uwDNA competes in Biomod!

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The University of Waterloo Designed Nanoscale Assembly Team (uwDNA) competed in the International Biomolecular Design Competition (Biomod) on November 1 as the only Canadian team. This was the first time the team had gone to competition, and exceeded expectations for a new team by being awarded a bronze project award.

uwDNA was formed just over a year ago with the goal of creating a student team focusing on the biological applications of nanotechnology.  The team’s current project involves the use of a self-assembled DNA triangular walker, which can bond to three nanoparticles. This nanomanufacturing system can be used to connect nanoparticles that would not normally be able to be combined. This has a broad range of applications, but the application being focused on is cancer imaging. With a combination of nanoparticles, the DNA walker will selectively bind to the cancer cells and provide high contrast images of tumours.

For next year’s competition, the team plans on extending the DNA walker project to add different nanoparticles to each vertex, with applications such as Boron Neutron Capture Therapy or drug delivery. New projects are also being investigated such as DNA single electron transistors, or nano-pores for DNA sequencing.

For more information about the team, check out their website

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