QB3 Postdoc Seminar

Seminar | July 28 | 4:30-5:30 p.m. | 177 Stanley Hall

 QB3 - California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences

Speaker 1: Tara DeBoer (Niren Murthy lab)

Design and Construction of Molecular and Bio-Inspired Tools to Study and Treat Disease

Technological barriers in medicine and biology quite frequently require collaboration across disciplines of science to overcome these obstacles. In this talk, two independent projects will be highlighted that required chemical design and engineering to overcome technical barriers. In the first part of the talk, work aimed at designing and fabricating a biomimetic platform capable of continuously evolving reactive nitrogen species peroxynitrite will be discussed. The second part of the talk will be discuss ongoing work that is part of a consortium effort here at Cal, dedicated to engineering new molecular diagnostic tools to address and slow the global epidemic of antibacterial resistance.

Speaker 2: Ariel Furst (Matthew Francis lab)

Electrochemical Activation for DNA Attachment to Surfaces

The ability to selectively attach DNA to surfaces is imperative for biological research. Of great interest is its specific placement on gold surfaces. While thiol self-assembly has been the standard for DNA assembly, it provides little control over the resulting thin film. Chemical coupling strategies to pre-formed monolayers enable more control but can require electrochemically active catalysts or reagents. These methods also make the amount of oligonucleotide deposited and its deposition location difficult to control. We have developed a reagentless coupling method to electrochemically attach biopolymers to surfaces using the specific oxidation of a catechol to a particular electrode. With our method, commercially available DNA is rapidly attached to surfaces, yielding complete coupling within minutes. Furthermore, we have full control over the amount of DNA on the surface, which can be tailored to the specific application of the device. Using this attachment method, we have formed whole cell-based thin films. Additionally, we have optimized the platform for the specific detection of the endocrine disruptor bisphenol A (BPA), a problematic additive to plastics, using a DNA aptamer on the surface. This method not only improves the attachment of DNA to metal surfaces, but also represents a new direction for the site-specific attachment of biomolecules to device platforms.