Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Nanorings

06.12.2007
Variable nanocomposites: Small, rigid DNA rings with a gap for the incorporation of functional molecules

What appear under an atomic force microscope to be tiny rings with little bits missing are actually nanoscopic rings made of double-stranded DNA with a little gap in the form of a short single-stranded fragment. As Michael Famulok and his team from the University of Bonn, Germany, explain in the journal Angewandte Chemie , this gap is a place to attach other molecules that have the potential to transform the rings into versatile nanocomposites for various applications.

The programmable aggregation of molecular building blocks into structures with higher order plays a key role in the construction of nanomaterials. Nucleic acids are interesting building block candidates, being easy to synthesize and exhibiting unique molecular recognition characteristics. The difficulty lies in the fact that the construction of defined two- or three-dimensional geometries requires rigid building blocks. However, DNA molecules are normally flexible structures.

“From the structural point of view, miniature rings represent the simplest form for a rigid object made of DNA,” says Famulok. His team thus took on the challenge of producing DNA molecules with a smooth circular structure, free of ring deformations, twists, or knots. This was not an easy endeavor. DNA is usually found in the form of a double strand with a helical twist and can, if it is too short, close on itself to form a ring. On the other hand, if the ring gets too large, it is no longer rigid. Famulok and his team have now succeeded, by careful selection of the sequence and number of nucleotides as well as a clever synthetic route, in producing the desired rigid rings.

... more about:
»DNA »Famulok »Strand »rigid

Even better, the researchers were able to build a “gap” into their rings—a short sequence that does not occur in normal base pairing, instead exiting as a single-stranded segment. This should make it possible to “fit” the ring with tailored functionality for special applications. All that needs to be done is to produce a short single strand of DNA complementary to the single-stranded part of the ring and to attach it to a molecule with the desired properties. This single strand then fits perfectly into the gap. This allows the ring to be equipped as desired, depending on the requirements of the application in question. For example, it can be given “anchors” that precisely bind the rings to other components.

“Our new, uncomplicated method for the production of rigid DNA nanorings with variable, tailor-made functionality opens new pathways for the construction of DNA objects with higher levels of organization,” Famulok is convinced.

Author: Michael Famulok, Universität Bonn (Germany), http://www.chembiol.uni-bonn.de/index-e.html

Title: DNA Minicircles with Gaps for Versatile Functionalization

Angewandte Chemie International Edition, doi: 10.1002/anie.200704004

Michael Famulok | Angewandte Chemie
Further information:
http://www.chembiol.uni-bonn.de/index-e.html
http://pressroom.angewandte.org

Further reports about: DNA Famulok Strand rigid

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Newly designed molecule binds nitrogen
23.02.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Atomic Design by Water
23.02.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

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...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

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...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

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...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

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...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Basque researchers turn light upside down

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator

23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Attoseconds break into atomic interior

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>