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Nucleo-copolymers self-assembly into oligomersomes to study hybridization onto surfaces

English title Nucleo-copolymers self-assembly into oligomersomes to study hybridization onto surfaces
Applicant Nardin Corinne Rosa
Number 121822
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Physikalische Chemie Departement Chemie Universität Basel
Institution of higher education University of Basel - BS
Main discipline Physical Chemistry
Start/End 01.10.2008 - 30.09.2009
Approved amount 93'000.00
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Keywords (10)

poymers in solution; obligonucleotides; self-assembly; vesicles; hybridization; DNA micro-arrays; polymers in solution; oligonucleotides; DNA chips technology; gene therapy

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
We have undertaken an original approach to investigate the process of hybridization onto surfaces. This mechanism consists in immobilizing nucleotide sequences onto surfaces, the probes, which are brought to hybridize with their complementary sequences, the targets. Highly specific recognition occurs pair-wise between the nucleic acids composing the nucleotide sequences. Adenine and thymine bridge via two hydrogen bonds whereas cytosine and guanine use three. Driven by Watson-Crick base paring, two complementary sequences hybridize into the well-known double helix.We recently modified oligonucleotides via the attachment of a non water soluble polymer segment. The resulting nucleotide-based amphiphilic diblock copolymer self-assembles in dilute aqueous solution into micelles of various shapes. For instance, similar to lipids or block copolymers, the resulting nucleo-copolymers might self-assemble into vesicular structures in dilute aqueous solution, depending on the copolymer composition. Similar to lipids or amphiphilic block copolymers, a monolayer of the nucleo-copolymers can be assembled at the air-water interface and transferred onto a solid support with a high level of control on the grafting density. This led us to the idea of comparing the hybridization phenomenon onto the surface of self-assembled structures in dilute aqueous solution with nucleo-copolymers immobilized onto flat surfaces. In the latter case, the exiting theory of polymer adsorption onto surfaces can be used to study the effect of the grafting density onto the hybridization phenomenon. Using large self-assembled structures the effect of the curvature is expected to be neglectable and the outcomes will be extrapolated and compared to the process monitored onto flat 2D model surfaces. The main advantage of using self-assembled structures in aqueous solution is the possibility to use characterization techniques usually devoted to study phenomena in solution such as isothermal calorimetric titration. Compared to the data we will obtain with the most lately developed surface characterization techniques, especially the newly released wavelength interrogated optical sensor, WIOS, solid knowledge on both kinetics and equilibrium features of the hybridization process onto surfaces will be gained.This knowledge is of high relevance, given the shared expectations in gene therapy to cure genetically acquired diseases or cancers further exemplified by the race to the establishment of the human genome map.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

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Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
118144 Nucleo-copolymers: nucleotide-based amphiphilic copolymers 01.10.2007 Project funding