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Dec 08, 2017

Seminar - Interfacing DNA with metal ions, metal oxides, and metal nanoparticles (Speaker: Professor Juewen LIU)

Professor Juewen LIU
Professor of Chemistry, University Research Chair
Department of Chemistry, University of Waterloo, Canada

Date: Fri, 8-December-2017
Time: 4:00 PM
Venue: Seminar Room 7, LG1/F,
Laboratory Block, Faculty of Medicine Building
21 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong

DNA is a polyanion with strong affinity towards metal containing species. We are interested in studying the interaction between DNA and metal for analytical applications. This seminar will cover three aspects.

  1. In vitro selection of metal-specific DNAzymes. DNAzymes are DNA-based catalysts and we focus on RNA-cleaving DNAzymes. Using lanthanide ions as cofactors, we isolated a suite of new DNAzymes that can selectively detect rare-earth metals. By using phosphorothioate modified DNAzymes, we developed new probes for a few toxic heavy metal ions.
  2. The adsorption of DNA by various metal oxides were studied, where the phosphate backbone of DNA is shown to be critical for the adsorption reaction. Using fluorescently labelled DNA, highly sensitive detection of arsenate and hydrogen peroxide was achieved.
  3. DNA adsorption by gold nanoparticles is studied as a function of salt concentration and pH. Based on this study, we developed an ultrasensitive method for functionalizing gold surface with DNA.