7th Annual Symposium
Physics of Cancer
Leipzig, Germany
October 4-6, 2016
Invited Talk
Condensing DNA into Nanostructures
Friedrich C. Simmel
Technical University, Munich, Am Coulombwall 4a, 85748 Garching, Germany
Contact:  | Website
In nature, DNA molecules often have to be packed into confined spaces such as the cell nucleus, sperm heads, or virus capsids. This condensation process is facilitated by cationic condensing agents, which help to overcome the strong electrostatic repulsions between closely packed DNA duplexes. In this talk, we will present two applications of such condensing agents in an artificial context. First, we demonstrate how the polyamine spermidine can be used to create and stabilize DNA origami nanostructures under low ionic strength conditions. The structures turn out to be resistant to strong electric field pulses and can even be electrotransfected into cells. Second, we show how condensation of micrometer long DNA molecules can be directed along one-dimensional lines on a lithographically structured biochip. The resulting linear DNA condensates may find use in the control of cell-free gene expression processes on a chip.
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