DNA is a relatively inexpensive and ubiquitous material that can be used as a scaffold for constructing nanowires. Our research focuses on the manufacturing of DNA-templated, magnetic nanowires. This is accomplished by synthesizing positively-charged metal nanoparticles that self-assemble along the contours of λ-phage DNA. This self-assembly is achieved through electrostatic interactions between positively-charged metal particles and negatively-charged DNA strands. Three types of magnetic particles were prepared: iron oxide (Fe¬2O3), cobalt iron oxide (CoFe2O3), and manganese iron oxide (MnFe2O¬¬¬3). These particles were then characterized with ultraviolet-visible spectrophotometry (UV-VIS) and Fourier-Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). Moreover, DNA coated with Fe2O3 was analyzed by means of UV-VIS. It was determined through IR that the manufactured particles had a positive charge, which is absolutely necessary if they are to be used to coat negatively-charged DNA strands. Additionally, UV-VIS analyses gave insight into how the particles coat the DNA; when too many magnetic particles were allowed to interact with the DNA, the quality and evenness of coating actually decreased. Future studies will include the fabrication of DNA coated with each type of particle, as well as characterization of the nanowires.
Advisor: Albena Ivanisevic, Biomedical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
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