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      Structural DNA Nanotechnology: Artificial Nanostructures for Biomedical Research

      1 , 2 , 3

      Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering

      Annual Reviews

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          Abstract

          Structural DNA nanotechnology utilizes synthetic or biologic DNA as designer molecules for the self-assembly of artificial nanostructures. The field is founded upon the specific interactions between DNA molecules, known as Watson–Crick base pairing. After decades of active pursuit, DNA has demonstrated unprecedented versatility in constructing artificial nanostructures with significant complexity and programmability. The nanostructures could be either static, with well-controlled physicochemical properties, or dynamic, with the ability to reconfigure upon external stimuli. Researchers have devoted considerable effort to exploring the usability of DNA nanostructures in biomedical research. We review the basic design methods for fabricating both static and dynamic DNA nanostructures, along with their biomedical applications in fields such as biosensing, bioimaging, and drug delivery.

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          Self-assembly of DNA into nanoscale three-dimensional shapes

          Molecular self-assembly offers a ‘bottom-up’ route to fabrication with subnanometre precision of complex structures from simple components1. DNA has proven a versatile building block2–5 for programmable construction of such objects, including two-dimensional crystals6, nanotubes7–11, and three-dimensional wireframe nanopolyhedra12–17. Templated self-assembly of DNA18 into custom two-dimensional shapes on the megadalton scale has been demonstrated previously with a multiple-kilobase ‘scaffold strand’ that is folded into a flat array of antiparallel helices by interactions with hundreds of oligonucleotide ‘staple strands’19, 20. Here we extend this method to building custom three-dimensional shapes formed as pleated layers of helices constrained to a honeycomb lattice. We demonstrate the design and assembly of nanostructures approximating six shapes — monolith, square nut, railed bridge, genie bottle, stacked cross, slotted cross — with precisely controlled dimensions ranging from 10 to 100 nm. We also show hierarchical assembly of structures such as homomultimeric linear tracks and of heterotrimeric wireframe icosahedra. Proper assembly requires week-long folding times and calibrated monovalent and divalent cation concentrations. We anticipate that our strategy for self-assembling custom three-dimensional shapes will provide a general route to the manufacture of sophisticated devices bearing features on the nanometer scale.
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            A logic-gated nanorobot for targeted transport of molecular payloads.

            We describe an autonomous DNA nanorobot capable of transporting molecular payloads to cells, sensing cell surface inputs for conditional, triggered activation, and reconfiguring its structure for payload delivery. The device can be loaded with a variety of materials in a highly organized fashion and is controlled by an aptamer-encoded logic gate, enabling it to respond to a wide array of cues. We implemented several different logical AND gates and demonstrate their efficacy in selective regulation of nanorobot function. As a proof of principle, nanorobots loaded with combinations of antibody fragments were used in two different types of cell-signaling stimulation in tissue culture. Our prototype could inspire new designs with different selectivities and biologically active payloads for cell-targeting tasks.
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              A DNA-fuelled molecular machine made of DNA.

              Molecular recognition between complementary strands of DNA allows construction on a nanometre length scale. For example, DNA tags may be used to organize the assembly of colloidal particles, and DNA templates can direct the growth of semiconductor nanocrystals and metal wires. As a structural material in its own right, DNA can be used to make ordered static arrays of tiles, linked rings and polyhedra. The construction of active devices is also possible--for example, a nanomechanical switch, whose conformation is changed by inducing a transition in the chirality of the DNA double helix. Melting of chemically modified DNA has been induced by optical absorption, and conformational changes caused by the binding of oligonucleotides or other small groups have been shown to change the enzymatic activity of ribozymes. Here we report the construction of a DNA machine in which the DNA is used not only as a structural material, but also as 'fuel'. The machine, made from three strands of DNA, has the form of a pair of tweezers. It may be closed and opened by addition of auxiliary strands of 'fuel' DNA; each cycle produces a duplex DNA waste product.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering
                Annu. Rev. Biomed. Eng.
                Annual Reviews
                1523-9829
                1545-4274
                June 04 2018
                June 04 2018
                : 20
                : 1
                : 375-401
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA;
                [2 ]Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43214, USA
                [3 ]School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, USA
                Article
                10.1146/annurev-bioeng-062117-120904
                © 2018

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