Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Giving DNA segments the golden touch

10.08.2009
Controlled positioning of nucleic acids on gold nanoparticles creates new possibilities for bottom-up nanotechnologies

Metal nanoparticles have radically different electronic, optical and magnetic properties from their larger states, which makes them useful as materials in new, ultra-small devices such as biological sensors. Constructing such devices, however, is difficult because, unlike atoms, nanoparticles lack directional bonds that allow them to be arranged precisely.

One strategy to overcome this limitation is to attach oligonucleotides—single strands of molecules that constitute DNA—to nanoparticle surfaces, and then, through Watson–Crick base pairing of the nucleic acids, join the nanoparticles together. However, manipulating the number and positions of oligonucleotides on the nanoparticles has been impossible.

Now, Kenji Suzuki, Kazuo Hosokawa and Mizuo Maeda from the RIKEN Advanced Science Institute in Wako have developed a method to immobilize oligonucleotides on gold nanoparticle surfaces with precise control over their number and geometric arrangement 1. Because this procedure can be used for nanoparticles other than gold, it should initiate improved techniques for spontaneous assembly of small materials into complex structures—so-called ‘bottom–up’ nanotechnologies.

In their proof-of-principle experiment, Suzuki and colleagues combined two oligonucleotides containing reactive thiol (sulfur-hydrogen) groups with a third, non-thiolated oligonucleotide template to create a DNA nanostructure. This DNA template was then reacted with a gold nanoparticle, forming a complex through the active thiol groups. Finally, the DNA template was separated from the complex, leaving two free oligonucleotide strands on the gold nanoparticle.

Transmission electron microscopy imaging confirmed the success of the DNA template technique. Without the template, the nucleic acids were observed at random locations on the nanoparticles. With the template, the two oligonucleotides were always seen at distinct geometric positions as arrangements controlled by the specific DNA nanostructure.

Suzuki says that top-down methods such as immobilization by a tip of scanning probe microscope are very precise, but prohibitively slow. In contrast, his team’s DNA template is extremely fast and automated, and represents a new type of ‘nanomachine.’

“Each nanomachine catches a certain number of oligonucleotides, immobilizes them onto a nanoparticle, and then releases them,” explains Suzuki. “Naturally, this task is best suited to a DNA template having complementary sequences to the oligonucleotides, since duplex formation is then completely reversible.”

According to Suzuki, creating nanoparticles with atom-like binding capabilities would have advantages beyond developing new types of nanostructures. “I knew that such a result would be welcomed by many other researchers and would accelerate the whole field,” he says.

Reference

1. Suzuki, K., Hosokawa, K. & Maeda, M. Controlling the number and positions of oligonucleotides on gold nanoparticle surfaces. Journal of the American Chemical Society 131, 7518–7519 (2009). |article|

The corresponding author for this highlight is based at the RIKEN Bioengineering Laboratory

Saeko Okada | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.rikenresearch.riken.jp/research/756/
http://www.rikenresearch.riken.jp/research/756/image_2232.html
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Fine organic particles in the atmosphere are more often solid glass beads than liquid oil droplets
21.04.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie

nachricht Study overturns seminal research about the developing nervous system
21.04.2017 | University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

Im Focus: Quantum-physical Model System

Computer-assisted methods aid Heidelberg physicists in reproducing experiment with ultracold atoms

Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...

Im Focus: Glacier bacteria’s contribution to carbon cycling

Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.

A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A promising target for kidney fibrosis

21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine

Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>