20 April 2021

Minutes instead of days

Engineers have learned how to create DNA robots in a matter of minutes

Tatiana Matveeva, "Scientific Russia"

Researchers have developed a new tool called MagicDNA, which can create much more complex DNA robots and nanodevices than has ever been possible before, in a very short time, the press service of the Ohio State University reports. The development is described in an article published in the journal Nature Materials (Huang et al., Integrated computer-aided engineering and design for DNA assemblies).

The software helps to combine tiny strands of DNA into complex structures with parts such as rotors and hinges that can move and perform various tasks, including drug delivery. This technology is not new, but the development of such robots used to take several days. Thanks to MagicDNA, this process takes only a few minutes. 

Previously, it was possible to create devices consisting of about six separate components, connect them with hinges and try to make them perform complex movements, the authors of the development note. With the help of the new software, it is not difficult to create robots or other devices containing more than 20 components that are much easier to control.

The software has a number of advantages that will help scientists develop more advanced and useful nanodevices. One of them is that the whole design can be done in 3D. Early design tools allowed you to create only in 2D. This meant that designers could not make their devices too complex.

The new tool also allows designers to create DNA structures from the bottom up or from the top down. When designing from the bottom up, researchers take individual DNA strands and decide how to organize them into the desired structure, which allows precise control of the structure and properties of the local device. But they can also use a top-down approach when they decide how their overall device should acquire a geometric shape, and then automate the assembly of DNA chains. The combination of these two elements makes it possible to increase the complexity of the overall geometry, while maintaining precise control over the properties of individual components.

Another key element of the software is that it allows you to simulate how constructed DNA devices will move and work in the real world.


As an example, scientists have developed robotic manipulators with "claws" that can pick up smaller objects, and a structure one hundred nanometers in size that looks like an "airplane" 1,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair.

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru

Found a typo? Select it and press ctrl + enter Print version