Research Highlights

RNA in nanojacket

doi:10.1038/nindia.2010.53 Published online 27 April 2010

Researchers have designed a nano-sized jacket to drape RNA. The tiny robe of silver nanoparticles, that can cover a hybrid of RNA and an organic compound, might be useful in studying easy movement of biological molecules when exposed to a magnetic field.

Like DNA, RNA carries genetic information and aids in protein synthesis. In recent years, researchers have found that RNA has suitable sites to grow metal nanoparticles, nanorods, and nanowires. To tap its potential, the researchers produced a hybrid of poly(o-methoxyaniline) (POMA) and RNA and smeared its surface with silver nanoparticles.

The hybrid chains of POMA-RNA organise into the nanofibers. On the fiber surface the growing nanoparticles coalesce laterally to form a nanojacket.

The conductivity values of the nanobiocomposites are two orders higher than that of pure POMA-RNA hybrids. The silver nanoparticles helped in the interchain charge transfer process thereby increasing conductivity.

"For researchers, nanojacket may be interesting to carry out specific biological processes," says lead researcher Arun K. Nandi from the Polymer Science Unit of Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Kolkata. In cancer research, nanojacket may also be useful to deactivate DNA or RNA of malignant cells, he adds.


  1. Routh, P. et al. RNA-Poly(o-methoxyaniline) Hybrid Templated Growth of Silver Nanoparticles and Nanojacketing: Physical and Electronic Properties. Langmuir 26, 5093-5100 (2010) | Article |