A Capstone Laboratory theme investigating properties of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and their solubilization by cationic surfactant micelles

Biochem Mol Biol Educ. 2022 Jan 13. doi: 10.1002/bmb.21602. Online ahead of print.


Research experience is becoming an increasingly crucial element of today's undergraduate science curriculum. In recent years, the establishment of the Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience Network (CUREnet) has provided a framework for the development of courses aiming to cultivate students' proficiency in undergraduate research techniques while fostering scientific curiosity in a laboratory setting. Capstone Laboratory is one such course that was designed to provide second-year pre-medical students at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar with exposure to laboratory techniques to develop their repertoire of research skills. For the past 3 years, Capstone Laboratory has incorporated a project-based learning component involving non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). The research element of the NSAID-surfactant theme investigated the partitioning of various drugs into cationic surfactant micelles. Structural elements and enzyme inhibition characteristics of NSAIDs were also investigated, while integrating principles of biochemistry, general chemistry, and experimental organic chemistry. By studying drug properties in these contexts, students integrate their learning and develop skills needed for the study and practice of medicine.

Keywords: non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; semi-equilibrium dialysis; surfactants.