FEIT Research Project Database

DNA polymer hybrid materials

Project Leader: Amanda Ellis
Collaborators: Sally Gras
Sponsors: Australian Research Council
Primary Contact: Amanda Ellis (amanda.ellis@unimelb.edu.au)
Keywords: advanced control architectures; biomaterials; DNA; nanoengineered materials; smart polymers
Disciplines: Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
Research Centre: Particulate Fluids Processing Centre (PFPC)

Synthesis of artificial analogues of nucleic acids, known as DNA printing, is becoming increasingly important in personalised medicine. This new era in nucleic acid medicine is coming faster than most realise but at a cost that few will be able to afford. As an example, present estimates for gene therapy alone are between US$400K–$1.2M per single dose.

This project aims to generate new knowledge in synthetic DNA synthesis based on nucleotide/polymer template-directed printing. In the first instance, as a proof-of-concept, we aim to cost-effectively produce (print) synthetic DNA, and its analogues, that are of sequence lengths commensurate with the current needs of gene therapy.

The specific aims of the project are:

Aim 1: Synthesise polymer templates with various pendant nucleotides and their analogues.

Aim 2: Assess 5'-activated nucleotides for non-enzymatic chemical ligation (joining) activity. 

Aim 3: Evaluate and optimise the mechanism of 5¢-activated nucleotide reactions on polymer templates.

Aim 4: Undertake plasmid cloning of synthesised DNA to determine biological viability.

Further information: https://scholar.google.com.au/citations?user=pcGgkUIAAAAJ&hl=en

Fig. 1. (a) Our established synthesis of nucleotide functionalised polymers (dG shown as an example), (b) molecular mode