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Nucleic Acids Res. Dec 1, 1997; 25(23): 4748–4757.
PMCID: PMC147124

Demonstration of a word design strategy for DNA computing on surfaces.


A strategy for DNA computing on surfaces using linked sets of 'DNA words' that are short oligonucleotides (16mers) is proposed. The 16mer words have the format 5'-FFFFvvvvvvvvFFFF-3' in which 4-8 bits of data are stored in 8 variable ('v') base locations, and the remaining fixed ('F') base locations are used as a word label. Using a template and map strategy, a set of 108 8mers each of which possesses at least a 4 base mismatch with the complements to all the other members of the set (4bm complements) are identified for use as a variable base sequence set. In addition, sets of 4 and 12 word labels of the form ABCD....DCBA that are respectively 8bm and 6bm complements with each other are identified. The 16mers are chosen to have a G/C content of 50% in order to make the thermodynamic stability of the perfectly matched hybridized DNA duplexes similar; a simple pairwise additive method is used to estimate the perfect match and mismatch hybridization thermodynamics. A series of preliminary experiments are presented that use small arrays of 16mers attached to chemically modified gold surfaces and fluorescently labeled complements to study the hybridization adsorption and enzymatic manipulation of the oligonucleotides.

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