Navigation Links
The shape of things to come: NIST probes the promise of nanomanufacturing using DNA origami

In recent years, scientists have begun to harness DNA's powerful molecular machinery to build artificial structures at the nanoscale using the natural ability of pairs of DNA molecules to assemble into complex structures. Such "DNA origami," first developed at the California Institute of Technology,* could provide a means of assembling complex nanostructures such as semiconductor devices, sensors and drug delivery systems, from the bottom up.

While most researchers in the field are working to demonstrate what's possible, scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are seeking to determine what's practical.**

According to NIST researcher Alex Liddle, it's a lot like building with LEGOssome patterns enable the blocks to fit together snugly and stick together strongly and some don't.

"If the technology is actually going to be useful, you have to figure out how well it works," says Liddle. "We have determined what a number of the critical factors are for the specific case of assembling nanostructures using a DNA-origami template and have shown how proper design of the desired nanostructures is essential to achieving good yield, moving, we hope, the technology a step forward."

In DNA origami, researchers lay down a long thread of DNA and attach "staples" comprised of complementary strands that bind to make the DNA fold up into various shapes, including rectangles, squares and triangles. The shapes serve as a template onto which nanoscale objects such as nanoparticles and quantum dots can be attached using strings of linker molecules.

The NIST researchers measured how quickly nanoscale structures can be assembled using this technique, how precise the assembly process is, how closely they can be spaced, and the strength of the bonds between the nanoparticles and the DNA origami template.

What they found is that a simple structure, four quantum dots at the corners of a 70-nanometer by 100-nanometer origami rectangle, takes up to 24 hours to self-assemble with an error rate of about 5 percent.

Other patterns that placed three and four dots in a line through the middle of the origami template were increasingly error prone. Sheathing the dots in biomaterials, a necessity for attaching them to the template, increases their effective diameter. A wider effective diameter (about 20 nanometers) limits how closely the dots can be positioned and also increases their tendency to interfere with one another during self-assembly, leading to higher error rates and lower bonding strength. This trend was especially pronounced for the four-dot patterns.

"Overall, we think that this process is good for building structures for biological applications like sensors and drug delivery, but it might be a bit of a stretch when applied to semiconductor device manufacturingthe distances can't be made small enough and the error rate is just too high," says Liddle.


Contact: Mark Esser
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Related biology news :

1. Shape, fit of reproductive organs evolve quickly and in concert, leaving size behind
2. Researchers find best routes to self-assembling 3-D shapes
3. Dramatic diversity of columbine flowers explained by a simple change in cell shape
4. Bats show ability to change their ear shapes, making their hearing more flexible
5. Crater shapes explained, how carnivorous plants bite, and doubts about faster-than-light neutrinos
6. Long bone shape: A family affair
7. Shape memory materials ready for mass production
8. Scripps Research scientists pinpoint shape-shifting mechanism critical to protein signaling
9. Research offers new way to target shape-shifting proteins
10. UBC researchers discover key mechanism that regulates shape and growth of plants
11. What shapes a bone?
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
The shape of things to come: NIST probes the promise of nanomanufacturing using DNA origami
(Date:10/29/2015)... , Oct. 29, 2015   MedNet Solutions ... the entire spectrum of clinical research, is pleased to ... High Tech Association (MHTA) as one of only three ... the "Software – Small and Growing" category. The Tekne Awards ... who have shown superior technology innovation and leadership. ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... 2015  Connected health pioneer, Joseph C. Kvedar ... technology-enabled health and wellness, and the business opportunities that ... The Internet of Healthy Things . Long before ... existed, Dr. Kvedar, vice president, Connected Health, Partners HealthCare, ... moving care from the hospital or doctor,s office into ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... October 27, 2015 Munich, ... Gaze Mapping technology (ASGM) automatically maps data from mobile ... Glasses , so that they can be quantitatively ... Munich, Germany , October 28-29, 2015. ... data from mobile eye tracking videos created with ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... CITY , Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna ... affirms that its business and prospects remain fundamentally ... , Zoptrex™ (zoptarelin doxorubicin) recently received DSMB recommendation ... to completion following review of the final interim ... Phase 2 Primary Endpoint in men with heavily ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015 Orexigen® Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... a fireside chat discussion at the Piper Jaffray 27th ... . The discussion is scheduled for Wednesday, December 2, ... .  A replay will be available for 14 days ... , Julie NormartVP, Corporate Communications and Business Development , ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Jessica Richman and ... early in their initial angel funding process. Now, they are paying it forward ... make early stage investments in the microbiome space. In this, they join ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 24, 2015 , ... The United States Golf Association (USGA) today announced Dr. ... Award. Presented annually since 1961, the USGA Green Section Award recognizes an individual’s distinguished ... , Clarke, of Iselin, N.J., is an extension specialist of turfgrass pathology in ...
Breaking Biology Technology: