Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2014 Jun 17;47(6):1778-88.
doi: 10.1021/ar500023b. Epub 2014 Apr 10.

Building DNA Nanostructures for Molecular Computation, Templated Assembly, and Biological Applications


Building DNA Nanostructures for Molecular Computation, Templated Assembly, and Biological Applications

Abhijit Rangnekar et al. Acc Chem Res. .


CONSPECTUS: DNA is a critical biomolecule well-known for its roles in biology and genetics. Moreover, its double-helical structure and the Watson-Crick pairing of its bases make DNA structurally predictable. This predictability enables design and synthesis of artificial DNA nanostructures by suitable programming of the base sequences of DNA strands. Since the advent of the field of DNA nanotechnology in 1982, a variety of DNA nanostructures have been designed and used for numerous applications. In this Account, we discuss the progress made by our lab which has contributed toward the overall advancement of the field. Tile-based DNA nanostructures are an integral part of structural DNA nanotechnology. These structures are formed using several short, chemically synthesized DNA strands by programming their base sequences so that they self-assemble into desired constructs. Design and assembly of several DNA tiles will be discussed in this Account. Tiles include, for example, TX tiles with three parallel, coplanar duplexes, 4 × 4 cross-tiles with four arms, and weave-tiles with weave-like architecture. Another category of tiles we will present involve multiple parallel duplexes that assemble to form closed tubular structures. All of these tile types have been used to form micrometer-scale one- and two-dimensional arrays and lattices. Origami-based structures constitute another category where a long single-stranded DNA scaffold is folded into desired shapes by association with multiple short staple strands. This Account will describe the efforts by our lab in devising new strategies to improve the maximum size of origami structures. The various DNA nanostructures detailed here have been used in a wide variety of different applications. This Account will discuss the use of DNA tiles for logical computation, encoding information as molecular barcodes, and functionalization for patterning of other nanoscale organic and inorganic materials. Consequently, we have used DNA nanostructures for templating metallic nanowires as well as for programmed assembly of proteins and nanoparticles with controlled spacings. Among other applications, we have used DNA nanotechnology in biosensors that detect target DNA sequences and to affect cell surface receptor clustering for communicating with a cell signaling pathway. We used DNA weave-tiles to control the spacing between thrombin-binding aptamers which resulted in very high antithrombin and anticoagulant activity of the construct. We believe that the tremendous progress in DNA nanotechnology over the past three decades will open even more research avenues in the near future for applications in a wide variety of disciplines including electronics, photonics, biomedical engineering, biosensing, therapeutics, and nucleic-acid-based drug delivery.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 5 articles

Publication types

LinkOut - more resources