I. Nanofabrication via DNA Origami
II. Nanofabrication via DNA Single Stranded Bricks
III. DNA-Nanostructure Tools
Part I: Nanofabrication via DNA Origami
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Shih describes how DNA can be used as a building material to construct nanoscale objects. A long strand of DNA can be made to fold into a flat “sheet” by introducing short oligonucleotides that base pair with the long DNA strand and form crossovers to hold the structure together. Engineering complementary sticky ends onto some of the “sheets” allows the DNA to self-assemble into 2-dimensional shapes. Ultimately, these flat sheets of DNA can be designed so that they will self assemble into 3-D nanostructures or “DNA origami”, even larger than a ribosome.
In Part 2, Shih describes a complementary DNA building technique that uses DNA “bricks” rather than “sheets” to build 3-dimensional nanostructures. In the last section of his talk, Shih describes some of the practical uses of DNA-nanostructures. For example, DNA nanotube liquid crystals can be used to help align proteins in NMR experiments leading to improved atomic-resolution structures. DNA nanostructures may also prove useful as a mechanism to deliver therapeutics to cells and Shih and his colleagues have investigated the ability of nanostructures of different sizes and shapes to be taken up by cells.
William Shih is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School and the Department of Cancer Biology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and a member of the Wyss Institute for biologically inspired engineering. He was a graduate student in the Department of Biochemistry at Stanford University, and a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology at the Scripps Research Institute.
William’s lab investigates methods to design self-assembling nanostructures made from DNA. This process, called “DNA Origami”, could be used to develop absolutely tiny devices for use in biomedical applications . For his research, William received the New Innovator Award from the National Institutes of Health, in 2008.
- Walter Gilbert iBioMagazine: Development of DNA Sequencing
- Stephen Mayo iBioSeminar: Protein Design by Computation
- Kristala Prather iBioSeminar: Synthetic Biology and Metabolic Engineering
Self-assembly of DNA into nanoscale three-dimensional shapes.
Douglas SM, Dietz H, Liedl T, Högberg B, Graf F, Shih WM.
Nature. 2009 May 21;459(7245):414-8.
PMID:19458720 Free PMC Article
Challenges and opportunities for structural DNA nanotechnology.
Pinheiro AV, Han D, Shih WM, Yan H.
Nat Nanotechnol. 2011 Nov 6;6(12):763-72. Review.
PMID:22056726 Free PMC Article
DNA-nanotube-induced alignment of membrane proteins for NMR structure determination.
Douglas SM, Chou JJ, Shih WM.
Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2007 Apr 17;104(16): 6644-8.
PMID:17404217 Free PMC Article
Three-dimensional structures self-assembled from DNA bricks.
Ke Y, Ong LL, Shih WM, Yin P.
Science. 2012 Nov 30;338(6111):1177-83. doi: 10.1126/science.1227268.
PMID:23197527 Free PMC Article