Research Internship & Master Thesis Topics

Unfolding behaviour of DNA Origami structures under the influences of denaturants

Master student:
Christoph Hadlich
M. Sc. Daniel Dornbusch, Prof. Dr. Karim Fahmy (HZDR)
02/2021 – 02/2022

The fabrication of DNA-Origami is a fascinating technology, which by programmed separation of one single strand of virus DNA determines the outcome of the self-folding process with its complementary strand and thereby creates arbitrary 2D or 3D nanostructures. Through specific functionalizing and its biocompatibility, there many applications for medicine or biology, as example drug delivery of cancer medicaments. Another possibility could be the fixation of single proteins to observe their folding spectroscopically. However, the interplay between DNA-Origamis and chaotropic agents like Guadiniumchloride (GdmCl) or Urea, which are commonly used to control protein behaviour is still mostly unknown.

Change of the CD Spectra due the increase of temperature ©Copyright: Hadlich, Christoph

Change of the CD Spectra due the increase of temperature

Foto: Christoph Hadlich


I work with a project which tries to investigate the influence of different Guadinium salts with circular dichroism (CD)- spectroscopy on DNA Origamis. By measuring the different absorption of left and right-handed polarized light, one can get information about the secondary and tertiary structure of the DNA. With advanced analyzation methods of the data, my goal is to get more information about the thermodynamic behaviour and possible intermediate states to describe the unfolding behaviour in detail.