Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Shahab Shamsi

Second Advisor

Kathryn Grant

Third Advisor

Samer Gozem


Short and medium-chain fatty acids (SMCFA) are known as essential metabolites found in gut microbiota that function as modulators in the development and progression of many inflammatory conditions as well as in the regulation of cell metabolism. Currently, there are few simple and low-cost analytical methods available for the determination of SMCFA. This work focuses on the identification and measurement of SMCFA in rat feces utilizing capillary electrophoresis with indirect photometric detection (CE-IPD). In chapter 2, several parameters are optimized for maximum resolution, efficiency, and signal-to-noise ratio of FAs. The developed CE-IPD method is next validated in chapter 3 to quantify the FAs in healthy rat feces. Application to a pilot study on the influences of developmental stages (adult vs. adolescent) and various drug treatments on fecal SMCFA concentration in rats demonstrates the proposed CE-IPD method is an efficient tool for investigations on biological functions of SMCFA in clinical laboratories.


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