Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Synthesis and Functionalization of Gold Nanoparticles Using Chemically Modified ssDNA Public Deposited

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  • In the first part of this thesis, methods for functionalizing spherical gold nanoparticles with nucleic acid binding ligands (aptamers) that target the VEGF receptor complex were developed. In order to provide a multiplexed labeling strategy for imaging the VEGF receptor complex in electron microscopy, gold nanoparticles of distinct sizes were conjugated to modified ssDNA aptamers that target the VEGF-A cytokine, the VEGFR-2 RTK receptor and a membrane associated co-receptor, Nrp-1. The modified ssDNA gold nanoparticle conjugates were applied to a human lung carcinoma cell line (A549) which has been shown to express each of these proteins and used as a model system for VEGF signaling. Binding constants for the modified aptamers were also determined using a fluorescence polarization anisotropy assay to determine KD and KOFF for the aptamers with their respective proteins.

    In the latter part of this thesis, a modied ssDNA SELEX protocol was also developed in order to evolve imidazole modied ssDNA sequences that assemble gold nanoparticles from Au3+ precursor ions in aqueous solution. Active sequences bound to nanoparticles were partitioned from inactive sequences based on density via ultracentrifugation through a discontinuous sucrose gradient. Colloidal gold solutions produced by the evolved pool had a distinct absorbance spectra and produced nanoparticles with a narrower distribution of sizes compared to colloidal gold solutions produced by the starting randomized pool of imidazole modified ssDNA. Sequencing data from the evolved pool shows that conserved 5 and 6 nt motifs were shared amongst many of the isolates, which indicates that these motifs could serve as chelation sites for gold atoms or help stabilize colloidal gold solutions in a base specific manner.

Date Issued
  • 2014-01-01
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  • 2020-02-06
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