Date of Graduation

Fall 2012


Master of Science in Chemistry


Chemistry and Biochemistry

Committee Chair

Bhaskar Datta


The ability of some unique DNA sequences to act as templates for metal ions and for organization of metal nanoparticle is investigated in this study. My two main objectives were to develop (synthesize, characterize) DNA sequences that have a novel quadruplex structural motif that offers non-electrostatic binding site(s) for metal ions, and to study the interaction of metal nanoparticle(s) (MNP) with such DNA quadruplex structures and possibly develop methods for the predictable assembly of MNPs on DNA quadruplex sequences. My focus was the synthesis of gold and silver nanoparticles. My results included characterization of the DNA quadruplexes and how such sequences interact with metal ions. I have used UV-visible spectrophotometry, agarose gel electrophoresis, and circular dichroism to visualize the folding of the sequences into quadruplex structures in the presence of metal ions. I have also used dynamic laser light scattering to investigate the formation of nonspecific DNA aggregates. I synthesized gold nanoparticles in the presence of G-rich DNA sequences and the results obtained showed that the presence of G-rich sequence does modulate the size of the gold nanoparticles formed. Larger gold nanoparticles were observed in the presence of some of the sequences used.


nucleic acids, G-quadruplex, DNA-metal ion interaction, DNA-templated gold nanoparticles, nanotechnology

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