Silver proves its mettle for nanotech applications

March 19, 2010

By Flinn Foundation

[Source:] – In their latest research, the group used a long single-strand of DNA, which had been folded into a triangular building platform through a process known as DNA origami. This architectural foundation was then ‘decorated’ with one, two or three silver nanoparticles, which self-assembled at pre-determined locations on the DNA nanostructure. The group’s experimental results, which appear in the advanced online edition of the journal Angewandte Chemie, demonstrate for the first time the viability of using silver, rather than the gold nanoparticles traditionally applied to DNA-tile or origami based architectures. The study was co-authored by Suchetan Pal, Zhengtao Deng, Baoquan Ding.

One of many applications for DNA scaffolds studded with nanoparticles is to perform precise sensing operations at the molecular scale. Sensitive detection of single molecules with high specificity is of great scientific interest for chemists, biologists, pharmacologists, medical researchers and those involved in environmental areas where trace analysis is required. The detailed study of human genes is but one area where improved single-molecule detection could be of enormous benefit.

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