Algorithmic Self-Assembly of DNA

Erik Winfree, Caltech

Nucleic acids have proven to be remarkably versatile as an engineering material for chemical tasks including the storage of information, catalyzing reactions creating and breaking bonds, mechanical manipulation using molecular motors, and constructing supramolecular structures. This talk will focus particularly on molecular self-assembly, giving examples of engineered DNA "tiles" that crystallize into two-dimensional sheets, one-dimensional tubes, and information-guided patterns such as a Sierpinski triangle and a binary counter. Such "algorithmic" self-assembly may provide a bottom-up fabrication method for creating complex, well-defined supramolecular structures that can be used as scaffolds or templates for applications such as arranging molecular electronic components into active circuits.

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