Document Type

Paper- Restricted to Campus Access

Publication Date


Faculty Mentor

Samantha Wilner


The creation of molecular aggregates that mimic a cell lipid bilayer is currently an area of increasing interest with regards to drug delivery, as molecules like these will more readily be able to fuse with the cell membrane to deliver their cargo. A major goal of drug delivery is to create a self-forming bilayer-like aggregation from interactions of amphipathic molecules with aqueous solution, thus creating a shielded space to transport hydrophobic cargo that can be released to a target tissue. Lipids, phospholipids and polymers, such as dendrimers, are attractive amphipathic candidates for the assembly of such delivery vehicles, as their hydrophilic head groups can be modified through conjugation of other molecules, such as proteins or nucleic acids, to help control aggregate formation and stability. Throughout the course of this project, we obtained preliminary evidence of successful conjugation of an alkyne-modified nucleic acid strand (DNA) to an azide-modified Janus dendrimer using copper-catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition, or “click chemistry.” We confirmed conjugation via agarose gel electrophoresis and high-performance liquid chromatography. This novel research is the first example of a covalently modified Janus dendrimer with nucleic acids. Our next goals are to purify our DNA-dendrimer conjugate and examine how this conjugate affects aggregate formation.


Presented as part of the Ursinus College Celebration of Student Achievement (CoSA) held April 22, 2021.

The downloadable file is a poster presentation with audio commentary with a run time of 4:23.


Available to Ursinus community only.