Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Purdue researchers stretch DNA on chip, lay track for future computers

09.10.2003


Physics doctoral student Dorjderem Nyamjav, left, and Albena Ivanisevic, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Purdue University, review an image taken with an atomic force microscope. The researchers have developed a method for precisely placing strands of DNA on a silicon chip and then stretching out the strands so that their encoded information might be clearly read, two steps critical to possibly using DNA for future electronic devices and computers. (Purdue News Service photo/David Umberger


This diagram depicts the process of depositing DNA onto a chip containing lines of a polymer that has the opposite charge as DNA, causing the genetic material to be attracted automatically to the polymer. The researchers then stretched the DNA along the lines of polymer, uncoiling the genetic material so that its coded information might be read clearly. Inset images taken with an atomic force microscope show the lines and the DNA molecules. The work was done by Albena Ivanisevic, an Purdue University assistant professor of biomedical engineering, and physics doctoral student Dorjderem Nyamjav. Results are being published in the journal Advanced Materials. (Purdue University Department of Biomedical Engineering/Albena Ivanisevic)


Researchers at Purdue University are making it easier to read life’s genetic blueprint.

They have precisely placed strands of DNA on a silicon chip and then stretched out the strands so that their encoded information might be read more clearly, two steps critical to possibly using DNA for future electronic devices and computers.

Findings about the research are detailed in a paper posted online this month and will appear in an upcoming issue of the journal Advanced Materials. The paper was written by Albena Ivanisevic, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Purdue, and physics graduate student Dorjderem Nyamjav.



Ivanisevic and Nyamjav created templates containing charged lines of commercially available polymer. The positively charged polymer has the opposite charge as DNA, so when the genetic material is dropped onto the chip, it is attracted to the lines automatically. Then the researchers used a syringe to drag the DNA, uncoiling the strands along the template surface.

"The charged structures enable us to direct biological molecules in a certain location," Ivanisevic said.

Although other researchers have deposited DNA onto similar templates, Ivanisevic is the first to demonstrate how to also stretch strands of DNA in specific locations on such templates, which contain features so small they are measured in nanometers. This step could lead to the ability to stretch DNA molecules in specific locations on electronic chips, which is critical in harnessing the storage capacity of DNA for future computers.

"We don’t want to have DNA coiled on the surface," Ivanisevic said. "We want to be able to extend it and stretch it so that you can read what’s on the strand. You can think about a variety of DNA computing strategies. But you have to have the strand extended, and you have to have the ability to place it in a specific location."

Researchers also would like to be able to place DNA strands directly between two electrodes to perform consistent, precise measurements and determine certain electronic characteristics of genetic material.

"If you can actually demonstrate that you can do that, then you can think about making real molecular devices where DNA is used as a construction material," Ivanisevic said. "At this point, however, this is certainly a very basic nanofabrication problem."

Theoretically, future computers might tap the vast storage capacity that enables DNA to hold the complex blueprints of living organisms. These new computers would be based on DNA’s four-letter code instead of a computer’s customary two digits and would offer advantages in speed, memory capacity and energy efficiency over conventional electronics for solving certain types of complex problems.

The researchers used an instrument called an atomic force microscope and a device called a cantilever to lay down the lines of polymer in a process called dip-pen nanolithography. Each of the lines of polymer is about as wide as 100 nanometers, and each centimeter-square chip contains numerous templates.

"Nano" is a prefix meaning one-billionth, so a nanometer is one-billionth of a meter, or roughly the length of 10 hydrogen atoms strung together. A single DNA molecule is about 2 nanometers wide.

The same technique can be used to precisely place a variety of biological molecules, including proteins and viruses, onto such templates. It is not necessary to dry out or stain the molecules, meaning they can be kept in their natural state and still function as they would in living organisms.

Because the polymer is commercially available, the procedure can be readily studied by researchers and industry.

Ivanisevic is associated with two centers in Purdue’s Discovery Park: the Birck Nanotechnology Center and Bindley Bioscience Center, which funded the research.

Writer: Emil Venere, (765) 494-4709, venere@purdue.edu

Source: Albena Ivanisevic, (765) 496-3676, albena@purdue.edu

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu

Emil Venere | Purdue News
Further information:
http://news.uns.purdue.edu/html4ever/031007.Ivanisevic.DNA.html
http://www.purdue.edu/

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Drones that drive
27.06.2017 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology, CSAIL

nachricht Ahead of the Curve
27.06.2017 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Touch Displays WAY-AX and WAY-DX by WayCon

27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Drones that drive

27.06.2017 | Information Technology

Ultra-compact phase modulators based on graphene plasmons

27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>