Sign In

Communications of the ACM

ACM TechNews

Designing with DNA

View as: Print Mobile App Share:
DNAxiS design steps

DNAxiS design moves a 3D model through steps adding twists, crossovers, and scaffolds.

Credit: Science

An open-source software program developed by researchers at Duke and other universities lets users take drawings or digital models of rounded shapes and turn them into 3-D structures made of DNA.

While researchers have been experimenting with DNA as a construction material since the 1980s, designing structures with curved surfaces like those found in nature has been tricky. Duke Ph.D. student Dan Fu is part of a team that developed software called DNAxiS, which relies on a previously described way to build with DNA by coiling a long DNA double helix into concentric rings that stack on each other. DNAxiS lets users design shapes automatically, using algorithms to determine where to place short DNA "staples" to join the longer DNA rings together and hold the shape in place.

"If there are too few, or if they're in the wrong position, the structure won't form correctly," Fu says. "Before our software, the curvature of the shapes made this an especially difficult problem."

From Duke University
View Full Article


Abstracts Copyright © 2022 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


No entries found

Sign In for Full Access
» Forgot Password? » Create an ACM Web Account