J. K. Wickiser Lab

In Vitro Selection

In vitro selection is a collection of methods that use the power of molecular

evolution to generate specific sequences of biological polymers (usually DNA, RNA, or proteins) capable of sensing target chemicals of interest.  We are interested in producing robust, inexpensive, and flexible molecular sensors with ideal kinetic and thermodynamic properties for military and industrial applications.  Although the promise of nucleic acids aptamers revolutionizing molecular sensor technology has been touted for a decade, we believe that our comprehensive approach will allow functional polymers to be evolved rapidly to target virtually any soluble molecular target of interest.  The military has a strong interest in the development of these Aptamers in order to detect low concentrations of chemical and biological agents in a complex environment.   Our group is involved with the development of aptamers to bind cellulose and carbon nanotubes.

General scheme for in vitro selection experiments