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DNA Block Copolymers: New Architectures and Applications

Objective

With our contributions to DNA block copolymers (DBCs), we have opened a new field of interdisciplinary research at the intersection of polymer chemistry, biology and nanoscience. Within this proposal, we intend to apply our expertise with linear DBCs to new nucleocopolymer architectures ranging from star polymers to DNA networks. Our efforts will not only explore new covalently-bonded polymer topologies but also extend the range of self-assembled supramolecular structures accessible with DBCs. Current progress in this direction has yielded spherical and rod-like DBC micelles. In this proposal we further envisage membranes and vesicles generated by macromolecular DNA amphiphiles. A special focus will be the manipulation of the permeability of these structures by hybridization and the insertion of channel proteins. A major part of the proposal addresses potential applications of DBC architectures in the fields of nucleic acid detection and drug delivery. We will produce selective and sensitive nucleic acid probes employing DBCs with highly emissive conjugated polymer segments or based on novel fluorogenic DNA-templated reactions. Plans for potential delivery systems include the establishment of a DBC-based technology platform to allow combinatorial testing of micelle structures equipped with improved targeting, drug loading and stealth functions. For this purpose, the DNA shell of the nanoscopic aggregates will be exploited for its biological activity in the context of antisense and small interfering RNA activity as well as immune stimulation. Finally, we will employ DBC micelles as programmable nanoreactors within the complex environment of living cells and even carry out sequence-specific organic transformations induced by the cell s own messenger RNA

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/biochemistry/biomolecules/nucleic acid
  • /natural sciences/chemical sciences/polymer science
  • /natural sciences/mathematics/pure mathematics/topology
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/biochemistry/biomolecules/proteins

Call for proposal

ERC-2009-StG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-SG - ERC Starting Grant

Host institution

RIJKSUNIVERSITEIT GRONINGEN
Address
Broerstraat 5
9712CP Groningen
Netherlands
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 500 000
Principal investigator
Andreas Herrmann (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
H.D. Veldhuis (Dr.)

Beneficiaries (1)

RIJKSUNIVERSITEIT GRONINGEN
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 1 500 000
Address
Broerstraat 5
9712CP Groningen
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Principal investigator
Andreas Herrmann (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
H.D. Veldhuis (Dr.)