NANS7005 NANO1/PH4/CH2/BIO4: Self-assembly Principles and DNA Nanoconstruction (JSS30) (2 cr)
Using self-assembly principles, nature builds functional structures on a wide range of length scales. Motor proteins that are responsible for transport within our cells are only a few nanometers in diameter while sequoia trees can easily grow higher than 100 meters. To approach such a wide range of bottom-up construction mechanisms, we will explore general aspects of self-assembly and fundamentals of nanomechanics, which is the main scale of the natural self-assembly. Equipped with good basic understanding we will then apply this knowledge to device DNA nanostructures. Unlike any other known molecule, nucleic acid strands (DNA and RNA) are perfectly suited to design and assemble nanostructures with a level of control and reliability that exceeds top-down lithography in precision and parallelization. For this and other reasons, DNA nanotechnology and in particular DNA origami is used in a fast-growing number of research labs around the globe to address huge variation of complex scientific questions.
Students will learn the basic principles of self-assembly in nanoscale and fundamentals of nanomechanics by combining knowledge from multiple disciplines: chemistry, physics, biology. Students will learn the principles of DNA nanotechnology, and especially how to design and fabricate DNA origami. They will fabricate origami in practice and learn the basic characterization methods, like gel electrophoresis and atomic force microscope.
Description of prerequisites
Bachelor in a science field (preferably chemistry or physics, also nanotechnology, engineering and biology are good.)