Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

DNA Tubes Created With Programmable Sizes For Nanoscale Manufacturing

Date:
September 2, 2008
Source:
California Institute of Technology
Summary:
Scientists have developed a simple process for mass producing molecular tubes of identical -- and precisely programmable -- circumferences. The technological feat may allow the use of the molecular tubes in a number of nanotechnology applications.

Scientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have developed a simple process for mass producing molecular tubes of identical--and precisely programmable--circumferences. The technological feat may allow the use of the molecular tubes in a number of nanotechnology applications.

The molecular tubes are composed of wound-up strands of DNA. DNA has been considered an ideal construction material for self-assembling molecular structures and devices because two complementary DNA strands can automatically recognize and bind with each other. DNA has been used to form rigid building blocks, known as tiles, and these tiles can further assemble into extended lattice structures, including tubes. However, it has been difficult to control the diameters of such tubes.

Peng Yin, a senior postdoctoral scholar in bioengineering and computer science at Caltech's Center for Biological Circuit Design, along with his colleagues has designed a series of flexible, single-stranded DNA molecules, called single-stranded DNA tiles. Each single-stranded tile is exactly 42 bases long and contains four modular binding sites. By pairing up the complementary binding sites, these single-stranded tiles bind with each other in a particular orientation like Lego pieces snapped together, forming a tube composed of parallel DNA helices.

The circumference of the resulting tube is determined by the number of different 42-base pieces used in its construction. For example, four pieces create a tube with a circumference of 12 billionths of a meter (or 12 nanometers); five pieces, a 15-nanometer-circumference tube; and six pieces, an 18-nanometer tube.

"We are not the first to make DNA tubes with controlled circumferences. However, compared with previous approaches, our method is distinctively simple and modular," says Yin. The simplicity and modularity of their approach permits the description of the tube design using a simple graphical abstraction system developed earlier this year in the laboratory of Niles Pierce, associate professor_of applied and computational mathematics and bioengineering at Caltech.

Just as a variety of wood sizes are used in construction projects--two by four inches for framing walls, two by eight inches for roof rafters, or four by four inches for fence posts--having nanotubes of various, precisely controlled sizes provides their user with more options. In addition, nanotubes of different sizes have varying mechanical properties; for example, tubes with a smaller diameter are more flexible and tubes with a larger diameter are more rigid. The nanotubes might eventually serve as templates for manufacturing nanowires with controlled diameters; the diameters of electron-conducting nanowires would help determine the electronic properties of the devices they are used to construct.

"The simplicity of the single-stranded tile approach promises to enable us to design ever more complex self-assembling molecular systems. The work is simultaneously elegant and useful," says Erik Winfree, associate professor of computer science, computation and neural systems, and bioengineering at Caltech. Winfree's laboratory was the primary host of Yin's research at Caltech.

Yin's coauthors are applied physics graduate student Rizal Hariadi and computer science postdoctoral scholar Sung Ha Park from Erik Winfree's group; bioengineering graduate student Harry Choi from Niles Pierce's group; and computer science graduate student Sudheer Sahu at Duke University; Thomas LaBean, associate research professor of computer science and chemistry at Duke University; and John Reif, professor of computer science at Duke University.

The work was funded by the Center for Biological Circuit Design at Caltech and the National Science Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by California Institute of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Yin et al. Programming DNA Tube Circumferences. Science, 2008; 321 (5890): 824 DOI: 10.1126/science.1157312

Cite This Page:

California Institute of Technology. "DNA Tubes Created With Programmable Sizes For Nanoscale Manufacturing." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080829135354.htm>.
California Institute of Technology. (2008, September 2). DNA Tubes Created With Programmable Sizes For Nanoscale Manufacturing. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080829135354.htm
California Institute of Technology. "DNA Tubes Created With Programmable Sizes For Nanoscale Manufacturing." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080829135354.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

AP (Sep. 17, 2014) The Federal Reserve signaled Wednesday that it plans to keep a key interest rate at a record low because a broad range of U.S. economic measures remain subpar. Stocks hit an all-time high on the news. (Sept. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 16, 2014) Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' startup will team up with Boeing and Lockheed to develop rocket engines as Elon Musk races to have his rockets certified. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
MIT's Robot Cheetah Unleashed — Can Now Run, Jump Freely

MIT's Robot Cheetah Unleashed — Can Now Run, Jump Freely

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) MIT developed a robot modeled after a cheetah. It can run up to speeds of 10 mph, though researchers estimate it will eventually reach 30 mph. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Manufacturer Prints 3-D Car In Record Time

Manufacturer Prints 3-D Car In Record Time

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) Automobile manufacturer Local Motors created a drivable electric car using a 3-D printer. Printing the body only took 44 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins