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Tiny DNA Tweezers Can Catch And Release Objects On-demand

Date:
November 4, 2008
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Researchers in China are reporting development of a new DNA "tweezers" that are the first of their kind capable of grasping and releasing objects on-demand. The microscopic tweezers could have several potential uses, the researchers note. Those include microsurgery, drug and gene delivery for gene therapy, and in the manufacturing of nano-sized circuits for futuristic electronics. 

Researchers in China are reporting development of a new DNA "tweezers" that are the first of their kind capable of grasping and releasing objects on-demand. The microscopic tweezers could have several potential uses, the researchers note. Those include microsurgery, drug and gene delivery for gene therapy, and in the manufacturing of nano-sized circuits for futuristic electronics. 

Zhaoxiang Deng and colleagues note that other scientists have developed tweezers made of DNA, the double helix molecule and chemical blueprint of life. Those tweezers can open and close by responding to complementary chemical components found in DNA's backbone. However, getting the tweezers to grasp and release objects like real tweezers has remained a bioengineering challenge until now.

The scientists describe development of a pair of DNA tweezers composed of four DNA strands — three which act as the "arms." In laboratory studies, the scientists showed that they could grab a piece of target DNA in the arms of the tweezers and release it on-demand using a controlled series of hydrogen bonding and pH changes. The scientists used fluorescent gel imaging to confirm the effectiveness of the tweezers' operation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Han et al. Catch and Release: DNA Tweezers that Can Capture, Hold, and Release an Object under Control. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2008; 130 (44): 14414 DOI: 10.1021/ja805945r

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Tiny DNA Tweezers Can Catch And Release Objects On-demand." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 November 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081103124416.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2008, November 4). Tiny DNA Tweezers Can Catch And Release Objects On-demand. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081103124416.htm
American Chemical Society. "Tiny DNA Tweezers Can Catch And Release Objects On-demand." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081103124416.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

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