GRK 2516 Soft Matter Seminar

Jan. 19, 2023 at 3 p.m. in Minkowski Room, 05-119, Staudingerweg 7 and via Zoom

Thomas Speck

Mariana Cosarinsky

Research seminar of the DFG Research Training Group GRK 2516 (

DNA-based Sensors for Antibodies
Lorena Baranda (JGU, Chemistry)

DNA nanotechnology employs synthetic nucleic acid strands to design and engineer nanoscale structural and functional systems of increasing complexity that may find applications in sensing, computing, molecular transport, information processing, and catalysis. Several features make synthetic DNA a particularly appealing and advantageous biomaterial for all the applications mentioned above but more specifically for sensing. First, synthetic DNA sequences, especially if of limited length (<100 nucleotides), have highly predictable interactions and thermodynamics. Second, DNA recently became quite easy and inexpensive to synthesize. Third, DNA contains several functional groups that make it quite straightforward to modify a synthetic nucleotide sequence at both ends or internally. A variety of additional reactive groups can be introduced into DNA sequences. For sensing applications, these functional groups can be used to conjugate signaling moieties (for example, fluorophore/quencher pairs). Importantly, it is also possible to conjugate different recognition elements such as antigens to a synthetic DNA sequence, thus allowing the use of antibodies as targets to be detected with DNA-based sensors. Over my introductory talk, I will present the developed work during my PhD on DNA-based sensors and how I am applying the acquired knowledge in the field of soft colloids and synthetic cells during my postdoctoral research at Prof. Andreas Walther group.