Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Biosensors for heparin detection

The project has involved the development of biosensors based on liquid crystals formed from linear double stranded deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). Crosslinks can be formed between DNA molecules as a result of their interaction with natural and synthetic compounds of a polycationic nature. Such crosslinks can be eliminated or disrupted either by the action of hydrolytic enzymes or by the addition of a compound which preferentially complexes with the crosslinking molecules. Restructuring occurs as a result of alteration of the distance between two molecules from any type of liquid crystal to a cholesteric one. The principles of 'sandwich type' biosensors based on liquid crystalline dispersions formed from (DNA polycation) complexes were outlined. These biosensing units were intended for the determination of the biologically active compounds (enzymes, etc), the 'target' of which are the chemical groups in content of the polycation molecules, forming the intermolecular 'crosslinks' between the neighbouring DNA molecules. In the case of the liquid crystalline dispersion of the (DNA protamine) complexes, the minimal concentration of hydrolytic enzymes, determined by the offered approach, equals approximately 10-14 M. In the fundamental field the data obtained will be used for the explanation of the structural organization of genetic material in biological objects (chromosomes, viral heads), as well as for the estimation of fine peculiarities of interaction of hydrolytic enzymes with compounds incorporated into DNA liquid crystals.

Reported by

Cranfield University
MK43 0AL Cranfield
United Kingdom
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