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ouRNAno is a platform for scientists to communicate recent advances in the emerging field of RNA nanotechnology with a broad and diverse audience. In doing so, we aim to:

  • engage future and current scientists

  • provide material for students and educators of all levels

  • inspire curiosity among people of all ages

  • DNA templated synthesis of silver nanoclusters (AgNCs) offers a straightforward synthesis for students of all levels with an exciting experience in experimental techniques. The DNA sequence dependent fine-tunable variations in florescence can be both qualitatively and quantitatively analyzed to exemplify the effect of structures at the nanoscale. 

  • Short activities and demonstrations can be brought to classrooms! Contact us. 

Lectures and lab practices given at

Davidson College, NC

  • Our work with the Charlotte Teachers Institute provides local educators with the opportunity to engage in subjects such as RNA nanotechnology. As part of the theme "It's a Small World! Exploring Science at the Tiniest Scale," our lab began hosting and will continue to provide seminars and training to teachers from elementary to high school. 

  • Short activities and demonstrations can be brought to classrooms! Contact us.

  • We've had several teachers who are interested in nucleic acid nanotechnology and its applications join us for group meetings and lab projects. We welcome anyone who is interested!

  • Gummy RNAs provide interactive models of nanoparticles which typically exist at sizes 10 million times smaller. These flexible and edible versions allow young scientists to better envision how nucleic acid building materials can form structures capable of various activities.

  • Hands-on experiments allow for dynamic nucleic acid concepts to be better communicated. Our most recent approach was the Strawberry DNA Extraction table at this year's Science & Technology Expo. Stay tuned for upcoming events!

  • Are you a high school student interested in research? Information about Project SEED eligibility can be found here.

  • This summer, our lab in collaboration with Dr. Vivero-Escoto’s team introduced the very first boot camp where 12 students had five lecture/lab sessions (40 hours total) during which they learned about antibacterial properties of silver nanoparticles and compared them to DNA-templated silver nanoclusters, from theory to actual hands-on experiments.

  • Many STEM students graduate without any hands-on research experience, due to the high numbers of students and a relatively low number of research-active faculty (and of course the impacts of COVID-19). A lack of experience can downgrade the competitiveness of graduates and reduce their chances to successfully pursue academic careers, thus indirectly affecting the development of the research field of RNA nanotechnology.

  • We implemented a week-long summer boot camp that introduces students to the emerging field of therapeutic nanotechnology while giving them basic research experience.


After completing the boot camp, students were awarded certificates of completion.

  • For UNC Charlotte undergraduate and graduate students, enroll in CHEM 4090: Nanobiochemistry! This will provide students with extensive research experience in biochemistry techniques with a focus on RNA nanotechnology and will be a hugely beneficial opportunity for expanding your CV for the path to future careers and graduate education.

  • Additionally, students will become involved in learning the scientific publication process as they compile results of the class set-up for submission to an educational journal.

  • Renowned guest lecturers (pictured below) presented their areas of expertise to the class throughout the semester.


Jay and Anjiya working through dilution calculations. 


Terry-Kate, Prosper, and Lane work together on their AgNP synthesis.


Alex looks over the results of sample preparation. 

Fluorescence of DNA-AgNCs made by the students.

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