The discovery came while evaluating a synthetic polymer substrate as a potential cell-growth platform. The cells were performing modestly on the new surface, but to get them to both attach to the synthetic material and actually thrive they typically need at least one of a special set of proteins to also be present, namely fibronectin, laminin or collagen.
Building upon some of their earlier work, Allen Research Group leader, Josephine Allen, Ph.D., and NIH Predoctoral Fellow Bryan James, a Ph.D. candidate, thought to combine DNA aptamers with collagen. Aptamers are strands of DNA or RNA that recognize and bind to specific targets, similar to how a key fits a lock. They can bind to proteins, live cells, or even other molecules. Most notably, these little strands of DNA can also activate cells and promote cellular responses.Learn more about UF MSE Researchers Discover Potential Pathway for Bone Growth.
Technology available for licensing DNA Aptamer-Collagen Composites to Create Biologically Functional Materials.