Oligomers observed mimicking the combination of DNA strands: Study

February 07, 2020

An international research team have for the first time observed dynamic covalent oligomers mimicking the combination of complementary DNA strands, which could lead to exciting developments in electronics and the engineering of interfaces between prostheses and body tissue.

The study by Associate Professor Timothy Scott (Department of Chemical Engineering and Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Monash University) and Samuel Leguizamon (Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan), reported that during the assembly process, oligomers were able to selectively bind with their complementary sequences by using covalent bond formation.

This effectively strengthened the thermal and mechanical stability of the resultant structures through the creation of a DNA-like molecular ladder.

Published on Friday 7 February 2020, in the prestigious journal Nature Communications, these findings could have benefits for the superior creation of nanostructures (solar capture technology), the assembly of molecular electronics (wires and transistors), and the engineering of interfaces between prostheses and human tissue.

Oligomers are low weight polymers - a chemical compound of molecules presented in chains - whose physical properties are significantly dependent on the length of the chain.

They are currently used to improve performance in a wide variety of coatings, such as adhesives, chemical resistance and for improved weathering.

Oligomers, due to their ability to reduce volatile organic compounds (harmful vapours emitted by products) and application viscosity (the thickness of which a product is applied), are commonly found in products, such as paint and varnish.

But, researchers believe this new finding could open the door for these oligomers to be applied in the health and technology sectors.

"The ability to direct the self-assembly of oligomeric strands based on their residue sequence and mediated by dynamic covalent interactions is a crucial step towards the fabrication of complex, unimolecular constructs from modest, synthetically accessible precursors," Associate Professor Scott said.

"Although this study involved molecular ladders bearing covalent rungs, this multi-step approach to dynamic covalent assembly process may also be useful for other application in which the alleviation or elimination of kinetic trapping is critical.

"This process will provide significantly improved synthetic access to robust, complex covalent nanostructures, such as molecular cages and crystalline, porous polymer networks."
The study titled: 'Sequence-selective dynamic covalent assembly of information-bearing oligomers' was a collaboration between Associate Professor Timothy Scott (Monash University) and Samuel Leguizamon (University of Michigan).

To download a copy of the paper, please visit http://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-14607-3


Monash University
T: +61 3 9903 4840 E: media@monash.edu

Monash University

Related DNA Articles from Brightsurf:

A new twist on DNA origami
A team* of scientists from ASU and Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) led by Hao Yan, ASU's Milton Glick Professor in the School of Molecular Sciences, and director of the ASU Biodesign Institute's Center for Molecular Design and Biomimetics, has just announced the creation of a new type of meta-DNA structures that will open up the fields of optoelectronics (including information storage and encryption) as well as synthetic biology.

Solving a DNA mystery
''A watched pot never boils,'' as the saying goes, but that was not the case for UC Santa Barbara researchers watching a ''pot'' of liquids formed from DNA.

Junk DNA might be really, really useful for biocomputing
When you don't understand how things work, it's not unusual to think of them as just plain old junk.

Designing DNA from scratch: Engineering the functions of micrometer-sized DNA droplets
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) have constructed ''DNA droplets'' comprising designed DNA nanostructures.

Does DNA in the water tell us how many fish are there?
Researchers have developed a new non-invasive method to count individual fish by measuring the concentration of environmental DNA in the water, which could be applied for quantitative monitoring of aquatic ecosystems.

Zigzag DNA
How the cell organizes DNA into tightly packed chromosomes. Nature publication by Delft University of Technology and EMBL Heidelberg.

Scientists now know what DNA's chaperone looks like
Researchers have discovered the structure of the FACT protein -- a mysterious protein central to the functioning of DNA.

DNA is like everything else: it's not what you have, but how you use it
A new paradigm for reading out genetic information in DNA is described by Dr.

A new spin on DNA
For decades, researchers have chased ways to study biological machines.

From face to DNA: New method aims to improve match between DNA sample and face database
Predicting what someone's face looks like based on a DNA sample remains a hard nut to crack for science.

Read More: DNA News and DNA Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.