(357ah) Integration of Nanoparticles and DNA Nanotechnology with Applications in Energy and Imaging | AIChE

(357ah) Integration of Nanoparticles and DNA Nanotechnology with Applications in Energy and Imaging


Jergens, E. - Presenter, The Ohio State University
Winter, J., Ohio State University
Current Research

The basic definition of DNA nanotechnology is the creation of artificial structures made of nucleic acids which while accurate, does not successfully capture the complexity and variety of the structures that can be made with four simple building blocks. The novelty of DNA nanostructures comes from a variety of assembly methods allowing for the creation of static and dynamic systems which can be used in fundamental or application-based studies. Additionally, DNA nanotechnology is inherently biocompatible and stable in the standard buffers used for drug delivery and imaging applications. Here, two different applications that integrate nanoparticles (NPs) and DNA nanotechnology are described.

DNA origami designed to fold into hinge like shapes were designed by our collaborator Dr Carlos Castro for NP organization and energy storage. The hinges are designed to have fully customizable overhangs on each arm allowing for one or two NPs to bind as a result. I have been working with conjugation single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) to the surface of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) and superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) and their integration with these hinges. Single bound AuNP hinge constructs of are interest in energy storage applications while double bound hinges with AuNPs and SPIONs are of interest in self-healing materials.

DNA caged micelles is our name for the integration of DNA tile structures with polymer micelles used to encapsulate fluorescent and colormetric dyes. The DNA tiles used were originally designed by Kurokawa et al1 which we have modified with overhangs designed for attachment to ssDNA and DNA modified antibodies. After the DNA cages bind to the desired target, the process of strand displacement is used to remove the signal. Strand displacement is the process of replacing one DNA strand with another that has more complimentary base pairs. We have been able to create an erasing labeling system in solution and on fixed cells with repeated cycles. Currently, work is still being conducted with tissue slices as process optimization continues.

Research Interests

The work that I have conducted in my PhD studies has given me a chance to work collaboratively with others in a variety of fields such as other engineering disciplines and medical professionals. Additionally, I have created my own experimental designs and applied process engineering techniques for process optimization problems. In the future, I am interested in working on collaborative research that is fundamental or application based like that of my PhD studies.

Areas of Interest: Polymers, nanomaterials, drug creation and delivery

1 Kurokawa, C. et al. DNA cytoskeleton for stabilizing artificial cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 114, 7228-7233, doi:10.1073/pnas.1702208114 (2017).