DNA printers

DNA polymeric templates for non-enzymatic DNA synthesis

This research aims to build DNA-based polymers as templates, to investigate their interactions with nucleotides, and to study non-enzymatic ligation of DNA along the DNA template.

DNA is the building block of life and crucial to many cellular functionalities. Although its high potential in biomedical applications, its usage is restricted by its high costs and low stability. Moreover, synthesising longer sequences is still a major bottleneck due to increased errors and solubility issues causing extremely low yields. Here we aim to synthesize hybrid polymers with pendant nucleotides that serve as templates to facilitate the non-enzymatic synthesis of (long) DNA sequences. Besides optimising the design of the template polymers, obtaining a profound fundamental understanding about polymer-DNA interactions is our major focus as well. A combination of microscopy and spectroscopy is employed to arrive at this aim.

Selected publications

M.J. Wilson, R.A. Fenati, E.G.L. Williams and A.V. Ellis, Synthesis of a deoxyguanosine monophosphate rich propyl methacrylate oligomer, New Journal of Chemistry, 2018, 42, 8815-8822, 10.1039/C8NJ00989A

Funding sources

Australian Research Council Discovery Project