Publication Details (including relevant citation information):
Ngourn, S.; Butts, H.; Petty, A.; Baratham, V.; Gerdon, A.E. "Calcium phosphate Biomineralization through structural DNA templates" 4th Annual Northeastern Undergraduate Research and Development Symposium, Biddeford, ME, 2012; Poster.
Hydroxyapatite (Ca5(PO4)3OH; HAP) is the principle inorganic component in bone and enamel and the process of its formation is of current research interest. It is known that bioorganic molecules adhere to HAP and thereby guide its formation. DNA is a bioorganic molecule not often in contact with HAP in vivo, though is known to adhere to HAP in vitro. Through Quartz Crystal Microbalance (QCM) studies, we have determined dissociation constants (Kd) for DNA molecules binding to HAP ranging from 0.6 to 3.0 micro molar. QCM has also been used to elucidate the ability of these DNA molecules to promote biomineralization of HAP from calcium chloride and sodium phosphate precursors. Longer DNA molecules (80 bases) initiate nucleation more rapidly, within 13 min, than shorter molecules (10 bases). On surfaces lacking DNA, only non-specific precipitation is observed. IR microscopy experiments suggest the presence of HAP as opposed to amorphous phases. DNA in solution also enhanced mineralization though different kinetics where shorter strands had a more pronounced effect. The effects of self-hybridization on biomineralization with longer DNA molecules are currently being explored. These results suggest that DNA templates can quickly and controllably initiate biomineralization.
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