Bioengineering tools made from DNA
Abstract: DNA is a unique polymer. It is the information storage molecule of all known life forms, and can be used to build up almost arbitrary structures and patterns from DNA. These structures can site-specifically be functionalized with a large variety of inorganic nanoparticles, small molecules or large biomolecules such as proteins and antibodies. Our group is leveraging this programmability to engineer nanoarchitectures and tools for applications in Biophysics, Molecular Biology, Nanophotonics and Nanomedicine.
In this seminar, I will describe the construction of material-efficient triangulated wireframe structures (see image) and shape changes induced by polymerase-assisted gaps of single-stranded domains. Next, I will show a block copolymer-based strategy to protect DNA-based structures from nucleases and low salt conditions for nanomedical applications, and a “next-generation” DNA synthesis method to cost-effectively amplify oligonucleotides from oligonucleotide libraries. These can be used as FISH probes, for gene synthesis, and to prototype DNA origami structures. Finally, I will present a nanoscale DNA-encircled lipid bilayer, which could become a versatile tool to study lipids, membrane proteins or membrane-associated proteins.
Host: Carlos Castro