Team:IngenuityLab Canada/dNANO

Ingenuity Lab - dNANO



Despite recent advances in nanotechnology, techniques have been largely geared towards a specific type of application. One of the fundamental problems that scientists face is choosing the type of material that is compatible with the whole system.

In dNANO, our team has developed a nanoscaffold built on what we find is the ideal nanomaterial: DNA. It is relatively cheap to manufacture synthetically and well suited to the purpose because of its biocompatibility and flexible structure. One of the biggest advantages of DNA-based nanostructure is its single-pot reaction, with the self-assembling properties of DNA.

Using computer software called caDNAno, we have designed a 3D structure that serves as a scaffold with a hollow cavity. The cavity can be used for variety of purposes; one test we recently did was to build gold nanowire via gold precipitation along the hollow cavity. The DNA-based gold nanowires can be self-assembled via Teslaphoresis into a long chain of wires. The self-assembly of the structure is what our team of young innovators has always strived for - because of its uniqueness.

To further suggest an application for our product, we attempted to test if we can successfully harvest electron from an organic source. The source we choose was Photosystem II, a protein that is highly efficient in converting light energy into electrical energy. This protein was isolated from a mutant strain of cyanobacteria and stabilized in liposomes.

Through development of this DNA-based scaffold, we have attempted to create an assembly standard where anyone with minimal experience can create 3D shape out of DNA and apply it in various fields such as the healthcare and energy sectors.


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