Motor vehicles were created in the 19th century as an efficient mode of transportation. As useful as they’ve proven to be, cars do not manufacture themselves, nor is it inexpensive to build one. Scientists working at the Henderson lab at Iowa State University have successfully designed machines at the nanoscale that do just that — construct itself with regard to a difficult task at hand.
The scientists responsible for the development are Eric Henderson, a professor of genetics, development and cell biology at Iowa State University, and his former graduate student, Divita Mathur.
“These nanodevices have all these good qualities,” Mathur said. “[They] work a lot like normal-sized machines.”
The nanodevice is called OPTIMuS, and it works as a sensor to detect molecules at the nanoscale.
“In this case, these nanodevices can detect Ebola-mock DNA, which means that it can tell us if a sample has DNA sequences that are similar to the Ebola virus genome,” Mathur said.
Upon capturing a target molecule, OPTIMuS changes its shape. The shape change leads to a change in a fluorescent light signal received from the nanodevice. The fluorescence is then recorded by the lab. From there, the lab can analyze whether the target molecule is present or not.
“Like any machine, OPTIMuS takes input from the environment and releases a user-observable output,” Mathur said.
About 40 billion individual machines fit in a single drop of water, Professor Henderson said in a release, and the trick to creating the machines lies in understanding the rules that govern how DNA works.
OPTIMuS was constructed using DNA. DNA naturally lends itself programmable self-assembly, Mathur said.
When hundreds of DNA strands are heated and cooled, after being placed in a tube of water, millions of DNA nanostructures will form, making the construction of nanodevices inexpensive and simple.
“What you see here is a culmination of 5 years of research,” Mathur said. “It was only me and Eric who invested our time and energy on the work but we had some help for imaging the nanodevices from experts.”
Mathur said that her initial reason for joining Henderson’s lab was research, but after a few weeks in the lab, she found the environment to be extremely friendly, and she also enjoyed the independent aspect of the lab.
“Eric’s a great mentor for learning about science and research,” Mathur said. “If [students] run into any problems, Eric is always there to nudge them in the right direction.”
Mathur is a native of India, and she is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at the US Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. Mathur believes that she has a real passion for problem solving.
“I enjoy working with DNA to engineer nanoscale devices because it is a way of solving larger problems using a great nanosized building material,” Mathur said. “Doing research is a very deliberate and meticulous way of reaching solutions, so here I am!”
Mathur has five contributory published articles under her belt, as well as two first author publications, which includes the article describing her and Henderson’s nanodevice designs. The article can be found in the peer- reviewed journal “Scientific Reports.”
The next step for these nanodevices is to test them for detecting other target molecules, which will include real viral samples.
“We have achieved the first step in a process of engineering a fully functional diagnostic tool – we have demonstrated a working prototype,” Mathur said. “The end goal, truly, is to see this doing its magic as a point-of-care diagnostic tool for everybody’s use.”
The Latest on: Self-constructing nanodevices
via Google News
The Latest on: Self-constructing nanodevices
- Course Listing for Plastics Engineeringon August 20, 2021 at 6:51 am
Nanoscale Transport Phenomena for Manufacturing Nanodevices (Formerly 26.650 ... will be performed to complement the lectures with the ultimate goal of designing and building a complete nanodevice at ...
- Electrical and Computer Engineering Courseson August 5, 2021 at 4:02 pm
coli bacteria, and synthetic cells: self-replicating cells man-made from cloned genes ... Introduction to modelling and computer simulation of gene regulatory networks. Methods of building and testing ...
- Cointegration of single-transistor neurons and synapses by nanoscale CMOS fabrication for highly scalable neuromorphic hardwareon August 4, 2021 at 11:39 am
However, the memristor-based neurons could not self-function for control of neuronal inhibition and firing threshold voltage because of the lack of controllability. On the other hand, it is ...
- Nanodevices Self-Assemble Using DNAon July 13, 2021 at 5:00 pm
Harvard University's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering has harnessed DNA to create self-assembling nanodevices. The emerging field of DNA nanotechnology is being explored for ...
- Video: Roombots Transform Into Reconfigurable Furnitureon July 9, 2021 at 5:00 pm
Robotic self-assembly techniques range from Harvard's engineered ... To keep costs down and make sure the structures are solid and stable enough, the team has focused on constructing hybrid furniture, ...
- Establishment of Innovative Manufacturing Technology Based on Nanoscienceon August 17, 2019 at 9:43 am
This field involves constructing an infrastructure for groups of technologies ... manufacturing techniques which make use of nano-scale self-organization properties, and nano-scale measurement and ...
- What are nanobots?on April 3, 2019 at 9:28 am
When we talk about nanobots today the reference mostly is to self-propelled nanomotors and other biodegradable nanodevices made of bio-nano components ... In a first step, scientists form V-shaped ...
- What is nanofabrication?on October 22, 2018 at 7:59 am
Structural DNA nanotechnology, specifically the molecular self-assembly process known as DNA origami, has emerged as a versatile approach to fabricate nanodevices with complex ... scientists form ...
- Chapter 7: Molecular and Biological Nanodeviceson April 11, 2018 at 11:42 pm
At the same time, the cell is not optimized for a specific function. Living cells have unique properties such as self-assembling, self-repairing, and self-replicating. Biomolecular responses are, in ...
- Synthesis, Self-assembly and Integration of Multisegment Nanowireson May 12, 2016 at 12:12 pm
However, in order to enable nanotechnology to fully manipulate and utilize nanomaterials to make nanodevices, nanoelectronics ... fabricating and assembling one of the most promising nano-building ...
via Bing News