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Nano Lett. 2008 Jul;8(7):1791-7. Epub 2007 Dec 28.

Toward reliable algorithmic self-assembly of DNA tiles: a fixed-width cellular automaton pattern.

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Department of Computational Intelligence and Systems Science, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Midori-ku, Yokohama 226-8502, Japan.

Erratum in

  • Nano Lett. 2008 Oct;8(10):3554.


Bottom-up fabrication of nanoscale structures relies on chemical processes to direct self-assembly. The complexity, precision, and yield achievable by a one-pot reaction are limited by our ability to encode assembly instructions into the molecules themselves. Nucleic acids provide a platform for investigating these issues, as molecular structure and intramolecular interactions can encode growth rules. Here, we use DNA tiles and DNA origami to grow crystals containing a cellular automaton pattern. In a one-pot annealing reaction, 250 DNA strands first assemble into a set of 10 free tile types and a seed structure, then the free tiles grow algorithmically from the seed according to the automaton rules. In our experiments, crystals grew to approximately 300 nm long, containing approximately 300 tiles with an initial assembly error rate of approximately 1.4% per tile. This work provides evidence that programmable molecular self-assembly may be sufficient to create a wide range of complex objects in one-pot reactions.

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