Western University Physics adn AstronomyWestern Science

Characterization of Graphene-Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) nanocomposites

Supervisor: Dr. Giovanni Fanchini

Project Description (Abstract):

RNA and Graphene are the fundamental building blocks for nanobiology and carbon-based nanotechnology. The discovery of Graphene, a single layer of carbon atoms with unique properties, has been awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics. Transparent and conducting nanocomposites formed by Graphene and RNA are excellent candidates for turning Graphene into practical applications, including biotolerant scaffolds for bone cell growth.

In this project, the student will characterize the morphology of RNA/Graphene nanocomposites with a suite of techniques including: Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), Kelvin Probe Microscopy (KPM) and Near-field fluorescence imaging.  Fluorescent trackers for ribonucleic acids will also be used to investigate the nature of bonding between RNA and Graphene. Such a preliminary investigation on the bonding nature is essential to understand if it will be possible to use RNA as a template to make Graphene more biocompatible and enable its use as a bioactive scaffold for bone cell growth.

Similar projects on specific applications of Graphene (in electronics, water filtration solar energy, and biomedical) are also available.

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