Researchers have presented new information on a novel variant of what is known as DNA origami that could lead to developments in biomolecular science and nanotechnology that, in turn, might become the basis for new nanoparticles used for drug delivery and cell targeting.
Writing in the journal Science, Arizona State University researcher Hao Yan, along with colleagues from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Baylor College of Medicine, outlined a new method of designing geometric forms built from DNA. Their variant is based on the technique known as DNA origami, in which the base-pairing properties of DNA are used for the construction of minute structures in two and three dimensions.
“An important challenge in the field of DNA nanotechnology is to design any desirable structures in a top-down manner, without much human input concerning details of DNA strand folding paths,” Yan said, in an interview with ASU Now.
Yan, along with his MIT collaborators led by Mark Bathe, was able to develop a computer algorithm that designs DNA nanostructures by only inputting a target shape. A software platform was developed that can compute and output the necessary DNA strands to form designer architectures. Those structures were then systematically characterized and confirmed experimentally at ASU, MIT and Baylor.
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