Schedule Sep 15, 2017
Design of Three-Site DNA DX Nanotube Tracks for the Study of Light-Powered Nanomotors
Teresa Lo, Mentor Deborah Fygenson (Physics)

Nanotechnology research strives to design nanowalkers which mimic biomotors of the cell. Light-powered DNA nanomotors have been studied to walk on tracks made of double stranded DNA (dsDNA). The limited stiffness of dsDNA constrains such tracks to present no more than three binding sites for the nanomotor’s legs. Alternatively, DNA nanotubes, made of double crossover (DX) tiles, are over 100 times stiffer than dsDNA, and can be ligated for increased thermal stability, mechanical stability, and buffer compatibility. I design a six-tile DX nanotube to present three binding sites for use in preliminary fluorescence motility experiments. I confirm the creation of the six-tile nanotube using gel electrophoresis and atomic force microscopy (AFM). If successful, this design can be modified to create DX-DNA nanotubes of unconstrained length. I aim to use such long nanomotor tracks to enable a gliding assay and to study the speed and efficiency of the light-powered nanomotor.

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