Date of Graduation

Spring 2010


Master of Science in Cell and Molecular Biology


Biomedical Sciences

Committee Chair

Robert DeLong


manganese, nanorods, poly i:c rna, rna therapeutics, pamam, dendrimer

Subject Categories

Medical Molecular Biology


In this study, manganese oxide (MnO) nanorods were analyzed as potential nucleic acid delivery agents. Manganese is found naturally in cells and therefore materials derived from manganese have the potential to be very biocompatible. Attaching macromolecular nucleic acids to nanomaterials for therapeutic or diagnostic applications is one of the more recent uses of nanomaterials in biomedicine. Nucleic acids have a powerful influence over cell processes, such as gene transcription and RNA processing. However, RNA and DNA are unstable and susceptible to rapid degradation, so it is difficult to not only maintain the structure and function, but also to transport these molecules across the cell membrane. To address some of these challenges, polyamido amine (PAMAM), was used to attach polyinosinic:polycytidylic RNA onto MnO nanorods. PAMAM is a cationic, branching dendrimer known to form strong complexes with nucleic acids and protect them from degradation, and is also considered a cell-penetrating material. The data suggest that RNA was successfully attached to the MnO nanorods using PAMAM. Analyses were performed for the MnO nanorods' composition using energy dispersive microanalysis, their zeta potential using dynamic laser light scattering (DLLS), and their morphology using electron microscopy. Evidence was generated for RNA:PAMAM:nanorod binding by a gel shift assay using gel electrophoresis, a sedimentation assay using UV spectroscopy, and zeta potential shifts using DLLS.


© Brooke Danielle Parker

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