New two-armed nanorobotic device can manipulate world’’s tiniest particles

February 16th, 2009 - 1:55 pm ICT by ANI  

London, February 16 (ANI): An international group of scientists from the U.S. and China has developed a two-armed nanorobotic device that can manipulate molecules within a device built from DNA.
This innovation has resulted from the efforts of chemists from New York University and China’’s Nanjing University.
“The aim of nanotechnology is to put specific atomic and molecular species where we want them and when we want them there. This is a programmable unit that allows researchers to capture and maneuver patterns on a scale that is unprecedented,” Nature magazine quoted NYU Chemistry Professor Nadrian Seeman, one of the co-authors of the study, as saying.
The researchers have revealed that the device is about 150 x 50 x 8 nanometres.
Seeman says that the creation of this device enhances his earlier worka single nanorobotic arm he completed in 2006, marking the first time any scientist had been able to employ a functional nanotechnology device within a DNA array.
The researcher revealed that the two-armed device employs DNA origami, a method that uses a few hundred short DNA strands to direct a very long DNA strand to form structures that adopt any desired shape.
According to him, these structures are about 100 nanometres in diameter, eight times larger and three times more complex than what could be created within a simple crystalline DNA array.
Seeman says that the new nanorobotic device enables the creation of new DNA structures, thereby potentially serving as a factory for assembling the building blocks of new materials.
He says that this capability of the novel device gives it the potential to develop new synthetic fibres, advance the encryption of information, and improve DNA-scaffolded computer assembly.
In the two-armed nanorobotic device, the arms face each other, ready to capture molecules that make up a DNA sequence. Using set strands that bind to its molecules, the arms are then able to change the structure of the device. This changes the sticky ends available to capture a new pattern component.
The researchers have observed that their device performs with 100 percent accuracy.
A research article on their work has been published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. (ANI)

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