100-fold increase in nanostructure complexity
Scientists at the Wyss Institute, part of Harvard University, have announced a 100-fold increase in the complexity of “DNA bricks” that can self-assemble into 3D nanostructures.
DNA, present in almost every cell, is increasingly being used as a building material to construct tiny, but sophisticated structures – such as smart drug delivery vehicles programmed to release their therapeutic content at disease sites, autonomous ‘walkers’ that can move along a microparticle surface, fluorescent labels for diagnostic applications, or programmable factories for nanoparticles in optical and electronic applications.
To accommodate these functions, researchers at Harvard’s Wyss Institute have developed ways that allow DNA strands to self-assemble into increasingly complex 3D structures, such as scaffolded DNA origamis. However, DNA origamis are limited in their sizes, because they rely on the availability of scaffold strands that can be difficult to manufacture and manipulate. In 2012, Peng Yin at Wyss presented an alternative …