DNA Constructed Nanotechnology
Nanotechnology is an exciting developing field with plenty of potential applications (nevermind the grey goo scenario). Scientists have been attempting to use DNA as a programmable medium for constructing nanodevices, without much success. Now, researchers at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM) claim to have made two key breakthroughs that might make DNA constructed nanotech a reality.
The first breakthrough is a proof that the theory of programming DNA to react in specific patterns to produce a design was actually achievable. The team at TUM was able to build a nanostructure with DNA assistance and, more importantly, confirm the results with testing.
The other breakthrough directly impacts the length of time required to build nanostructures with DNA. What had taken a week to create was instead produced in a matter of minutes, thanks to providing a constant temperature for the procedure. Along with faster production, the stabilized temperature improved yield to nearly 100%.
“Seeing this combination of rapid folding and high yield, we have a stronger sense than ever that DNA nanotechnology could lead to a new kind of manufacturing, with a commercial, even industrial future,” said Prof. Hendrik Dietz, of TUM. “Now we don’t have to wait a week for feedback on an experimental design, and multi-step assembly processes have suddenly become so much more practical.”
Below you’ll find a video discussing the research conducted at TUM.