P.I. Reddy, G.B.: ASL performs TKN-Nitrogen, inorganic ammonium, orthophosphate, total and available copper and zinc analysis for the wetlands project.  A microcosm wetlands has recently been constructed to test the effectiveness of a wetlands for remediating select pesticides and herbicides.  ASL will perform these analyses by GC/NPD, GC/ECD, and GC/MS (general scan and selected ion monitoring). 

I.d.   Novel Approach to produce lactose-free dairy Products, P.I. Ibrahim, S., Co-I Shahbazi, A., Co-I Shirley, V., This project will utilize the Spiral Sheet Bioreactor operating at 4oC to convert lactose - contrary to current methods that require ambient and supra-ambient temperatures. Many of the glycoproteins in milk, such as lactoferrin, beta-casein, and glycomacropeptide, have health benefits to humans.  What is not known is whether these glycoproteins with health benefits retain their structural integrity in this bacterial conversion of lactose. To that end, ASL will make NMR comparisons of proteins undergoing the experimental  (microbial lactose transformation) and control (no transformation) processes. 

I.e.            Upscale Pork Markets for Small Scale Hog Producers, P.I., Dr. C.W. Talbott (NCATSU), Carolyn Prince (NC Coalition of Farms and Rural Families - NCCFRF), S. Muntz, (Heifer Project International), The goal of this project is to assist small scale, limited resource tobacco farmers into producing upscale pork for niche markets - meat flavor enhancement through diet, genetics, management systems, as well as environment. Diet changes are reflected in phospholipid and fatty acid differences. Gas chromatographic analysis (FAME) will be done by ASL on these meats nourished by different diets.  

I.f.           Chemical Quality of Commercial Margarines and Cardiovascular Health. P.I., Dr. Mohamed Ahmedna, Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (FAME) analysis by GC/FID after ester derivitization of commercially available margarines.  ASL is training the graduate and undergraduate students participating in these projects and performing the analyses when time and/or analytical degree of difficulty does not permit the students to complete the task.

I.h.   IGM Receptor – Fc Receptor Gene Expression and Regulation in Cows. P.I., Dr. Worku, M., ASL will aid IGM Receptor site characterization by NMR analysis.

I.i.   Edible And Medicinal Mushroom Farming In North Carolina – A Cash Crop For The Future, P.I. Isikhuemhen, O.,  Many mushroom species have been shown to boost heart health; lower the risk of cancer, promote immune function; ward off viruses, bacteria, and reduce inflammation. This project is to conduct further research on mushroom production techniques, work with North Carolina tobacco farmers. This is a new project.  Expectations of ASL have not as yet been determined.

I.k.   Methodology in Soil, Plant and Water Analysis. SLSC-717. Credit(0-6). A study of principles involved in the analysis of soil, plants, and water.  Experiments vary according to instructor’s needs.  

I.n.   Agricultural Chemicals. NARS-603. Credit 3(2-2). Natural Resources and Environmental Design (SAES). This course is a study of the important chemical pesticides and growth regulators used in the production of economic plants. Herbicide and pesticide extraction and analysis are performed by the students.  Extractions are typically done by Solid Phase Extraction (SPE) and instrumental analysis by GC/ECD, GC/NPD or GC/MS/SIM.

I.o.       EASC 622:  Waste Management: Metals analysis by ICP/AES and Organic analysis by GC/MS.

I.p.       EASC 621: Soil Microbiology Lab: ammonia & nitrite/nitrate analysis by FIA.

I.q.       EASC 717:    Soil Science Lab(methodology in soil, plant and water analysis): Elemental analysis with drinking water and runoff water using ICP/AES and Metolachlor extraction & analysis of soil and water by GC/MS. 

In addition to these courses, ASL staff taught a GC/MS lab for the undergraduate instrumental analysis course  in the Chemistry Department while their lab was closed for renovations.

Return to the Analytical Services Laboratory Web Site