Date of Graduation

Summer 2012


Master of Science in Cell and Molecular Biology


Biomedical Sciences

Committee Chair

Robert DeLong


Cobalt hexamine, polyacrylic acid, RNA, nanocomplex, size, zeta potential, UV-Visible spectroscopy, bioactivity

Subject Categories

Medical Molecular Biology


Cobalt hexamine (Cohex) is a trivalent cation known for its strong condensing property towards DNA. The goal for this project is to use this trivalent cation and study its efficiency in condensing RNA to form RNA nanoparticles. In this process, a biologically active compound, polyacrylic acid (PAA) was used as a simplified single-stranded anionic polymer to model single-stranded RNA (ssRNA) and its interaction with Cohex was studied. The Cohex-PAA or Cohex-RNA complexes were further studied to understand any preliminary bioactivity. Using the DLLS and the Nanosight instruments, the formation of nanocomplexes of Cohex-PAA or Cohex-RNA were confirmed and each complex had distinctive properties. UV-Visible spectroscopic studies confirm the interaction between Cohex-PAA and Cohex-RNA. Preliminary bioactivity studies on the two complexes suggested that the Cohex-PAA nanocomplex has potential for anti-tumor activity, and the Cohex-RNA nanocomplex suggested some possible protection afforded to the RNA from RNase degradation. In conclusion, two complexes, namely, Cohex-PAA and Cohex-RNA, were characterized and their preliminary bioactivity was assessed.


© Sindhuri Venuturumilli

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