Date of Award

Spring 6-5-2018

Document Type

Honors Project

University Scholars Director

Dr. Christine Chaney

First Advisor/Committee Member

Dr. Wade Grabow

Second Advisor/Committee Member

Dr. Kevin Barltett


RNA, Aptamer, Spinach, Fluorescence, nanotechnology


The emerging field of RNA nanotechnology takes advantage of the RNA’s ability to self-assemble into exquisite structures. As nanoparticle design continues to advance and move into increasingly complex biological systems, tools to monitor their assembly and location will be of great importance. Here, a split-aptamer system is used to monitor assembly of a six-membered nanoring based on fluorescence feedback of a fluorophore. First, the split-aptamer is designed into two of the six pieces of the ring. Through mutation and deletion, we optimize the fluorescence feedback established when a six membered nanoparticle assembles, compared to partial assembly. We demonstrate that with these new versions of the aptamer, the full assembly can be monitored and distinguished form partial assembly. Finally, the nanoring and aptamer are transcribed from DNA and assembled, to demonstrate the potential for in vivo application.