Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Nanoscale origami from DNA - Researchers develop a new toolbox for nano-engineering

DNA molecules as ideal building blocks for nano structures. Image: H. Dietz, TUM Dept. of Physics
DNA molecules as ideal building blocks for nano structures. Image: H. Dietz, TUM Dept. of Physics

Abstract:
Scientists at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM) and Harvard University have thrown the lid off a new toolbox for building nanoscale structures out of DNA, with complex twisting and curving shapes. In the August 7 issue of the journal Science, they report a series of experiments in which they folded DNA, origami-like, into three-dimensional objects including a beach ball-shaped wireframe capsule just 50 nanometers in diameter.

Nanoscale origami from DNA - Researchers develop a new toolbox for nano-engineering

Germany & Massachusetts | Posted on August 6th, 2009

"Our goal was to find out whether we could program DNA to assemble into shapes that exhibit custom curvature or twist, with features just a few nanometers wide," says biophysicist Hendrik Dietz, a professor at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen. Dietz's collaborators in these experiments were Professor William Shih and Dr. Shawn Douglas of Harvard University. "It worked," he says, "and we can now build a diversity of three-dimensional nanoscale machine parts, such as round gears or curved tubes or capsules. Assembling those parts into bigger, more complex and functional devices should be possible."

As a medium for nanoscale engineering, DNA has the dual advantages of being a smart material - not only tough and flexible but also programmable - and being very well characterized by decades of study. Basic tools that Dietz, Douglas, and Shih employ are programmable self-assembly - directing DNA strands to form custom-shaped bundles of cross-linked double helices - and targeted insertions or deletions of base pairs that can give such bundles a desired twist or curve. Right-handed or left-handed twisting can be specified. They report achieving precise, quantitative control of these shapes, with a radius of curvature as tight as 6 nanometers.

The toolbox they have developed includes a graphical software program that helps to translate specific design concepts into the DNA programming required to realize them. Three-dimensional shapes are produced by "tuning" the number, arrangement, and lengths of helices.

In their current paper, the researchers present a wide variety of nanoscale structures and describe in detail how they designed, formed, and verified them. "Many advanced macroscopic machines require curiously shaped parts in order to function," Dietz says, "and we have the tools to make them. But we currently cannot build something intricate such as an ant's leg or, much smaller, a ten-nanometer-small chemical plant such as a protein enzyme. We expect many benefits if only we could build super-miniaturized devices on the nanoscale using materials that work robustly in the cells of our bodies - biomolecules such as DNA."

Original paper:

Folding DNA into Twisted and Curved Nanoscale Shapes
Hendrik Dietz, Shawn M. Douglas, and William M. Shih,
Science 7 August 2009: Vol. 325. no. 5941, pp. 725 - 730 - DOI: 10.1126/science.1174251

####

About Technische Universitaet Muenchen
Technische Universität München (TUM; sometimes translated as Technical University Munich)[2] is a research university with campuses in Munich, Garching, and Weihenstephan.

TUM is among the highest acclaimed universities in Germany, producing several Nobel Laureates including Gerhard Ertl who in 2007 received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Prof. Hendrik Dietz
Department of Physics
Technische Universitaet Muenchen
James-Franck-Str. 1, 85748 Garching, Germany
Tel. +49 89 289 12539
Fax: +49 89 289 12523

Copyright © Technische Universitaet Muenchen

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

A nanoscale wireless communication system via plasmonic antennas: Greater control affords 'in-plane' transmission of waves at or near visible light August 27th, 2016

Forces of nature: Interview with microscopy innovators Gerd Binnig and Christoph Gerber August 26th, 2016

A promising route to the scalable production of highly crystalline graphene films August 26th, 2016

Graphene under pressure August 26th, 2016

Possible Futures

A nanoscale wireless communication system via plasmonic antennas: Greater control affords 'in-plane' transmission of waves at or near visible light August 27th, 2016

A promising route to the scalable production of highly crystalline graphene films August 26th, 2016

Graphene under pressure August 26th, 2016

New electrical energy storage material shows its power: Nanomaterial combines attributes of both batteries and supercapacitors August 25th, 2016

Molecular Machines

Legions of nanorobots target cancerous tumors with precision: Administering anti-cancer drugs redefined August 16th, 2016

New remote-controlled microrobots for medical operations July 23rd, 2016

Pushing a single-molecule switch: An international team of researchers from Donostia International Physics Center, Fritz-Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society, University of Liverpool, and the Polish Academy of Sciences has shown a new way to operate a single-molecule switch July 19th, 2016

Researchers harness DNA as the engine of super-efficient nanomachine: New platform detects traces of everything from bacteria to viruses, cocaine and metals July 10th, 2016

Announcements

A nanoscale wireless communication system via plasmonic antennas: Greater control affords 'in-plane' transmission of waves at or near visible light August 27th, 2016

Forces of nature: Interview with microscopy innovators Gerd Binnig and Christoph Gerber August 26th, 2016

A promising route to the scalable production of highly crystalline graphene films August 26th, 2016

Graphene under pressure August 26th, 2016

Nanobiotechnology

Analog DNA circuit does math in a test tube: DNA computers could one day be programmed to diagnose and treat disease August 25th, 2016

Nanofiber scaffolds demonstrate new features in the behavior of stem and cancer cells August 25th, 2016

Johns Hopkins scientists track metabolic pathways to find drug combination for pancreatic cancer August 25th, 2016

50 years after the release of the film 'Fantastic Voyage,' science upstages fiction: Science upstages fiction with nanorobotic agents designed to travel in the human body to treat cancer August 25th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic