Programmable DNA nanomachines snap together like LEGO bricks to create various nanodevices

03/31/2015 - 00:00

The field popularly known as "DNA origami," in reference to the traditional Japanese art of paper folding, is advancing quickly toward practical applications, according to TUM Prof. Hendrik Dietz. Earlier this month, Dietz was awarded Germany's most important research award, the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize, for his role in this progress.

In recent years, Dietz and his team have been responsible for major steps in the direction of applications:  experimental devices including a synthetic membrane channel made from DNA; discoveries that cut the time needed for self-assembly processes from a week to a few hours and enable yields approaching 100%; proof that extremely complex structures can be assembled, as designed, with subnanometer precision. 


Ref: Dynamic DNA devices and assemblies formed by shape-complementary, non-base pairing 3D components. Thomas Gerling, Klaus F. Wagenbauer, Andrea M. Neuner, and Hendrik Dietz. Science, 27 March, 2015. doi/10.1126/science.aaa5372