Nanodevice manufacturing strategy uses self-assembling DNA "building blocks"
Researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University have developed a method for building complex nanostructures out of short synthetic strands of DNA. These interlocking DNA "building blocks", called single-stranded tiles (SSTs), can be programmed to assemble themselves into designed shapes. Further development of the technology could lead to the creation of new nanoscale devices. Such devices include those that deliver drugs directly to disease sites. As synthetically based materials, the SSTs could have some important applications in medicine. SSTs could organize themselves into drug-delivery machines that maintain their structural integrity until they reach specific cell targets, and because they are synthetic, can be made highly biocompatible.