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March 09, 2011

Programmable Molecular Robots can choose different branches and not just move in straight line

Nanoletters - A Programmable Molecular Robot

We have developed a programmable and autonomous molecular robot whose motion is fueled by DNA hybridization. Instructions determining the path to be followed are programmed into the fuel molecules, allowing precise control of cargo motion on a branched track.

The molecular machine made of synthetic DNA moves between track locations separated by 6nm. The robot, a short strand of DNA, follows instructions programmed into a set of fuel molecules determining its destination, for example, to turn left or right at a junction in the track. The DNA robot can be programmed to choose among different branches of a molecular track, rather than just move in a straight line (previous walkers have moved in a straight line).



12 pages of supplemental information

Supporting Information
1. Strand Sequences and Motor Design
2. Methods
3. Split Toehold Characterization
4. Stepping on a Two-Anchorage Track Observed Using Fluorescent Labels
5. Controls: Two-Anchorage Tracks
6. Kinetics of Stepping Mechanism
7. Comparison Between Designed and ‘Leakage’ Fuel Reactions
8. Stepping of Cargo Between Non-Adjacent Anchorages
9. PAGE Purification of Track Components

Further Reading

Other Oxford University research publications

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