Synthetic binding sites and gene assembly – new applications of DNA architectures

PhD defence, Wednesday, 26 October 2016. Ilenia Manuguerra.

2016.10.26 | Steffi Hjerrild Iversen

Ilenia Manuguerra

During her PhD studies, Ilenia Manuguerra used DNA nanotechnology to improve aptamer selection and gene assembly methods. DNA aptamers for small molecule targets currently suffer of low binding affinity limiting their application in biosensing. Ilenia Manuguerra employed DNA as functional scaffold for creating binding sites inspired by natural protein receptors. In another project, she developed a method for assembling long genes by using chemical ligation in DNA nanostructures. These works may lead to the development of powerful biosensors and novel approaches for the production of hard-to-synthesize nucleic acid sequences.

The new research findings prove the versatility of DNA nanostructures and add new applications to the expanding field of DNA nanotechnology.

The PhD degree was completed at the Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO), Science and Technology, Aarhus University.

This résumé was prepared by the PhD student.

 Wednesday, 26 October 2016 at 10.15
Place: Building 1523, room 318, the Lecture Theatre, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Ny Munkegade 120, Aarhus University, 8000 Aarhus C.
Title of dissertation: Design and Applications of DNA Architectures - for sensing, crystallography and gene assembly
Contact information: Ilenia Manuguerra, e-mail:
Members of the assessment committee:

Associate Professor Francesco Ricci, Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Chimiche, Università di Roma Tor Vergata, Italy
Professor Friedrich Simmel, Technical University of Munich, Germany
Professor Daniel Otzen (chair), iNANO and Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University.
Main supervisor:
Professor Kurt V. Gothelf, iNANO and Department of Chemistry, Aarhus University
Language: The PhD dissertation will be defended in English

The defence is public. The dissertation is available for reading at the Graduate School of Science and Technology/GSST, Ny Munkegade 120, building 1520, rooms 128-134, 8000 Aarhus C.

PhD defence
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Revised 23.03.2017