Rational design of stabilized aptamers


The detection of cocaine and other important targets on site, with high selectivity remains a challenging area of research. In this project, we wish to better understand and eventually improve analytical detection systems that use short DNA sequences for selective recognition of molecules of interest – called aptamers – followed by the generation of electrical currents for its detection. This should ultimately lead to improved, robust, simple and mobile devices capable of being handled on site in different fields of application (e.g. law enforcement agencies, medical care environment, food industry). To achieve this we will first study the influence of structure and flexibility of aptamers in binding and current generation, this will be mapped using computer modelling, NMR spectroscopy and ITC measurements. After obtaining structural knowledge, we will chemically stabilize the high affinity aptamers in order to manufacture robust and ready for the market biosensors.