RNA purification with DNA nanoswitches

Novel, user-centric technology for detecting and analyzing RNA that accelerates the pace of discovery in RNA research. Background: RNA purification is an important part of biomedical research, and very few tools exist for pulling specific RNAs out of a complex solution. Further, understanding of RNA and its complex roles in biology is constantly evolving. Scientists know that most of the genome is transcribed into RNA, but only a small fraction of these transcripts code for proteins. The functions of the remaining non-coding RNAs are still largely unknown, but increasing evidence points to important regulatory roles. Thus, there is increasing interest in exploiting RNA for the improvement of human health, using RNA as potential disease biomarkers, therapeutics, or therapeutic targets. Technology Overview: To create a user centric tool, this University at Albany technology starts with a “smart reagent” for simple, cost effective, and instrument-free RNA detection. It is “smart” in the sense that the reagent consists of nanoscale devices, called DNA nanoswitches, that self- assemble by DNA hybridization into molecular switches that change conformations upon binding to molecules of interest. The conformations can be easily identified using gel electrophoresis, one of the most common lab tools available. This means users will be able to detect RNA sequences from biological samples using a one-step reaction. This tool provides new ways for researchers to detect and analyze various RNAs without expensive equipment or special training. Advantages: This DNA nanoswitch approach to RNA purification offers researchers a unique tool that provides the following:

  • Instrument free: the technology uses gel electrophoresis, a very common tool used by researchers
  • Novel reagent: provides simple and cost-effective detection
  • One step reaction: simple one step reaction and no specialized staff training is required Applications: The most relevant application for this technology is for use by researchers. This RNA purification innovation could easily be provided as a kit which would directly compete with some magnetic bead approaches that are more cumbersome, expensive, and less reliable. Intellectual Property Summary: Patent application 17/368,718 has been filed with the USPTO on 7/6/2021 on behalf of the Research Foundation for SUNY. Stage of Development: Stage of Development – TRL 4 – Technology validated in lab. Licensing Status: This technology is available for licensing
    Researchers in the following areas may be interested in licensing this technology:
  • Medical Research: disease detection and identifying RNA biomarkers of disease
  • Therapeutics: developing drug therapies identifying therapeutic targets of interest https://suny.technologypublisher.com/files/sites/010-20-09adobestock_385382903.jpeg



Contact Information

TTO Home Page: https://suny.technologypublisher.com

Name: Peter Gonczlik

Title: Sr. Technology Transfer Associate

Department: Office for Innovation Development and Commercialization

Email: pgonczlik@albany.edu

Phone: (518) 442-3275