Competition-induced selection of ligands for the screening of DNA aptamers for gold substrates
Tapp, Maeling Janelle Nicole
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This dissertation presents the development of an alternative aptamer screening process, Competition-Induced Selection of Ligands (CISL), and its use in screening for ssDNA aptamers for gold substrates. Gold substrates are presented as the nonnucleotide target for implementing CISL as a novel aptamer screening approach. Chapter 1 provides an overview of the in vitro selection of oligonucleotide aptamers, the polymerase chain reaction that is a key step in the aptamer screening process, the synthesis and properties of gold nanoparticles and the biomolecule-mediated formation of inorganic nanoparticles. Chapter 2 presents the goals and objectives of this thesis along with an organizational overview of the dissertation. Chapter 3 describes the experimental techniques and optimizations pertinent to the development of the CISL aptamer screening process. Chapter 4 investigates the effects of various nucleic acid additions during the seed-mediated growth of gold nanoparticles. Chapter 5 discusses the use of CISL in screening for ssDNA aptamer candidates for spherical gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) and the primary and secondary structure analysis of identified sequences. Chapter 6 presents the use of CISL in screening for ssDNA aptamer candidates for planar gold substrates (PlanarAu) and also includes primary and secondary structure analysis of identified sequences accompanied with an incubation study to provide a “frequency” ranking of aptamers as adsorbate species on PlanarAu. Chapter 7 offers concluding remarks and ideas for future expansion and applications of this work.