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Archive for the 'Bionanotechnology' Category

Assembling a large, stable, icosahedral protein molecular cage

Posted by Jim Lewis on September 9th, 2016

A trimeric protein was designed to self assemble into a 60 unit icosahedron with a roomy interior that might find use to ferry molecular cargo into cells or as a chemical reactor.

Rational improvement of DNA nanodevice function

Posted by Jim Lewis on August 13th, 2016

Recent research documents a structure-based rational design strategy combining molecular dynamics and single molecule imaging to improve the performance of a DNA tweezers that accurately positions an enzyme and its cofactor.

Peptoid nanosheets assemble by different design rule

Posted by Jim Lewis on July 31st, 2016

Chains of monomers joined by non-biological peptoid bonds follow different rules of self-assembly and form structures not found in chains joined by the peptide bonds used to form proteins.

Engineered protein assembles molecules into atomically precise lattice

Posted by Jim Lewis on July 30th, 2016

An engineered protein controls the assembly of C60 fullerene molecules into an atomically precise lattice that conducts electricity while neither component alone would.

Protein design provides a novel metabolic path for carbon fixation

Posted by Jim Lewis on June 8th, 2016

Computational design of an enzyme that carboligates three one-carbon molecules to form one three-carbon molecule, an activity that does not exist in nature, provides proof-of-principle for a novel metabolic pathway for carbon fixation.

Triple helices stabilize macroscopic crystals for DNA nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on May 5th, 2016

A DNA strand capable of forming a triple helix with a portion of the DNA double helices in a macroscopic DNA crystal enhances the weak interactions holding the crystal together so that the crystal remains stable in the absence of a high ionic strength environment.

DNA triplex formation decorates DNA crystals with sub-nanometer precision

Posted by Jim Lewis on May 3rd, 2016

A specially designed triplex forming oligonucleotide bearing a cargo molecule binds to a specific sequence in the major groove of a DNA double helix to form a modified DNA tile that self assembles into a macroscopic crystal in which each helix carries a cargo molecule positioned to sub-nanometer precision.

Macroscopic DNA crystals from molecular tensegrity triangles

Posted by Jim Lewis on May 2nd, 2016

Structural DNA nanotechnology: progress toward a precise self-assembling three dimensional scaffold by building macroscopic crystals from nanoscale structures.

DNA nanotechnology defeats drug resistance in cancer cells

Posted by Jim Lewis on April 2nd, 2016

Small, stiff, rectangular rods made using scaffolded DNA origami bypass drug resistance mechanisms in the membranes of a cultured leukemia cell line and release enough therapeutic drug to kill the cancer cell.

Caltech celebrates ten years of Scaffolded DNA Origami

Posted by Jim Lewis on March 14th, 2016

California Institute of Technology is holding a symposium to honor Paul Rothemund’s seminal contribution to the field of DNA nanotechnology: the research paths opened by the technology, and where they might lead.

Crowd-sourced RNA structure design uncovers new insights

Posted by Jim Lewis on March 12th, 2016

Thousands of amateurs playing the online RNA folding game Eterna, backed up by a real-world automated lab testing their predictions, have provided insights to improve the algorithms computers use to design RNA molecules.

Tightly-fitted DNA parts form dynamic nanomachine

Posted by Jim Lewis on March 10th, 2016

A rotor with DNA origami parts held together by an engineered tight fit instead of by covalent bonds can revolve freely, driven by Brownian motion and dwelling at engineered docking sites.

DNA nanotechnology provides new ways to arrange nanoparticles into crystal lattices

Posted by Jim Lewis on February 19th, 2016

Two research teams present two different methods for using single strands of DNA to link various nanoparticles into complex 3D arrays: one using DNA hairpins for dynamic reconfiguration and the other using a DNA origami scaffold.

DNA nanotechnology cages localize and optimize enzymatic reactions

Posted by Jim Lewis on February 16th, 2016

Encapsulating enzymes in nanocages engineered using structural DNA nanotechnology increases enzymatic digestion and protects enzymes from degradation.

Roles of materials research and polymer chemistry in developing nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on February 16th, 2016

Polymer chemistry and materials research provide opportunities to explore structures that harmonize phenomena unique to nanoscale technology, the role of mechanical forces generated at interfaces, and the responses of biological systems to mechanical stresses.

Multiple advances in de novo protein design and prediction

Posted by Jim Lewis on February 14th, 2016

New families of protein structures, barrel proteins for positioning small molecules, self-assembling protein arrays, and precision sculpting of protein architectures highlight de novo protein design advances.

Rational design of protein architectures not found in nature

Posted by Jim Lewis on February 11th, 2016

Computational design of proteins satisfying predetermined geometric constraints produced stable proteins with the designed structure that are not found in nature.

De novo protein design space extends far beyond biology

Posted by Jim Lewis on February 3rd, 2016

A fully automated design protocol generates dozens of designs for proteins based on helix-loop-helix-loop repeat units that are very stable, have crystal structures that match the design, have very different overall shapes, and are unrelated to any natural protein.

Conference video: Nanoscale Materials, Devices, and Processing Predicted from First Principles

Posted by Jim Lewis on January 15th, 2016

Prof. William Goddard presented four advances from his research group that enable going from first principles quantum mechanics calculations to realistic nanosystems of interest with millions or billions of atoms.

DNA nanotechnology controls which molecules enter cells

Posted by Jim Lewis on January 13th, 2016

DNA building blocks mimic biological ion channels to more precisely control which molecules can cross a biological membrane.