Nanotechnology Spotlight – Latest Articles

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Using DNA to make nanoelectronics

square-patternTo realize the full potential of DNA nanotechnology in nanoelectronics applications requires addressing a number of scientific and engineering challenges: how to create and manipulate DNA nanostructures? How to use them for surface patterning and integrating heterogeneous materials at the nanoscale? And how to use these processes to produce electronic devices at lower cost and with better performance? These topics are the focus of a recent reviewarticle.

Feb 17th, 2022

Nanotechnology strategies for plant genetic engineering

genetic_engineeringThe development of plant genetic engineering lags behind the development of animal genetic engineering. Plant cells differ from animal cells in several aspects, a major one being that, in addition to the cell membrane, they possess a wall surrounding them to provide mechanical and structural support. In recent years, breakthroughs in nanotechnology for genetic engineering have provided more favorable tools for the genetic transformation of plants. A review summarizes the types of gene carriers used in plant genetic transformation, the ways of combining with foreign genes, and the differences and advantages compared with earlier traditional transgenic methods.

Jan 10th, 2022

Designing nucleic acid nanotechnology for targeted immunostimulation in human cells

nucleic-acid-nanoparticlesNucleic acids offer an ideal building material for the development of therapeutic nucleic acids because they are biocompatible and can be programmed as or functionalized with antisense oligonucleotides, small interfering RNA (siRNAs), microRNAs (miRNAs), aptamers, and decoy sequence. New research shows that nucleic acid composition can be designed for enhanced stability, targeted cellular delivery, and optimal activation or abrogation of immune responses.

Oct 28th, 2020

Bottom-up fabrication of nanoelectronics with DNA nanotechnology

DNA-templatesDNA is probably the most programmable biomaterial for creating a wide range of rationally designed and functionally enhanced nanostructures. The sophisticated, programmable, and addressable DNA nanostructures are strong candidates for constructing nanoelectronic devices. The size of DNA molecules is also key: DNA double-helix has a neighboring base pair distance of 0.34 nm and a diameter of 2.1 - 2.6 nm a, and thus DNA complex-based nanoelectronics may break the 5-nm processing limit of commercial silicon-based semiconductors.

Sep 10th, 2020

A solid-state nanopore platform for digital data storage

dna_computingUsing DNA to directly store data is an attractive possibility because it is extremely dense and long-lasting. Currently, though, synthesizing and sequencing DNA molecules for storing large amounts of data involves complex devices and is very expensive. In an effort to make data storage in DNA more affordable and commercially viable, researchers have combined nanopore sensing and DNA nanotechnology in a solid-state nanopore platform for digital data storage. This digital data storage method provides an alternative to information storage in the DNA base sequence.

Jan 15th, 2019

DNA-based nanocomposite hydrogel as a potent injectable drug delivery platform

hydrogelInvestigating the potential of DNA to form self-assembled injectable hydrogels via physical crosslinking with silicate nanodisks, researchers have utilized DNA as a high molecular weight polymeric chain in order to form hydrogel networks for tissue regeneration and drug delivery applications. They have designed shear thinning hydrogels, which can be passed through a 22-gauge syringe by taking advantage of the native chemical structure of DNA and its specific base pairing interactions.

Sep 24th, 2018

DNA origami as a novel avenue for creating next-generation optical voltage sensing nanodevices

DNA_origami_voltage_sensorOver the past few decades, researchers have developed various optical voltage sensing probes in order to overcome the highly invasive nature of electrode-based techniques. These voltage sensing mechanisms can be hampered by some combination of limitations including low sensitivity, slow kinetics, or heavy capacitive loading. This has motivated a group of researchers to explore DNA nanotechnology for developing novel optical voltage sensing nanodevices that convert a local change of electric potential into optical signals.They now report that a voltage can be read out in a nanopore with a dedicated Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) sensor on a DNA origami.

Mar 26th, 2018

The ongoing development of DNA nanotechnology

DNA_nanotechnologyDNA, the fundamental building block of our genetic makeup, has become an intense nanotechnology research field. Nanotechnology researchers use it to create artificial rationally designed nanostructures for diverse applications in biology, chemistry, and physics. In a progress report, scientists focus on the different design paradigms (DNA origami and the related techniques are particularly emphasized), selected high-quality shapes, and the software that enable user-friendly design and fabrication of DNA nanoobjects.

Feb 20th, 2018