A DNA molecular printer capable of programmable positioning and patterning in two dimensions

Erik Benson, Rafael Carrascosa Marzo, Jonathan Bath, Andrew J. Turberfield

Science Robotics 7, eabn5459 (2022). DOI:10.1126/scirobotics.abn5459

Nanoscale manipulation and patterning usually require costly and sensitive top-down techniques such as those used in scanning probe microscopies or in semiconductor lithography. DNA nanotechnology enables exploration of bottom-up fabrication and has previously been used to design self-assembling components capable of linear and rotary motion. In this work, we combine three independently controllable DNA origami linear actuators to create a nanoscale robotic printer. The two-axis positioning mechanism comprises a moveable gantry, running on parallel rails, threading a mobile sleeve. We show that the device is capable of reversibly positioning a write head over a canvas through the addition of signaling oligonucleotides. We demonstrate “write” functionality by using the head to catalyze a local DNA strand–exchange reaction, selectively modifying pixels on a canvas. This work demonstrates the power of DNA nanotechnology for creating nanoscale robotic components and could find application in surface manufacturing, biophysical studies, and templated chemistry.

About Lulu Qian (54 Articles)
President of ISNSCE Professor of Bioengineering California Institute of Technology