Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Captured on video: DNA nanotubes build a bridge between 2 molecular posts: Research may lead to new lines of direct communication with cells

Steps for building DNA nanotube connections between molecular landmarks.
CREDIT
Nature Nanotechnology, 2016, Abdul M. Mohammed et alia
Steps for building DNA nanotube connections between molecular landmarks. CREDIT Nature Nanotechnology, 2016, Abdul M. Mohammed et alia

Abstract:
In a microscopic feat that resembled a high-wire circus act, Johns Hopkins researchers have coaxed DNA nanotubes to assemble themselves into bridge-like structures arched between two molecular landmarks on the surface of a lab dish.



Time-lapse movie showing the formation of a DNA nanotube bridge (green) between two molecular landmarks (red and blue) that are separated by 6 microns. The movie is 5,000 times sped up with respect to real time.

CREDIT Nature Nanotechnology, 2016, Abdul M. Mohammed, et alia

Captured on video: DNA nanotubes build a bridge between 2 molecular posts: Research may lead to new lines of direct communication with cells

Baltimore, MD | Posted on January 9th, 2017

The team captured examples of this unusual nanoscale performance on video.

This self-assembling bridge process, which may someday be used to connect electronic medical devices to living cells, was reported by the team recently in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

To describe this process, senior author Rebecca Schulman, an assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering in the university's Whiting School of Engineering, referred to a death-defying stunt shown in the movie "Man on Wire." The film depicted Philippe Petit's 1974 high-wire walk between the World Trade Center's Twin Towers.

Schulman pointed out that the real-life crossing could not have been accomplished without a critical piece of old-fashioned engineering: Petit's hidden partner used a bow and arrow to launch the wire across the chasm between the towers, allowing it to be secured to each structure.

"A feat like that was hard to do on a human scale," Schulman said. "Could we ask molecules to do the same thing? Could we get molecules to build a 'bridge' between other molecules or landmarks on existing structures?"

The paper's lead author, Abdul Mohammed, a postdoctoral fellow in Schulman's lab, used another analogy to describe the molecular bridge-building feat they demonstrated at the nanoscale level. "If this process were to happen at the human scale," Mohammed said, "it would be like one person casting a fishing line from one side of a football field and trying to hook a person standing on the other side."

To accomplish this task, the researchers turned to DNA nanotubes. These microscopic building blocks, formed by short sequences of synthetic DNA, have become popular materials in the emerging nanotechnology construction field. The sequences are particularly useful because of their ability to assemble themselves into long, tube-like structures known as DNA nanotubes.

In the Johns Hopkins study, these building blocks attached themselves to separate molecular anchor posts, representing where the connecting bridge would begin and end. The segments formed two nanotube chains, each one extending away from its anchor post. Then, like spaghetti in a pot of boiling water, the lengthening nanotube chains wriggled about, exploring their surroundings in a random fashion. Eventually, this movement allowed the ends of the two separate nanotube strands to make contact with one another and snap together to form a single connecting bridge span.

To learn more about how this process occurs, the researchers used microscopes to watch the nanotubes link to their molecular landmarks, which were labeled with different colored fluorescent dyes and attached to transparent glass. The team's video equipment also captured the formation of nanotubes spans, as the two bridge segments lengthened and ultimately connected. Completion of the nanoscale bridge in the accompanying example took about six hours, but the team's videos were sped up significantly to enable a more rapid review. Depending on how far apart the molecular anchor posts were located, the connection process took anywhere from several hours to two days.

The ability to assemble these bridges, the researchers say, suggests a new way to build medical devices that use wires, channels or other devices that could "plug in" to molecules on a cell's surface. Such technologies could be used to understand nerve cell communication or to deliver therapeutics with unprecedented precision. Molecular bridge-building, the researchers said, is also a step toward building networked devices and "cities" at the nanoscale, enabling new components of a machine or factory to communicate with one another.

###

John Zenk, who recently received his Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins, and Petr Šulc, a postdoctoral fellow at Rockefeller University, were co-authors on this study. This research was supported by DOE grant DE-SC0010595, which provided money for materials, supplies and computing time; NSF CAREER award 125387; and the Simons Foundation, which supported Sulc.

