December 15, 2005
DNA wires made and formed into patterns
Ohio State University researchers have invented a process for uncoiling long strands of DNA and forming them into precise patterns. Ultimately, these DNA strands could act as wires in biologically based electronics and medical devices They used a tiny rubber comb to pull DNA strands from drops of water and stamp them onto glass chips. The longest strands are one millimeter (thousandths of a meter) long, and only one nanometer (billionths of a meter) thick. On a larger scale, positioning such a long, skinny tendril of DNA is like wielding a human hair that is ten meters (30 feet) long. Yet Lee and Guan are able to arrange their DNA strands with nanometer precision, using relatively simple equipment.