Laboratory for Aptamer Discovery and Development of Emerging Research (LADDER)

Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario
What the facility does

DNA nanotechnology for bio-sensing and ‘smart’ materials

Areas of expertise

The Laboratory for Aptamer Discovery and Development of Emerging Research  (LADDER) facility at Carleton University houses the DeRosa laboratory, which examines  types of nucleic acids called ‘aptamers’ that can fold into 3D-nanoscale shapes capable of binding tightly to a specific molecular target.  The facility houses all the necessary equipment for the discovery of new aptamers for a variety of targets, from small molecules, to proteins, to whole cells or viruses.  Along with the development of new aptamers, the DeRosa group is focused on developing a better understanding of how aptamers work and on using this information to design useful nanotechnology, like biosensors or “smart” delivery devices.

Research services

Analytical services, spectroscopy, DNA synthesis and purification, aptamer development

Sectors of application
  • Agriculture, animal science and food
  • Chemical industries
  • Defence and security industries
  • Environmental technologies and related services
  • Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment
Equipment Function
DNA synthesizer Chemical synthesis of oligonucleotides
DNA purification suite of equipment HPLC, gel electrophoresis equipment, required for DNA purification
  • Environment Canada
  • Health Canada
  • PCAire Inc.
  • Canadian Centre for Swine Improvement Inc.
Title URL
Profile in Frog Heart Blog (Science and Nanotechnology blog)
TED talk on “smart” fertilizers using aptamers
A promising future, now: A CFI contribution is helping Maria DeRosa create smart fertilizers, medical therapeutics and tests for toxic food