Photo, schematic and video available; contact Phil Sneiderman.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Phil Sneiderman

443-997-9907

Copyright © Johns Hopkins University

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

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy under real ambient pressure conditions June 28th, 2017

Nanometrics to Participate in the 9th Annual CEO Investor Summit 2017: Accredited investor and publishing research analyst event held concurrently with SEMICON West and Intersolar 2017 in San Francisco June 27th, 2017

NMRC, University of Nottingham chooses the Quorum Q150 coater for its reliable and reproducible film thickness when coating samples with iridium June 27th, 2017

Picosun’s ALD solutions enable novel high-speed memories June 27th, 2017

Videos/Movies

Tiny bubbles provide tremendous propulsion in new microparticles research-Ben-Gurion U. June 21st, 2017

Graphene and quantum dots put in motion a CMOS-integrated camera that can see the invisible May 29th, 2017

Controlling 3-D behavior of biological cells using laser holographic techniques May 26th, 2017

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria: Rice, Ben-Gurion universities show laser-induced graphene kills bacteria, resists biofouling May 22nd, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Atomic imperfections move quantum communication network closer to reality June 25th, 2017

Research accelerates quest for quicker, longer-lasting electronics: UC Riverside-led research makes topological insulators magnetic well above room temperatures June 25th, 2017

U.S. Air Force Research Lab Taps IBM to Build Brain-Inspired AI Supercomputing System: Equal to 64 million neurons, new neurosynaptic supercomputing system will power complex AI tasks at unprecedented speed and energy efficiency June 23rd, 2017

Rice U. chemists create 3-D printed graphene foam June 22nd, 2017

Molecular Nanotechnology

First 3-D observation of nanomachines working inside cells: Researchers headed by IRB Barcelona combine genetic engineering, super-resolution microscopy and biocomputation to allow them to see in 3-D the protein machinery inside living cells January 27th, 2017

Tip-assisted chemistry enables chemical reactions at femtoliter scale November 16th, 2016

Scientists come up with light-driven motors to power nanorobots of the future: Researchers from Russia and Ukraine propose a nanosized motor controlled by a laser with potential applications across the natural sciences and medicine November 11th, 2016

New Book by Nobel Laureate Tells Story of Chemistry’s New Field: Fraser Stoddart explains the mechanical bond and where it is taking scientists November 11th, 2016

Self Assembly

Oddball enzyme provides easy path to synthetic biomaterials May 17th, 2017

Nanotubes that build themselves April 14th, 2017

Nanocages for gold particles: what is happening inside? March 16th, 2017

Most Complex Nanoparticle Crystal Ever Made by Design: Possible applications include controlling light, capturing pollutants, delivering therapeutics March 2nd, 2017

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes/Nanorods

Tests show no nanotubes released during utilisation of nanoaugmented materials June 9th, 2017

Ag/ZnO-Nanorods Schottky diodes based UV-PDs are fabricated and tested May 26th, 2017

Fed grant backs nanofiber development: Rice University joins Department of Energy 'Next Generation Machines' initiative May 10th, 2017

Nanotubes that build themselves April 14th, 2017

Nanomedicine

Physicists make quantum leap in understanding life's nanoscale machinery June 27th, 2017

Researchers developed nanoparticle based contrast agent for dual modal imaging of cancer June 21st, 2017

Learning with light: New system allows optical “deep learning”: Neural networks could be implemented more quickly using new photonic technology June 12th, 2017

Mussels add muscle to biocompatible fibers: Rice University chemists develop hydrogel strings using compound found in sea creatures June 9th, 2017

Discoveries

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy under real ambient pressure conditions June 28th, 2017

Physicists make quantum leap in understanding life's nanoscale machinery June 27th, 2017

Picosun’s ALD solutions enable novel high-speed memories June 27th, 2017

Atomic imperfections move quantum communication network closer to reality June 25th, 2017

Announcements

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy under real ambient pressure conditions June 28th, 2017

Nanometrics to Participate in the 9th Annual CEO Investor Summit 2017: Accredited investor and publishing research analyst event held concurrently with SEMICON West and Intersolar 2017 in San Francisco June 27th, 2017

NMRC, University of Nottingham chooses the Quorum Q150 coater for its reliable and reproducible film thickness when coating samples with iridium June 27th, 2017

Picosun’s ALD solutions enable novel high-speed memories June 27th, 2017

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy under real ambient pressure conditions June 28th, 2017

Physicists make quantum leap in understanding life's nanoscale machinery June 27th, 2017

Picosun’s ALD solutions enable novel high-speed memories June 27th, 2017

Atomic imperfections move quantum communication network closer to reality June 25th, 2017

Grants/Sponsored Research/Awards/Scholarships/Gifts/Contests/Honors/Records

Physicists make quantum leap in understanding life's nanoscale machinery June 27th, 2017

Atomic imperfections move quantum communication network closer to reality June 25th, 2017

Rice U. chemists create 3-D printed graphene foam June 22nd, 2017

Mussels add muscle to biocompatible fibers: Rice University chemists develop hydrogel strings using compound found in sea creatures June 9th, 2017

Nanobiotechnology

Physicists make quantum leap in understanding life's nanoscale machinery June 27th, 2017

Researchers developed nanoparticle based contrast agent for dual modal imaging of cancer June 21st, 2017

Mussels add muscle to biocompatible fibers: Rice University chemists develop hydrogel strings using compound found in sea creatures June 9th, 2017

Making vessels leaky on demand could aid drug delivery:Rice University scientists use magnets and nanoparticles to open, close gaps in blood vessels June 8th, 2017

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