‘Genetic code’ guides nanoparticle growth

Published in Chemistry World, 9 Aug 2012

DNA – it is the basis for life, the blueprint from which proteins are created. Now, researchers in the US and China have demonstrated that DNA can also be used as a blueprint for the creation of non-biological structures. Their ‘genetic code’ could pave the way for tailored nanoparticles – fit for use as catalysts, or in surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS).

Scientists have used DNA as a template to guide nanoparticle assembly before. It is DNA’s programmability – the numerous different combinations of nucleotides – that makes it so adaptable. If DNA is added to nanoparticles, it binds selectively, forming links that stick the nanoparticles together into interesting structures. […]

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