Polymer Template of DNA Holds Promise for Biomedical Applications | AIChE

Polymer Template of DNA Holds Promise for Biomedical Applications


A new polymer that acts as a template for DNA can sense particular genetic sequences that might foretell disease.

The polymer is a synthetic complement to a string of six nucleobases, the molecules that encode information in DNA. Using molecular imprinting, researchers from the Institute of Physical Chemistry (IPC) of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAS) created a polymer template that binds to a specific sequence of DNA. The template could be used as a probe to detect important genetic markers valuable for biomedical research, drug development, clinical diagnosis, disease therapy, evolutionary studies, and forensic science.


A polymer negative of the DNA sequence shown in this model is chemically active and able to bind complementary nucleobases. It could be used to determine a person’s predisposition to a genetic disease. Image courtesy of IPC PAS.

Although molecular imprinting is not a new technique, this is the first time it has been used to template DNA. The imprinting process involves mixing the molecules that are to be imprinted into a solution of monomers. The monomers are selected so that they automatically arrange themselves around the...

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