Self-assembled mechanical-energy-based amplifiers for probing interactions of DNA with small molecules and ions


Interactions between DNA and small molecules/ions are of great academic and pharmaceutical interest and importance. This is due to the interactions being essential for many fundamental processes in cells. For example, the formation of the secondary and higher-order structure of nucleotides, DNA repair, and genomic stability require the presence, meditation and or participation of metal ions such as magnesium. In addition, interactions between DNA and small molecules or ions can interfere with DNA replication, leading to DNA damage and cell death, which can accumulate and possibly lead to diseases such as cancer. On the other hand, these interactions that impact cell proliferation can be used to treat cancers.

Methods to measure the interactions between DNA and small molecules/ions are not straightforward and require expensive, sophisticated high-end equipment. There are also downsides to current methods. Most chemical and biochemical methods, as well as some spectroscopic methods, are not sensitive enough. Also, some methods are not suitable for studies in solutions.

A new method has been created that fills the urgent need for simple, sensitive and cost-effective ways to study DNA interactions with small molecules and ions. As an example of its applications, this method has been demonstrated to be able to easily detect the interactions between DNA and magnesium or silver ions. In addition, the quantitative details about the interactions can be estimated using this method. Finally, there is no expensive equipment needed to perform this method making it cost-effective and simple.


This invention is available for licensing.

For interested parties seeking further information, feel free to contact:


Mark Lanoue

(479) 575-7243

Ref 18-28

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Mark Lanoue
Technology Manager
University of Arkansas
Yong Wang
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