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

Study provides insight into how nanoparticles interact with biological systems: Findings can help scientists engineer nanoparticles that are ‘benign by design’ October 18th, 2018

Iran World’s Second Largest Producer of Nano-Catalysts October 17th, 2018

Iran Unveils Its First Homegrown 3D Nano Printer October 17th, 2018

Fat-Repellent Nanolayers Can Make Oven Cleaning Easier October 17th, 2018

Aculon, Inc. Enters into Strategic Partnership Agreement with Henkel Corporation to Supply Key Mobile Device Manufacturers with NanoProof® PCB Waterproof Technology October 17th, 2018

Videos/Movies

Aculon, Inc. Enters into Strategic Partnership Agreement with Henkel Corporation to Supply Key Mobile Device Manufacturers with NanoProof® PCB Waterproof Technology October 17th, 2018

Big award enables study of small surfaces: Rice U.'s Matt Jones wins Packard Fellowship to view nanoscale chemical reactions October 15th, 2018

Extracting energy from a 60 nanometers thin layer October 5th, 2018

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Files for Regulatory Clearance to Begin Phase 1 Study of ARO-ANG3 October 15th, 2018

Graphene shows unique potential to exceed bandwidth demands of future telecommunications October 12th, 2018

High-performance self-assembled catalyst for SOFC October 12th, 2018

Tracking a Killer: UCSB, UCSD and SBP researchers trace the complex and variable pathways to the deadly condition known as sepsis October 12th, 2018

Molecular Nanotechnology

How swarms of nanomachines could improve the efficiency of any machine September 28th, 2018

UT engineers develop first method for controlling nanomotors: Breakthrough for nanotechnology as UT engineers develop first method for switching the mechanical motion of nanomotors September 21st, 2018

Measuring the nanoworld September 4th, 2018

All wired up: New molecular wires for single-molecule electronic devices August 31st, 2018

Self Assembly

High-performance self-assembled catalyst for SOFC October 12th, 2018

New bio-inspired dynamic materials transform themselves: Highly dynamic synthetic superstructure provides new clues on brain, spinal cord injuries and neurological disease October 5th, 2018

DNA drives design principles for lighter, thinner optical displays: Lighter gold nanoparticles could replace thicker, heavier layered polymers used in displays’ back-reflectors June 27th, 2018

Collaboration yields discovery of 12-sided silica cages June 20th, 2018

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes/Nanorods

TUBALL single wall carbon nanotubes: No ecotoxicity found, unlike other carbon nanotubes October 12th, 2018

EXPLORES NEXT-GEN GRAPHENE NANOTUBE PRODUCTS October 2nd, 2018

Carbon nanodots do an ultrafine job with in vitro lung tissue: New experiments highlight the role of charge and size when it comes to carbon nanodots that mimic the effect of nanoscale pollution particles on the human lung. September 12th, 2018

Graphene nanotubes outperform ammonium salts and carbon black in PU applications September 11th, 2018

Nanomedicine

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Hosts R&D Day on Pipeline of RNAi Therapeutics October 17th, 2018

Big award enables study of small surfaces: Rice U.'s Matt Jones wins Packard Fellowship to view nanoscale chemical reactions October 15th, 2018

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Files for Regulatory Clearance to Begin Phase 1 Study of ARO-ANG3 October 15th, 2018

180 Degree Capital Corp. Announces New Portfolio Holdings – Airgain, Inc., EMCORE Corporation, Lantronix, Inc. and PDL BioPharma, Inc. October 12th, 2018

Discoveries

Study provides insight into how nanoparticles interact with biological systems: Findings can help scientists engineer nanoparticles that are ‘benign by design’ October 18th, 2018

Researchers quickly harvest 2-D materials, bringing them closer to commercialization: Efficient method for making single-atom-thick, wafer-scale materials opens up opportunities in flexible electronics October 12th, 2018

Graphene shows unique potential to exceed bandwidth demands of future telecommunications October 12th, 2018

High-performance self-assembled catalyst for SOFC October 12th, 2018

Announcements

Study provides insight into how nanoparticles interact with biological systems: Findings can help scientists engineer nanoparticles that are ‘benign by design’ October 18th, 2018

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Hosts R&D Day on Pipeline of RNAi Therapeutics October 17th, 2018

Iran Produces Cooling Fabrics Using Nanotechnology October 17th, 2018

Iran World’s Second Largest Producer of Nano-Catalysts October 17th, 2018

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

Study provides insight into how nanoparticles interact with biological systems: Findings can help scientists engineer nanoparticles that are ‘benign by design’ October 18th, 2018

Big award enables study of small surfaces: Rice U.'s Matt Jones wins Packard Fellowship to view nanoscale chemical reactions October 15th, 2018

Graphene shows unique potential to exceed bandwidth demands of future telecommunications October 12th, 2018

High-performance self-assembled catalyst for SOFC October 12th, 2018

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

Iran World’s Second Largest Producer of Nano-Catalysts October 17th, 2018

Big award enables study of small surfaces: Rice U.'s Matt Jones wins Packard Fellowship to view nanoscale chemical reactions October 15th, 2018

Tracking a Killer: UCSB, UCSD and SBP researchers trace the complex and variable pathways to the deadly condition known as sepsis October 12th, 2018

Columbia Engineers Build Smallest Integrated Kerr Frequency Comb Generator October 9th, 2018

Nanobiotechnology

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Hosts R&D Day on Pipeline of RNAi Therapeutics October 17th, 2018

Big award enables study of small surfaces: Rice U.'s Matt Jones wins Packard Fellowship to view nanoscale chemical reactions October 15th, 2018

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Files for Regulatory Clearance to Begin Phase 1 Study of ARO-ANG3 October 15th, 2018

180 Degree Capital Corp. Announces New Portfolio Holdings – Airgain, Inc., EMCORE Corporation, Lantronix, Inc. and PDL BioPharma, Inc. October 12th, 2018

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



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project