Department: Bioengineering
Research Institute Affiliation: Graduate Program in Materials Science and Engineering
Faculty Advisor(s): Ratneshwar Lal

Primary Student
Name: Alexander Mo
Email: amo@ucsd.edu
Phone: 858-822-1321
Grad Year: 2015

Student Collaborators
Alan Gillman, algillma@ucsd.edu

We have developed a DNA-based cross-shaped nanoactuator system that cycles between an extended and contracted conformation relying on strand displacement reactions. The actuator contains 4 structural strands with two unique DNA "zipper" sequences. Each zipper sequence employs traditional adenosine-thymine bonds as well as non-traditional inosine-cytidine bonds. The traditional complements (A-T, G-C) have a stronger binding affinity to one side of the zipper than both zipper strands have to each other, thus unraveling and allowing the actuator to extend. The two contraction strands contain sequences which are a natural complement to parts of the opening strand. When they bind to the extension sequences, the zippers are able to rebind and this contracts the actuator. Proper assembly and function of the devices was confirmed using fluorescent DNA gel electrophoresis and time-lapsed fluorescence.

Related Files:

  1. DNAXSworkingprinciple.jpg

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