CMB Seminar: Lewis ‘Alex’ Rolband
September 28 | 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Title: Assessing the Biological Activities of DNA-Templated Silver Nanoclusters
Abstract: DNA and RNA are structurally and functionally diverse biopolymers that have shown promise in recent years as a powerful biomedical tool, in the form of nucleic acid nanotechnologies. The applications of these technologies include biosensing, diagnostics, cancer therapeutics, vaccines, and many more. A relatively unexplored area to which nucleic acid nanotechnology is being applied is the field of antibacterial research. By combining short DNA oligos with silver cations, folding the DNA into its proper secondary and tertiary structures, then reducing the silver, DNA may template the formation of few -atom silver nanoclusters (AgNCs). Silver has been well understood for centuries to be an effective antibacterial agent. Many silver nanostructures have been investigated for their potential efficacy as antibiotics. DNA-AgNCs have been shown to be effective at preventing bacterial growth in a variety of conditions. A unique feature of DNA-AgNCs is that, unlike many larger silver nanostructures which typically absorb light through surface plasmon resonance, AgNCs fluoresce in a manner dependent on the sequence and structure of the templating oligonucleotide(s). Due to the unique structure-function relationship of AgNCs, further investigations of their structures, optical properties, and antibacterial mechanisms are warranted. Here, a systematic investigation of four structurally related DNA-AgNCs optical and antibacterial properties will be presented, along with proposed next steps for the field.
Host: Sharonda LeBlanc