By using small molecules as keys, the cage can be opened or part of the DNA can be freed. Scientists of the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology of the University of Twente in The Netherlands report about this in Angewandte Chemie International Edition, in their cover article on February 26, 2007.
DNA, being the carrier of genetic information in living creatures, can also be used in man-made technology, for instance in bioinformatics and DNA-computing. Scientists Yujie Ma and Mark Hempenius of the University of Twente managed to combine DNA macromolecules with synthetic polymers containing iron. The result is a novel way of creating porous structures, spherical ‘cages’ for example.
The walls of these cages are built step by step. The scientist therefore ingeniously use the different properties the two types of molecules have. DNA has a negative electrical charge while the polymer containing iron is positively charged. Another essential features of DNA is that the molecule is much more rigid than the polymer. The polymer wraps around the DNA and forms a very stable couple with it. What binds them together are electrostatic forces.
The spherical cage can transport medicine and deliver it locally. The cage can be opened by letting small molecules function as ‘keys’: they oxidize the iron and break the bond between the DNA and the polymer locally. In the same way, it is possible to free DNA-fragments from the cage, and apply them in gen therapy. Genes are then inserted into cells and tissue to treat inherited disease.
Macroporous materials like the new cages, with pore sizes larger than 50 nanometers, have a wide range of possible applications, but they are not easily fabricated until now. The DNA-polymer combination is an example of ‘self-assembly’ in which molecules organize themselves. It is a powerful new method to create the materials and an important step towards innovative applications.
The research, led by prof. Julius Vancso of the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology of the University of Twente and prof. Helmuth Möhwald of the Max-Planck-Institut für Kolloid- und Grenzflächenforschung in Golm, Germany, is published in the February 26 issue of Angewandte Chemie International.
Wiebe van der Veen | alfa
Newly designed molecule binds nitrogen
23.02.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
Atomic Design by Water
23.02.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH
A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.
In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...
A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.
By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy