Assistant: Apr. A. Willems

Analysis of oligonucleotides

Recently many genetic alternations that cause variable hereditary or sporadic diseases have been identified. Methods for detecting these little mutations are becoming more and more important. A variety of methods have been developed during the last two decades by using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and gel electrophoresis. By this way it is possible to determine the length of the DNA fragment, but one base substitution cannot be distinguished.

The first goal of my project is developing a method for the analysis of oligonucleotides with nano liquid chromatography coupled to nano electrospray mass spectrometry (LC-ESI MS). Electrospray ionization is a soft ionization technique, so the fragile oligonucleotides don't decompose into many fragments. Before the analysis it is necessary to amplify the interested fragment of the DNA with PCR and to remove the salt ions.
In a second stage of my research I'll use the developed method to detect mutations such as base substitution or deletion in DNA.

By An Willems