Scientists, tiny DNA-based robot and he believes that nano devices will deliver medicine to our bodies, detect the presence of deadly pathogens, and help create ever-smaller electronics. Researchers have taken a big step towards this goal by developing a new tool that can design much more complex DNA robots and nano devices.
Nature Materials In an article recently published in the magazine, the robot design, which is thinner than a hair strand, was mentioned. Ohio State University engineering doctoral student Chao-Min Huang led researchers, MagicDNA presented the new software they named.
DNA robots are now ready in a few minutes!
Co-author of the article, Associate Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Ohio State University Dr. Carlos CastroResearchers have been doing the software manually for several years, he said. Castro stated that nano devices, which previously took a few days to design with this software, now only take a few minutes. Thus, researchers can make much more complex and useful nano devices and DNA robots.
From Ohio State University professors Dr. Hai-Jun Su“Previously, we could create devices with about six separate components and connect them with joints and hinges to make them perform complex movements. With this software, it’s not difficult to build robots or other devices with over 20 components that are much easier to control. ” said.
One advantage of the software is that researchers can make the entire design in 3D. Earlier design tools only allowed 2D design, forcing researchers to map their designs in 3D. So designers couldn’t make their devices and DNA robots too complicated.
A thousand times smaller than a human hair
The software also allows designers to create “bottom-up” or “top-down” DNA structures. In “bottom-up” design, researchers take individual DNA strands and decide how to organize them into the structure they want. This provides precise control over device structure and features. They may also adopt a “top down” approach that automates how DNA strands are put together.
Another important element of the software is that it allows simulations of how the designed DNA robots will move and work in the real world. Dr. “Being able to simulate how our devices will actually work is critical,” said Castro. Otherwise, we spend too much time. ” explained in the form.
Co-author Anjelica Kucinic, a doctoral student in chemistry and biomolecular engineering, led researchers in creating and characterizing many nanostructures designed by software. Some of the devices they created were a hundred-nanometer-sized structure that resembled an airplane with clawed robot arms that could accommodate smaller objects. These devices are 1000 times smaller than the width of a human hair.
Medicine can be injected with these nano devices
Dr. Castro said being able to make more complex nano devices means they can perform multiple tasks with a single device. For example, DNA robots can be developed that can detect a particular pathogen after it has been injected into the bloodstream. Not only that, the device can capture pathogens or inject drugs.
Dr. Castro said he expects the MagicDNA software to be used in universities and other research labs over the next few years. The use of the software may expand in the future.
Finally, Dr. Stating that commercial interest in DNA nanotechnology is increasing, Castro said: “I think we will begin to see commercial applications of DNA nano devices in the next 5 to 10 years.”