SIMS of transfer ribonucleic acid molecules encapsulated between free-standing graphene sheets. Conference Paper uri icon


  • In this study, the authors used cluster-secondary ion mass spectrometry method to investigate the preserved transfer ribonucleic acid (tRNA) encapsulated between two free-standing graphene sheets. Single impacts of 50keV C60 (2+) projectiles generated the emission of tRNA fragment ions in the transmission direction for mass selection and detection in a time-of-flight mass spectrometer. Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is extremely unstable and prone to rapid enzymatic degradation by ribonucleases. Employing graphene to isolate RNA from the environment, the authors prevent the aforementioned process. Encapsulation was achieved by drop casting a solution of tRNA, prepared using deuterated water, onto one graphene sheet and covering it with another. The event-by-event bombardment/detection mode allowed us to use colocalization analysis method to characterize the tRNA and its immediate environment. The authors found that upon drying, tRNA agglomerated into nanostructures 60nm in diameter via formation and subsequent drying of aqua cells. The tRNA nanoagglomerates had a density of 42 structures per m(2) with coverage of 12% of the surface area. In addition, trace amounts of water remained mostly around the tRNA nanoagglomerates, probably in the form of hydration.

published proceedings

  • Biointerphases

author list (cited authors)

  • Verkhoturov, D. S., Geng, S., Verkhoturov, S. V., Kim, H., & Schweikert, E. A.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Verkhoturov, Dmitriy S||Geng, Sheng||Verkhoturov, Stanislav V||Kim, Hansoo||Schweikert, Emile A

publication date

  • June 2016