DNA nanotechnology, synthetic biology and nanoscale metamaterials are on the path to realizing visions of nanomedicine and visible spectrum control.
DNA nanorobotics and synthetic biology are the first two items. One thing to remember is that work that is published in research papers was done in the lab 1-2 years ago. The current work by the
researchers is ahead of what they published. The third item is metamaterial related. The actual application of stationary cloaking in the visible spectrum is less interesting that the large scale
production of nanoscale feature size metamaterials which can be adapted to engineer physical properties. One point of interest in the second item beyond determining how to reinforce DNA structures was the DNA paint capability to enhance observation at the nanoscale.
DNA nanorobots are demoed in live cockroaches and could be in humans by 2019 and could scale to Commodore 64 – eight bit computing power
1. Researchers have injected various kinds of DNA nanobots into cockroaches. Because the nanobots are labelled with fluorescent markers, the researchers can follow them and analyse how different robot combinations affect where substances are delivered. The team says the accuracy of delivery and control of the nanobots is equivalent to a computer system.
This is the development of the vision of nanomedicine.
This is the realization of the power of DNA nanotechnology.
This is programmable dna nanotechnology.
The DNA nanotechnology cannot perform atomically precise chemistry (yet), but having control of the DNA combined with advanced synthetic biology and control of proteins and nanoparticles is clearly
developing into very interesting capabilities.
“This is the first time that biological therapy has been able to match how a computer processor works,” says co-author Ido Bachelet of the Institute of Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials at Bar Ilan University.
The team says it should be possible to scale up the computing power in the cockroach to that of an 8-bit computer, equivalent to a Commodore 64 or Atari 800 from the 1980s. Goni-Moreno agrees that this is feasible. “The mechanism seems easy to scale up so the complexity of the computations will soon become higher,” he says.
Reinforced self assembled DNA cages one tenth the size of a bacteria
2. Scientists at the Harvard’s Wyss Institute have built a set of self-assembling DNA cages one-tenth as wide as a bacterium. The structures are some of the largest and most complex structures ever constructed solely from DNA. The cage could be modified with chemical hooks that could be used to hang other components such as proteins or gold nanoparticles. With sides of 100 nm length, and a volume one one thousandth that of a typical bacterial cell, these ‘closets’ should be large enough to precisely assemble fairly complex assortments of nanoscale functional elements.
The scientists visualized them using a DNA-based super-resolution microscopy method — and obtained the first sharp 3D optical images of intact synthetic DNA nanostructures in solution.
After building the cages, the scientists visualized them using a DNA-based microscopy method Jungmann had helped developed called DNA-PAINT. In DNA-PAINT, short strands of modified DNA cause points on a structure to blink, and data from the blinking images reveal structures too small to be seen with a conventional light microscope. DNA-PAINT produced ultrasharp snapshots of the researchers’ DNA cages – the first 3D snapshots ever of single DNA structures in their
native, watery environment.
3. Debashis Chanda at the University of Central Florida may have just cracked the barrier to a practical large scale metamaterial cloak in the visual spectrum. The cover story in the March edition of the journal Advanced Optical Materials, explains how Chanda and fellow optical and nanotech experts were able to develop a larger swath of multilayer 3-D metamaterial operating in the visible spectral range. They accomplished this feat by using nanotransfer printing, which can potentially be engineered to modify surrounding refractive index needed for controlling propagation of light.
“Such large-area fabrication of metamaterials following a simple printing technique will enable realization of novel devices based on engineered optical responses at the nanoscale,” said Chanda, an assistant professor at UCF.
The nanotransfer printing technique creates metal/dielectric composite films, which are stacked together in a 3-D architecture with nanoscale patterns for operation in the visible spectral range. Control of electromagnetic resonances over the 3-D space by structural manipulation allows precise control over propagation of light. Following this technique, larger pieces of this special material can be created, which were previously limited to micron-scale size.
4. Programmable chemical controllers made from DNA
Biological organisms use complex molecular networks to navigate their environment and regulate their internal state. The development of synthetic systems with similar capabilities could lead to applications such as smart therapeutics or fabrication methods based on self-organization. To achieve this, molecular control circuits need to be engineered to perform integrated sensing, computation and actuation. Here we report a DNA-based technology for implementing the computational core of such controllers. We use the formalism of chemical reaction networks as a ‘programming language’ and our DNA architecture can, in principle, implement any behaviour that can be mathematically expressed as such. Unlike logic circuits, our formulation naturally allows complex signal processing of intrinsically analogue biological and chemical inputs. Controller components can be derived from biologically synthesized (plasmid) DNA, which reduces errors associated with chemically synthesized DNA. We implement several building-block reaction types and then combine them into a network that realizes, at the molecular level, an algorithm used in distributed control systems for achieving consensus between multiple agents.
5. Building on the field of DNA origami, Shawn Douglas has developed a method to design and fabricate nanometer scale robots. The robots are fabricated out of DNA and have the ability to delivery cancer drugs to a specific cancer cells.
DNA origami had its first paper published in 2006.
Two hinges in the back.
Two locks in the front.
Billions of them made. Viewed under 23,000 to 100,000 magnification
The barrel is about 40 nanometers long.
The DNA lock has a ligand key.
6. Surgical Nanorobotics using nanorobots made from advanced DNA origami and Synthetic Biology described by Ido Bachelet
Nanoparticles with computational logic has already been done
Load an ensemble of drugs into many particles for programmed release based on situation that is found in the body
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Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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