(516f) Electrophoresis Based Separation of DNA in Non-Templated Vs Liposome-Nanotemplated Agarose Gel: A Search to Design Transport Characteristics for Tissue Engineering Scaffold

Wagale, D., Tennessee Tech University
Sanders, J. R., Tennessee Technological University
Arce, P. E., Tennessee Technological University
Hydrogel polymers have tremendous applications in biomedical sciences such as tissue engineered scaffold, drug transport drug therapy, and as a biocompatible substitute of impaired and/or damaged human-body parts (for example, tissue engineered skin, cartilage, bones, ligament, etc.). Their high hydrophilicity and tunable permeability to molecular species and cells within their swollen matrices has warranted extensive investigations into a variety of applications in the health care. Agarose gel-based scaffolds are excellent potential candidates for this purpose. This research project focuses on synthesizing agarose hydrogels of different compositions and exploring the impact of the expected changes in porosity on separation of linear DNA. Towards this end, gels are prepared with different amounts of agarose and in the presence or absence of nano-sized liposomes that are used as templates. Using non-templated agarose gels or upon removal of the nano-template in the templated gels, a sample of DNA standards is loaded into the gels, and migration distances in response to an applied electric field are examined. Consistent with prior efforts, increasing the amount of agarose in the gels results in decreased mobility of the DNA standards through the gel. Efforts to explore the effects of the templating approach are being pursued. Towards this end, several modification and characterization techniques are being considered. A better understanding of the impact of these modifications on transport through the gels is expected to yield insight into ways to tune such hydrogels for specific applications.