SYNTHESIS AND APPLICATIONS OF DNA-BASED MATERIALS AT THE MESO AND MACROSCALE
Yancey, Kenneth Gene
DNA has commonly been viewed as a genetic material as opposed to a generic one. This is despite DNA’s potential to create new paradigms in materials using its unique properties which can’t be found in any other material. These properties are many but include the ability to code, store and replicate information in the form of proteins, self-modify by acting as a substrate for proteins, and create hybrid materials by binding proteins without degrading their activity. Traditionally, DNA’s use as a generic material has been barred from most applications because many require scales larger than the nanoscale. In order to address this, our goal involved the scale up of DNA from a traditionally nanoscale material to a meso and macroscale material. Towards this pursuit, a platform for the mesoscale synthesis of DNA was created, the DASH platform, as well as a platform for macroscale DNA synthesis, the metagel platform. The hope was to demonstrate that not only can these larger scale DNA materials be synthesized in a simple and practical manner, but that DNA has the potential to open new paradigms in functional materials because of the ability to utilize DNA’s useful nanoscale properties for meso and macroscale applications. Towards this goal, we demonstrated that our meso and macroscale platforms for DNA synthesis have potential in a wide array of applications including self-regenerating materials, cell-free protein expression, and protein immobilization and activity. We also included in depth studies in the area of detection of pathogens and diagnostic targets in the hopes of this work having real-world impact. By doing so, we demonstrated the ability of larger scale DNA materials to enable naked eye readout for low picomolar concentrations of targets and even for the detection of single nucleotide polymorphisms. It is our hope that this work will pave the foundation for future studies which will help realize DNA’s potential as a generic material rather than just a genetic one.
Cell-free; Biomedical engineering; Molecular biology; detection; DNA Materials; Protein Expression
Ma, Minglin; Putnam, David A.
Biological and Environmental Engineering
Ph. D., Biological and Environmental Engineering
Doctor of Philosophy
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
dissertation or thesis
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International