Rapid Folding of DNA into Nanoscale Shapes at Constant Temperature

News from Physics Department: 2012-12-14

Rapid Folding of DNA into Nanoscale Shapes at Constant Temperature (Image: Thomas Martin, Dietz Lab, TU München)

Scientists at the Physics Department demonstrate that, at constant temperature, hundreds of DNA strands can cooperatively fold a long template DNA strand within minutes into complex nanoscale objects. Folding occurred out of equilibrium along nucleation-driven pathways at temperatures that could be influenced by the choice of sequences, strand lengths, and chain topology. Unfolding occurred in apparent equilibrium at higher temperatures than those for folding. Folding at optimized constant temperatures enabled the rapid production of three-dimensional DNA objects with yields that approached 100%. The results point to similarities with protein folding in spite of chemical and structural differences. The possibility for rapid and high-yield assembly will enable DNA nanotechnology for practical applications.

Publication

Rapid Folding of DNA into Nanoscale Shapes at Constant Temperature

Jean-Philippe J. Sobczak, Thomas G. Martin, Thomas Gerling, Hendrik Dietz

Science 14 December 2012: Vol. 338 no. 6113 pp. 1458-1461, DOI: 10.1126/science.1229919

Contact

Prof. Hendrik Dietz
Technische Universität München Physics Dept., Walter Schottky Institute / ZNN Am Coulombwall 4a 85748 Garching, Germany Tel: +49 89 289 11615 E-mail: dietz@tum.de Web: http://bionano.physik.tu-muenchen.de/

Editor: Dr. Johannes Wiedersich

Condensed Matter

When atoms interact things can get interesting. Fundamental research on the underlying properties of materials and nanostructures and exploration of the potential they provide for applications.

Nuclei, Particles, Astrophysics

A journey of discovery to understanding our world at the subatomic scale, from the nuclei inside atoms down to the most elementary building blocks of matter. Are you ready for the adventure?

Biophysics

Biological systems, from proteins to living cells and organisms, obey physical principles. Our research groups in biophysics shape one of Germany's largest scientific clusters in this area.