Using the enzyme DNA ligase and small DNA strands as building blocks provides an efficient and less expensive path to a large variety of DNA scaffolds and other structures.
At the 2013 Conference George Church presented an overview of his work in developing applications of atomically precise nanotechnology intended for commercialization, from data storage to medical nanorobots to genomic sequencing to genomic engineering to mapping individual neuronal functioning in whole brains.
Programmed assembly and disassembly of rigid 3D DNA origami objects has been achieved by designing complementary surface shapes based upon weak stacking interactions to create simple nanomachines.
Linking proteins to DNA scaffolds to produce complex functional nanostructures can require chemistry that damages protein function. A new systematic approach avoids exposing proteins to damaging conditions.
Single-molecule spectroscopy makes possible adding one rung at a time to a foundational rung grafted to a surface to make a long nanotube scaffold of predetermined sequence.
Positioning two or more molecules along a long DNA strand can cause the DNA molecule to adopt different shapes if the molecules interact. Quickly and cheaply separating these shapes by a simple gel electrophoresis assay provides a wealth of information about how the molecules interact.
RNA origami brings new dimensions to nucleic acid nanotechnology by exploiting the much greater variety of RNA structural motifs (compared to DNA) to do what cannot easily be done with DNA origami, like fold into predetermined nanostructures rapidly while being transcribed.
An overview of three decades of progress in DNA nanotechnology emphasizes bringing programmed motion to DNA nanostructures, including efforts to incorporate design principles from macroscopic mechanical engineering.
Variable length single-stranded DNA springs determine how far a hinge of double-stranded DNA joining two stiff sections of DNA origami can bend.
Scaffolded DNA origami is combined with hinges of single- or double-stranded DNA to built simple machines parts that have been combined to program simple to complex motions.
Combinations of different types of DNA nanorobots, implementing different logic gates, work together to tag a specific type of cell in a living cockroach depending on the presence or absence of two protein signals.
A more general computational framework predicts the structures of 2D and 3D-curved DNA nanostructures impossible to predict using previously available computational methods. May lead to 3D-printing DNA nanostructures?
Design principles have been developed and tested to construct novel synthetic protein monomers that can self-assemble into large, open protein cages for potential use in vaccines and drug delivery.
Metal or other inorganic nanoparticles of 20 to 30-nm scale can be cast in arbitrary 3D shapes and configurations dictated by stiff, atomically precise molds constructed using scaffold DNA origami.
A new DARPA program seeks to bridge the gap from atoms to macroscale product manufacture in two steps, the first of which is from atoms to micrometer-scale feedstocks. DNA origami may be part of the solution.
A 10-fold larger breadboard and 350-fold lower DNA synthesis costs make DNA origami a more useful stepping-stone toward atomically precise manufacturing.
Swiss researchers have used biomolecular shuttles to capture molecular building blocks from solution and transport them across fluid flow boundaries to be further manipulated in a subsequent chamber.
Nanotech promises more commonplace access to advanced technology as material and fabrication costs fall and traditional barriers to innovation are removed. Examples are already being seen globally: more access to laptops and cell phones in developing countries, desktop 3D printers, a surge in establishment of shared-use research facilities, etc. A couple recent cases getting attention [...]
Enveloped DNA nanostructures were developed to escape attacks from nucleases and the immune system, opening a path to ever more sophisticated DNA nanomedical devices.
The complex molecular recognition code of RNA offers RNA nanotechnology a greater variety of 3D structures and functions than are present in DNA nanotechnology, but the RNA structures can be fragile. New RNA triangles that resist boiling solve this problem.