Aptamers in education: Undergraduates make aptamers and acquire 21st century skills along the way

Gwendolyn M. Stovall, Vincent Huynh, Shelly Engelman, Andrew D. Ellington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Aptamers have a well-earned place in therapeutic, diagnostic, and sensor applications, and we now show that they provide an excellent foundation for education, as well. Within the context of the Freshman Research Initiative (FRI) at The University of Texas at Austin, students have used aptamer selection and development technologies in a teaching laboratory to build technical and 21st century skills appropriate for research scientists. One of the unique aspects of this course-based undergraduate research experience is that students develop and execute their own projects, taking ownership of their experience in what would otherwise be a traditional teaching lab setting. Of the many successes, this work includes the isolation and characterization of novel calf intestinal alkaline phosphatase (anti-CIAP) RNA aptamers by an undergraduate researcher. Further, preliminary survey data suggest that students who participate in the aptamer research experience express significant gains in their self-efficacy to conduct research, and their perceived ability to communicate scientific results, as well as organize and interpret data. This work describes, for the first time, the use of aptamers in an educational setting, highlights the positive student outcomes of the aptamer research experience, and presents the research findings relative to the novel anti-CIAP aptamer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3270
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Volume19
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019

Fingerprint

students
education
Education
Research
Students
calves
phosphatases
Teaching
Nucleotide Aptamers
isolation
Aptitude
Ownership
Self Efficacy
Phosphatases
Alkaline Phosphatase
RNA
sensors
Research Personnel
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Technology

Keywords

  • 21st century skills
  • Aptamer
  • CURE
  • Calf-intestinal alkaline phosphatase
  • Course-based undergraduate research experience
  • Freshman Research Initiative
  • In vitro selection
  • SELEX
  • Systematic Evolution of Ligands by Exponential Enrichment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Cite this

Aptamers in education : Undergraduates make aptamers and acquire 21st century skills along the way. / Stovall, Gwendolyn M.; Huynh, Vincent; Engelman, Shelly; Ellington, Andrew D.

In: Sensors (Switzerland), Vol. 19, No. 15, 3270, 01.08.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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