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BioE Seminar Series: Nanoarchitectures and bioengineering tools made from DNA


EGAN 440

July 15, 2019 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm
July 15, 2019 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm

Department of Bioengineering Seminar Series

Thorsten-Lars Schmidt, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor for Experimental Biophysics

Department of Physics, Kent State University, OH, USA


“Nanoarchitectures and bioengineering tools made from DNA”


Monday, July 15th, 2019

1:30 P.M to 2:30 P.M

Egan 440


DNA is a unique polymer. It is the information storage molecule of all known life forms, and can be used to build up almost arbitrary structures and patterns from DNA. These structures can site-specifically be functionalized with a large variety of inorganic nanoparticles, small molecules or large biomolecules such as proteins and antibodies. Our group is leveraging this programmability to engineer nanoarchitectures and tools for applications in Biophysics, Molecular Biology, Nanophotonics and Nanomedicine.

In this seminar, I will describe the construction of material-efficient triangulated wireframe structures (see image) and shape changes induced by polymerases. Next, I will show a block copolymer-based strategy to protect DNA-based structures from nucleases and low salt conditions for nanomedical applications, and a “next-generation” DNA synthesis method to cost-effectively amplify oligonucleotides from oligonucleotide libraries. These can be used as FISH probes, for gene synthesis, and to prototype DNA origami structures. Finally, I will present a nanoscale DNA-encircled lipid bilayer, which could become a versatile tool to study lipids, membrane proteins or membrane-associated proteins.

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Dr. Schmidt received degrees in chemistry from University of Bonn (Germany), before Ph.D from Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany (2010) studying Cluster of excellence Macromolecular complexes. He was a Postdoctoral research fellow at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard (Boston, MA) with Lynen fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt foundation. He is currently Assistant Professor for Experimental Biophysics at Department of Physics, Kent State University, OH, USA with focus on DNA nanotechnology based tools and devices for applications in biophysics, molecular biology ,nanomedicine, material science, and nano photonics; development of a “next generation DNAsynthesis” technology for oligonucleotides and de novo gene synthesis.