Functional Nanoparticles for Reprogrammable Biodetection and Theranostics

In this study, we have coupled the DNA polymerization capability of hybridization chain reaction (HCR) with the plasmonic properties of gold nanoparticles to develop a highly sensitive, reprogrammable and multiplexed detection. We have used this approach for visual and spectroscopic detection of low copies of three different miRNAs linked to cancer progression; four different oligonucleotides specific to subtypes an infectious disease and two environmentally important metal ions for monitoring water and soil contamination. We have shown that as little as 20 femtomole of each miRNA can be detected visually without using any analytical instrument. The detection can be performed individually or simultaneously in seven different combinations. On the other hand, the oligonucleotides specific to four subtypes an infectious disease can be detected individually or simultaneously in liquid biopsy mimics (urine) in sixteen different combinations using a single gold nanoparticle template. The results demonstrated that our system is extremely sensitive and selective to specific subtype generating no false-positive or false-negative results. Finally this approach was adapted for detection environmentally important heavy metal ions. As low as 10 pM of two different metal ions was detected visually in water and soil samples. We will also present an innovative approach for activating pro-drug of doxorubicin using bio-orthogonally responsive iron oxide nanoparticles.

yigitDr. Mehmet V. Yigit is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences University at Albany. One aspect of his research focuses on the synthesis and use of theranostic nanomaterials to prevent and image disease progression. The physical properties of nanoparticles provide imaging capability and siRNA/anti-miRNA synthetic oligonucleotides attached on the nanoparticle surface provide therapeutic response. His lab is also interested in using aptamers as target recognition elements. Aptamers are single-stranded DNA or RNA molecules that can bind a variety of chemical and biological molecules with high affinity and selectivity. Aptamer conjugated nanoparticles are therefore used as sensors for different biological and chemical molecules.