FIGURE 5-1. Synthetic Functional Assemblies.

FIGURE 5-1Synthetic Functional Assemblies

A recently proposed assembly process for creating three-dimensional nanosized objects. (A) At high DNA concentrations, five-point-star tiles can assemble, arranged into tetragonal two dimensional crystals. (B) Three-dimensional spheres are capable of self-assembling by taking advantage of the propensity of such tiles to have out-of-plane bending and asymmetrical bends in the molecular plane. (C) In the assembled structure, the angles between two neighboring branches varies (three 60-degree and two 90-degree angles), and all are different from the 72-degree angle in the free tiles. In these kinds of three-dimensional structures the conformational flexibility of the molecules is a critical part of the energetics of self-assembly. The structures created through such self-assembly processes are not only interesting in and of themselves but could also serve as encapsulation agents, nanoreactors, or organizational scaffolds. SOURCE: C. Zhang et al., 2008, courtesy of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

From: 5, Enabling Technologies and Tools for Research

Cover of Research at the Intersection of the Physical and Life Sciences
Research at the Intersection of the Physical and Life Sciences.
National Research Council (US) Committee on Research at the Intersection of the Physical and Life Sciences.
Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2010.
Copyright © 2010, National Academy of Sciences.

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