Research Highlight

RNA semiconductor

doi:10.1038/nindia.2009.277 Published online 27 August 2009

There's new prospect of designing biosensors and semiconductors by mixing RNA and various aqueous solutions of organic compounds and inorganic salt1.

RNA-based sensors have already shown promise in biological domains. To exploit this for electronics, researchers have made biomolecular hybrids by mixing aqueous solutions of diethyl, 2-hydroxy ethyl, ammonium salt with a conducting polymer POMA [poly(o-methoxy aniline)] and RNA.

The hybrids were exposed to specific voltage and currents and then analysed. Sophisticated imaging technique indicated fibrillar network structure in all the hybrids. The study results showed that POMA uncoiled on the RNA surface and RNA structure underwent a small distortion during hybrid formation.

The conductivity values of the PR (POMA-RNA) hybrids are three orders higher than that of RNA making them good biosensor candidates. In the PRD (POMA-RNA-DNA) hybrids, conductivity decreases by two orders than those of PR and PD (POMA-DNA) hybrids.


  1. Routh, P. et al. Self assembly of poly(o-methoxy aniline) with RNA and RNA/DNA hybrids: Physical properties and conformational change of poly(o-methoxy aniline). Biophys. Chem. 143, 145-153 (2009) | Article |