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The beauty of DNA architecture : the design and applications in DNA nanotechnology

Design and applications in DNA nanotechnology

Authors Wei, Diming
Issue Date 2009
Summary The mainframe of this thesis is about DNA nanotechnology in the perspectives of materials science and molecular architecture. My first project was to develop a new motif for structural DNA nanotechnology. The new motif, derived from the triple crossover motif, is rigid and triangular prism shaped. The corresponding 1D and 2D arrays were self-assembled and observed by transmission electron microscopy, whereas the 3D arrays are still in blueprints. With a strong interest in 3D DNA architecture, I developed a 3D DNA object. In the study, a specific single-strand DNA was designed to self-fold into a tetrahedron. The formation of the tetrahedron was proved by ligation, and more implicitly, by restriction enzyme digestion. It is the first single strand 3D DNA geometrical object that has been obtained insofar. Along the road of DNA nanotechnology research, we found it necessary to develop a computer system for structural DNA nanotechnology design. One such system, Uniquimer, was developed by our team and used for the sequence design in our DNA research. To meet the new challenges of structural DNA nanotechnology design, we have upgraded Uniquimer to Uniquimer 3D, a system with 3D visualization, internal energy minimization, sequence generation, and motif array simulation functionalities. Pushing my graduate study forward, I took part in the project of investigating DNA hydrogel’s applications in drug delivery. In our hydrogel system, aptamer segment was engineered into the crosslinker DNA to enable its specific binding with target protein. Sol-gel transition and protein capture/release were carefully studied. Most of these projects are still open for further exploration and I feel very lucky to have initiated all these possibilities for exciting future scientific adventures in the new frontiers.
Note Thesis (Ph.D.)--Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, 2009
Language English
Format Thesis
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