Skip to main content
European Commission logo print header

Functional DNA-based nanomaterials using metal-mediated self-assembly processes

Final Report Summary - FUNDNAMAT (Functional DNA-based nanomaterials using metal-mediated self-assembly processes)

In the Marie Curie ERG research project “polyconDNA” we have investigated new routes to develop conducting DNA-based structures at the nanoscale using metal fragments that hold specific functionality and bind at precise locations of DNA molecules. The research has been carried out during 2011-2014 at University of Granada (Spain). We have demonstrated that well-designed metal fragments can be employed to form DNA-based conducting nanowires. DNA molecules can be easily manipulated to form predicted structures at the nanoscale but their use in nanothecnology applications is limited since they do not have intrinsic properties like conductivity. Therefore in order to enhance or promote conductivity properties to DNA molecules, this research project has explored a strategy to prepared DNA-conducting hybrids nanowires using metal fragments that carry monomer unit, derived from pyrrole, capable of forming conducting polymers upon oxidation. The metal fragments have been programmed to interact at specific locations within a single stranded DNA molecules that acts as template for the assembly of such fragments in a controlled fashion. The correct assembly of the metal fragments along the single stranded DNA structure has been studied and performed, giving rise to a structure where the monomers units carried by the metal fragments can be then calculatedly positioned at concrete locations. This methodology has been proven and is currently being optimized. The polymerization of the monomer units is also being explorer to form a customized DNA-polymer hybrid that can then conduct electricity and to be used in nanotechnology applications.

Dr Galindo has led this research project and achieved significant results. He has participated with both oral and poster communications in national and international conference to disseminate his research work. During the Marie Curie ERG he has successfully applied for additional funding to sponsor his own research and awarded with a competitive research grant from the Consejeria de Inovación y Ciencia (Junta de Andalucia, Spain). This has allowed him to establish his own research group at the Inorganic Department of the University of Granada. He undertakes lecturing duties at the University of Granada which provides him the opportunity to transfer his knowledge and experience to students. He is currently supervising a PhD Student and two final years students.

During this time, Dr Galindo has established both national and international collaborations. He is working alongside with Prof. Felix Zamora from Universidad Autonoma de Madrid on the design and characterization of novel DNA-based nanomaterials. He also collaborates with Prof. Andrew Houlton, former Marie Curie IEF supervisor, and remarkably he has promoted an Erasmus programme for postgraduates and staff members between University of Granada and Newcastle University.

Dr Galindo is currently working on the latest results of his Marie Curie ERG project and working on new ways to implement DNA-based nanomaterials with the aim of developing new nanotechnologies applications. He strongly believes that working together with partners in an interdisciplinary and international approach is the best way for his research to have a social and economic impact.