RNA Nanotechnology

Macromolecules of RNA have intrinsically defined features at the nanometer scale and can serve as powerful building blocks for the bottom-up fabrication of nanostructures and nanodevices. The hallmarks of RNA nanotechnology include: (1) use of RNA as a nanomaterial to build homogeneous structures with defined structure and stoichiometry; this pioneering concept first demonstrated by conference chair, Peixuan Guo in 1998 has now created an unexpected paradigm of materials engineering and synthetic structural biology. This concept is fundamentally different from molecular biology studies of RNA, which is not classified as nanotechnology. (2) As an alternative to DNA, RNA has recently catapulted into place as a nanotechnology platform due to its diversity in both structure and function. RNA is unique in comparison to DNA by virtue of its higher thermodynamic stability, canonical and noncanonical base pairing ability, as well as a variety of single stranded loops suitable for inter- and intra-molecular interactions, base stacking, and distinct in vivo attributes. (3) While the studies on RNA structure and folding can be dated decades ago, RNA nanotechnology is a unique field that is distinct from the classical studies of RNA structure and folding. Besides intra-molecular (within a molecule) interaction and folding, the special knowledge of inter-molecular (between molecules) interaction is necessary. (4) RNA nanoparticles can be purified to homogeneity and can be characterized or visualized by either chemical, physical, biophysical, or optical procedures. (5) Previously, the sensitivity of RNA to RNase degradation had been the biggest hurdle in the production of RNA for use as a construction material. Recently, simple chemical modifications, such as that with 2’-fluorine, have led to the generation of certain RNAs resistant to degradation, without changing their folding property and even their ability to retain their biological function in certain cases. (6) Finally, simply conjugating functional RNA modules to gold, liposome, dendrimer or polymer based nanoparticles does not constitute RNA nanotechnology; rather, RNA nanotechnology is bottom-up approaches to assemble nanometer scale particles with its main constituent composed of RNA.

The driving force motivating the establishment of this conference arises from the successful organization of two international conferences on RNA nanotechnology and Therapeutics in 2010 and 2013, which brought together about 200 scientists from 15 countries. This conference will encourage a cross-disciplinary approach to RNA nanotechnology research and specifically foster collaborations between scientists and engineers working in the diverse fields of chemistry, biochemistry, structural biology, microbiology, cancer biology, cell biology, biophysics, pharmacy, materials, and nanotechnology. The intent of this GRC is to promote transformative advances that will enable the monitoring and improvement of human health and the diagnosis and treatment of diseases utilizing the unique modality provided by RNA-based nanoparticles. Because of the success of the first two conferences, one can fully expect that this new GRC will attract a wide audience of outstanding scientists. The prestigious name of the Gordon Conferences will raise the profile of the topic to many other scientists who are working in this or related fields, but have not participated in previous meetings. Participants, organizers, and keynote speakers of the past RNA Nanotechnology and Therapeutics conferences have agreed that a bi-annual conference is needed to respond to the significant interest generated by previous meetings, and to effectively foster further cross-fertilization to advance the field.
+ show speakers and program
not specified

1 Feb - 6 Feb 2015
Ventura, CA
United States of America
meeting website