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Posted: July 25, 2006
Nanotechnology makes use of biotechnology
(Nanowerk News) Nanotechnology applications are pushing the boundaries of a number of sectors including electronics. New research in the field of microelectronics facilitates the manufacture of nanodevices at the molecular level based on the use of genetic material.
The EC-funded MINT (Molecular Interconnect for NanoTechnology) project focused on the level of interconnections that can be achieved in the new generation of nanodevices. The aim was to achieve at least the same level of interconnections as those in microelectronic systems. Project partners investigated the potential role of ribonucleic acid (RNA) as part of the manufacturing process of original templates.
RNA folds into specific tertiary structures giving researchers the opportunity to exploit this property in order to form new templates for the design of novel nanodevices. Within the framework of MINT, the University of Liverpool designed and characterised a series of self-assembling RNA molecules for the purposes of nanofabrication.
These RNA structures combine either in twos or in fours to form one-dimensional fibres in the presence of magnesium ions. These structures have been designed to facilitate specific and non-specific attachment of RNA molecules to gold nanoparticles, electrodes or surfaces. The resulting RNA-gold fibres have been used successfully as templates for electrochemical deposition of metal on gold surfaces. The aim is to form nanointerconnections between the varied components.
The University is seeking further support to continue this line of research. The applications of this project could have a profound effect on the field of nanotechnology and in particular in the area of nanoelectronics.