Self replicating DNA nanostructures
Dr. Corinna Maaß, Center for Soft Matter Research, New York University
Procreating one's genomic information through generations of copies is one of the most basic characteristics of biological life, and there has been a scientific interest in creating self replicating systems outside biology ever since von Neumann's Theory of Self-Replicating Automata. In designing an artificially replicating nanoscale system, DNA is a highly useful building material: we can design sequences to hybridise into almost arbitrary shapes and patterns, while its characteristic base pair binding enables us to design highly selective interactions between multiple species of DNA objects.
Based on Ned Seeman's pioneering work in DNA nanotechnology, we present a binary system of DNA tiles designed to transmit their sequence information to multiple generations of daughters.
A detailed study of the system has resulted in thermodynamic study on multiple sticky end attachment as well as a method to effectively catalyse tile bond formation by immobilising them on a template.