Rachel R. VanAtta



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The purpose of this research was to perform an electrochemical study on the novel amino acid L-3,4-dihydroxyphenlyalanine (L-DOPA). Understanding the electrochemistry of L-DOPA would give insight into the electrochemistry of an adhesive protein isolated from the blue mussel (Mytilus edulis L). Cyclic voltammetry scans were conducted on solutions containing buffer, iron, and varied amounts of L-DOPA at pH values equal to 4.5, 7.2, and 10.2. A plot of the peak potentials (Ep) was used to determine the stoichiometric ratios of L-DOPA to Iron (Fe). The solutions at pH values equal to 4.5, 7.2, and 10.2 were also analyzed spectophotometrically, and an absorbance plot was used to determine the stoichiometric ratios of L-DOPA to Iron. The data indicated that the Fe3+/(L-DOPA) complex exhibited an intricate stoichiometry, and the stoichiometric ratios calculated from the plots were similar to the values published in the literature for Iron-catechol complexes. Also, it was determined from the shape of the absorbance plot indicated a large formation constant (Kf). The peak potentials confirmed that Fe3+ was strongly complexed by L-DOPA. Further research will explore the electrochemistry of the blue mussel adhesive protein, and the findings from the Fe3+ (L-DOPA) complex will be used as a basis when investigating the metal complexing capability of the mussel protein.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Capstone Project

Primary Advisor

Douglas C. Hansen

Primary Advisor's Department

Materials Degradation and Electrochemical Engineering (Research Institute-Materials Engineering)


Stander Symposium project

An Electrochemical Study of L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-dopa)