Researchers have introduced a new type of “super-resolution” microscopy and used it to discover the precise walking mechanism behind tiny structures made of DNA that could find biomedical and industrial applications.
The researchers also demonstrated how the “DNA walker” is able to release an anticancer drug, representing a potential new biomedical technology, said Jong Hyun Choi, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University.
Synthetic nanomotors and walkers are intricately designed systems that draw chemical energy from the environment and convert it into mechanical motion. However, because they are too small to be observed using conventional light microscopes, researchers have been unable to learn the precise steps involved in the walking mechanisms, knowledge essential to perfecting the technology.
“If you cannot resolve or monitor these walkers in action, you will be unable to understand their mechanical operation,” Choi said.
He led a Purdue team that has solved this problem by developing a super-resolution microscopy system designed to study the DNA walkers. The new findings appeared in the journal Science Advances on Jan. 20, 2017.
Via Integrated DNA Technologies