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Despite tremendous progress in recent years, nanopatterning of hydrated polymeric systems such as hydrogels still represents a major challenge. Here, we employ block copolymer nanolithography to arrange gold nanoparticles on a solid template, followed by the transfer of the pattern to a polymeric hydrogel. In the next step, these nanoparticles serve as(More)
Since the discovery of the first natural ribozyme more than 20 years ago, it has become clear that nucleic acids are not only the static depository of genetic information, but also possess intriguing catalytic activity. The number of reactions catalyzed by engineered nucleic acid enzymes is growing continuously. The versatility of these catalysts supports(More)
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are important regulators of gene expression, and many pathological conditions, including cancer, are characterized by altered miRNA expression levels. Therefore, accurate and sensitive quantification of miRNAs may result in correct disease diagnosis establishing these small noncoding RNA transcripts as valuable biomarkers. Aiming at(More)
A concise synthetic way has been developed for the preparation of guanosine monophosphate derivatives carrying a decaethylene glycol spacer at their 5'-oxygen to which are attached a range of organic substrates. The four different compounds, prepared via a convergent synthetic strategy, carry a tethered benzylallyl ether residue (1a), an anthracene (1b), a(More)
We show that water soluble InP/ZnS core/shell QDs are a safer alternative to CdSe/ZnS QDs for biological applications, by comparing their toxicity in vitro (cell culture) and in vivo (animal model Drosophila). By choosing QDs with comparable physical and chemical properties, we find that cellular uptake and localization are practically identical for these(More)
Point mutations in the Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homologue (KRAS) gene are being increasingly recognized as important diagnostic and prognostic markers in cancer. In this work, we describe a rapid and low-cost method for the naked-eye detection of cancer-related point mutations in KRAS based on gold nanoparticles. This simple colorimetric assay is(More)
The investigation of RNA structure, dynamics and biological function often requires the site-specific incorporation of non-natural moieties. Here we describe the functionalization of RNA transcripts by aldehyde-hydrazine chemistry using a simple initiator nucleotide that carries an acetal-protected aldehyde function. This initiator nucleotide was(More)
DNA-gold nanoparticle probes are implemented in a simple strategy for direct microRNA (miRNA) quantification. Fluorescently labeled DNA-probe strands are immobilized on PEGylated gold nanoparticles (AuNPs). In the presence of target miRNA, DNA-RNA heteroduplexes are formed and become substrate for the endonuclease DSN (duplex-specific nuclease). Enzymatic(More)
We report the preparation of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) functionalized with the peptide-toxin conantokin-G and their selective binding to N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors recombinantly expressed by transfected HEK 293 cells. The AuNPs are passivated with a mixed self-assembled monolayer of ω-carboxy- and ω-amino-polyethylene glycol (PEG) thiols. We(More)
The adipocyte-derived hormone leptin regulates appetite and energy homeostasis through the activation of leptin receptors (ObR) on hypothalamic neurones; hence, leptin must be transported through the blood-brain barrier (BBB) to reach its target sites in the central nervous system. During obesity, however, leptin BBB transport is decreased, in part(More)