DNA Origami: Building Nanoscale Structures
Inspired by nature, researchers have started to use the self-assembling feature of DNA to design nanotubes and other objects that have useful electrical and mechanical properties.
As a member of the National Science Foundation's Materials World Network, Hao Yan and his team at Arizona State University recently developed a new strategy to build nanostructures using DNA as a scaffold for assembly.
Read the full story from the Biodesign Institute at the University of Arizona here.
Dongran Han, Suchetan Pal, Jeanette Nangreave, Zhengtao Deng, Yan Liu, and Hao Yan: DNA Origami with Complex Curvatures in Three-Dimensional Space. Science 15 April 2011: 342-346.
DNA Origami: The technique of DNA origami was introduced in 2006 by computer scientist Paul W.K. Rothemund of Caltech. It relies on the self-assembling properties of DNA's four complementary base pairs, which fasten together the strands of the molecule's famous double-helix. When these nucleotides, labeled A, T, C, and G, interact, they join to one another according to a simple formula-A always pairs with T and C with G.
This animation shows how a nanosphere can self-assemble using the DNA origami technique developed in the lab of Hao Yan at Arizona State University. The research is published in the April 15 issue of the journal Science. Credit: National Science Foundation