Nanotechnology Spotlight – Latest Articles

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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

Hydrogen bond strength in DNA: where 3 could be less than 2

hydrogen_bondsHydrogen bond base pairing forces are essential for the mechanisms associated with DNA stability. Despite attracting great research attention, this fundamental interaction has eluded a precise physical description so far since its electrical origin has not been quantified yet. Researchers now have proposed characterization by means of electrical forces, providing a framework for universal characterization of hydrogen bonds. In this way, they provide technical arguments to support that hydrogen bonds are well distinguishable and their role in biological events require a proper specific intrabond description.

Oct 10th, 2017

A DNA-based rewritable memory device

dnaDNA is well known as the genetic material, but has also been used as a building block for the construction of nanoscale structures and periodic arrays. One other application is the storage of information in DNA. Such an information storage method has many advantages including longevity and ability for highly dense storage, and is more suited for archival storage of data. In new work, scientists use shape-changing DNA nanostructures for short term storage of data, where the information is 'written' in different conformations of the nanostructures. The stored data can be easily read-out using gel electrophoresis, eliminating any multi-step or costly methods.

Sep 18th, 2017