An amphiphilic substance includes a hydrophobic group, and a polynucleotide group attached to the hydrophobic group. The polynucleotide group includes a first polynucleotide segment and a second polynucleotide segment. The first and second polynucleotide segments are at least partially complementary and are bound together by interactions including base pairing. At least one of the first and second segments includes at least one of an aptamer and a nucleic acid-based enzyme. A lipid vesicle may include the amphiphilic substance, a first polar lipid that is an unstable vesicle former, and a polar liquid. Upon exposure to a rupture agent, the vesicle may rupture, releasing the contents of the vesicle. Substances that may be released from the vesicle include bioactive agents, such as drug agents.
Dr. John Rogers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has developed bioresorbable silicon electronics that can be used for real-time sensing of neural electrical activity. This invention could prevent follow-up neural surgeries, and has potentials for long-term monitoring of patients.
Dr. Andrew Smith from the University of Illinois has developed new quantum dots with a multidentate polymer coating that minimizes size while maintaining stability and improving efficiency of conjugation. Quantum dots are promising agents for cellular and molecular imaging, but their bulky organic coatings have limited their use in cells. Dr. Smith's quantum dots are small, stable, and can be conjugated to targeting molecules and purified easily.
Dr. Hergenrother from the University of IL has developed a novel antibiotic that is effective against certain antibiotic-resistant gram-negative bacteria. His powerful predictive algorithm determines accumulation of molecules in Gram-negative bacteria and enables conversion of known Gram-positive only antibiotics into novel compounds with Gram-negative potency.