But the potential of structural DNA nanotechnology in biological applications has been underestimated, and if we look at the process of DNA self-assembly, you will be amazed that trillions of DNA nanostructures can form simultaneously in a solution of few microliters, and very importantly, they are biocompatible and water soluble, said Yan.
DNA chip and microarray technology have become a multi-billion dollar industry as scientists use it to examine thousands of genes at the same time for mutations or uncovering clues to disease. However, because DNA probes are pinned to the solid surface of the microarray chips, it is relatively slow process for the targets to search and find the probes. Also, it is hard to control the distances between the probes with nanometer accuracy.
In this work, we developed a water soluble nanoarray that can take advantage of the DNA self-assembling process and also have benefits that the macroscopic DNA microchip arrays do not have, said Yan. The arrays themselves are reagents, instead of solid surface chips.
To make the DNA origami RNA probes, Yan has taken advantage of the basic DNA pairing rules in the DNA chemical alphabet (A can only form a zipper-like chemical bond with T and G only pair with C). By controlling the exact position and location of the chemical bases within a synthetic replica of DNA, Yan programmed a single stranded genomic DNA, M13, into nanotiles to contain the probes for specific gene expression targets.
Yan refers to the self-assembled DNA nanoarrays as nucleic acid probe tiles, which look like a nanosized postage stamp. In a single step, the M13 scaffold system can churn out as many as 100 trillion of the tiles with close to100 percent yield.
Yans team designed three different DNA probe til
|Contact: Joe Caspermeyer|
Arizona State University